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    Review: 2017 Chevrolet Cruze Premier


    • Chevrolet's updated compact sedan is kind of a big deal

    American automakers haven’t been known for building good compact vehicles. Previous attempts have faltered when compared to those from the likes of Honda, Mazda, and Toyota. But this perception began to change when Ford brought out the Focus in 2000. It seemed progress was being made in making a decent compact vehicle thanks to their European branch helping out. Seeing this, GM decided to follow the same path. They called in their Korean and European offices to help out with the development of a new model known as Cruze. The vehicle proved to be a massive improvement from the Cobalt as it got the basics right such as fuel economy and overall interior space. Yes, the Cruze was lacking in some key areas such as design and driving fun. But it was light years ahead of GM’s previous attempts at a compact vehicle.

    When it came time to work on the next-generation Cruze, Chevrolet knew they had a good starting point and only needed to make improvements to make the model a real contender in the class. Let’s see if that has panned out or not.

    Dare I say the new Cruze is a sharp looking compact? Yes, but to a point. It is clear that Chevrolet’s design team took a lot of inspiration from the Volt PHEV when working on the second-generation Cruze. The overall profile and certain lines of the Volt appear on the Cruze. The front end features Chevrolet’s new tiered-grille and a set of slimmer headlights. Where the Cruze’s design falls flat is in the back. It seems Chevrolet’s designers really couldn’t be bothered to do something special. There two ways you can fix this. You can either go with the Cruze hatchback which to our eyes looks so much better thanks to the longer roofline and tailgate, or opting for the RS appearance package which dresses up the back with a more aggressive bumper. The RS package also adds mesh grille inserts, and sporty looking wheels - 18-inch ones on our Premier tester.

    Moving inside, Chevrolet has put a lot of effort in making the Cruze a nice place to sit in. Many surfaces are covered with high-quality materials and feature some unique touches such as a curving character line on the dashboard. Making yourself comfortable is quite easy thanks to eight-way power adjustments for the driver and a tilt-telescoping steering wheel. The front passenger has to make do with manual adjustments. In the back, there is enough legroom for most passengers. Headroom is slightly tight if you decide to get a sunroof. One nice item for those sitting in the back is the option of heated seats.

    One area Chevrolet is using as a selling point for the Cruze is technology. All Cruzes get a seven-inch touchscreen with Chevrolet MyLink and compatibility with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. OnStar 4G LTE with Wi-Fi also comes standard across the board. Our Premier tester came with the optional 8-inch touchscreen with navigation. MyLink has been a source of frustration in many of Chevrolet vehicles we have reviewed, but it seems they are starting to get its act together. Overall performance has seen a slight improvement with transitions into various functions being snappy. The navigation system still has some performance issues as it slows down when zooming in or out. Chevrolet has also fixed some of the bugs with their Apple CarPlay integration. We saw no issues of slowdown or apps crashing whenever we had CarPlay up.

    Under the Cruze’s hood is a turbocharged 1.4L four-cylinder with 153 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic is the only transmission choice if you get the Premier. Anything below and you have the choice of the automatic or a six-speed manual. A diesel engine is coming later this year. The performance figures for the turbo 1.4L will not knock the socks off of anyone - 0-60 mph time of just over eight seconds. But you won’t think the Cruze is a slowpoke thanks the engine having a lot of low-end grunt. The vehicle leaps forward when leaving a stop and doesn’t feel that it is going to run out of breath. It doesn’t hurt Chevrolet has dropped almost 300 pounds from the new model. The six-speed automatic is quick to upshift to maximize fuel economy, but the same cannot be said for downshifts. It takes a moment or two for the automatic to go down a gear when you step on the accelerator.

    The turbo 1.4 comes with an auto stop-start system as standard. The system is quick to start the engine back up whenever you take your foot off the brake. One item that will irk some people is that you cannot turn off the stop-start system.

