Opinion: Chevy Cruze: “Cruzin” to sales success?

24 Sep 2010 | 2,698 views | No Comment
We got an interesting invitation in our mailbox recently. We were invited to Lordstown, Ohio, home of the Chevrolet Cruze, to tour the plant and take a spin and look-see at Chevy's new pride and joy. After spending some time behind the wheel, we think "pride and joy" will be well-chosen words this time next year.  A head to head comparison between the Cruze and the Toyota Corolla, as well as the Honda Civic revealed that the Cruze is likely to give both of those cars--and most others in the compact field--some big time headaches. chevy cruze eco side Fit and finish? Much better on the Cruze. Quiet? You barely even hear the Cruze engine idling. Interior room? Chevy says Cruze has more, and our brief test drive shows that to be the case. The turning circle and suyspensionii set up was such that the Cruze moved through slaloms and a turning demonstration with ease.    But the biggest victory for Cruze comes in the interior. It's jaw dropppingly beautiful with expensive looking finishes, easy to read gauges, and an attractive two toned theme reminiscent of the current Chevy Malibu.   Standard on the Cruze will be a 138 horsepower 1.8 liter four  (26/36 gas mileage rating), a six speed manual  or optional six speed automatic, ten air bags, OnStar, eight way adjustable driver and passenger seats, a 60/40 split folding rear seat dual front and rear cupholders, power windows with express down air conditioning, antilock brakes, tractin control, StabiliTrak stability control system,tilt and telesecoping steering wheel, and lots of  other goodies.    The bottom line is clear: Like the Ford Fiesta in its subcompact segment, the Chevy Cruzze in the compact segment is far and away  deserving of a place on shoppers lists. And if shoppers buy another compact without at least considering Cruze, they'll be sorry. Very sorry. America's back in the car business, ladies and gentlemen, bringing out products that could well be leaders in their segments. It's about time. And it's about time people give deserving companies like Chevy and Ford a chance. The only thing that could spoil the sales fun for Chevy, as well as Ford, is if consumers continue to ignore them. People have to get over their long-outdated  habit of assuming that brands from other countries are always better. They aren't. Equal, maybe, but not necessarily better.    There are now only two other compacts we can think of that may be in a position to be as successful as the Chevy Cruze in the coming sales year: The 2012 Ford Focus, a flashy, well-equipped compact due later this year, and the striking new Hyundai Elantra, also due this year. The Elantra will be the same kind of breath of fresh air  on a smaller scale, that the Sonata proved to be for the mid-sized segment.       If things go as we think they will, there's going to be some very happy people in Chevy dealers ande in GM board rooms this year, thanks to Cruze.

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