By: Jason Woosey
Detroit - In keeping with the times, Chevrolet's all-new Cruze is larger yet lighter and offers a full suite of connected gadgets and electronic driver aids.
Unveiled in Detroit on Wednesday night, the Cruze is once again a fully global product, set to be offered in over 40 markets after its initial release in the US early next year. Our GMSA contact can't confirm any local timing as yet, but did say that the Cruze is definitely being considered for our market.
Designers clearly set out for a more sophisticated design for this new model and it also has a leaner stance thanks to a 68mm increase in overall length and 25mm reduction in height. Those wanting a little more visual zing can now opt for an RS appearance package, as per the car in the pictures, which comes with unique front and rear fascias and 18-inch alloys.
Despite the increase in size, which also results in more cabin space, and a more rigid body structure, the new sedan weighs up to 113kg less than the current Cruze.
North American models come standard with a newly designed 1.4-litre turbopetrol with direct fuel injection and idle-stop technology. The motor uses less fuel and makes more power than its predecessor, with outputs of 113kW and 240Nm.
Most versions of the new Chev, namely those with L, LS and LT badges on the boot, soldier on with a torsion beam rear axle but the range-topping Premier sports a Z-link design that aims for an even more “balanced” driving experience as GM puts it.
The new cabin has a more upscale appearance thanks to layered surfaces and greater use of soft-touch and animal-grained surfaces, as well as fabrics with “French stitching”.
The new Cruze also gets an A+ in geekery with a new-generation MyLink infotainment system offering 4G LTE connectivity, WiFi, wireless phone charging and, at a later stage, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Available safety gizmos include Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, Forward Collision Alert and Lane Keep Assist.
Still want that Corolla, Jetta or Focus?