    EPA fuel economy figures for the 2017 Chevrolet Cruze stand at 29 City/39 Highway/33 Combined for the Premier sedan. Our average for the week landed around 31.2 mpg. The L, LS, and LT sedan get slightly higher fuel economy figures of 28/39/32 for the manual and 30/40/34 for the automatic.

    It seems most compacts are trying to outdo one another in terms of offering the best driving experience. So it is a bit of fresh air that Chevrolet has decided to skip this and make the Cruze ride like a bigger car. The suspension provides a cushy ride with most bumps being ironed out. Road and wind noise are kept to almost silent levels. Handling is competent in the class as the Cruze shows little body roll. However, the steering is too light in terms of feel and weight when driven enthusiastically.

    Chevrolet’s previous attempts at a compact vehicle have ranged from the punchline to a bad joke to something that can be considered at competent. But with the 2017 Cruze, Chevrolet put their heads down into making a compact that could stand tall among competitors. They have succeeded as the Cruze gets the fundamentals right and offers some distinctive traits that help it stand out from others such as the big-car ride and impressive amount of tech. Yes, it would be nice if Cruze was a slightly sharper in terms of design and the steering tweaked a bit to make it a bit more fun to drive. 

    Since I have been reviewing new vehicles for almost five years, there have been only a few vehicles that I keep thinking about to this day. Chevrolet has two to its name. The first was the 2014 Impala and the Cruze is number two.

    Disclaimer: Chevrolet Provided the Cruze, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas

    Year: 2017
    Make: Chevrolet
    Model: Cruze
    Trim: Premier
    Engine: Turbocharged 1.4L DOHC VVT DI Four-Cylinder 
    Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive
    Horsepower @ RPM: 153 @ 5600
    Torque @ RPM: 177 @ 2000-4000
    Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 29/39/33
    Curb Weight: 2,978 lbs
    Location of Manufacture: Lordstown, OH
    Base Price: $23,475
    As Tested Price: $29,195 (Includes $875.00 Destination Charge)

    Options:
    Sun & Sound w/Navigation - $1,995.00
    RS Package - $995.00
    Enhanced Convenience Package - $865.00
    Driver Confidence II Package - $790.00
    Floor Mats - $140.00
    Wheel Lock Kit - $60.00

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    That must be the lead wheel package if it took longer than 9 seconds to hit 60 mph. Even the previous gen took around 9-flat with more weight and less power.

    C&D Cruze Hatchback - 7.7 sec 0-60
    http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/2017-chevrolet-cruze-hatchback-automatic-test-review

    MT Cruze Premier Sedan - 8.2 sec 0-60
    http://www.motortrend.com/cars/chevrolet/cruze/2016/2016-chevrolet-cruze-first-test-review/

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    38 minutes ago, cp-the-nerd said:

    That must be the lead wheel package if it took longer than 9 seconds to hit 60 mph. Even the previous gen took around 9-flat with more weight and less power.

    C&D Cruze Hatchback - 7.7 sec 0-60
    http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/2017-chevrolet-cruze-hatchback-automatic-test-review

    MT Cruze Premier Sedan - 8.2 sec 0-60
    http://www.motortrend.com/cars/chevrolet/cruze/2016/2016-chevrolet-cruze-first-test-review/

    Doh... I meant to type 8 instead 9 since that what a number of outlets were reporting at the time when I was writing this review. (Thanks for giving me this heads up).

    The only one I know that had a Cruze go nine seconds was Edmunds I think. I will need to double check.

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    Nice review, good commuter auto or first auto. I am a bit dismayed as to why they are using an 8 inch screen when the 10 inch screen in the bolt is lovely. They should have that standard across all auto's. 10" and up in size as you go up in auto size. No stupid need for tiny screens.

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    $29K+ for a Cruze? As nice as it is (for its class anyway), there is simply no way in hell I would fork over that kind of cash on a compact car. That is insanity IMO. Aside from the price, GM has done a wonderful job of improving their status in the compact game. 

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    1 minute ago, surreal1272 said:

    $29K+ for a Cruze? As nice as it is (for its class anyway), there is simply no way in hell I would fork over that kind of cash on a compact car. That is insanity IMO. Aside from the price, GM has done a wonderful job of improving their status in the compact game. 

