The North American version of the Chevrolet Cruze, General Motors Co.'s new global compact car, goes on sale in the third quarter as the successor to the Cobalt. GM reduced its noise, and improved its safety features and fuel economy. The Cruze, which is bigger than the Cobalt, will be better equipped and will be priced higher.
Chuck Russell, General Motors Co.'s vehicle line director for compact cars in North America, said that GM's set of competitive vehicles here in North America is different from Europe.
GM made several adjustments, including reducing the noise, substituting an acoustic laminated windshield, and putting more insulation on the doors.
Sealers were added to some of the door headers. For safety, the North American Cruze is fitted with 10 airbags, including knee airbags and rear seat side airbags, more than any other version of the Cruze. Instead of an independent rear suspension, GM selected a Z-link design.
Russell said that this design makes the car more agile, and gives it a lot of directness with respect to the way the vehicle steers and the way the rear end of the car follows the front.
GM said the Cruze Eco model will get 40 mpg on the highway, compared with 29 to 36 mpg highway, depending on the model, for the nonhybrid 2010 Honda Civic.