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Old 26th February 2012, 17:53   #1
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Default Ghostrider's Chevrolet Cruze LTZ: Initial Ownership Review

FIRST, A LITTLE BIT OF CONTEXT AND HISTORY.....
I pretty much fell in love with the Cruze when I first clapped eyes on the car. The first thing that struck me was that it had very mondeo-esque proportions, but was much chunkier. It was like a Mondeo that had been working out at the gym for a couple of years.
Over the last couple of years I've kept a close eye on the C and D segments to see what caught my fancy. For a while I was pretty gung-ho about the Vento diesel, but when I drove the car the most important ingredient I look for in a car was missing.... it just didn't put a smile on my face.

Cut to January of 2012, and I decided that is the year I'm biting the bullet. My wife had been listening to me drone on and on about getting a new car for months, and finally she said... "Look, you've clearly wanted the Cruze for a while now. You've thought it through, you can afford it, and frankly if I have to go another day with you trying to justify why you want it I'm going to go crazy!!!"

What else was considered...
The Laura, obviously. They're very similar in a lot of respects, but they're also very different. The Laura feels more germanic when you sit inside the car, but I felt a little underwhelmed on the test drive. No whoosh.
Also, when you compare the car to the Cruze LTZ, the Laura interiors are wayyy too spartan in comparison. Say what you want, but the goodies count for a lot.
The absolute best thing about the Cruze, however, is it's engine. Enough's been said about it on the forums so I won't go into it. All I will say is the power is exhilarating.
Also considered was the Jetta. It's a fantastic car, but it was priced a couple of lakhs too high for comfort.


The booking and dealership experience...
Not the best, to be honest. While the negotiation process was fairly typical (big thanks to GTO here for his thread on buying a new car) I was on a tight schedule for delivery because I was going to be travelling... and they missed the deadline. What was worse though that when the delivery date arrived and I went at the pre-determined time to pick up the car... I was stunned. It was filthy, the accessories hadn't been fitted, and the whole car was covered in a layer of dust.
Needless to say, I raised hell. The manager of the dealership got the firing of her life. These were minor niggles, but they soured the booking experience a bit. Finally, they apologized profusely, cleaned up and polished the car, and home-delivered it wrapped in ribbons and balloons and with a cake from Birdys.

AND NOW, FINALLY, TO THE CAR...

1. What's great about it
  • The engine: Without a doubt, this is the Cruze's party piece. Sources inside GM claim that the turbo lag's been reduced, and I can confirm this. The turbo starts spooling and you can feel the surge building from about 1400-1600 rpm and then the it REALLY kicks in by about 1700-1800. I'm not sure why people say the Cruze MT is tough to drive in the city... I don't think so at all.
  • The steering and manoeuvrability: It's excellent. The Cruze is a big car, but the steering is light enough to make city driving a breeze.
  • The interiors are fantastic. GM seems to have improved thw quality of the plastics immensely. I haven't found a single rough or unfinished edge anywhere. The carpets and the upholstery seems plusher than on older models.
  • NVH is SUPERB. I'm talking about quietness and refinement by petrol car standards. With the windows are up and music off, very little road and engine noise filters through.
  • The AC: It absolutely chills. The climate control works exceedingly well and chills the car in minutes even if it's been parked in the sun.
  • The steering feel: It's the perfect diameter and it's chunky enough for most hand-sizes. Ergonomics are good, all stalks and controls fall easily to hand. Feedback is good.
  • Parking sensors: They're brilliant. I was parking the other day, and I knew there was a single vertical bamboo right at the corner of the bumper (3 inches from the edge)... and the sensors found it.
  • PEPS: It's wonderfully convenient.
  • Little touches: Like the fact that all the storage bins (including the little cubby holes in the door and the sunglasses-holder) are lined with soft material to prevent rattles, like the front center armrest slides forward and backwards for you to find the right driving position, like the little lights on either side of the vanity mirror behind the passenger sunshade. Like the ledge beneath the centre information display is angled and padded so you could rest your phone on it without it sliding around.

2. What's good about it
  • The seats: I'm 5'10 and of medium build and the seats offer the right amount of side and lumbar support.
  • The instrument cluster: everything is well lit, clearly visible, and looks great in ice-blue.
  • The gearshift:... it's slick, but not Vento-slick. The fact that it's a short-throw box is great, but it's not a rapid-action gearshift.
  • The center information display is informative, looks good, and easy to navigate. It's loaded with tweakable options.

3. What's just okay or not-so-good about it
  • The recline angle of the rear seats: It's perhaps 5 degrees too upright. Another 5 degrees of recline would've been superb.
  • The self-dimming OHRVM should've had a manual toggle switch like the Altis does.
  • ICE: It's not the best sound. It's better than most stock systems, but it's pretty low on kick and punch.
  • Stock JK Vectras: are pretty poor tyres. Also, the rim design's a little too bland.... but then that's a great excuse to upgrade
  • Some weird quirks: For example, if I turn the car off and open the driver's side door, it kills the music system. Why?? I could just be stepping out for a minute and someone could still be sitting in the car. Also... if you turn the the AC off, it automatically turns the blower into ventilate mode. Why???
  • The Clutch return action: Too strong. It takes some getting used to. Nailing perfect gearshifts is going to take some practice!!


