Update: 10th June 2010
Since the Cruze now has been officially launched, the price for the car is at RM97,888, and the on-the-road price would be around RM98k. Still a lot cheaper than the current price of the Honda Civic 1.8.
Over the weekend I had the pleasure of being crashing invited for Cergazam’s sneak preview of the Chevrolet Cruze over by their showroom next to the Federal Highway. With only 4 hours of sleep thanks to the previous night’s frivolities, I dragged my sorry ass over to the showroom, unshaven and half asleep only to be greeted by not a single coffee machine in the place.
Well, enough about my condition. Let’s talk about the car and the event. The event started off with a couple of speeches by some big shots and then a product demonstration by one of their technicians.
Since they didn’t allow anyone to take photos during the event especially photos of the car and it’s interior, I can’t really show them to you but rather narrate it out or help you visualize it with what I am about to type.
Ok, close your eyes and image that you are sitting in a car. The car is meant to compete against the likes of the Honda Civic or the Toyota Altis and also the newer and more recent Kia Forte. So it is rather roomy inside but it felt smaller compared to a Honda Civic.
The number of electronic gizmos attached with it is definitely a very good plus compared to the usual Hondas and Toyotas. Some of them include the following:
- Rain sensor to automatically activate the windscreen wipers. With Malaysia’s weather, that should be perpetually turned on.
- Automatic light settings, it turns on your lights when you go into a dark place such as a basement or a tunnel automatically
- Different settings for your remote control, for example you can set that whenever you unlock your car with your remote, you can only unlock only the driver’s side. Very useful if you are a lone single driver and you always have that fear that someone might just barge into your car and nick your handbag, laptop bag or knickers.
- 6 CD changer in car, yes you only see a single CD slot but you can slot up to 6 CDs into it.
- 6 speed shiftronic gearbox which performed quite sluggishly when I was test driving the car. I could really feel the jerked after I switched gears up or down.
- Auxiliary jack and a USB port
- A large boot space!
What is missing which I thought might be embedded into the car or into this version is there is no keyless entry and start stop button for the car. The interior feels plasticky and a super quick and efficient “mark” test tells me it wasn’t made properly or some 200 other people have decided to use the “mark” test. (The “mark” test includes pressing every available panel spacing with their own fingers and if there is a squeek, that is a negative point).
The worse part about the interior is that they have no leather seat option as well as they have garnished the interior with a very ugly blue cotton-cum-suede material which totally does not go well with any of the car colours available. Now don’t get me wrong, blue is my FAVOURITE colour and yet they manage to destroy it’s beauty! Worse of all, its also on your dashboard. The good thing about that is they have a light grey option which wasn’t available at the time of the sneak preview so I have no chance of seeing it. Doubt that it would be any difference.
The inside of the car feels bulky thanks to its garish interior design which sort of have a fixation of looking “muscular”. To put it into perspective, image a buffed up body builder covered in body oil and have muscles that squeek each time you perform the “mark” test on him. That pretty much sums it all up.
The 1.8 litre engine felt a little bit unresponsive just the same way how I feel that the Civic 1.8 isn’t responsive unless you tweak it up a bit. Road noise was minimal when I test drove it but no chance of testing it at higher speeds such as driving at 110kph on the highway.
Handling felt very normal and bouncy thanks to it’s soft suspension. I guess you have a trade off between comfort versus handling performance.
The spare tyre is the typical black steel rimmed ones. The signal light is located on the left.
The engine was made in Germany and the front windscreen is from France. The car was assembled in Korea so technically this car is a CBU unit.
Price wise, the car will be priced cheaper than the Civic so for those people who are looking to spend that amount of money, they have now a new choice to look at, which is the Chevrolet Cruze.
Note that Naza is now the importer of the Cruze and they have the official launch where our lovely Prime Minister will be there to launch it at KL Convention Center on Thursday.