Launched in 2009, the C-segment Chevrolet Cruze has been a great success for GM, with 1.3 million units sold worldwide up to the first quarter of 2012. The Cruze family now welcomes a new member, the Station Wagon, making it a company of three after the sedan and five-door hatchback.
This wagon has its sights set on Europe, where GM is targeting families and individuals with an active lifestyle. It’s lucrative enough – this segment is the largest in Europe, accounting for about 17% of all vehicles sold, of which station wagons constitute a share of around 22%.
The Cruze station wagon’s carpeted trunk measures 1,024 mm in length in its basic configuration and allows for storage of up to 500 litres up to the window line. When the rear seatbacks (60/40 split) are folded flat, some 1,478 liters of cargo be packed under the roof of the car. There’s also a a storage tray with three compartments between the rear seatbacks and the cassette for the luggage cover.
In addition, there is a separate small load space below the rearmost section of the cargo deck which holds the standard tyre repair kit, two extra storage compartments, located behind the wheel arches and several ears on the sides of the cargo deck for tying down bulky items.
In Europe, the Cruze wagon comes with a 1.4L turbocharged petrol engine and a 1.7L diesel engine, in addition to the 1.6L and 1.8L petrol and 2.0L diesel engines already on offer. The 1.4 turbo develops 140 hp and 200 Nm of torque at 1,850 to 4,900 rpm. Matched to a six-speed manual, 0-100 km/h is done in 9.5 seconds. On a combined cycle, it consumes 5.7 litres/100 km.
The 1.7L diesel engine, equipped with an intercooled turbo, Start/Stop and electric power steering, cranks out 130 hp and 300 Nm from 2,000 to 2,500 rpm. With fuel consumption of 4.5L per 100 km combined, it’s the most frugal engine in the Cruze range.
From the B-pillars rearward, the bodywork is all new. The “wheels out, body in” stance, a prominent concave shoulder line and a single arch roofline that tapers off toward the D-pillars contribute to an elegant design. The slim roof rails are standard. You might have also noticed that the face looks slightly different. This is the new look for all model year 2013 Cruzes.
Changes include an angular drawn fascia with horizontal slats replacing the previous honeycomb pattern. The fog lights are accommodated in newly styled housings. There is also a new five-spoke wheel design. The wagon is also offered with black-painted wheels.
Also included is Chevrolet MyLink, which aggregates content from smartphones onto the seven-inch colour touch-screen display, made by LG. Calls can be made without dialing, as the caller can select a name from the stored directory, touch the call function and project the call through the vehicle speakers.
Personal playlists, photo galleries, phone books, other stored media and data can also be accessed easily. Apps such as navigation will be offered for download. It also has USB, Bluetooth and reverse camera functions.
An affordable turbocharged wagon is an interesting proposition, and if it ever comes here, the Cruze wagon will be cheaper than the just launched Peugeot 508 SW as it sits in a segment below.