Published on November 18th, 2016 | by Amirul Mukminin0
Chevrolet Cruze – Past, Present and Future
The first generation Chevrolet Cruze that we know today has a pretty interesting background. The compact sedan was only introduced in 2008 to replace the aging Cobalt but thanks to a joint venture with Suzuki, the nameplate was first used for a subcompact hatchback based on the Suzuki Ignis between 2001 and 2008.
Manufactured and sold in Japan, the original Cruze was available with either a 1.3- or 1.5-litre engine mated to either a four-speed automatic or five-speed manual gearbox. The jacked-up hatchback came with front-wheel drive as standard but it can be had with all-wheel drive.
As opposed to the hatchback, the next iteration of the Cruze (codenamed J300) was developed, designed and manufactured as a global model. It was produced in many countries, including South Korea, Russia, Kazakhstan, Thailand, India, Vietnam as well as Brazil but North America only welcomed the compact sedan in 2011 after General Motors completed its USD350 million upgrade of its existing plant in Ohio.
In Malaysia, the Cruze made its debut in Korean CBU guise in 2010 under official local distributor, Naza Quest Sdn Bhd. The sedan featured a 1.8-litre Ecotec power plant with 140 hp and 176 Nm of torque and a six-speed automatic gearbox with Shiftronic. It was followed by a facelift version two years later and the Sport variant in 2015. It adds, among other things, a full bodykit, fancy 17-inch wheels and a Performance Pack, which includes a high-performance air filter that results in increased power and better throttle response.
The second generation Cruze was already unveiled last year, and truth be told, the C-segment sedan looks more promising with its free-flowing styling that will help it settle in its role as a global car. One of the major changes is an all-aluminium 1.4-litre four-cylinder turbocharged engine with 153 hp and 240 Nm, a substantial upgrade to the thirsty Ecotech mill.
The new car has yet to arrive in Malaysia but it looks likely that the compact sedan will join the hotly contested bout that is the local C-segment market, if Naza Quest’s strategic plan to strengthen its business here goes according to plan.