Showcased at the 2014 Beijing Motor Show earlier this year, the 2015 Chevrolet Cruze has officially launched in China and is being sold along with the current generation model in the country. Built in a joint venture between General Motors and its Chinese partner SAIC, the 2015 Cruze is radically different from its predecessor with 72 percent body comprising of high-tensile strength steel, aluminium and light weight materials. GM states that the 2015 Cruze has been developed by the automaker’s global R&D team and was extensively tested at the Nurburgring.
In terms of design, very little has been carried over to the 2015 Chevrolet Cruze, while influences come from Chevrolet’s Tru concept. The front fascia is less American now and gets more European cues with the new dual-mesh grille and sweptback headlights equipped with projectors. The sculpted hood only further adds to the pleasing new look, while retaining the masculine characteristic of the Cruze. The side profile too looks equally confident with a sharp coupe like roofline that seamlessly converges with the shoulder line on the rear fender. The rear on the other hand retains the muscular look with strong lines on the boot-lid and large wraparound tail lights.
Changes are equally different inside the cabin as well with the bland looking cabin replaced with the new dual cockpit design that is further enhanced with curvaceous lines and a dual-tone brown and black colour scheme. You also get a new multi-function steering wheel, redesigned instrument cluster and a plethora of new features. The cabin space has been further enhanced on the 2015 Cruze with a lengthened wheelbase and shortened overhangs. The centre console features an 8-inch touchscreen display unit equipped with Chevrolet’s MyLink 2.0 infotainment system.
Powering the 2015 Chevrolet Cruze is the new 1.4-litre turbocharged EcoTec engine producing 148 PS of power and 235 Nm of torque, paired to 5-speed and a 6-speed automatic transmission options; while the 1.5-litre naturally aspirated EcoTec unit produces 112 PS and 146 Nm, paired to a 6-speed manual or a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. GM claims that the new engines offer 14-21 percent of improved fuel efficiency, compared to the older engines and are also 50 percent lower on NVH levels. Available in several variants, the second generation Cruze range starts at 1,09,000 Yuan (Rs. 10.80 lakhs) going up to 1,69,000 (Rs. 16.70 lakhs).
A true driver’s delight, the Cruze has come off age in India with sales too suggesting the same. However, with the entire D-segment sedan space running slow in terms of sales, GM will not be too interested to bring the new Cruze to India anytime soon. Moreover, the European and American spec Cruze is still to make its debut and will be slightly different from the Chinese spec model. Expect GM India to launch the new Cruze in the second half of 2016 which will be competing against the Skoda Octavia, Hyundai Elantra, Volkswagen Jetta, Toyota Corolla and the likes in the segment.