Long-term update: 2010 Chevrolet Cruze interior

Long-term update: 2010 Chevrolet Cruze interior

We had been holding off on an update for our 2010 Chevrolet Cruze long-termer because we were trying to find time first to do another round of performance testing, as requested by a reader who wanted to buy one. But it turns out there is no discernible change in performance since our last test, so we’ll go ahead and do a story about the interior instead.

Our Cruze press car is behaving exactly as it has been since we received it. Which means there have been no new problems since our time with it, but minor pre-existing issues continue to make themselves known, such as the blender noise from the engine for about two seconds from a cold start, and the obvious wind noise from the closed sunroof. Neither of these affect driveability or functionality, but if this were our car, we’d get these looked at under warranty.

We loaded up the car with four passengers and their shopping, and the car still didn’t seem to lose much performance — it felt just as slow loaded as it is when driven alone. This isn’t a negative point, considering it is still much quicker than similarly-priced cars 1.6-litre cars such as the Ford Focus and the Renault Fluence. The Cruze comes with a 140 hp 1.8-litre engine. Our latest fuel consumption remains unchanged. As we said before, it can likely do better, but we are used to the instant torque of a V8 Jeep. With the Cruze, we have to rev it a lot to gain speed quickly when entering junctions, merging with traffic or overtaking.

What we’ve just described is the same for most economy cars, including overpriced ones like the Honda Civic and the VW Gayolf. The unique selling point of this car remains its interior design. It is true that the Cruze has more grey hard plastics than either of those “premium” compacts, but the Cruze is also the only non-luxury car that we can think of to have leathery surfaces on the dashboard. All the off-white sections you see in the photos are leathery to the touch and colour-matched to the leather seats. Also, that aluminium-looking dimpled trim piece on the central console feels like actual metal, though it’d be too optimistic to think it is real. The chrome rings on the gauges are also a nice touch.

There is good space in the back for people less than six feet tall. Looking at official interior specs, the Cruze seemingly has better front legroom, rear legroom and overall headroom, even though we said earlier that the Civic “feels” slightly more spacious. We have no idea how legroom specs are calculated, considering the front seats can be moved front and back, but at least we know that the Cruze is among the most spacious in its class.

The a/c is seemingly a single-zone automatic affair, with a digital LCD display shared with the stereo. It takes about 10 minutes to bring the cabin down to sweat-free temperatures, after which it can feel nicely cold even in a summer afternoon. However, if you benefit from covered parking, the a/c is icy cold right from the time you start the car, and remains so even after you drive out into the sun. One ergonomic issue is that the vents facing the driver are partially blocked by the steering wheel, so it can be frustrating if you want a direct blast of air on your face. Like in most compact cars, there are no rear vents.

Thoughtful touches include the exposed cup-holder whose central divider can slide back and forth to accommodate most drinks. Also, that central armrest can extend forward for better comfort, and covers a deep storage cubby under it. The cubby also contains the AUX port for the stereo. A USB port is optional.

All doors get useable pockets. Door armrests are padded for the front passengers, but not the rear. The rear also has no central pull-down armrest, and has a lap-belt for the middle passenger.

There used to be a dealer-installed fire-extinguisher bolted to the passenger-side floor when we tested this car earlier this year, but it has since been removed and left rolling around in the luggage trunk, probably due to my whining. Incidentally, the trunk itself is rather massive for a compact car. A fold-flat seatback is an option, but our mid-range tester doesn’t have it.

As for comfort, the ride is a balance between handling and smoothness. It can sometimes get harsh over sharp potholes, but that is the price to pay for a shorter-than-midsize wheelbase, a non-independent rear suspension and 17-inch wheels. However, the “European” suspension tuning is very good for such a setup, as the handling is very satisfying. The electric steering is nicely weighted, is fairly direct, is firm enough at highway speeds and even offers some feedback, so no real complaints there even if it feels a bit loose occassionally. The ABS-assisted disc brakes are a bit mushy in pedal feel, but do the job adequately, considering the abuse this car has been through by journalists.