    I wouldn't either. I would be happy with a Cruze LT hatch with a couple of options that would put me around $24k. But here is the thing, dealers are putting a lot of cash on the Cruze to get them moving (because crossovers). I've seen Cruze Premiers like this one coming with reduced pricetags around $23 to 25k. If you know what you're doing, you can score a nice deal.

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    1 hour ago, William Maley said:

    I wouldn't either. I would be happy with a Cruze LT hatch with a couple of options that would put me around $24k. But here is the thing, dealers are putting a lot of cash on the Cruze to get them moving (because crossovers). I've seen Cruze Premiers like this one coming with reduced pricetags around $23 to 25k. If you know what you're doing, you can score a nice deal.

    Put all the cash you want on the hood but if you have to do that with a $29K compact, then it proves my point about it being too much money. I do agree with your assessment about the hatch though. That would be the only way to go for me. 

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    1 hour ago, William Maley said:

    I wouldn't either. I would be happy with a Cruze LT hatch with a couple of options that would put me around $24k. But here is the thing, dealers are putting a lot of cash on the Cruze to get them moving (because crossovers). I've seen Cruze Premiers like this one coming with reduced pricetags around $23 to 25k. If you know what you're doing, you can score a nice deal.

     

    6 minutes ago, surreal1272 said:

    Put all the cash you want on the hood but if you have to do that with a $29K compact, then it proves my point about it being too much money. I do agree with your assessment about the hatch though. That would be the only way to go for me. 

    I honestly thing due to the so called living wage push, which has forced inflation up, the packages on auto's have also pushed the price up and yet then you see huge discounts to keep the product selling. 

    Why not just go ahead and bring the prices back down to reality. You would probably get allot more young people into an auto and excited about auto's if you did not have them starting in the mid 20's and going to the moon.

    Pricing on compacts and subcompacts are crazy now.

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    I've always thought the rear on the new Cruze sedan was a deal breaker, brings to mind an 8 year old Korean car.  Hatch is nice but if they cannot sell it at volume or a decent profit, it may be a one gen and done here.  For my needs, in this segment due to snow days and daytrips to the ski hill I'd likely choose an all new Impreza or upcoming Crosstrek for the AWD.

     

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    Don't foot the bill on a subcompact if its priced too high.  But chevy is giving leases away on these things recently.

    I don't think one need feel guilty about leasing when your lease payment might be less than what you pay on interest and taxes if you put it on a long loan (and lose 60% of MSRP if you try to trade it in 3 years).

     

    Then you can get some kit on your compact and not get gouged.  Thats where the Premier comes in.  Get some options.

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    Agreed that all cars are expensive but $29k for a Cruze is crazy.  You can get a decently equipped Camry for that and the Camry will hold value like crazy, even if it drives like crap.   I guess they have the Sonic and Spark for cheap cars, but as they push Cruz up market, then you have to push Malibu up, and then Impala gets squeezed and eliminated.

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    6 hours ago, smk4565 said:

    Agreed that all cars are expensive but $29k for a Cruze is crazy.  You can get a decently equipped Camry for that and the Camry will hold value like crazy, even if it drives like crap.   I guess they have the Sonic and Spark for cheap cars, but as they push Cruz up market, then you have to push Malibu up, and then Impala gets squeezed and eliminated.

    I wonder how much top of the line Corolla's are selling for? I don't really think about it as Toyota isn't my top go to brand when new car shopping, but I have notice a surge in new car prices. A 29k Cruze may not be such a bad deal.

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    The new Cruze is a totally lackluster offering that doesn't display even a hint of the engineering expertise and powertrain excellence GM is capable of. I'd pass it over for most any other car in the segment. They should have named it the Snuze.

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    On 4/11/2017 at 11:52 PM, LostinNewMexico said:

    I wonder how much top of the line Corolla's are selling for? I don't really think about it as Toyota isn't my top go to brand when new car shopping, but I have notice a surge in new car prices. A 29k Cruze may not be such a bad deal.

    The Corolla is one of the few cars I would take this Cruze over.

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    On ‎4‎/‎11‎/‎2017 at 11:52 PM, LostinNewMexico said:

    I wonder how much top of the line Corolla's are selling for? I don't really think about it as Toyota isn't my top go to brand when new car shopping, but I have notice a surge in new car prices. A 29k Cruze may not be such a bad deal.

    Maybe I'm doing something wrong but I tried to build a Corolla and I picked the highest trim package and there was almost nothing of substance other than adding things like a cargo net, different floor mats, etc. and it's under 23k. It is pretty cool they offer some TRD stuff for it so I'd assume that'd all be covered under warranty. They offer lowering springs, high flow air filter(K&N-like), exhaust, and a sway bar. That's pretty cool, if I'm being honest.

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    On 4/13/2017 at 2:07 PM, Frisky Dingo said:

    The Corolla is one of the few cars I would take this Cruze over.

    I would have to disagree with you as they are numb non-inspirational tin cans. Yes I have driven one and still not impressed.

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    11 minutes ago, dfelt said:

    I would have to disagree with you as they are numb non-inspirational tin cans. Yes I have driven one and still not impressed.

    Have you driven any car and been impressed with them that aren't EVs?

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    7 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

    Have you driven any car and been impressed with them that aren't EVs?

    Plenty of ICE auto's that I am impressed with. V series from Cadillac.  M series from BMW, AMG series from MB, REAL skylines when I was in college in Japan. Corvettes, plenty of ICE auto's over the last 40 years.

    Toyota & Honda have nothing that is inspiring, roomy or desirable to me. I was carpooling with my coworker last night home in his new TRD Tacoma. He loves it but compared to the GM twins, you have a ok comfy seat in a sea of hard plastics and some soft touch plastics, but much to really go wow about. Course, this was just my thinking. as he loves his truck. To each their own.

    Have you gone out yet and actually driven a Bolt yet to give a real assessment of the auto?

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    3 minutes ago, dfelt said:

    Plenty of ICE auto's that I am impressed with. V series from Cadillac.  M series from BMW, AMG series from MB, REAL skylines when I was in college in Japan. Corvettes, plenty of ICE auto's over the last 40 years.

    Toyota & Honda have nothing that is inspiring, roomy or desirable to me. I was carpooling with my coworker last night home in his new TRD Tacoma. He loves it but compared to the GM twins, you have a ok comfy seat in a sea of hard plastics and some soft touch plastics, but much to really go wow about. Course, this was just my thinking. as he loves his truck. To each their own.

    Have you gone out yet and actually driven a Bolt yet to give a real assessment of the auto?

    So nothing under like...70-80k..? And I bet the C, 3/4, and ATS are way too small for a 6'6" human so now we're talking 100k+ for an E, 5/6, CTS in their respective performance variants. So.. yes,, we're all impressed with 100k cars. Haha

    Nope. I haven't seen one at my local GM store... They're probably a fairly tough sell still here where I'm at. On the other side of the river(STL) they probably do much better as the overall infrastructure is better than southern IL.

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    5 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

    So nothing under like...70-80k..? And I bet the C, 3/4, and ATS are way too small for a 6'6" human so now we're talking 100k+ for an E, 5/6, CTS in their respective performance variants. So.. yes,, we're all impressed with 100k cars. Haha

    Nope. I haven't seen one at my local GM store... They're probably a fairly tough sell still here where I'm at. On the other side of the river(STL) they probably do much better as the overall infrastructure is better than southern IL.

    I love to test drive auto's all kinds and yes I will roll myself up into sub compacts and compacts to see what they are like. True, at my size, most auto's are always going to be north of 50K and closer to 100K. 

