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The Chevrolet Cruze | American Muscle in India

Chevrolet Cruze entered the Indian market in 2009. Chevrolet launched the Cruze amidst a lot of fanfare.

The Indian car market was getting ready to witness the car. After making its mark all around the world, the car was finally coming to India. General Motors was surely taking a huge risk bringing the car to India. In a price-sensitive car market like ours, the Chevrolet Cruze something new.

Let’s have a look at this American muscle that was brought to India, with huge hopes.

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Engine | Chevrolet Cruze

When it came to the engine of the Chevrolet Cruze, it didn’t disappoint at all. The car was pure American muscle brought to the Indian roads. With a 1998 cc engine, the car’s engine could give the Audi A3 a run for its money. And, at half the price!

Chevrolet Cruze’s diesel engine generated 163.7 bhp. The torque stood at a massive 360 Nm. The top model was mated with an automatic transmission. Rest of the models had a 5-speed manual transmission for grabs. The torquey engine enabled the car to sprint from 0 to 100 in just 9.7 seconds. Top speed of the sedan stood at 184 kmph.

Exteriors | Chevrolet Cruze

Chevrolet Cruze
Chevrolet Cruze

On the outside, the car spoke the ‘American muscle’ language. Cruze was designed to stand out in the crowd, and it surely did. On the front, the front grille spoke power with the Chevrolet logo in the middle. The headlights cluster was well placed, making the car look more dominant.

On the side, the car oozed with perfection. Aerodynamically and aesthetically the car please a lot of people from the side. The fenders and character lines on the doors added to its ‘muscular look’.

Chevrolet Cruze measured 4597mm in overall length, 1788mm in width and 1477mm in height along with 2685mm of wheelbase and 165mm of ground clearance. The ground clearance used to be a concern for the Indian roads. However, the shorter wheelbase did help a bit.

At the back, the Cruze was all about practicality and beauty. Tail lamps of the car were bold and sat perfectly on the boot. All in all the car sported a love me or hate me look. But it was for sure not ignorable.

Interiors | Chevrolet Cruze

On the inside, the car had a minimal but impactful design. Its all-black cabin came with a neat finish and fit. The central console of the car had a plethora of equipment, giving the cabin a low-key cockpit feel.

The dashboard of the car was prepared using high-quality plastic. Leather upholstery was used around the car with contrast stitching. The 3-spoke steering wheel featured Chevrolet’s logo along with metallic accents. The instrument cluster also had a sense of attractiveness to it.

Safety & Security | Chevrolet Cruze

Chevrolet packed the Cruze with a number of safety features. ABS, dual airbags, front fog lamps, child seat mounting provisions, side airbags, programmed auto door locking and auto door unlock in case of a car crash.

Comfort & Convenience | Chevrolet Cruze 

Chevrolet ensured all the amenities in the Cruze. Steering mounted control, 6-way adjustable driver seat, 4 channel rear parking assist, heated ORVMs, intelligent programmable passive entry, ignition on/off, height-adjustable headrests. The Cruze was packed with features.

Pricing | Chevrolet Cruze

The Chevrolet Cruze was price rather strategically. Neither it wanted to sit below the sub-10 lakh mark nor the too expensive mark. Chevrolet price the car between ₹13.75 lakhs to ₹16.15 lakhs. This pricing made the Cruze compete with the likes of Hyundai Elantra, Toyota Corolla Altis, Volkswagen Jetta, Renault Fluence and Skoda Octavia.

What Went Wrong?

Exteriors of the Cruze
Exteriors of the Cruze

While the car had made its mark in the country, it still failed to make a considerable impact. Here are some of the reasons which didn’t work out for the Chevrolet Cruze.

  1. Chevrolet’s exit: The exit of the American carmaker from the Indian car market created a gap. The consumers were a bit skeptical to go for a Chevrolet after the company’s exit.
  2. Maintenance Costs: Chevrolet became infamous at one point of time. The reason turned out to be its servicing. Cars from the company were costlier to repair and the spare parts weren’t accessible easily.
  3. Competitors: While Chevrolet expected to rule the segment, it wasn’t so sure about the competitors. Volkswagen’s Jetta, Hyundai’s Elantra and Toyota’s Corolla Altis already had their feet placed in this segment. The Cruze failed to stand out in contrast to these cars in any sphere.


Chevrolet Cruze was class apart. There’s not a single doubt about that. The car packed power, class and oozed of perfection. Where other cars were positioned as chauffeur-driven, the Cruze was something that one would drive themselves.

Cars like these, don’t always make an impact, but they do leave behind a legacy.

Also Read: 9 Forgotten Chevrolet Cars in India, From Chevy Trailblazer to Beat

Martand Mishra
Martand Mishra
Content Aficionado (basically loves everything content) | The original Top Gear cannot be replaced | Avid reader


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