It’s interesting how manufacturers strive to give their cars a more Eurocentric look. Who made those Europeans the arbiters of good style anyway? Ok, we suppose that’s a debate that pretty much settles itself when you look at the line-up of contemporary cars from the continent’s top automakers. Chevrolet sought to infuse their new Cruze with a lot more sophistication. The 2016 version, unveiled this week, is decidedly leaner, more streamlined and – you guessed it – Eurocentric! It wouldn’t be surprising if hands from sister company Opel were involved in the drawing process.
Highlights include the debut of a new, 1.4-litre turbocharged engine with 113kW and 250Nm of torque. New architecture underpins the sedan; it is more rigid and lighter than the foundation of the outgoing model. In total, engineers managed to shed around 113 kilograms in this 2016 Cruze. Inside interior legroom has increased by 51 mm, allowing 917 mm of stretching space. Chevrolet says this is more than what the competition offers. The perception of space is also purportedly better, thanks to a new fascia with “lean” surfaces and a “muscular” design. There is a more upscale theme this time around, with the availability of smarter trims and more luxurious finishes. Some markets will even be able to specify options like heated rear seats.
Pandering to the burgeoning practice of car-smartphone integration is the upgraded MyLink infotainment system. It supports full use of your phone’s functions through the MyLink interface, enabling app downloads and all the rest. Also, you’re covered no matter which side of the technological fence you fall on – the system is geared to work properly whether you’re an Android or Apple user. And there’s a good reason for the Cruze’s new shape. According to Chevrolet, the design of the car was honed by many wind tunnel sessions. It has a drag coefficient of 0.29 – for some perspective, the coefficient of the slippery looking Mercedes-Benz CLA is 0.23. This translates into better economy and Chevrolet claims a fuel consumption figure of 5.9l/100km, with this new engine.
There will be more in the way of driver assistance systems too. The Cruze will be offered with nannies like a blind-spot warning, rear cross traffic alert, lane-keep assist and frontal collision warning. We have confirmation that it will be arriving in South Africa at a later stage, likely sometime next year.