Chev gives its Cruze models a makeover

2015-10-21 06:00
The hatch version of the 2015 Chev Cruze sports a sweeping coupe roofline and has been aerodynamically designed for optimum fuel efficiency

The hatch version of the 2015 Chev Cruze sports a sweeping coupe roofline and has been aerodynamically designed for optimum fuel efficiency .Photo: SUPPLIED

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WHEN first introduced in the local market, Chev sold its Cruze as a car offering high specs and big car comfort features at a much more affordable price than its European competitors. And it looked the part too.

This year they have updated the hatchback and sedan range with the addition of a new six-speed automatic gearbox option for the 1.4 turbopetrol sedan version. And with this 2015 upgrade, the LS versions have gained a Mylink infotainment system with a colour touch-screen.

This week’s test model was the 1.4 T hatch model with 6-speed manual transmission.


The 2015 update of the Cruze includes some cosmetic surgery on the exterior too, with a smoother rear for the sedan version and sharper front with new dual port grille and bumper.

The rear fascia enhancement of the sedan model includes a new deck lid and tail lamp design.

Adding to the appearance as well as safety are projection fog lamps and LED daytime running lights. The hatch sports a sweeping coupe roofline which the people at GM say has been aerodynamically designed for optimum fuel efficiency.


One thing that certainly stands out about the Cruze’s interior is the generous cabin space, not to mention boot space. This boot is huge and I like the height of the loadbed which makes for easy packing and unpacking of the car.

In addition, the 60:40 foldable seats can be folded forward for even more space. Leather seats and a sunroof are available as an option.

I found the interior design to be very tasteful and practical featuring adjustable cupholders and a dashboard with curvy lines and metallic trim. The layout of the dashboard is uncluttered and easy on the eye.

Most impressive and noticeable is the colour touchscreen in the middle of the dashboard as part of Chevrolet’s MyLink infotainment system. It’s compatible with most smartphones and allows one to stream music via Bluetooth. The USB port enables one to access one’s playlists and music. The steering-wheel also houses controls for the audio system.


The vehicle test driven was the 1.4T LS Hatch version with 6-speed manual tranmission. The turbocharged 1.4 ECOTEC petrol engine generates 200Nm of torque and power of 103 kW between 4 900 and 6 000rpm. Combined fuel consumption is stated as 6.8l/100km for the sedan version, with corresponding CO² emissions of 157 g/km.

The 1.4 turbo models mated to the manual transmission are fitted with stop/start technology for additional fuel economy and lower emissions.. Its fuel efficiency is stated as 5.8L/100km in a combined cycle.

I found the Cruze to be quick off the mark, eager to go and offering an energetic, yet smooth and comfortable ride despite this big-sized car being powered by a relatively small engine.

I also liked the feel and shape of the big, bulky gearknob. It handles the mom’s taxi route with all its traffic circles, potholes, speedbumps and stop- start moving with panache, while not afraid to let its hair down on the open road.

Cruze control is also a standard feature.


The Cruze offers a comprehensive package of safety features as standard. These include front passenger, seat side and curtain airbags, as well as Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS), which prevents wheels from locking during sudden or forceful braking, the Electronic Brake-Force Distribution (EBD) system, which calculates and applies the right amount of braking pressure to each wheel to maximize stopping power and maintain control when braking and the Traction Control System (TCS) which works to regain control when traction on the road surface is lost.

The Electronic Stability Program (ESP) prevents it from skidding out of control by applying brake pressure to the wheels that need it and by limiting engine power.


Hatch models

1.6 LS: R248 300

1.4 T LS:R265 200

Sedan models

1.6: R230 400

1.6 LS: R247 200

1.4T LS: R262 500

1.4T LS Auto: R272 400

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