Inside, the Chevrolet Cruze has a twin cockpit feel, which is another nod at tradition and in particular, the Corvette.
Inside, the Chevrolet Cruze has a twin cockpit feel, which is another nod at tradition and in particular, the Corvette. It is very well done. And, in the Chevrolet Cruze test car, the driver and front passenger have the opportunity to feel particularly at one with the car, as the fabric used for the seat panels is repeated on the dashboard and doors inserts that flow into one another in a wrap-around fashion. Depending on your choice of trim, the fabric might be replaced by a textured vinyl material.
Chevrolet are keen to point out that rather than the regimented framing of the dials and controls, the designers have gone for a more fluid feel and for sure, parallel lines appear to have been banished. Metallic-effect finishes have been used to good effect and can be found in the 'U-shaped' upper centre console surrounding the audio system and controls, which themselves are set into a matt or piano black or panel.
Below this is a 'Y-shaped' panel, flanked by more matt silver, which curves around the relatively high-level, gear selector, to form a pedestal. The same material can be found on the three-spoke, rake- and reach-adjustable steering wheel. Although the material lacks a 'solid' feel, it is well done and has the potential to look tacky but doesn't, and even the inclusion of faux carbon-fibre garnishing on the centre stack, doesn't detract from the overall smart-sporty ambience.
The Chevrolet Cruze's seats are supportive and comfortable, more so than the Lacetti's, thanks to construction improvements that serve to distribute weight more evenly and that also means that they will keep their shape longer. In addition, the cushioning and bolsters are deeper and that makes a difference on long journeys. The Chevrolet Cruze test car had two-tone cloth upholstery but heated leather seats are available as an option on the LT versions.
Before moving to the rear of the cabin, a quick run-down of the Chevrolet Cruze's infotainment system, which sounds more complicated than it is. Standard issue is an RDS radio and single CD with MP3 compatibility. It comes with a two-colour display and a minimum of four speakers. LS and LT models have two speakers mounted in the rear door panels, while the base 'S' only has speakers in the front of the cabin.
Customers choosing the Chevrolet Cruze LT will also get an integrated, 6-CD autochanger and a USB socket. There is a DVD-based satellite navigation system available as a £750 option, which is very easy to use. It has a 7-inch colour screen, which is a segment 'first' for Chevrolet.
The rear seat-backs have the usual 60:40 split and fold function with cupholders in the centre armrest. Even the base models have three rear headrests and that is sometimes not the case in vehicles of this ilk. The good news is that the extra length of the Chevrolet Cruze means a surprising amount of rear legroom. There is a surprising amount of luggage space too; the short boot lid conceals 450-litres of carrying capacity.
Chevrolet Cruze Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||Chevrolet Cruze 2.0 VCDi LT|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||8.7 seconds|
|Top Speed||130 mph|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||58.9 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||5|
|Warranty||3 years / 60000 miles|
|Price (when tested on the 09/03/10)||£16,045|