2016 Chevrolet Cruze Facelift Review, First Drive

2016 Chevrolet Cruze Review India

You have to hand it to Chevrolet in India on keeping their products continuously update their products in the country despite the sales have been lukewarm. Chevrolet Beat for example got two updates over the past two years and yet again it got one couple of days back. Chevrolet Cruze has also been following the same footsteps.

Since the launch in the year 2009, it has been unchanged for the most part apart from a major change in the year 2012 where it got a bigger heart and then cosmetic changes in the year 2014. Now, this time it gets a cosmetic change again along with changes on the inside as well. We spend some time with the car to tell you how the Cruze continues to age.

Chevrolet Cruze Price in India:

LT 1998 cc, Manual, 17.9 kmpl ` 13.95 lakh
LTZ 1998 cc, Manual, 17.9 kmpl ` 16.43 lakh
LTZ AT 1998 cc, Automatic, 14.8 kmpl ` 17.46 lakh

Design

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Styling wise, the grill is now has the protruding look as it is heavily blemished with chrome, both the upper part and the lower part. There are chrome surrounds on the rear of the fog lamps to add more bling to the package. There are DRL lights above the foglights to make sure it looks and facelifted. Alloy, shockingly, remain the same and so do the tail and head lamps. Obviously there aren’t sheet metal changes either as it continues to look exactly the same. Overall, a hawk-eye is required to make sure this is the new Cruze as it remains almost on the verge of identical since inception.

Interior

2016 Chevrolet Cruze Interior Facelift

Interior also remains the same with black color and silver accents used everywhere. Quality is good, fit-finish is top-notch and build quality is strong on the inside and on the outside as the doors are really heavy when you close them and sit inside, that’s when you notice them. The dashboard is now dual tone, which adds even more busy-ness to the cabin. Quality of the cabin is just a notch below its rival, but still it is regal enough for the money you pay and the performance you get.

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The major change is the new 7-inch touchscreen that comes with radio, MP3, USB, AUX and Bluetooth connectivity with audio streaming and phone connectivity with the new MYLINK infotainment system. Voice commands, using of Siri and internet radio are the new addition to the Cruze. The screen doubles up for the reversing camera. Touch sensitivity is just about good, but it isn’t flawless.

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Leather seats add to the premium touch, the seats are quite supportive at the front and rear. Driver seat is electronic and passenger side isn’t. Space isn’t the best part of the Cruze as it lacks leg, shoulder and knee room. Headroom is just about adequate. The boot is large around 500 litres, which does make up for the space. Alloy wheel has been provided as the spare tyre with the Cruze. Overall, minimum additions, but make the cabin look fresh and it continues with positive and negatives points like before.

Performance

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Powering the Cruze is the same 2.0 litre DOHC engine that makes 166 PS and 360 Nm of torque as before, the engine, which came in the year 2012. The engine remains untouched for now. The Cruze known for kick in pants after the turbo kicked in after 2000 RPM. All of that is gone. Linear turbo kick than before means driveability is better and easier to drive than before. There is driveability before 2000 RPM all thanks to changes before the turbo kicks in.

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Automatic gearbox is the savior as it aids in the driveability. Engine is smooth, free and fast revving unit, and NVH level are really good once the engine warms up. Post the turbo kick, the car lunges ahead so fast and so hard that it doesn’t stop covering kilometers until you find out and realize, that you have reached the horizon. Triple digit illegal speeds come in seconds once you mash the throttle to the carpet.

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A top-speed of 200 km/hr is quite easy on the Cruze, which is key selling and drooling point of this car’s customers and fans. We wish the automatic gearbox had sport modes as at full throttle, the transmission takes time to react and hence sort of spoils the fun of driving this diesel rocket engine equipped car. Manual gearbox is welcome and that is what the enthusiast should really look forward too.

Dynamics

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The Cruze is front wheel drive car that has the same chassis, wheels, tyres and suspension setup as before. The car is easy to manoeuvre in the city as the steering wheel is light and so are other controls that fall to the hand. We had the automatic gearbox, which made things easier. Highway manners are brilliant, car stays planted at any given speed right from 100 km/hr to 200 km/hr.

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Ride quality is really good like other Chevrolet cars. Dynamically, the car is just about agile in the corners, stay planted once it is, but the tyres start squealing and they need a upgrade in terms of compound and size. There is a bit body roll and kerb weight is on the higher side, but that is here because of the solid build quality the car has all around. Overall, an enthusiast potent car that he has been looking for.

2016 Chevrolet Cruze Facelift Review, Verdict

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The Cruze has always been the car in the d-segment that the enthusiast had their eyes on. The car isn’t entirely a family d-segment car that you have been looking for. The space at the rear isn’t class leading, but the boot is huge, which should take a lot luggage quite well. The Cruze has been going well because it has the muscle car looks, muscle car performance with our favourite fuel called, diesel! The pricing is slightly on the higher side, but there are always subtle discounts to sweeten the deal.

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Plus, Chevrolet maintenance schemes and low running cost promise seem to be working with customers and Cruze has been the top selling in the segment for this segment. The new facelift it will continue to do till the next generation that will come in 2017 and challenge the competition. So why should you buy the old Cruze? Because it is one great keeper with those looks and stonking performance going hand in hand like no other car in the segment.

Image Gallery:

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Pros –

  • Muscle car looks
  • Features and solid build quality inside out
  • Ride quality
  • Stonking performance and value for money

Cons –

  • Rear space limited
  • Automatic gearbox has no Sports mode
  • Tyres and headlight are poor

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