03-08-17

CONSUMER REPORTS NAMES ITS TOP 10 CARS, TRUCKS FOR 2017

2017 ImpalaBy Chris Woodyard, USA Today - Two car models from Detroit's Big 3, both Chevrolets, have worked their way onto Consumer Reports' list of most recommended new vehicles for 2017.

The Chevrolet Cruze becomes the Top Pick for a new compact car, knocking off the Subaru Impreza that held the spot for the past few years.  It joins the Chevrolet Impala, which remains the non-profit organization's most recommended selection for a large car.

Consumer Reports, because of its notorious independence, is one of the most highly regarded sources of advice when it comes to new cars.  The organization buys all the cars it uses for testing, rather than borrowing them from automakers, as one way of making sure that its results are similar to those that would be found by the average motorist.

But cars from the Detroit 3, including General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler, have had a tougher time than the import brands making the recommended lists despite steady improvements in design and quality.  This year, however, the list shows some variety.

It's not dominated by Japanese brands.  Rather, the list includes a vehicle from South Korea's Kia and Germany's Audi.

Cruze not only was tops in the compact category, but it beat out such Japanese-brand mainstays as Honda Civic, a redesigned model that has been a hit among buyers and Toyota Corolla.

"The Cruze is impressive.  With such a smooth ride and quiet interior, it feels like a much larger car, and reliability has been solid right out of the gate," says Jake Fisher, Consumer Reports' director of automotive testing, in a statement.

The testers also gave high marks to Honda's redesigned Ridgeline pickup, which they said drives more like a car than a truck and had decent gas mileage of 20 miles per gallon overall.

The list wasn't just based on reliability, the ratings for which Consumer Reports is best known.  It also factored in road-test performance, owner satisfaction, and safety.

SUBCOMPACT CAR:  Toyota Yaris iA, $17,570 US

COMPACT HYBRID:  Toyota Prius, $27,323 US

LUXURY SUV:  Audi Q7, $68,695 US

SPORTS CAR:  Mazda MX-5 Miata, $29,905 US

SMALL SUV:  Subaru Forester, $27,145 US

MIDSIZED SUV:  Toyota Highlander, $41,169 US

COMPACT PICKUP TRUCK:  Honda Ridgeline, $36,480 US

COMPACT CAR:  Chevrolet Cruze, $23,145 US

MIDSIZED SEDAN:  Kia Optima, $25,860 US

LARGE SEDAN:  Chevrolet Impala, $39,110 US

Read More

2017 Cruze Diesel

By General Motors of Canada, Oshawa, ON - The 2017 Cruze Diesel Sedan offers a highway fuel consumption rating of 4.5 L/100km - the best of any non-hybrid vehicle in North America.

"The Cruze Diesel Sedan combines best-in-class fuel efficiency and fun-to-drive performance into a vehicle that offers compact car drivers yet another innovative alternative fuel option from Chevrolet," said Shane Peever, brand manager, Chevrolet Cars in Canada.  "With its unparalleled fuel consumption rating, the Cruze Diesel delivers durability and torque in a package that suits our customers' diverse lifestyles and driving habits."

The 2017 Cruze Diesel Sedan features a new Ecotec 1.6-liter inline four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine offering an SAE-certified 137 horsepower (102 kW) and what is expected to be segment-leading 240 lb-ft of torque (325 Nm).  Cruze Diesel passed all stringent U.S. environmental standards and validation, including Tier 3 Bin 125 emissions standards.

Buyers will be able to option their Cruze Diesel Sedans with either a standard six-speed manual or a new, optional Hydra-Matic nine-speed automatic transmission that includes fuel-saving stop/start technology.

In addition to its segment-leading 4.5 L/100km highway fuel consumption rating, Cruze Diesel with the six-speed manual delivers a city rating of 7.7 L/100km resulting in a 6.3 L/100km combined.  Cruze Diesel with the nine-speed automatic achieves a rating of 7.6 L/100km city, 5.0 L/100km highway and 6.4 L/100km combined.

A suite of connectivity features complements the Cruze Diesel Sedan's inherent efficiency.  These include standard OnStar with 4G LTE connectivity and built-in Wi-Fi hotspot as well as standard Android Auto and Apply CarPlay compatibility through Chevrolet MyLink*.

Pricing for the 2017 Cruze Diesel Sedan starts at $24,195 plus a $1,600 destination freight charge.  The Cruze Diesel Hatch will follow later this year as a 2018 model.

*Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are products of Apple and Google and their terms and privacy statements apply.  Requires a compatible mobile device, active OnStar service and data plan.  4G LTE service available in select markets.  Visit onstar.com for coverage map, details and system limitations.  Visit onstar.ca for coverage map, details and system limitations.  Data plans provided by AT&T.

