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The Chevrolet Cruze at Dublin Chevrolet

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While the Chevy Volt gets most of the press and publicity given its revolutionary technology and design, the often overshadowed but probably much more important vehicle the Chevrolet Cruze sits quietly alongside.  The Chevy Volt and Cruze share the same Delta compact platform (conventionally what we would describe as a large compact or a small mid-size vehicle) but the Cruze is a traditional gasoline only compact.   While most of us like to think primarily of the hot new cars out there, the reality is that the fortunes of many auto makers are not made by selling cutting edge technology and super performance sports cars, but on selling down to earth, affordable and reliable vehicles.  Take Toyota’s success in that regard.  No one I talk to says that Toyotas are sexy, but they satisfy just about every other need of the car buyer, low cost of ownership, reliability, and clean if sedate aesthetics.

Enter the Chevy Cruze, which was brought alongside the Volt at the open house in Dublin Chevrolet.  With an entry price point of $16,995 it is much more affordable than the Chevy Volt, who’s entry price point is $41,000 (granted there is a material federal tax credit of $7500) That alongside with an EPA gas mileage of 40 mpg on the highway means that assuming gas prices don’t rise precipitously means that if you aren’t looking to pay the premium for the technology of the Volt but have similar driving needs – the Cruze would be a good alternative.

The particular Cruze available was the highest trim LTZ, with premium leather trim and 18 in alloy wheels.  (Larger than anything available on the Volt)  This also includes the 1.4 liter turbocharged eco-tec engine which you can see under the hood.  Notably given the same platform size as the Volt, the engine compartment has copious free space given the small displacement engine.  Of course, this is without having to put a power electronics package, electric traction motor, and 3 sets of cooling loops.  GM advertises this car to have more content and refinement available in it than previous compacts and competitors.

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Unfortunately I have yet to drive the Cruze, which for a practical, if more refined compact, would be the real test.  The design aesthetic of the car is clean, but more conservative than the Volt – seemingly to match the needs of the greater car buying audience.  (It may be shocking to you, but not everyone likes sexy cars, the vast majority of people are in fact content with something passive and conservative)

I did have a chance to sit inside though and found it to be much more refined and refreshed than a Toyota Corolla, Beating the Honda Civic however – will come down to the driving experience and reliability.  Having driven the latest generation Civic, it is a fairly high bar to beat, but something I look forward to seeing nonetheless.

One Response to “The Chevrolet Cruze at Dublin Chevrolet”

  1. Johann says:

    I checked out the Cruze at the dealer today. Didn’t drive it though. I figured I’ll be driving the Volt in two weeks. I was impressed by the general craftsmanship and attention to detail and when compared to my tin can Scion. I love my Scion for what it is but it certainly is not refined. Just the way the rear doors closed was impressive. Feels solid. The feel of the controls was nice too. Wasn’t too hip on the cloth inserts that flows from the door to the dash. I’m sure the leather would be a nicer touch. I’m 6’1″ and mostly leg, and when I positioned the front seat, I just had enough room in the back. When compared to the interior of my 1996 Chevrolet Impala SS it’s far superior.

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