4. Accessories and mods
  • Rims: were upgraded to Lenso ES6 17-inchers. I literally went through 100-120 designs of rims over weeks and weeks. I wanted something that would stand out, but not too flash. Something sedate and sporty at the same time.
  • Tyres: Yokohama Advan Sports, running 225/50 profiles. I haven't had a chance to really explore the limits of grip yet, but a big thanks to Akshay1234, Amey, Nishant Gandhi, and m4ugr8 for helping me select them.
  • Tints: Haven't gotten them yet... but will be getting my Vkools this week.
  • Tuning Box: My Swift had one, and while the power of the Cruze seems more than enough right now, I'm sure I'll be itching for some extra horses in a couple of months.
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Last edited by ghostrider : 26th February 2012 at 17:57.
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Old 26th February 2012, 18:13   #2
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Default re: Ghostrider's Chevrolet Cruze LTZ: Initial Ownership Review

Congrats!Your car looks fantastic. And thanks for the review. I was following the other thread as well.
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Old 26th February 2012, 18:34   #3
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Default re: Ghostrider's Chevrolet Cruze LTZ: Initial Ownership Review

Congrats. The car looks too good with the new alloys. These alloys look contemporary and enhance the stance of the Cruze. You should do some DIY and put Chevy logo on those rims and they will look OE wheels.

Wish you happy and safe Rocketing.
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Old 26th February 2012, 19:04   #4
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Default re: Ghostrider's Chevrolet Cruze LTZ: Initial Ownership Review

That cruze looks Hott with those Lensos.

Please get Tints ASAP.

Would also suggest you to put the E Class Style Taillights.
Check out the Cruze Mods thread for their pictures.
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Old 26th February 2012, 19:16   #5
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Default re: Ghostrider's Chevrolet Cruze LTZ: Initial Ownership Review

Wow, congrats ghostrider! A really hot car indeed and those alloys look just too cool, good choice. I also think the OEM alloys look bland. Which dealer in Mumbai did you get the car from?
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Old 26th February 2012, 19:20   #6
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Default re: Ghostrider's Chevrolet Cruze LTZ: Initial Ownership Review

Ghostrider,
Your car looks absolutely stunning! Those alloys totally steal the show. Could you please post the stock break-up of the alloys and the tyres?
Also,
What other tyres were considered and how are the Yoko Advan Sports better than them?
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Old 26th February 2012, 19:24   #7
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Default re: Ghostrider's Chevrolet Cruze LTZ: Initial Ownership Review

From one black Cruze owner to another...congratulations! Your car looks great with the alloys.

Now its all about keeping the black color shiny and pretty :-)

Keep us posted about FE, tuning, any mods, etc.
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Old 26th February 2012, 19:25   #8
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Default re: Ghostrider's Chevrolet Cruze LTZ: Initial Ownership Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shreyas Aterkar View Post
Wow, congrats ghostrider! A really hot car indeed and those alloys look just too cool, good choice. I also think the OEM alloys look bland. Which dealer in Mumbai did you get the car from?
Thanks Shreyas. The dealer was Nikhil Auto at Prabhadevi. They're the only dealer left this side of town now that National Garage is shifting from GM to Audi.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cityvic View Post
That cruze looks Hott with those Lensos.

Please get Tints ASAP.

Would also suggest you to put the E Class Style Taillights.
Check out the Cruze Mods thread for their pictures.
Thanks CityVic. Tints will be coming some time this week, will put up pics when the job's done. I really like how GTO's Civic and Merc C220 look with the Vkool K14, so will probably be getting that shade.
The E-class tail-lights do look pretty cool, but right now I'm going to go a little easy on the spending.. the alloy and tyre upgrade cost me a packet!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kkg View Post
Congrats. The car looks too good with the new alloys. These alloys look contemporary and enhance the stance of the Cruze. You should do some DIY and put Chevy logo on those rims and they will look OE wheels.
Wish you happy and safe Rocketing.
Thanks KKG...I actually like the Lenso monogram on these ES6s. Also, the design of the alloy centre isn't your typically round design... if you look carefully they're shaped like a starfish, so finding replacements with alternate designs would be tough.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fast&furious View Post
Congrats!Your car looks fantastic. And thanks for the review. I was following the other thread as well.
Thanks fast&furious. I was trying to find the other thread but I'm having a hard time locating it.

