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   Carrying Saleen wheels and Bullitt wheels.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Chevy Cruze, Damned With Faint Praise?

The WSJ had an in depth review of the new Chevrolet Cruze, and to sum it up in one word, it basically said "meh".  The new Cruze is quiet, and has a nice interior, but a bland exterior and bland handling.

It looks like GM has made a decision to produce a smaller version of the Malibu--a competitive, competent cruizer, but not a sexy vehicle.  In other words, a Korean-American Corolla (the Cruze was developed primarily by GM's Korean division, Daewoo).  This is a different strategy than much of the competition.  Ford, for example, is bringing European handling in the upcoming 2012 Focus, so there will be a definite focus on the fun-to-drive aspect.  Honda is due for a redesign of its Civic, which is a sharp handling car, though noisy.

I think WSJ is too hard on the Cruze's styling, I like it personally.  It is clean and athletic without being over-busy.  But the bland handling worries me.  Is this going to work for GM?  Will they beat Corolla at the no-drama small sedan game?  Or will they, like Cobalt before it, wind up selling a lot of rental cars?

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