As posted earlier about the launch of the Chevrolet Cruze in India, GM India will be competing with Honda and Toyota with the launch of the Chevrolet Cruze in September, 2009. The Cruze is the first GM car to be based on the company’s all-new, global, Delta platform. It’s interior and exterior design was carried out under a multinational team at GM DAT (GM Daewoo Auto Technology) in Korea.

From the unusual double-decker front grille and headlamps to the detailing of the exterior rubber seals around the windows, the car exhibits extremely delightful qualities. And it doesn’t end there. The ‘dual cockpit’ treatment is original and stylish and the quality of materials and finishes don’t fail to impress. The switchgear, steering wheel, stalks and headlamps switch resemble those present in the more expensive Opel Insignia – with a unique impressive audio and climate control layout. A huge glovebox, big door bins and excellent centre console storage sit alongside Audi-like air vents, a nicely shaped steering wheel rim and impressive audio system.

When it is launched in India, the Cruze will come with a choice of a 138bhp 1.8-litre petrol and a 147bhp 2.0-litre diesel engine, with an option of an automatic transmission as well. The 1.8 petrol version is the least desirable of the two – it occasionally stutters and has to be wrung out above 3000rpm before it really begins to move along. It didn’t quite live up to the performance suggested by the figures.

However, the diesel engine Cruze proved much smoother, refined and possessed the low down torque needed for decent progress. The five-speed ’box used has a well-placed and short-throw action, but first and third gates are positioned a little too close for comfort. A more obvious biting point for the clutch would help, too.

The chassis of the Cruze is primarily engineered to provide high levels of comfort and this really shows when cruising along. Under the right road conditions, the Cruze rewards you with a feeling flowing competence at any attempt at brisk progress. However, the feel at the wheel becomes detached on a hard lock and the inherent understeer can be discouraging if the car is being driven hard.

Source – ACI