Buyer’s will have a choice between the 1.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder Ecotec engine that gets an announced 40 miles per gallon on the highway and a 1.8 litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine that doesn’t quite match that fuel economy. The turbocharged motor will come standard with the LT and LTZ models. The 1.4-litre is rated at 138 horsepower and 148 lb.-ft of torque. The 1.8 is slightly weaker with a rating of 136 horsepower and 123 lb.-ft of torque. Both engines come with a six-speed transmission, available as in automatic or manual.
Chevy is trying to position the Cruze as direct competition against the Toyota Corolla and the Honda Civic. With more and more American drivers switching to small, more fuel efficient vehicles, it makes sense for GM to offer something they can market as “homegrown”.
The Cruze comes equipped with MacPherson strut suspension up front and a Watts Z-Link independent suspensions at the rear. The vehicle comes complete with GM’s StabiliTrack electronic stability control and traction control, and an electronic power steering system.
The interior of the cabin sports a two-tone look, with black and deep tan covering everything. There are several noise-cancelling technologies in play to give the driver the most comfortable drive. Those technologies include: hydraulic ride bushings, nylon baffles filled with sound-absorbing foam, and better weather seals.
Will the Cruze help re-establish GM in the world auto market? The Cruze has been available in Europe since the spring, where it has sold fairly well. How it sells in the US remains to be seen, but with the state of the economy and the high price of gas, it seems the Cruze is position to do very well when it comes out in the fall of 2010