The next generation Chevrolet Cruze was due for launch in late 2014 but has now been delayed by one year despite the changes in the model’s engineering and the company’s approach to make the Cruze a more competitive vehicle in the USA. Chevrolet will commence the production of the next generation Cruze around end-2015 with a major change in the model’s production schedule too. The Cruze has been one of the highest selling models from General Motors among the family cars in the US market. The company sold almost 1.34 lakh units in the first half of 2013 in the States. This has pinned the Chervolet Cruze as the second largest selling car in June 2013 in the same market.

Chevrolet has not given any comprehensive change to the Cruze since its introduction and the total sales of the model is hovering over similar levels without any boost. Hence, General Motors is convinced with the fact that the Cruze needs a distinguished makeover that persuades the company to delay the launch. The design language and driving dynamics of the current Cruze is good which will be completely revised for the next generation model. The room area for passengers will be larger than the outgoing model with better sharply designed exterior and more luxury and safety features for the occupants inside.

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Chevrolet has been offering the current Cruze with several petrol engine options in global markets but the India bound model will continue to be powered only by a diesel engine. The 2.0-litre, VCDi, turbocharged diesel engine generates an impressive 166 PS of power with a notable 380 Nm of torque. Buyers can opt between 6-speed manual and 6-speed automatic transmission with options of sunroof and cruise control. The current powertrain options are expected to be carried over on the second generation model with updated tuning to improve performance and emission levels.

D-segment cars in India are on a cold war where next-generation models of almost every offering is either under the development phase or nearing their introduction in the market. New versions of the Toyota Corolla, Skoda Octavia and Renault Fluence are all close to launch in India while the all new Honda Civic is not confirmed yet. Currently, the Chevrolet Cruze is one of the most impressive diesel sedans in its segment, however the rivalry for it will be more competitive as Honda is likely to introduce a 2.0-litre Earth Dreams i-DTEC engine on the next-generation Civic while the Skoda Octavia has always been a mind blowing performer in the segment.

Source – Reuters