Chevrolet Cruze reaches Saudi Arabia and GCC
The 2010 Chevrolet Cruze, GM’s all-new Korean-built compact sedan that is surprisingly more anticipated in the Middle East than we expected it to be, is now available in Saudi Arabia and possibly a few other GCC countries, according to reports by our readers. There is no official word yet from GM’s regional headquarters in Dubai, but the Cruze is listed in Chevrolet’s UAE website.
Designed from the ground up, the Cruze should be a decent entry in a crowded field that is dominated by the overpriced Honda Civic. The 1290 kg front-wheel-drive sedan features a 140 hp 1.8-litre 4-cylinder engine, with either a 5-speed manual or a class-leading 6-speed automatic, with an independent front and solid-axle rear suspension setup. While the engine and gearboxes are adequate, it weighs slightly more than the Civic, with simpler suspension to boot, and so it doesn’t come close to throwing the Japanese stalwart off its throne in dynamics. Early reviews suggest it rides well though, and has good interior space.
There are three trim levels, namely LS, LT and LT2. The interior has an attractive “dual-cockpit” design, with seam-stitching colour-matched to the instrument panel, MP3/CD radio with USB port and MP3 jack, optional CD changer, manual or automatic a/c, optional cruise control, optional split-folding rear seat, power windows, keyless entry and optional keyless start. Depending on trim, the Cruze can be had with optional fog lamps, optional sunroof, optional parking sensors and electric mirrors.
The basic LS model gets rear drum brakes and 15-inch steel wheels. The higher LT models get four-wheel-disc brakes and either 16-inch or 17-inch alloy wheels. ABS and dual front airbags are standard, while side airbags are optional.
We are estimating that the 2010 Cruze will cost between Dhs 55,000 and Dhs 70,000, which should undercut the Honda Civic as well as cars such as the slow Ford Focus and the dull Toyota Corolla. For updated prices and specs, visit the Chevrolet Cruze buyer guide.