BIG MAN RIDES: 2018 Chevy Cruze (3800 mile supertest)


When you are a large person, your always aware of space.  Can I fit in that chair is it strong? When it comes to size the rule of thumb, is a large exterior equals a large interior.  In the past, I would typically rent a full size car or larger. One year, a rental car company substituted the last generation Toyota Corolla.  It was torture, even with the seat reclined so far back I could reach into the trunk.

If this your first time reading Big Man Rides, I’m 6.4 and 350 pounds.  Big man, Right!

My introduction to then First Generation (2011) Chevrolet Cruze was at the San Francisco Auto Show. After pushing the seat back as far as it go I squeezed in and escaped before I lost consciousness .

A friend and auto blogger told me to test drive the Cruze, he thought it was roomy. (of course, he did, he’s 5.10 and one hundred seventy pounds) .    I went to a local dealership who lent me a top of the line Cruze LTZ.  Where I discovered the seat could be lowered.

It was a Game Changer, with the seat lowered, it was a different car.  With acres of  big man room.  The Cruze was the only vehicle, I could actually fully extends my legs. A feat couldn’t be duplicated by Escalade, F-150 and other large vehicles.  I became a fan, back then I called the Cruze “The Caddy of small cars”

_________________________________________________________________________

https://sacratomatovillepost.com/2011/04/16/2011-chevy-cruze-the-caddy-of-small-cars-sac-gas-4-16/

_________________________________________________________________________________

20180824_092532-481574860.jpg

This is the second generation of the Chevy Cruze, introduced in 2016.  I liked the squared body style of the first generation of the Cruze.  The second generation is larger and lighter and it has more rear legroom than the first.    The 1.4 turbocharged engine at 153hp and 177 lb-ft or torque is more powerful than the first generation and General Motors continues to give us (horns blowing) a traditional six speed transmission.  The Cruze is the only small car in America  that offers a diesel engine 52mpg.

Please GM, PLEASE, don’t give us one of those noise producing, Continuously Variable Transmissions,that most automakers (Honda, Toyota, Nissan )are putting into their cars for fuel economy.  

The Cruze comes in a sedan and a handsome hatchback.

Image result for 2018 chevy cruze hatchback

 

Unlike, the first generation, every Cruze comes with a touchscreen and has Apple Carplay and Android Auto standard.

Image result for 2018 chevy cruze interior

Pairing my phone with Chevy’s My Link infotainment system was easy, however, I struggled with Android Auto.   The overall sound was just okay. Note: GM, like many car companies do not offer CD players.   As in other GM cars the Cruze can be optioned with 4G Wi Fi hot spot.

3800 Miles in the Chevrolet Cruze 

Round trip from Sacramento to Central Texas and beyond.  Like the first generation, I still have to pinch myself, that this an “American” car?    I love the Ford Focus, its fun to drive and the hatchback has aged well.  What hasn’t is Ford’s Automatic Transmission, its been a disaster and after 7 years they haven’t worked the bugs out of the tranny and after 7 years, they only offer a 5 speed stick.

20180829_063738203309053.jpg

The interior of the Cruze remains a nice place to be and the front seat comfort is as good or better than the last generation.  Inside there weren’t any gaps or squeaks or rattles.

20180829_063728-881417198.jpg

I left Sacramento at 11pm to avoid LA’s notorious rush hour traffic, my first stop was Phoenix. At 75 miles an hour, my mpg was 43.    It took a while to adjust to the front and rear controls on the steering wheel.

While the fit and finish inside, seemed perfect. In the light of the day in Phoenix, the Cruze’s build quality wasn’t close, body panels were misaligned.    At 14 cubic feet the trunk is average for the class.

 

Through the mountains and some rough roads in New Mexico, the Cruze never lost its composure. It was quiet and rode like a much bigger car.

Red car or bad luck

On the Interstate 10 between between Phoenix and El Paso.  In New Mexico, I was stopped for speeding (87 in an 85 mph) and again in Texas three miles over the speed limit in Texas   In Texas or at least West Texas, few people drove over the speed limit.

If I had one nagging complaint about the Cruze it be the ingress. (at least for me) With the seats positioned for me, I had to lower the seats to get out or the car.   I didn’t notice this with the first generation Cruze.   I’m not fan of the auto stop feature,found in many cars where the engine shuts off at a stop light or anytime the car is not moving to save fuel.  Its effective, but I’m not a fan.

Handling was good Cruze.  Not once did it run out of steam in the mountains.  Or lose its composure in the worse of thunder storms.    The Cruze isn’t as fun to drive as the Honda Civic, Mazda 3 or Ford Focus.  It never embarrasses itself  The Hyundai Elantra sedan and the Toyota Corolla have more room overall, but neither has the power or can match the quiet and ride of the Cruze.

The Chevrolet Cruze may be the car for a small family, a commuter or an urban dweller.

If you are a tall or extra large, the Chevy Cruze is worth a look.  The 2018 models are  available with a six speed manual. (the six speed is not offered in the 2019 model year)

Sales for nearly all sedans are down.  The Cruze’s sales are down over 30% from 2017. Deep discounts are available.  As of this date GM is offering a $3200 rebate.

 

CityFella

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Published by CityFella

Big city fella, Born and Raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. Lived in New York (a part time New Yorker) for three years . I have lived in the Sacramento area since 1993. When I first moved here, I hated it. Initially found the city too conservative for my tastes. A great place to raise children however too few options for adults . The city has grown up, there is much to do here. The city suffers from low self esteem in my opinion, locals have few positive words to say about their hometown. visitors and transplants are amazed at what they find here. From, the grand old homes in Alkali Flats, and the huge trees in midtown, there are many surprises in Sacramento. Theater is alive is this area . And finally ,there is a nightlife... In.downtown midtown, for the young and not so young. My Criticism is with local government. There is a shortage of visionaries in city hall. Sacramento has long relied on the state, feds and real estate for revenue. Like many cities in America,Downtown Sacramento was the hub of activity in the area. as the population moved to the suburbs and retail followed. The city has spent millions to revive downtown. Today less than ten thousand people live downtown. No one at city hall could connect the dots. Population-Retail. Business says Sacramento is challenging and many corporations have chosen to set up operations outside the cities limits. There is vision in the burbs. Sacramento has bones, there are many good pieces here, leaders seem unable or unwilling to put those pieces together into. Rant aside, I love it here. From the trees to the rivers. But its the people here that move me. Sacramento is one of the most integrated cities in America. I find I'm welcome everywhere. The spices work in this city of nearly 500,000 and for the most part these spices blend well together. From Ukrainians to Hispanics and a sizable gay community, all the spices seem to work well here. I frequently travel and occasionally I will venture into a city with huge racial borders, where its unsafe to visit after certain hours. I haven't found it here. I cant imagine living in a community where there is one hue or one spice. I love the big trees, Temple Coffee House, the Alhambra Safeway, Zelda's Pizza, Bicyclist in Midtown, The Mother Lode Saloon, Crest Theater, and the Rivers. I could go on and I might. Sacramento is home.

%d bloggers like this: