The Chevrolet Cruze is classified as a compact car and is produced by the Chevrolet division of American carmaker General Motors. Production of this vehicle started in 2008 and this nameplate has been used in a number of different places around the world before, including in Japan for a version of a subcompact hatchback that was the result of a project with Suzuki from 2001 to 2008 and was based on the Suzuki Ignis. The Cruze nameplate has been used on an international level for this 4-door compact sedan, though there is a five-door hatchback version which came out in 2011, along with a station wagon in 2012.
GM first introduced the Cruze as a compact car with the J300 designation in 2008. This version of the Cruze effectively replaced the Chevrolet Cobalt as well as the Daewoo Lacetti, though neither of these cars are related in any way. GM eventually made the decision to phase out production of the Cobalt and rebadged it as the Pontiac G5 in 2010, which was shortly before manufacturing for the Cruze was set to start. There was initially some renderings of the Cruze which were unveiled at a GM press conference in July of 2008 with images of the actual vehicle being released in August of that year.
Some of the different places that the Chevrolet Cruze has been produced in include Gunsan, Jeonbuk, South Korea, as well as Shenyang, China, and Saint Petersburg, Russia. This vehicle has many underpinnings that come from the GM Delta II platform, and it was confirmed by GM that the development program for this vehicle happened under a global design as well as an engineer team. GM Daewoo did play a crucial role in designing and engineering the Cruze, as well as GM’s Open division, which is based in Germany.
According to General Motors, the body structure of the Cruze is 65% high-strength steel with MacPherson struts which are used in the front suspension with a solid torsion beam axle in the rear. This particular design avoided the cost and complexity of a modern multi-link independent rear suspension which was used by some of the Cruze’s rival vehicles at the time. This car is hydraulically-assisted with rack and pinion steering which provides a 36 ft turning cycle. There are ventilated front and solid rear disc brakes that this vehicle uses for superior and tighter braking.
When it comes to safety, the Cruze was awarded a five star rating in the Australasian New Car Assessment Program’s independent crash safety test with a total of 35.04 out of 37 points. The Cruze SE 1.6 liter scored a total of 16 points in the side-impact collision, 14.44 points in the front-end collision, and 15.73 points in the 40 percent front offset collision. This vehicle scored an impressive 96 percent for adult protection and 84 percent for child occupants protection, though pedestrian protection was much lower at 34 percent. This vehicle still comes with a variety of safety features, making it ideal for both individuals and smaller families.
There were some major updates to the Chevrolet Cruze in 2012, including a facelift that featured an updated front fascia with a different design for the air vents as well as the grille and headlights. This vehicle also got new alloy wheels for a sleeker look and more durable design. There was also a 2014 update for the Cruze, and the announcement initially came in April of 2014. This newly updated Cruze is set to be displayed at the New York Auto Show as the 2015 model in 2014. The Cruze is definitely a nice compact car and a triumph from Chevrolet.