    Will say that I was impressed with the Ford Explorer Sport that we did a family test drive on as my son is considering it as a replacement for his Jeep Patriot. We also test drove the Explorer XLT, not impressed with that. Would be hard pressed to recommend it as the dash interface is terrible compared to the much better dash interface you get with the sport version. Yes another 50K SUV. :P 

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    2 minutes ago, dfelt said:

    I love to test drive auto's all kinds and yes I will roll myself up into sub compacts and compacts to see what they are like. True, at my size, most auto's are always going to be north of 50K and closer to 100K. 

    Will say that I was impressed with the Ford Explorer Sport that we did a family test drive on as my son is considering it as a replacement for his Jeep Patriot. We also test drove the Explorer XLT, not impressed with that. Would be hard pressed to recommend it as the dash interface is terrible compared to the much better dash interface you get with the sport version. Yes another 50K SUV. :P 

    If you're looking at the Explorer Sport have you looked at the Durango R/T? Similar size..and you get a V8.. Actually, it's probably larger, isn't it? Is a third row needed or could a JGC fit the bill?

    That's actually one of my favorite classes of vehicles, the larger 2 row SUVs. JGC rocks and has all sorts of trims and the Edge(new - not so much first gen and refresh) is awesome to me as well. The 4Runner is really gnarly, in the right trim. The Toureg is baller, but pricey... I'm on the opposite end as you.. 5'8" 170lbs.. So these things feel very large to me. I saw in an Edge Sport when I picked up my Focus and I loved how roomy it felt and how much more space there was behind the rear seats compared to my Escape or Focus. It isn't like I need a lot but as a new homeowner I know I'll be maxing out the hatchback often enough. Speaking of which... It was worse when they were separate, took the entire hatch space up. 1AB4D41A-7663-47FB-93E3-A854C43039D6_zps

    Wait, what thread is this even about? LOL

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    8 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

    If you're looking at the Explorer Sport have you looked at the Durango R/T? Similar size..and you get a V8.. Actually, it's probably larger, isn't it? Is a third row needed or could a JGC fit the bill?

    That's actually one of my favorite classes of vehicles, the larger 2 row SUVs. JGC rocks and has all sorts of trims and the Edge(new - not so much first gen and refresh) is awesome to me as well. The 4Runner is really gnarly, in the right trim. The Toureg is baller, but pricey... I'm on the opposite end as you.. 5'8" 170lbs.. So these things feel very large to me. I saw in an Edge Sport when I picked up my Focus and I loved how roomy it felt and how much more space there was behind the rear seats compared to my Escape or Focus. It isn't like I need a lot but as a new homeowner I know I'll be maxing out the hatchback often enough. Speaking of which... It was worse when they were separate, took the entire hatch space up. 1AB4D41A-7663-47FB-93E3-A854C43039D6_zps

    Wait, what thread is this even about? LOL

    Very Cool :metal: 

    Yes my son does not like the external style or internal layout of the Dodge Durango. My daughter has one and loves it. My son has narrowed his choices to Jeep GC or Ford Explorer Sport edition. For the GC he is vacillating if he wants to do diesel or stay hemi.

    Back on topic, Cruze Diesel rocks! :metal: 

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      Location of Manufacture: Wolfsburg, Germany
      Base Price: $22,695
      As Tested Price: $23,515 (Includes $820.00 Destination Charge)
      Options: N/A
    • By dfelt
      G. David Felt - Staff Writer Alternative Energy - www.cheersandgears.com
      National BOLT Lease Deal with 15,000 miles.
      According to CarsDirect web site, Chevrolet rolled out starting April 1st a national lease deal on the Chevy BOLT.
      Details of the Lease:
      $329 a month for 36 months with $3,809 due at signing with 15,000 miles of range per year. 
      This is a hell of a deal when you compare the normal lease deals are just 10,000 or for a bit more, 12,000 miles per year.
      Now if your in a CARB state like California or Oregon, you get an additional $2,250 off on the lease. Thus giving you a upfront cost of only $1,559, 15,000 miles and a monthly payment of just $329. Sweet deal for the LT. The premier is just a bit more $347 according to the local web site in Seattle.
       
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