Chevrolet Cruze launched in India, price Rs 11 to 12.5 lakhs

Chevrolet has managed to surprise everyone by the pricing of their new car the Chevrolet Cruze.

Chevrolet has launched its new midsize car for India, the Chevrolet Cruze.  The car will be available in two versions, the LT and the LTZ.  The LT version offers alloy wheels and chrome garnish on the windowsill, while the Chevrolet Cruze LTZ version offers chrome door handles and trunk lid garnish.  And electric sunroof is also on offer on the Cruze LTZ version. Update: Chevrolet Cruze Automatic coming soon.

What has come as a surprise to most of us is the pricing of the Cruze by Chevrolet.  The introductory pricing of the car is between Rs 10.99 lakh and Rs 12.45 lakh ex showroom New Delhi.

Photo: Chevrolet Cruze coming to India
Photo: Chevrolet Cruze coming to India

Initially, Chevrolet Cruze will only be available with the 2000 CC diesel engine.  A petrol version would follow much later.

The claimed fuel efficiency of the Cruze is 18.3 kilometres per liter-brilliant fuel economy for a car into the class.  That should make all those Honda Civic and Toyota Altis owners rue their choice of the car!

On paper, the car looks like it is much more value for money than the Honda Civic or the Toyota Corolla.  Whether the Chevrolet Cruze will be able to match them in brand value remains to be seen.

A 1800 CC petrol version of the Cruze is also coming, but that is unlikely to look as attractive as the diesel version for the vast majority of consumers in the country.

The Chevrolet Cruze will be positioned above the Chevrolet Optra Magnum, the midsize car from the company.

Design-wise, the new car is indeed a looker from the front and the sides.  However, from the rear, the car is a perfect copy of the Honda civic, something which is not going to be appreciated by either the Honda civic owners or the potential Chevrolet Cruze owners.

The 1991 cc 4 cylinder diesel engine of the car produces 150 BHP at 4000 RPM and maximum torque available is 327 Nm at 2600 RPM.  The transmission is a five speed Manual.  Other important features include an anti lock braking system, dual front airbags, a collapsible pedal assembly and a very innovative, modern cockpit. The engine is turbo-charged, but there have been reports that turbo lag is very evident which makes the car a handful to drive in traffic. Guess we will have to wait for more road tests to be sure about how big a problem that is.

The length of the car is 4597 MM, width is 1788 MM, height is 1477 MM, wheelbase 2685 MM, and the ground clearance is 165 MM.

The launch at this time is directed at the festival season shopping mania.

The car will be available in six colours, Atlantis Blue, Light Gold, Velvet Red, Olympic White, Mystic Lake and Cariar Black.

The top end Chevrolet Cruze LTZ version also offers extra features like 5-spoke 17 inch alloy wheels, electric sunroof, in-dash 6 CD changer, rear parking assist, rain sensing wipers, leather upholstery and Cruze control.  It also gets leather steering wheel and gear knob.  Steering wheel mounted on your controls for the music system are also on offer on the top end version.  Automatic climate control is available only on the LTZ version.

Another gimmick which would fascinating a lot of people is the keyless ignition which means that you just have to press a button to start the car.

Pricing might do the trick for Chevrolet this time with the Cruze. Let us wait and see.

Chevrolet is also planning to launch its small car in India – the Chevrolet Beat – in January 2010, possibly at the 2010 Auto Expo in New Delhi.