There is moderate road noise from the wider-than-average 215/50 tyres on certain roads, but the only wind noise seems to be from that sunroof sealing problem in our heavily-used tester. Funnily enough, the horn speaker is possibly situated very close to the cabin, so when you honk, it sounds like it is almost in the car — a nice discouragement from using it too much. The engine is very audible on hard throttle inputs.

The Cruze is a capable jump-in-and-drive commuter car that can be a lot of fun when up to speed on the twisties. This is the kind of car I’d recommend to true entry-level enthusiasts who want to hone their handling skills with a slower car, instead of jumping into a Lumina SS first and instantly wrapping themselves around a lamp-post. Any good driver worth their salt will know what I’m talking about.

Original Mileage When Borrowed: 13,337 km
Latest Mileage To Date: 14,599 km
Latest Average Fuel Economy: 10.7 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. Front leg room is the distance from the heel of the driver’s accelerator foot to the seatback. Rear leg room is the horizontal distance between the rear and front seatback, with front leg room set at 40 inches. Headroom is measured vertically from the seat base to the lowest part of the roof lining.

  2. My cousin owns the diesel version of the cruze in india. It is essentially the same as the petrol version but is faster despite the unbearable turbo-lag below 2000 RPM like most diesels.

  3. I had rented this car for a month during May in Al Ain, like its interior, wind noise is noticeable only after 160 km/h, had problem with its AC ( car used to be under direct sun light) as it takes longer to cool.

    Overall its good to see car with 1.8 ltr engine under AED 50k ( if talk about basic model).

  4. Author

    I’ve updated the article to remove the “rattle in the sunroof” bit. I just found the source of the rattle to be the fire extinguisher sitting in a box in the boot. Still has a wind noise issue though, from the sunroof.

  5. Thanks for the mention Mash, I called the wife over and kept screaming to her that the “a reader” was me, but she couldn’t quite understand and resumed kitchen duties. I’m awaiting delivery of the LT next week inshaAllah, good to know there isn’t much to worry about. I’ll be sure to check on the blender should need be.

  6. Author

    ^Cool, dude. Put up photos in the forums when you can. And hope you got a better interior colour-combo than mine.

  7. Thanks for the review!

    Note: there’s something funny in the used cars classifieds page!! at the bottom of the page (it’s written Copyright 2004 till 2040 lol?) haha.. maybe it’s a typo or.. I don’t know)

  8. Author

    ^No typo, hehe

  9. cruze and civil???

  10. Hi Mashfique Hussain Chowdhury,

    Can you tell me how you get LTZ Cruze. because the Liberty Motors sales man was saying there is no full option (leather seats & sunroof) Cruze available. i am looking for Cruze with Red Leather Interior and kindly confirm me the price and from where you bought this Full option Cruze ?


  11. Author

    Options vary from time to time, depending on availability. This isn’t an LTZ either.

  12. @Shahzad: & Mash, if I may add to your comments, currently, the top variant cruze for the GCC markets is the “LT premium”.

    Check -> http://bit.ly/ci0Xkc.

    Plenty available in the KSA, priced @ approx 67k SAR.

  13. this car is just awesome,is this car more costlier than swiftdzire?

  14. Hey Mashfique wanted your help on this.. i must have researched a billion cars (well i take that back.. ten or so actually 🙂 ) to irritatingly come back to this page and read your review and road test for the umpteenth .. I am trying to decide if this car is the best car for a newcomer driver like me to contemplate on or would you recommend something else (my budget being between 40k-60k).. Just wanted to know one thing..whats the big difference between the say 2010 models now and the 2012 model (sorry if i missed anything obvious)..

  15. @Mash … Gayolf ?? is that what you think about VW GTI also ? All reviews says its a good one !!

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