2017 LT 1.4 6A. LT. Lieutenant model.
Why not the Cruze? "This is the car that could have been designed by AI."
On paper and in the flesh/metal, this car should do most things right.
A couple of notes about the modern dealership. No business cards. Sales guy sent his card to my iPhone. No brochures. He did print me one, in color. He said they don't stock them, they save about $30,000 a year in brochures that way. Zippy.
Of all the cars I've driven so far--Golf, Civic, Acura ILX, Elantra, Mazda3--the first impression that comes to mind is (to repeat) "This is the car that could have been designed by AI." All the parts are here. Little turbo motor that can get 40 MPG on the highway. Smooth six-speed automatic, no DCT no CVT no experimenting on customers for Chevy. A perfect taxi cab.
Passenger seat seems high--which is good--eyeball engineering says 22"-23" perhaps. Heated seats. Gadgets galore. WiFi. Backup cam with bending grid to guide you. Power seat for driver. No hood latch. Pull the release twice instead.
The Cruz conveniently has a small spare tire, with the battery in back like the Challenger. Stock alloys are shod with 205.55.16, a pretty standard size these days. I remember when these were sorta-fatties, like when my wife's PT was new.
Good space in back. The front seat headrest doesn't bow you down before the king. The petrol refill is on right, handy for long Costco lines. Digital speedo plus the standard four analog gauges. Handy little multi-function display front and center, almost a standard item in today's cars.
You've come a long way, baby, in 10 years.
To mine eyes the new Cruze is a handsome car. Not flashy, just well-adjusted and -proportioned.
The Cruze feels tight, its doors and front and rear lids close with good clunks. The steering is a tad on the heavy side for me, but I prefer '60s one-finger-steering power steering effort so no biggie there. Brake pedal is high. E brake is a foot brake. How American-car-like!
It's smooth and quiet. It leans very little. I can't feel the trannie shift.
We cruise around town and then get on the freeway where I boot it. I think my Soul could dust this Cruz, it feels slow. The instruments are easy to see and right in front. Radio and other gadget, and HVAC controls are reasonably simple and logical.
What it lacks: No Power-Normal-Eco trannie settings. No passenger seat height adjustment. Only Golf and Elantra offer that so far. No sunglasses holder in the ceiling. Odd.
Dual zone optioning for this car is up into the 27 grand range on the top-end model. Your decently-equipped LT stickers in the mid-22s. Sales guy said a lease should be in the mid-200s for two years @ 12K/year.
The dual-zone options of course put you into the 17" or 18"wheel class, which in case you didn't know it make you cooler. I am more and more liking the Elantra Eco retrograde 15" wheels.
Echoing C&D's comments, this car doesn't FEEL like a 7.6 0-60 car. CD test data:
PRICE AS TESTED:
$25,035 (base price: $19,995)
turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve inline-4, aluminum block and head, direct fuel injection
85 cu in, 1399 cc
Power: 153 hp @ 5600 rpm
Torque: 177 lb-ft @ 2000 rpm
6-speed automatic with manual shifting mode
Wheelbase: 106.3 in
Length: 183.7 in
Width: 70.6 in Height: 57.4 in
Passenger volume: 94 cu ft
Cargo volume: 14 cu ft
Curb weight: 2944 lb
C/D TEST RESULTS:
Zero to 60 mph: 7.6 sec
Zero to 100 mph: 21.6 sec
Zero to 120 mph: 35.8 sec
Rolling start, 5-60 mph: 8.0 sec
Top gear, 30-50 mph: 4.1 sec
Top gear, 50-70 mph: 5.2 sec
Standing Ľ-mile: 15.9 sec @ 89 mph
Top speed (governor limited): 132 mph
Braking, 70-0 mph: 168 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.82 g
EPA city/highway driving: 30/42 mpg
C/D observed: 33 mpg