Long-term update: 2010 Chevrolet Cruze

Long-term update: 2010 Chevrolet Cruze

Our Chevy Cruze long-termer has been running well for its first week. As Ramadan draws to a close and the uncertainty of when Eid falls is the topic of the moment, we’ve been out and about at various showrooms, looking to purchase a midsize sedan. It was ironic that we were trolling for new cars while actually driving a brand new sedan, but the Cruze is a bit smaller than what we were looking for. It competes firmly in the compact category, although it is a bit larger than most of its direct competitors. Incidentally, Chevrolet offers as many as three larger midsize sedans to suit every taste.

We’ve been a bit hard on the standard 1.8-litre inline-4 engine because it needs to be pushed to get decent acceleration out of it. This was expected from an “economy” car, but we haven’t really attempted to conserve petrol this past week as we’ve been busy running around, shuffling newly-landed cousins as well as newly-created in-laws. We’ve averaged 10.48 litres/100 km, which is slightly better than our old Peugeot 307 2.0, but slightly more than a Honda Civic. Still, the 60-litre tank is seemingly so big that we’d estimate a range of almost 600 km at our current burn rate, and closer to 700 km if we took it easy.

The engine sounds like a blender for about 2 seconds when started cold, before settling down to normal idling revs. On the road, it is buzzy when accelerating at anything above 3000 rpm. That is a prominent trait of the Honda Civic too, though the Cruze’s motor sounds more gruff. Throttle response is good and the class-leading 6-speed automatic is quick to shift, though the shift points themselves can be spaced better. But a tiptronic manual function is available if needed, unlike in the Civic which is 25% more expensive.

The Korean-built Cruze isn’t particularly quick, but the first gear is short enough to make it very spritely around single-lane two-way city streets, where you need to overtake stopped taxis, cross T-junctions and slip into parking spaces in haste.

But we gladly prefer the Cruze over having to slog it out in a Ford Focus, a Mazda 3, a Toyota Corolla or a Renault Fluence. At the same price-point as the Cruze, all those direct competitors come with 1.6-litre base motors, with as much as 35 hp less than the Cruze’s standard 140 horses.

Original Mileage When Borrowed: 13,337 km
Latest Mileage To Date: 13,732 km
Latest Average Fuel Economy: 10.5 litres/100 km
Cost of Latest Problems: Dhs 0
Cost of Latest Maintenance: Dhs 0

Total Non-Fuel Running Cost Since Borrowed: Dhs 0

Read all 2010 Chevrolet Cruze long-term updates

What do you think?



  1. interesting car and nice article… which is better.. this or a civic?
    cant wait to read the comming update….

  2. Hey..hw abt comparin it wit Lancer EX?? tat will be interesting

  3. Author

    ^Not likely. But I did see an EX at the showroom last week and was appalled at the all-hard plastic interior.

  4. Big help with the cruze reports Mash, thanks big time. Ive been looking to get me one of these, but the very short test drive on the 1.8 LT gave me a negative feedback on the steering feel, very passive. Since the car your doing is broken in better, can I have an honest opinion on whether the steering feel is acceptable for the average driver? Thanks again!

  5. Author

    ^I actually found the steering feel fine for its class. Not too light and not too heavy. I’ll go pay more attention to it next. What is it that you did not like about it?

  6. Like I said, the test drive was very short, and hardly had a good long stretch of road. I drive an elantra’05 and I get more road feel from the steering than I did from the cruze. I also found very little torque when I tried to floor the pedal(I think i did) on the longest stretch of road I got. I’m thinking i felt this due to the more comfortable suspension and NVH setup compared to my elantra & why I was glad to read your comments on the “very spritely cruze”.

  7. Author

    ^Hehe, it is spritely in first gear only, and that too my car was broken in properly. It is not fast by any means. I’ll do a 0-100 kph test again to see if it is quicker now.

  8. Looking forward to the 0-100 test result. I’ve been reviewing the compact segment market here and found the cruze good value & to be honest the interior totally floored me. I’m scheduled to meet the chevy dealer this saturday to pen a deal & I’d be glad to read more of the long term updates before that or any alternate “Mash recommended” cars within the same price range. Thanks again.

  9. Just so I don’t keep refreshing this page 50 times everyday ;), could you let us know when we can expect the next long term report on the cruze, Mash?

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