EASY RIDER: Effortlessly Cruze at home, city and on open road
I have always admired the Chevrolet Cruze with its unique stance and styling on the road. When General Motors recently launched a hatch version of this world-class vehicle, I wondered why they would want to fix a winning formula that definitely wasn’t broken.
A few months back, I was lucky enough to review the sedan version and I have just handed back the hatch version which I enjoyed driving for the past week.
I can now confirm that the Cruze Hatch is a sporty, fully responsive, fun version of the sedan. Everything about this car is easy – from the clutch to the steering to the gear change, it all glides effortlessly as if by telepathy.
Our test model, the standard issue Cruze Hatch 1.8 LS, came fully-loaded with all the bells and whistles one would expect of a much more expensive vehicle such as multi-function steering wheel, Bluetooth, USB / auxiliary input, adjustable steering column and cruise control.
The 1.8 LS model provides a nippy 104 kW of power, 176 N.m of torque and a claimed consumption of 9 L / 100km around town.
Safety features include most of the alphabet - ABS with EBD, BAS, ESP, TCS, six airbags, with passenger de-activation and ISOFIX child seat anchorages. A 5 year / 120 000km warranty and roadside assist, a 5-year / unlimited km anti-corrosion warranty and a 3 year / 60 000km service plan all come standard.
I really enjoyed driving the Cruze as it is a great all-rounder. The interior is spacious, the ride quality is good, there is ample luggage space in the hatch plus it has a responsive motor for town and country driving with a smooth, effortless feel.
It lacks for nothing in extras and entertainment and the cockpit is ergonomically designed to put everything at your fingertips. The Cruze Hatch is a great choice as a family vehicle or for business use. It is smart, functional and extremely capable – a sensible choice!
To test drive a Chevrolet Cruze Hatch today, call 041 402 9000 or visit www.chevrolet.co.za.
They say while some are destined to be great, others were born great; the latter certainly applies to the Toyota Hilux. From its humble beginnings as a small 1.5-litre pick-up, to its conquering of the South African market...
When it comes to cars - and specifically new and unfamiliar brands, South Africans can be a hard bunch to please. Changing to an unknown brand from an established one can either rank as a brave step and willing to take chances, or complete insanity combined with poor service and numerous trips to the workshop.
According to the folklores of the Inuit, the inhabitants of the Arctic regions surrounding Greenland, Canada and Alaska - more commonly known as Eskimos - any hunter, foolish enough to be hunting at night, would fall victim to a massive wolf-like creature known as an amaroq.
As one of the most important segments in the South African market, the premium hatchback segment has traditionally been a German affair with the Audi A3, Mercedes A-class and the BMW 1-series dominating sales charts. In recent times however, competition has increased as more and more manufactures embark on the quest to topple the teutonic trio.
In the last edition of Business Link Magazine, I had the opportunity to sample the facelifted Chevrolet Cruze, fitted with parent company General Motors’ now-familiar 1.4-litre turbocharged Ecotec engine which produces 103 kW and 200 N.m of torque.
It’s not often that a bakkie, or should that be truck, causes such a stir as the Ford Ranger has done. Even though this mini Ford F150 has been on the market for two years now, it still remains the most talked about vehicle in the bakkie segment with models leaving showroom floors quicker than the factory in Pretoria can build them.
When it was first unveiled at the 2008 Paris Motorshow, the pressure and expectations resting on the brand new Chevrolet Cruze could not have been greater as the full force of the economic meltdown was starting to take its toll on America’s Big Three automakers.
When it comes to offering the best of both worlds - work and play, there can be no doubt that a double cab bakkie strikes the perfect balance. On the one hand, you have a leisure orientated vehicle and on the other, a work vehicle with a decent sized rear load bay for your equipment.
When it comes to producing small city cars with a touch of style and something different from the norm, you can always count on the Italians to deliver. After all, city cars drive best in a country with crowded and congested cities. Fiat is then the ultimate symbol of these Italian city cars.
No doubt, South Africa is a ‘bakkie-mad’ country. We drive them to work and to everywhere else - they are part of our motoring culture. While the bakkie market, especially for double-cabs, is ever getting tougher, the competition still has a long way to go if they want to dethrone South Africa’s bestselling new vehicle, the all-conquering Toyota Hilux.
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