Chevrolet Cruze Origins
The four-door compact Chevrolet Cruze was first introduced in 2001 as a Japanese-made crossover SUV manufactured by Suzuki in collaboration with General Motors. In 2008, the name was transferred to an unrelated compact sedan intended to replace the Chevrolet Cobalt and Daewoo Lacetti.About the Chevrolet Cruze
As one might expect from a modern compact car, the Chevrolet Cruze is known for its high level of fuel efficiency. In the U.S., the vehicle comes with a standard six-speed manual transmission and is capable of achieving 36 mpg highway. The 2012 Cruze Eco sedan, one of the model’s four trim levels, achieves a best-in-class 42 mpg highway when equipped with a six-speed manual transmission. A six-speed automatic transmission that comes standard on the LTZ trim, and as an option on the LT trim, yields 38 mpg highway.
The Cruze has also been heralded for its safety features, which includes the standard 10 airbags. In the U.S., the Chevrolet Cruze was named the 2011 Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety for receiving the best ratings in multiple crash protection tests.Chevrolet Cruze Features
The 2012 Chevrolet Cruze is a conservative, yet handsome, moderately-sized compact sedan available in LS, LT, LTZ, and Eco trims. The base LS features a 1.8-liter, 138 horsepower engine with a six-speed manual transmission, a StabiliTrak stability control system, anti-lock brakes, 10 airbags, power rearview mirrors, and six months of On-Star and SiriusXM satellite radio. The five-seat Cruze measures 181 inches in length, 58.1 inches in height, and sits on a relatively long wheelbase of 105.7 inches.
With the 1LT and 2LT, buyers have the choice of adding features such as a 1.4-liter turbocharged engine, alloy wheels, and high-tech upgrades such as Bluetooth, USB ports, and a touch-screen navigation system. LTZ models come with a six-speed automatic transmission, fog lamps, keyless entry and start, rear parking assistance, and automatic climate control. The Eco features a few new details, including a six-speed manual transmission with an Eco overdrive gear, 15-spoke forged aluminum wheels with low rolling resistance tires, a rear spoiler, and a front fascia air dam.
Though considered a compact vehicle, the Cruze boasts more interior and cargo space than competing models such as the Ford Focus and Toyota Corolla. The 2012 Cruze provides 39.3 inches of front head room, 42.3 inches of front leg room, 37.9 inches of rear head room, and 35.4 inches of rear leg room. It also features a 60/40-split folding bench.Chevrolet Cruze Evolution
Though branded as a Chevrolet in the U.S. and Japan, the early Cruze is actually the engineering work of Holden, an Australian subsidiary of General Motors. It is manufactured in Japan by Suzuki for the Eastern Hemisphere. In 2009, it was released in Australia as the Holden Cruze.
In late 2008, the Chevrolet Cruze was reintroduced as a compact car that would replace both the Chevrolet Cobalt and Saturn Astra.
The current Chevrolet Cruze compact sedan is built on GM’s Delta II front-wheel drive platform. It has a body made of 65 percent high-strength steel. The rack and pinion steering is electric in North America and hydraulic elsewhere; it permits a 36-foot turning circle. An isolated four-point engine mount and an acoustic-laminated windshield help quiet engine noise and vibration. A five-door hatchback style, developed by Holden, was released in Europe and Asia in 2011, but is not available in the U.S. In the U.S., the Cruze is available in four trims: LS, LT, LTZ and Eco.
Depending on trim level, the Cruze can be fitted with a 1.4-liter turbocharged engine or a 1.8-liter inline-four. A 2.0-liter diesel will be available by 2014 in the U.S. Buyers can choose from a six-speed automatic transmission or a six-speed manual transmission.
The Cruze is truly a globally manufactured vehicle, produced at plants in Russia, China, South Korea, India, Vietnam, Kazakhstan, Thailand, Venezuela, Brazil, and Australia. As of 2011, General Motors was in the process of retrofitting its Lordstown, Ohio manufacturing plant to build a diesel version of the Cruze, starting in 2013.