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Chev gives Cruze a turbo boost

2013-11-28 06:44

NEW BOOSTED BABY: Chevrolet South Africa has finally brought a turbocharged engine to the stable. The Cruze 1.4 is the first model to feature the new engine. Image: Quickpic


Chevrolet has added another model to the Cruze line-up. No big deal? Well, actually, it is, because it brings a small turbocharged engine that's capable of the same power as a previous-generation Ford V6.

The local automaker has entered a whole new ball game. Not only has the it expanded the Cruze model range but it has also brought the brand’s first turbocharged product to South Africa.

Chevrolet SA launched the Cruze sedan in 2009 and has sold 125 000 units locally since then. In 2012 a hatchback version was introduced.


The current line-up includes two engines (1.6 and 1.8-litre) in a sedan and hatchback. Now there's a 1.4 turbo engine to replace the 1.8 but it makes the same power (103kW) at 4900rpm as well as 200Nm of torque from as low as 1250rpm.

Chev seems to be taking a page from Ford’s books with the aim of stepping into the global product arena. Chevrolet SA’s brand manager Tim Hendon said the 1.4-litre turbo Ecotec petrol engine has made its way into Cruze models after proven use in other GM products around the world.

Each engine has stop/start technology and the four-cylinder unit has a dual overhead camshaft with variable valve timing and multi-point fuel injection.

So, to recap, the new Cruze 1.4T LS sedan and hatch derivatives will replace the 1.8 LS models. The rest of the range still includes the 1.6 sedan and hatchbnack in LS trim, the 2.0 LS diesel sedan and the range-topping 2.0 diesel LT sedan models making a total of seven.


Well, not too shabby. I’ve always thought the Cruze was a bit of a slowcoach but a refreshing option to the usual Toyota Corolla in terms of styling. However, I’m not quite sure the motoring media expected to be as impressed by the new engine during the launch drive between Port Elizabeth and Grahamstown – the long way round - and back.

We drove the road less travelled with loads of tight twisters, some stretches of long straights and scary potholes in a rain-soaked Eastern Cape. The 1.4 turbo engine proved to be quite a gutsy little thing. With 103kW, it holds its own on the road and provides the confidence to overtake a string of slow-moving abnormal trucks with smooth gear changes

 It also feels like a better option for the six-speed manual gearbox to which it’s mated in both derivatives - very smooth gear changes.

It’s what the Cruze range has been missing since launch and it’s a good thing it’s finally arrived. Perhaps it will increase sales for the brand. 

Chev says the new unit also means les fuel consumption and cleaner emissions with an average combined fuel use of 5.8 litres/100km and CO2 emissions of 135g/km.

In the safety department, the Cruze has earned a five-star safety rating from both Euro NCAP and the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Goodies here include electronic stability control, traction control, anti-lock brakes with electronic pressure distribution.

There are also six air bags and front and rear cabin crush zones. The collapsible pedal assembly also reduces the risk of injury to the driver’s legs and feet during an impact.


While nothing has been changed in terms of styling, there are new 17” alloy rims which are optional above the standard 16”; LED side indicator indicators built into the door mirrors, along with a chromed belt line on the hatch.

Other new items include two paint colours and one-touch up/down front passenger windows.

Options include leather upholstery (R9600), a sunroof (R6500) and the ‘driver’s pack’ which includes auto climate control and rear parking sensors (R3000).

With the new engine and affordable prices for options, the 1.4 is value for money when looking for a family car.

All Chevrolet Cruze derivatives are sold with a five-year or 120 000 km warranty and a three-year of 60 000 km service plan.

Chevrolet Cruze 1.4 turbo LS hatch - R242 100
Chevrolet Cruze 1.4 turbo LS sedan - R244 700

Read more on:    chevrolet  |  launch  |  port elizabeth  |  new models

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