Let me start by making one thing clear: This is not the all-new Chevrolet Cruze that debuted at the LA Motor Show in 2015. This is a facelift to keep people interested in the car till the all-new Cruze comes to India, which is not going to be at the Auto Expo 2016. Maybe not even in 2016. From a product life cycle perspective, a facelift makes sense, but is it enough?
As far as facelifts go, this is a purely cosmetic one. There are no mechanical changes at all, which is not a bad thing. The 1998cc, DOHC VCDi motor packs a punch good enough to keep competition at bay. There’s 164 bhp of power and 36.7 kgm of torque that’s still enough to make the drive easy. Yup, the good bits are still the same.
On the outside, a number of little changes come together to make a bigger impact. There is a new bumper and grille, making the Cruze look more a part of the new Chevrolet family. DRLs housed in chrome, projector fog lamps carried over from the Trailblazer and the honeycomb grille with chrome slats give the front of the Cruze a fresher look. The integrated spoiler lip is the only change at the rear.
There is a new MyLink infotainment system which is the most significant change on the inside. The 7-inch touchscreen unit, which also comes with the Trailblazer, houses controls for the AC, your mobile phone, radio and other media, Siri compatibility with an iPhone/iPad, Stitcher SmartRadio (internet radio streaming) and is compatible with the reversing camera. While it is an upgrade on the Cruze, the system has a long way to go in terms of the interface.
The facelift also gives the Cruze a new multi-function steering wheel with buttons for the infotainment and Bluetooth handsfree, voice recognition and cruise control. There are no rear AC vents still, making it very clear that the Cruze is more keen on drivers rather than passengers.
If you may recall, before the Corolla Altis got a diesel motor and the all-new Elantra came along, it was the Cruze that was the preferred choice in this segment. Bold, muscular looks and a strong enough motor to go along with it. The Cruze still carries what made it popular then but the competition has kept pace with the times. Until the all-new Cruze comes to India, this facelift may just manage to keep the Chevy fans loyal, who choose to Cruze, happy. For the rest, the wait is a little longer.
Displacement:1998cc, i-4, turbodiesel
Max power: 164 bhp@3800 rpm
Max torque: 36.7 kgm@2000 rpm
Type: Electronic Power Assisted Steering (EPAS)
F/R: McPherson strut/coil spring
F/R: 205/60 R16
L/W/H (mm): 4597/1788/1477
Weight: 1560 kg (AT)
PRICE: Rs 17 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)