Chevy whipped out a pair of Cruzes at the show, to mild acclaim. Not that there was anything wrong with them…the RS is a sporty-looking version, and the Eco offers 40 miles per gallon with its six-speed manual.
Now, if they’d announced a Camaro SS with the ZR1 engine…or better yet, driven it into the hall through the wall…that would have raised some heart rates. Better PR, too.
I posted a while back about the new Chevrolet compact, the Cruze, but now that General Motors has unveiled the model, let’s take a second look at it.
The Cruze is fairly large for a small car, stretching about 181 inches from tip to tail; compare this to about 177 inches for the Honda Civic and 178.8 inches for the Toyota Corolla. It doesn’t seem like much, but we’ll have to see if GM was smart enough to stick this extra distance where it counts and give the backseat useable legroom.
Engine choices for the U.S. haven’t been confirmed by GM, but Motor Trend is guessing the Cruze will pack a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder pumping out between 150 and 170 horsepower. Meanwhile, Car and Driver is saying the Cruze’s engines should be getting at least 40 miles per gallon; six-speed automatic transmissions should improve fuel economy, but don’t hold your breath to be passing Prii (the plural of Prius) at the pumps.
Europeans will be getting a new 2.0-liter turbodiesel cranking out 150 horses and 236 pound-feet of torque, but don’t expect to see that engine over here, especially while diesel still costs more than a dollar per gallon more than good old gas.
Personally, I don’t think Chevy’s going to have much trouble moving these things out the showroom door. If the interior manages similar quality levels as the Malibu (not perfect, but much better than most other American cars), a car with looks like these that gets highway mileage in the high 30s and has enough room for four people is gonna do just fine. Let’s just hope the Cruze is as much fun to cruise in (there’s the damn pun! Almost made it without one) as it is to look at – or else GM may be in serious trouble.
More pics (click to supersize):
The new Chevrolet Cruze, replacement for the compact Cobalt, should be coming our way come 2010, according to Motor Authority.
The website says the new compact Chevy will be built off a new platform that should form the basis of many small future General Motors cars. It is expected to be Chevy’s new “global car,” designed to be successful in markets all around the world – that is, mostly in places where gas is pricier (yes, they exist) and the roads smaller than in the U.S., making Impala ownership impractical.
Our version in the states should be powered by a turbocharged 1.4 liter four-cylinder that may pump out around 140 horsepower, and will supposedly get around 40 miles per gallon on the highway. City mileage should be close to 30 mpg, according to the site.
Our friends in Europe, ironically, may get the newest Chevy before we do; Chevrolet communications representative Nancy Libby told Automotive News the Cruze would go on sale there in the latter part of 2009. The car is scheduled to be unveiled at the Paris Auto Show this October, which seems to support that idea; however, given the recent increase in interest in small cars stateside, don’t be too surprised if the premiere gets bumped back to the 2009 Detroit show in January, or the December L.A. Auto Show.