GM’s Lordstown, OH, production facility has begun producing the much anticipated Chevrolet Cruze for U.S. buyers. Worldwide, the Cruze has become GM’s best selling passenger car, racking up sales of some 165,000 units since its debut in 2008. In the U.S, the Cruze will replace the Chevy Cobalt in the product mix, and initial offerings include LS, LT, LTZ and Eco trim levels. The base motor will be a 1.8 liter four, good for 136 horsepower and 123 lb ft of torque. LT and LTZ models get a turbocharged 1.4 liter motor, good for 138 horsepower and 148 lb ft of torque. An SS version is said to be in the works, but I’ve yet to see any projections on a launch date.
Like the Ford Fiesta, the Chevy Cruze will include as much content as possible in its price point, which starts at about $17,000 for a Cruze LS. Quality, safety and fuel economy are Cruze highlights that GM takes very seriously, and Left Lane News quotes GM North America President Mark Reuss as saying, “We are delivering a car with the quality which Americans desire matched with features they would not expect in this segment, from 40 mpg on our Eco model to 10 airbags as standard across the range. Of equal importance, we are working to redefine the views on a domestic carmaker building such a car here in the United States.”
I hope the Cruze is a hit for Chevy, and I hope that we see an SS version sometime late next year. While I’m at it, can I add the Holden five door hatchback Cruze to my wish list, in an SS version, please? If it goes and handles as good as it looks, Chevy may have themselves one more Cruze fan.