Last edited by ghostrider : 26th February 2012 at 19:29.
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Old 26th February 2012, 19:35   #9
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Default re: Ghostrider's Chevrolet Cruze LTZ: Initial Ownership Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostrider View Post
I really like how GTO's Civic and Merc C220 look with the Vkool K14, so will probably be getting that shade.
I have them on the Accord and they are dark, infact in the rains when your in traffic you wish there was a bit more visibility. Also cops can trouble for these, my Accord has a fancy number so I manage to get away. But unless you want the privacy (I wanted the jet black look) avoid. Get K37 from vkool, and get Vk70 for the front, its brilliant.
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Old 26th February 2012, 19:42   #10
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Default re: Ghostrider's Chevrolet Cruze LTZ: Initial Ownership Review

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Originally Posted by akshay1234 View Post
I have them on the Accord and they are dark, infact in the rains when your in traffic you wish there was a bit more visibility. Also cops can trouble for these, my Accord has a fancy number so I manage to get away. But unless you want the privacy (I wanted the jet black look) avoid. Get K37 from vkool, and get Vk70 for the front, its brilliant.
Your Accord is fantastic. Thanks for the headsup. I'll pay a visit to the vkool store one of these days and choose something that's slightly darker than what's legally permissible, but not excessively so.

Quote:
Originally Posted by darthvader View Post
From one black Cruze owner to another...congratulations! Your car looks great with the alloys.
Now its all about keeping the black color shiny and pretty :-)
Keep us posted about FE, tuning, any mods, etc.
Thanks Vader.
I've only done about 200km or so and the MID is reporting 10.8 km/l as the average so far. Its too early to determine what the FE is, I'll post after the first refill.
Black is a dust and fingerprint magnet! My white Swift (sold it today to a very close friend :( ) managed to look shiny clean all year-round except in the monsoons.
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Old 26th February 2012, 19:43   #11
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Default re: Ghostrider's Chevrolet Cruze LTZ: Initial Ownership Review

Congrats, amazing car, beautiful alloys. Lenso does have some amazing designs. Having owned a black car for about 4 years I know how difficult maintaining this particular colour is, but it's worth it. You have my sympathies :P

Last edited by teknophobia : 26th February 2012 at 19:46.
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Old 26th February 2012, 19:46   #12
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Default re: Ghostrider's Chevrolet Cruze LTZ: Initial Ownership Review

Congrats ghostrider,
Your Cruze missile looks coool with those lensos.
My partner owns one and its reliable machine with excellent built quality.
After 18 months and more than 45k there is no rattle or squeaks.
As mentioned by you I also dislike the clutch action, otherwise its fun to drive.

Happy miles ahead
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Old 26th February 2012, 19:48   #13
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Fantastic car and even better choice of alloys, just beautiful and compliments the car very well. If possible please share with us the price of alloys. And did you try the AT too?

Wishing you a very pleasant and memorable ownership experience.
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Old 26th February 2012, 19:55   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bala80 View Post
Fantastic car and even better choice of alloys, just beautiful and compliments the car very well. If possible please share with us the price of alloys. And did you try the AT too?
Wishing you a very pleasant and memorable ownership experience.
Thanks very much . The asking price of the Lensos ranged between 8.5k and 9.5k a wheel (34k-38k for a set of 4). Considering I was also getting my tyres from the same source AND offering my stock rims and tyres as buyback, I worked out a nett amount to pay. After negotiation, I guess I managed to get a couple of grand off the wheels... so you could say there were about 30 grand for a set of 4. The 5th wheel's ordered, it should come in 3-4 weeks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raosaheb Desai View Post
Congrats ghostrider,
Your Cruze missile looks coool with those lensos.
My partner owns one and its reliable machine with excellent built quality.
After 18 months and more than 45k there is no rattle or squeaks.
As mentioned by you I also dislike the clutch action, otherwise its fun to drive.
Happy miles ahead


Quote:
Originally Posted by teknophobia View Post
Congrats, amazing car, beautiful alloys. Lenso does have some amazing designs. Having owned a black car for about 4 years I know how difficult maintaining this particular colour is, but it's worth it. You have my sympathies :P
Cheers tekno. I've already ordered the Jopasu car duster, btw.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeKay View Post
Ghostrider,
Your car looks absolutely stunning! Those alloys totally steal the show. Could you please post the stock break-up of the alloys and the tyres?
Also,
What other tyres were considered and how are the Yoko Advan Sports better than them?
I considered the Continentals and the Michelins, but Akshay1234 and a couple of other BHPians recommended the Advan Sports strongly. Having had Yokohamas on two of my previous cars I've had a first-hand experience with them, which is why I decided to stick to Yokos.
The tyres were about 11k apiece for 17-inchers.

Note from the Team-BHP Support Team: Please use the "edit" button if posting within 30 minutes of the first post, instead of creating another back-to-back post.

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Last edited by suhaas307 : 26th February 2012 at 20:27. Reason: See note in post :)
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Old 26th February 2012, 21:16   #15
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Default re: Ghostrider's Chevrolet Cruze LTZ: Initial Ownership Review

Congrats on the Cruze. Looks absolutely cool in black !.

Quote:
if you turn the the AC off, it automatically turns the blower into ventilate mode. Why???
There's a good reason for this. When ventilate mode is turned on, it helps dry the condensation in the A/c cooling ducts. Otherwise, there are good chances for fungus forming and resulting in stale smell. It also helps that the recirculated dirty air is freshened.
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