First a boxy MPV (multi purpose vehicle) family vehicle Zafira, now discontinued. Followed by the mid sized sedan Optra and the compact Aveo saloon including a CNG (NGV) gas powered version. Also a tough, kick-ass Colorado GM pickup in 2-door and 4-door versions. And as icing on the cake GM Thailand rolled out the Porsche Cayenne look-a-like SUV Chevy Captiva.
A comprehensive line-up with 94 dealers nationwide. Yet something was missing. What? The cruise missile! The Chevy Cruze. A new good looking, high-tech diesel powered, dynamic family four-door sedan.
PDN took the new Chevrolet CRUZE 2.0 LTZ out for an extended spin. Voila!
First the looks. Always walk around the car you’re planning to buy. At least twice. Eye ball the car carefully. Here you’ll see the new Chevrolet Cruze has got looks. The Euro styling with the big fat honey comb dual port grille showing off an oversized yellow, golden Chevy bow-tie and new big clear projector headlights. The Cruze is 4,6 meter but looks tight and sporty with flaring wheel arches and fat 17 inch five-spoke alloy wheels. And the derrière with with BMW-esque crimson LED fluid design tail-lights and the Chevy signature bow tie.
The interior sets a tone with a sporty twin-cockpit design and a striking two-tone chocolate/black leather upholstery. And the cabin is spacious. This is a quiet vehicle thanks to triple-seal doors, a laminated windshield and hydraulic engine mounts makes the cabin of the Cruze Toyota Lexus-quiet. The Chevy boys call it advanced Noise Vibration Harshness (NVH).
The Cruze is loaded with all the bells and whistles from dual front and side airbags, stability and traction control programs, (Tom) Cruise control, smart (key-less) entry to head lights with follow-me home function.
The in-car-entertainment comes with AM/FM/CD and a infotainment display on the dashboard and a USB for your iPhone connected to the steering wheel multifunction controls. “The eyes on the road and two hands on the wheel” – always!
The drive. No ignition key but a cool start/stop button. Fire up the 2-liter diesel and step on it. And the 150 horse power engine is mated to a six-speed smooth automatic gearbox that delivers right away. The zero – hundred sprint in 9.8 seconds. And when the turbo kicks in you grab the steering wheel and enjoy the drive. Fuel consumption. GM claims 15-16 kpl city driving and 17-18 highway driving. Fill up the 60 liter tank and you’ll drive all the way the Chiang Mai. No pit stop no refueling.
Safety features. The usual alphabet soup: ABS, EDB (Electronic Brake Force Distribution). ESP ( Electric Stability Program) Passive safety comes with dual front and side SRS airbags.
We tested the Cruze in Bangkok city and suburbia. And a road test to Rajaburi province with expressway high-speed driving (180 kph) and kick-down starts and braking. Our sparkling Sterling Silver Chevy Cruz performed like champ. The best Chevy ever ever to hit the hot and sometimes wet Thai tarmac.
How much is this top-of-the-line Chevrolet Cruz 2.0 Diesel LTZ? A cool 1,165,000 THB.
The Cruz base model 1.6 liter petrol model costs 735,000 THB and the 1.8 liter petrol LTZ version is yours for 998,000 THB.
“Engineered to respond” GM’s tag-line in the Kingdom.
How about: “Drove my Chevy to the levy but the levy was dry…”
Written by : John K Lindgren