Read More

img_58182GM HOPES TO BUILD ON WORLDWIDE SUCCESS OF THE CRUZE BY
BRINGING HATCH TO NORTH AMERICA

By Lesley Wimbush, Driving.ca - Chevy's targeting a younger, more ethnically diverse and predominantly male buyer with the new hatchback version of its best-selling compact Cruze - one who's relatively affluent, active and presumably hip, given the carefully crafted image of our surroundings.

A repurposed industrial building in the heart of Detroit is the new home of Third Man Records, the latest project of punked-out blues artist Jack White, an Edward Scissorhands look-alike who got his start here in the Motor City.  Against an Art Deco backdrop of exposed brick and primary colours is an eclectic collection of obscure music paraphernalia, from vintage turntables to Tardis-like wooden recording booths, circa 1960.  Behind the shop is a warehouse-like event space that also houses White's latest foray into musical preservation: a vinyl record pressing plant that will cater to smaller-output indie productions.  Here we're introduced to North America's first hatchback variant of the Cruze (Europe has had one since 2011), surrounded by robotic record presses, steam pipes and a blues-playing acoustic guitar picker, dressed in all black.

"The Cruze has been our best-selling vehicle globally," said Alan Batey, president of GM North America.  "And now, extending the range, here in the U.S. (and Canada), the new hatchback is a really big step."

Interior cabin space is exactly the same as the sedan, with no reduction in head, leg or shoulder room.  The interior is essentially the same as the sedan's, except for the all-important rear cargo space.  Aside from its sportier image, space and versatility are the hatchback's raison d'être.

In comparison to the sedan, which has a trunk space of 419 litres, and rear seats that produce an awkward hump when folded, the hatch offers 523L of cargo room, with a total of 1,189L of flat space with the rear seats down.

As with the sedan, the Cruze hatch offers a torsion-beam axle on the base LT trims, and a Z-link rear setup on Premier models.  Front suspension across the lineup consists of MacPherson struts, coil springs and stabilizer bar.

While the sedan offers three trims - LT, LS and Premier - the hatch is available in only the LT and Premier and is priced at $750 over the sedan.  The base Cruze hatch LT manual starts at $20,595, or $22,045 with automatic.  The Premier is $24,645.

As with the sedan, there are Convenience and Technology packages that build on the standard features, and a True North Edition that also adds the safety technology suite and the eight-inch MyLink touch screen with Apple CarPlay.  There's also an RS appearance package with sport body mouldings, rear spoiler, fog lamps and RS badging.

Safety tech includes lane-keep assist, IntelliBeam, forward-collision alert with following-distance indicator, lane-change alert, rear park assist and rear cross-traffic alert, but there's no adaptive cruise control.  This is available on mid-range Honda Civics and will be offered as standard on all upcoming Corollas, including the sub-$17,000 base models.

Our day was spent in the top-spec Premier True North; features include heated leather seats and steering wheel, and remote push-button start.  Chevy boasts that the Cruze is the "most connected car in its segment," and on top of Apple CarPlay, it also features standard 4G LTE Wi-Fi across the lineup.

There's really no marked difference in handling between the Cruze hatch and its four-door sibling.  The single engine choice is a turbocharged 1.4-L four-cylinder producing 153 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque, mated to a six-speed automatic in upper trim levels.  Performance is adequate, if not invigorating; the transmission is smooth but a set of paddle shifters would add some sparkle.

The Cruze rides smoothly with plenty of composure, and there's very little noise.  But even with the available spring and exhaust performance modes, this isn't a hatch for the boy-racer wannabes.  The steering, a rack-mounted electric setup that reduces parasitic draw from the engine, is nicely weighted but not as communicative as the Golf's.

Those of a more enthusiast bent may want to wait for the diesel variant, which is set to arrive in Canada next spring.  The diesel engine will likely be the 1.6-L CDTI four-cylinder found in the Opel, which produces only 136 hp, but has 236 lb-ft of torque.

"The torque that you get out of this type of diesel, in this type of vehicle - particularly being a Brit - with a manual transmission, that's what I call fun," said Batey.

In addition to the six-speed manual, the diesel Cruze will be available with a new nine-speed automatic.  In this configuration, the Cruze hatch could boast fuel consumption ratings as high as 50 mpg (5.6L/100 km).  The official fuel consumption numbers for the gasoline-powered Cruze hatchback are slightly higher than the four-door, at 8.3/6.4/7.4 (city/highway/combined) for the LT manual, 8.1/6.2/7.3 for the LT automatic, and 8.4/6.4/7.5 for the Premier automatic.

The Chevrolet Cruze hatchback is available in the showroom now.

Read More

04-28-16

cruze-3FOR 2016, THE CHEVROLET'S TOP-SELLER, THE CRUZE GETS A COMPLETE MAKEOVER

By Costa Mouzouris, Driving.ca - The Chevrolet Cruze is GM's best-selling car in Canada, despite stiff competition in the compact segment.  In fact, the Cruze is good enough to entice many owners of other brands to switch teams; GM claims that more than half of Cruze owners are new to the brand.

