Cruising in as hot contender in C-class

Bobby Cheetham

CHEVROLET launched a new model in the Cruze line-up this week which sets new standards in the 1.4 litre sedan and hatch markets.

The 1.4T LS sedan and 1.4T LS hatch models replace the 1.8 litre petrol model.

Mention a 1.4 litre petrol engine and most people would say it does not fit one’s expectations of a sporty vehicle in the lower end of the market.

But add a turbo to the mix and Chev has come up with a winner in the C-segment.

This is Chev’s first turbo model in the South African market and it clearly has “winner” written all over it!

Producing 103kW between 4900 and 6000rpm along with a huge 200Nm of torque between 1850 and 4900rpm, the smooth engine not only provides for an enhanced driving experience in both Cruze body styles, but also benefits in the fuel efficiency and carbon emissions stakes.

The 0 – 100km/h sprint comes up in a very acceptable 9.8 seconds, with the top speed in the sedan hitting 200km/h, while the hatch manages 195km/h.

The Cruze features standard start/stop technology (which we have said many times in other reports elsewhere we don’t like, but it can also be switched off!). The four-cylinder unit has a dual overhead camshaft with variable valve timing and a multi-point injection fuel system.

The launch drive started and ended at the PE Airport and took in Grahamstown via Bedford, with a stop- over for lunch at Pemba Game Reserve.

The small 1.4 turbo engine had more than enough power to satisfy most drivers, in fact, we were very happy with its performance, acceleration and handling.

Chev says the powertrain returns average combined fuel economy of 5.8-litres per 100km, with corresponding CO² emissions of 135g/km each.

Both models also come standard with a six-speed manual gearbox with gear ratios perfectly matched to the turbocharged engine, further ensuring optimal efficiency.

This engine delivers performance comparable to units of a larger displacement, while requiring less fuel and producing a smaller carbon footprint. There is no automatic model yet in the line up.

The safety architecture of the local Cruze sedan and hatch models is based on the original design which has earned top five-star safety ratings from both Euro NCAP and the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Other safety features include:

 Electronic Stability Control (ESC), which helps the driver maintain control in challenging driving situations and keeps the vehicle heading in the intended direction. It also enables more precise, controlled anti-lock braking performance, as well as good traction and steering stability.

 Traction Control which limits wheel spin when one or both of the front drive wheels begin to lose traction.

 Four-channel Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD). The latter proportions brake pressure during braking.

Priced at R242100 for the hatch and R244700 for the sedan, the 1.4-litre turbocharged Cruze is a winner in my book! It has a five-year/120000km warranty and a three-year/60000km service plan.

SEDAN AND HATCH SPECS

Chevrolet Cruze 1.4T LS Sedan and Cruze 1.4T LS Hatch models

Engine: 1 354cc

Power: 103kW at 4900-6000rpm

Torque: 200Nm at 1800-4900rpm

0-100km/h: 9.3seconds

Top Speed: 200km/h (sedan) 195km/h (hatch)

Fuel Consumption: 5.8l/100km (claimed combined)

CO2: 135g/km

Price: R242100 (hatch) R244700 (sedan)

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