Worldwide acceptance of the Chevrolet Cruze has made a significant contribution to Chevrolet’s best global half year sales performance in the brand’s 100 year history. Figures published for automobile sales in the first eight months of 2011 show total Chevrolet sales in excess of 3,15 million vehicles.

Cruze, the new global ‘C’ segment platform for the brand, accounted for more than 330 000 of those sales. Half year sales of the Cruze were up 132% on the same period last year. This high level of interest has elevated the Cruze to the lofty position of being amongst the top selling global nameplates in 2011.

Aside from its success on the dealer floor, the Cruze has made a name for itself in both the British Touring Car Championship and the World Touring Car Championship. GMSA acknowledges the success of Chevrolet in international Touring Car Racing with a replica of the Cruze Touring Car on its stand at the Johannesburg International Motor Show.

In its first year in competition the Cruze caused an upset by winning the British Touring Car Championship with Jason Plato behind the wheel. The Cruze is currently placed second in the BTCC Manufacturers’ Championship and second in the Team Championship with lead driver, Plato, 4th in the Drivers’ Championship with four race wins and seven top-five finishes to his credit.

In the FIA World Touring Car Championship the level of success has been just as high. Chevrolet won the Manufacturers’ title with the Cruze in 2010. This success in the WTCC Manufacturers’ Championship has been repeated by the Cruze in 2011 with three rounds still to run. Yvan Muller leads the Drivers’ standings with teammates Rob Huff and Alain Menu both well positioned to take the championship as well.

Cruze is now the largest selling Chevrolet nameplate with sales in excess of 420,000 during the first eight months of 2011. This global acceptance of the vehicle is reflected in the sales of the Cruze in South Africa where it regularly features in the list of monthly top ten best sellers.

Behind this success lies a formula that offers value for money and exceptional build quality and safety in the ‘C’ segment of the passenger car market. These factors combine with economy of operation and highly competitive parts pricing to provide a recipe for low total cost of operation over the life of the vehicle. The solid global reputation of the iconic Chevrolet brand adds an element of security in ownership.

The five-model Cruze range offers a choice of four petrol engine variants and one diesel powered model. The range starts with 1.6 litre petrol engine (83 kW) mated to a 5-speed manual transmission for the L specification grade, or the same 1.6 petrol engine and a 1.8 litre petrol engine (104 kW) with 5-speed manual transmission for the LS specification. The top of the range petrol powered Cruze 1.8 LT features an electronically controlled 6-speed automatic transmission. Both the 1.6 and 1.8 engines are latest generation 16-valve engines with VVT valve trains.

The 2,0 litre turbo diesel powered model features a single overhead camshaft, 16-valve, intercooled turbo diesel engine – with electronic control of the turbocharger – that produces 110 kW @ 4000 r/min with maximum torque of 320Nm delivered at just 2000 r/min. Drive is via a 5-speed manual transmission.

Significantly the Cruze 2.0D LT delivers these numbers together with exceptional fuel economy. In tests conducted by GM engineers, fuel consumption was as low as 5,7 l/100 km for the combined cycle.

Impressive value added features of the base line L specification include alloy wheels; 4 channel ABS system; power steering; sports type front seats; height adjustment for the driver’s seat; power windows front and rear; power side mirrors; air conditioner; alarm immobiliser system with remote central locking; driver and passenger frontal and side airbags, and a radio/CD player.

The LS specification adds front seat side airbags; curtain side airbags, and a six CD front-loading sound system. The top-of-the range Cruze  LT specification for the 1.8 petrol and 2.0 diesel models adds the final word in features with plush leather interior; dual zone climate control air conditioning; rear park assist and rain sensing windscreen wipers.

An inherently strong body structure backed by a suite of active and passive safety systems makes the new Chevrolet Cruze amongst the safest vehicles in its class.

The Chevrolet Cruze has a 3 yr/60 000 km service plan included in the purchase price. Warranty cover is for 5 years or 120 000 kilometres with Roadside assistance for the full warranty period.