This is Chevy's bread-winning car, available in more than 75 countries worldwide.  It has sold more than four million units around the world since its introduction in 2008, and more than 170,000 units in Canada since arriving here in 2010, though those numbers pale in comparison to the Honda Civic, which sells twice as many units.

Chevrolet has given this next-generation Cruze a complete makeover for 2016, and it features much more than just a more aggressive new look.  The windshield and back glass are at shallower angles for a more streamlined, Euro coupe-like roofline, and the car now has an almost fastback silhouette.

Built at GM's Lordstown, Ohio plant, the Cruze has gained 1.5 centimetres of wheelbase (now at 270 cm), is 6.8 cm longer, and the roof is 2.5 cm lower.  The extra length contributes to additional interior space, especially for rear passengers.  Taller passengers will find headroom a bit cramped, a drawback of the lowered roof.

An all-new 1.4-litre, direct-injection turbocharged four-cylinder is the only available engine, replacing the outgoing model's 1.4-L turbocharged and the 1.8-L naturally aspirated engines.  As before, it is mated to either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission.

This new, lighter engine produces 153 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque, up from the former turbo's 138 horses and 148 lb-ft.  The new engine's claimed combined fuel consumption is 6.8 L/100 km when coupled to the automatic transmission with the standard start/stop function, and a best of 5.6 L/100 km on the highway.  That's about a litre better than the former 1.4-L engine.  After an 80-mile ride in an automatic LT, the trip computer displayed an average consumption of 41 mpg U.S., or 5.7 L/100 km.

If you prefer forfeiting sparkplugs in the interest of even better fuel economy, you can wait until 2017 when GM will reintroduce the diesel version.

Four trim levels are available, from the $15,995US L model ($180 less than the 2015 model) to the $23,995US Premier.  The enticing entry price won't get you basic conveniences such as cruise control, a rear-view camera or air conditioning, but you do get Bluetooth connectivity with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and available LTE Wi-Fi.  You can add the RS package to the LT for $695US, which adds fog lamps, a sporty front fascia and rear spoiler, or to the Premier for a $995US premium, which also adds 18-inch wheels (16-, 16-, and 17-inch wheels are available on various trims).  Heated front seats are standard from the LT model upward.

A new chassis is 24 kilograms lighter and boasts a 27 per cent increase in rigidity.  The lighter engine and chassis, as well as other weight-saving measures, combine to drop about 113 kg from the curb weight.  From the driver's seat, this translates to a ride that feels taut, with bumps and road noise well isolated from the interior.

The L, LS and LT models feature a torsion-beam rear axle, while the Premier is equipped with a Watts Z-link.  Despite this relatively modest suspension design (front struts; rear torsion beam), GM engineers have tuned it to feel much more sophisticated.  At low speeds it feels firm, yet lacks any harshness, even over a series of moderately sized bumps.  If pushed through tight turns at higher speeds, though, it becomes evident that the suspension is tuned for comfort, returning modest body roll.

Steering effort is light and feedback is somewhat muted, in contrast to the 2016 Civic our hosts made available for comparison.  The Cruze, however, is smoother and quieter, especially from the engine compartment.  While not quite as serene as the Buick Verano, even the lower-end LS model is above par in its class.

The manual transmission has moderate lever travel and requires a light touch, but it's not best suited for the engine's powerband.  Pushing the gas pedal down results in a very lethargic climb of the tach needle until the revs pick up, after which the turbocharged four lights up considerably.

The automatic transmission downshifts more obediently than a lazy hand on the manual stick, therefore it feels much livelier.  This keeps the engine in the strong part of its powerband more effectively, while transferring less engine vibration and returning a smoother ride than the manual transmission.  Whether equipped with two or three pedals, the brake pedal seems unusually high.

The Cruze's interior has been refreshed with more soft-touch and textured materials, and it has a slightly upscale look and feel.  It might fall short when compared to luxury offerings in the segment, but it is finer than most cars in its price range.  A seven-inch colour touch screen is standard, and an eight-inch screen is optional.  The instrument cluster is similar to the outgoing model, though there's now a 4.2-inch high-definition screen between the gauges.  The shift lever has also moved to the left side of the centre console, closer to the driver.

Ten airbags are standard, and there are many driver aids available.  A rear-view camera is standard from the LS model up, and park assist and rear cross-traffic alert are available on the LT.  If you must have all the driver aids, including lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, collision alert and a following-distance warning, they're available only on the Premier model.

The 2016 Chevrolet Cruze is available now, and it appears to be popular with second-time buyers: about 58 per cent of Cruze buyers already own one.  Chevrolet aims to entice at least some drivers away from the Civic, so a five-door hatchback Cruze will be available later this year.  But even without the fifth door, this lighter, larger and more dynamic Cruze will probably attract many more converts.

Read More

Contact Us:

Name:
Email:
Message: