CHEVROLET CRUZE

 

The Cruze name was conceived by Holden in Australia for a Suzuki Ignis derivative, itself a widened Suzuki Kei (1998~2009) with a longer tail end, marketed from 2001 to 2008 in Japan as Chevrolet Cruze (export to Oceania), and from 2002 to 2006 in Australia and New Zealand as Holden Cruze (4wd).  The Chevrolet Cruze from South Korea was presented in October 2008 in Paris, and in the same month marketed in South Korea as GM Daewoo Lacetti Premiere.

Chevrolet Cruze (J300)  South Korea: October 2008 – 2018

After the Daewoos were rebranded Chevrolets in Europe in 2004, it was decided to use a common platform (Delta II) for both the next Opel/Vauxhall Astra (J) and its South Korean cousin, the Chevrolet Cruze (chief designer: Taewan Kim in Seoul), to succeed on the Lacetti/Nubira (J200).  The Cruze 4-dr sedan was marketed in Europe from May 2009, seven months earlier than the Astra (5-dr hatchback).  The Astra wagon came in November 2010, while Chevrolet added a Cruze 5-dr hatchback (Holden-designed) in August 2011, and a wagon in September 2012, mainly for sale in Europe/Australia.  In October 2012 arrived the new Astra 1.6 sedan (not as a Vauxhall), a third more expensive than the entry-level Cruze 1.6, which then was promptly deleted in Germany, while an Astra 1.4 now became the cheapest GM sedan over there.  By 2014, Cruze sales in Europe dwindled to one fifth, after the Korean Chevrolet import to Europe halted.

Both with identical Opel-designed underpinnings, the Astra and Cruze used roughly the same engines, with top gasoline engines denied to the Cruze, itself available with some Korean-developed diesel engines.  Initially nearly all Cruzes for USA/Canada received the Watt’s linkage at the rear suspension as used in the Astra, but soon it became restricted to the sportier models, which happened for the Astra as well (by 2012).  Cruzes for the other markets did without, except for turbo models for Holden and China.  The Astra J based Buick Excelle XT/GT held this linkage, as did the powerful North American Buick Verano.  The Americans decided to call James Watt’s creation a Z-link.

For whom it may interest: the American Cruze (2010) used a front bumper air intake, shaped in line with the lower grille half, while the earlier (2009) released European model had it in a reversed form, copied by China (2009).  Brazil chose the European one for the sedan (2011), and the American one for the hatchback (2012).  When the Chevrolet marque was introduced in South Korea in 2011, they opted for the American one, but chose for a reversed form at next year’s facelift. 

This May 2012 front with rather offending air vents around the foglamps, was not shared in America, Brazil and China, and even the Koreans were offered a sports bumper option for customers who didn’t like that look.  By January 2015 the South Korean Cruze (incl. exported models) adopted the upgraded grille of the 2014/2015 revised American model, but with the smoother backlights of the Chinese Cruze Classic, itself receiving a fully reshaped front end with less angular headlamps, and retaining the appearance of the old grille.  Cruze wagons with the revised grille were rare, except at Holden, of which earlier models didn’t share the initial barred grille, nor did the South Korean GM Daewoo Lacetti Premiere.

In China, this Cruze saved the Chevrolet brand and even played a crucial role to GM under the financial crisis.  It continuously was the best-selling Chevrolet and it was marketed here as an American car.  In March 2014, the Chevrolet Cruze 1 Million Commemorative Edition was launched.  The liftback, launched in autumn 2013, would sell nearly 50,000 through 2016, one out of seven a turbo. 

platform:

Delta II

Daewoo J300

 

rear suspension:

compound crank, coils

sedan

hatch

wagon

Opel

Opel

Opel

Opel

Opel

Opel

Opel

Opel

Daewoo

GM Korea

SGM

1285

1305

1355

kg

Family 0

Family 0

Family I

Family I

Family I

MDE

ex Isuzu

ex Fiat

ex VM

Family Z

wheelbase (cm):

268.5

268.5

268.5

4 cyl.

4 cyl.

4 cyl.

4 cyl.

4 cyl.

4 cyl.

4 cyl.

4 cyl.

4 cyl.

4 cyl.

4 cyl.

length from (cm):

460.3

451.5

467.5

DOHC

DOHC

DOHC

DOHC

DOHC

DOHC

DOHC

DOHC

OHC-4v

DOHC

DOHC

width (cm):

179.7

179.7

179.7

cc:

1398

1364

1598

1598

1796

1598

1686

1956

1991

1998

1485"

cc

inject.

inject.

inject.

inject.

inject.

dir. inj.

dir. inj.

dir. inj.

dir. inj.

dir. inj.

inject.

turbo

turbo

turbo

turbo

turbo

turbo

turbo

diesel

diesel

diesel

diesel

diesel

market:

Europe

09-14

Chevrolet Cruze

sedan

hatch

wagon

sedan

13-14

13-16

09-18

09-18

12-14

09-11

11-16

sedan

elsewhere

09-16

09-18

11-16

12-16

hatch

13-14

12-16

11-14

11-16

12-14

11-16

hatch

additional

16-18

wagon

12-16

12-14

12-14

12-14

12-14

wagon

5M

6M/6A

5M/6A

5M/6A

6M

5M/6A

6M/6A

kW

74

103

79-91

102-104

96

110

120

kW

hp

100

140

107-124

139-141

130

150

163

hp

sedan

hatch

 

South Korea

08-11

GM Daewoo Lacetti Premiere

08-11

sedan

08-11

09-11

09-10

10-11

sedan

South Korea

11-17

Chevrolet Cruze

11-17

sedan

13-17

11-12

11-17

16-17

11-16

sedan

South Korea

11-17

Chevrolet Cruze5

11-17

hatch

13-17

11-17

11-16

hatch

6A

5M/6A

6A

6A

5M/6A

6M/6A

kW

96-103

84

104

99

110

120

kW

hp

130-140

114

142

134

150

163

hp

USA/CDN

10-15

Chevrolet Cruze

sedan

sedan

10-15

10-15

13-15

sedan

selected models Watt's linkage

10-15

6M/6A

6M/6A

6A

kW

103

101

110

kW

hp

138

136

148

hp

Brazil

11-16

Chevrolet Cruze

sedan

hatch

11-16

11-16

12-16

6M/6A

Sport6

kW

103-106

kW

hp

140-144

hp

AUS/NZ

09-16

Holden Cruze

sedan

hatch

wagon

sedan

11-14

13-16

09-16

09-11

11-14

sedan

Turbo gasoline: Watt's linkage

09-16

11-16

12-16

hatch

11-14

13-16

11-16

hatch

wagon

12-16

11-14

wagon

6M/6A

6M/6A

5M/6A

5M/6A

6M/6A

kW

103

132

104

110

120

kW

hp

140

180

142

150

163

hp

China

09-16

Chevrolet Cruze

sedan

hatch

sedan

09-14

10-13

09-14

14-16"

Turbo: Watt's linkage

1360 kg

1380 kg

hatch

13-16

13-16

Cruze Classic:

1320 kg

5M/6A

6M/6A

6A

5M/6A

09-16

13-16

kW

86

131

105

80

kW

hp

117

178

143

109

hp

l/100 km

-13

7.3/7.6

7.7/8.2

7.8

6.6/7.2

13-

6.9/7.6

" Cruze Classic

 

Chevrolet Cruze (J400 initial design D2SC)  China: August 2014 – July 2016

The global light-weight GM D2XX platform came into production for the first time in mid-2014 in China for the second generation Cruze, which took the first application of the new SGE engine, and also of a new 6-speed manual transmission as well as a 7-speed direct-shift automated gearbox, the latter new for GM, obviously to cope with the mighty Chinese Volkswagen competition.  Both platform and engines were mainly developed at Opel in Germany.  Engines and DCT gearbox were used by GM’s partner in China, SAIC.  The body design of this second Cruze came from GM’s 'global design team’ and was inspired by the Chevrolet Tru 140S concept car, shown in Detroit in 2012.  The curb weight reduction was 165 kg, as compared with the previous Chinese Cruze model.

The car was presented in April 2014 at the Beijing Auto Show by Ed Welburn, GM global head of design from 2003 until 2016.  It is said that as most of Cruze's global sales of over 3 million units of the previous generation was contributed by the Chinese market, the new generation of Cruze was chosen to be launched here, as a universal global model.  The new Cruze stood on a 23 mm shorter wheelbase, though the rear knee room increased with 22 mm, by expanding the passenger compartment, also due to the more compact engine and adjusting the rear seat position.  The trunk grew from 400 to 430 liter. 

It is likely, that the Chinese added the “brush stroke” crease in the rear quarter panel, similar to their upcoming Buick Verano.  Test vehicles were spotted in Europe and America in early 2014, while a vehicle, spotted a year earlier did without the brush stroke.  The headlamps also look pretty Chinese.  The 2014 photos show cars with clean looking oppositely placed trapezoid grille halves, divided by the bar with the Chevy logo, while the production model had a more elaborate appearance much like the US 2014/2015 J300 facelift, but with the bowtie in the upper grille part.

Expecting that the J400 would be hard to sell (a year earlier, it was decided in America to reshape this model), after two weeks, SGM introduced a facelifted J300 Cruze next to the new one, at a 10% lower price (99,900 yuan), and equipped with the SGM 1485cc engine, that soon outsold the J400.  This revised model was already spotted almost a year before its release.  Buyers chose for the longer wheelbase and the higher body of this Cruze Classic with the best practical space in its class, especially the front and rear head space and the front legroom.  The average fuel consumption of the new J400 Cruze 1.5 was admittedly better with 6.0 litre/100 km, but the 6.6 figure for the Cruze Classic was lower than the 6.9 l/100 km of the earlier Cruze 1.6.  The price of the Cruze Classic was reduced in May 2015 to 89,900 yuan, further enhancing the gap to the J400 (109,900).  Average prices of medium class cars in China by the way have dropped about 40% from 2002 to 2015.

This Cruze Classic would last from September 2014 until autumn 2016, elevating J300 Cruze sales in China to over 1.5 million.  About one out of every five Cruzes sold was an early J400, of which one out of every five a turbo, which would lose its manual transmission availability by 2016 model year.  Total production of the J300 in China was twenty times higher than this initial J400 design. 

As with the Kaiyue Buick Excele, which sold an average of 13,000 per month in the first half of 2016, it was decided to stop production of the Cruze Classic that summer, though it sold even 2,000 per month more (in this period, one to every seven Cruze Classic was an early Cruze J400).  The gap was filled by the Cavalier, described hereunder, while the second Cruze J400 initially would sell three to every seven Cavaliers.  It should be noted that elsewhere the Excelle and Cruze Classic were each other’s successors.

platform:

D2SC

J400 initial design on Astra K platform

 

rear suspension:

compound crank, coils, Watt's linkage

Opel/SAIC

Opel/SAIC

1195

kg

SGE

SGE

wheelbase (cm):

266.2

4 cyl.

4 cyl.

length from (cm):

456.7

DOHC

DOHC

width (cm):

178.7

cc:

1490

1399

cc

dir. inj.

dir. inj.

turbo

market:

China

Chevrolet Cruze

sedan

14-16

14-16

14-16

5M/6A

6M'/7DCT

kW

84

110

hp

114

150

l/100 km

6.0/6.2

5.9/5.9

' 6M -15

 

Chevrolet Cruze (J400 final design D2LC) North America: January 2016 – ongoing (South America)

By spring 2013, a year before before this new Cruze was to be launched, GM US realized that interior roominess and trunk space were too cramped compared with the competition, so it was decided to lengthen the wheelbase with 1.5 inch over the Opel design, itself less than an inch shorter than the J300 model.  This meant that the new Cruze would be delayed for a year, but the J300 Cruze sold well and a diesel version was just released.  It might be that this revision is one of the reasons that Opel didn’t like to have this Cruze come to Europe as an Astra competitor.  And so the first edition of the new Cruze was made as a sedan, skipping the scheduled hatchback and wagon, and sold only in China, for about two years, and without much success, as described in the previous chapter.

The global J400 Cruze had 2 inches more knee room over the J300, rather than the 2 cm of the ‘Chinese’ J400, to which the trunk was 15 liter larger.  The entry level model weight reduction was about 80 kg, as compared with the J300.  A hatch, new for the US, became available late 2016, imported from Mexico, where it curiously was not marketed.  The over 200,000 sales figures however were gone. 

The aggressive looking front now had a 3-piece grille, evolved from the previous model, with a hexagonally shaped center part.  The RS package widened the center grille downward, making it look like a Manta’s mouth, and minimizing the lower grille.  The 2019 model year Cruze eliminated the lower grille, and granted the wide mouth to the full range while adding two ‘gills’ next to it, that were enlarged and connected underneath the grille at the RS.  After it came on sale in fall 2018,  due to poor sales the US Cruze production ended in March 2019.  Cruze would sell some 40,000 less in 2018, vs 50,000 fewer Honda Civic (selling twice as much) but compared with its predecessor, the Cruze sold 20% beneath, while the Honda Civic sold up to 20% better since the 2016 new generation.  Production for the Mexican market became unprofitable as well after Chinese Cavaliers were imported from August 2017.

May 2016 saw the introduction of the Cruze in Brazil and Argentina, where it was made, followed by the hatchback late in 2016.  By August 2017, the engine became produced in Argentina as well. Here, the sedan had the regular US front, while the hatchback received the ‘RS’ front.

When this generation was presented to the Chinese authorities it was labeled Cruze XL, suggesting that it would (again) be sold next to its predecessor, but in July 2016 the longer J400 would succeed on the initial design of 2014, and was sold for the same price of 109,900 yuan.  The drivetrains were copied form its predecessor.  However, the sales of the new Cruze in China again were interfered, this time by the arrival of the all-Chinese Chevrolet Cavalier, with the same engine as the Cruze Classic, and sold for a price of only 79,900 yuan.  The J400 hatchback came in April 2017, succeeding on the J300-based liftback, and would sell only marginally.  In September 2017, ‘320’ and ‘330T’ labels came in use to indicate the size of the car and the engine power, in typical German premium marque manner.  Both sedan and hatchback featured the ‘regular’ front with the 3-piece grille.

By early 2019, after a run of two and a half year, the definitive J400 Cruze had sold about twice the number of the earlier initial one, but while the J300 Cruze sales in China came close to those of the US, for the J400, they were nearly half in 2017, falling to one third in 2018, when 330T share was 2%.

The global Cruze sedan finally arrived in March 2017 in South Korea, where a diesel was added in November.  Down under, the gasoline sedan came in June 2017 as Holden Astra with an undemanding Astra-inspired grille, next to its Astra-based hatchback and wagon cousins, but was stopped in 2018, after the Gunsan factory in South Korea was closed.  This also meant that the J400 Cruze, of which most exports went to Australia, would not reach South East Asia, for which markets J300 Cruzes were still made up to then.  Some 15,000 Cruzes were sold in South Korea in 2017, where a diesel was added in November.  The larger Malibu sold twice as much

So, when speaking of a 2016 Chevrolet Cruze, it refers to the J400 in North America, but still the J300 in South Korea, while in South East Asia, even the 2017 Chevrolet Cruze is a J300.  A 2015 Chevrolet Cruze (not Classic) sedan is a J300, except in China, where it is an early J400.

platform:

D2LC

J400 final design on extended platform

 

rear suspension:

compound crank

sedan

hatch

Opel/SAIC

Opel/SAIC

Opel

1286

1312

kg

SGE

SGE

MDE

wheelbase (cm):

270

270

4 cyl.

4 cyl.

4 cyl.

length from (cm):

466.6

445.3

DOHC

DOHC

DOHC

width (cm):

179.1

179.1

cc:

1490

1399

1598

cc

dir. inj.

dir. inj.

dir. inj.

turbo

turbo

diesel

market:

USA/CDN

16-19

Chevrolet Cruze

sedan

hatch

16-19

18-19

top models Watt's linkage

16-19

16-19

6M'/6A

6M'/9A

kW

114

102

hp

153

137

' 6M -18

Brazil/Argent.

16-

Chevrolet Cruze

sedan

hatch

16-

16-

16-

length from (cm):

466.5

444.8

6M/6A

width (cm):

180.7

180.7

kW

110-114

Argentina:

Cruze 5

hp

150-153

Brazil:

Sport6

China

16-

Chevrolet Cruze

sedan

hatch

16-

16-

Turbo: Watt's linkage

16-

16-

 suffix 17-

320

330T

1240

1250

kg          kW

5M/6A

7DCT

width (cm):

180.7

180.7

hp

84

110

l/100 km

114

150

6.0/6.2

5.7

South Korea

17-18

Chevrolet Cruze

sedan

17-18

17-18

17-18

6A

6A

1250

kg

kW

114

99

hp

153

134

AUS/NZ

17-18

Holden Astra

sedan

17-18

length from (cm):

466.5

6M/6A

width (cm):

180.7

kW

110

hp

150

 

Chinese Cruzes in disguise:

Chevrolet Cavalier  China: September 2016 – April 2019

Not related to the Cruze, this all-Chinese model quickly achieved the over 200,000 a year sales figures, well known from the first Cruze.  It even looked like a (final) Cruze, with the bulge front fenders, while the front looked like that of the initial J400 model, though its wheelbase is 10 cm shorter, and at 79,900 yuan, it is 30,000 yuan cheaper.  Sales were three times higher than that of the actual Cruze.  And it consumed only 5.4 litre/100 km, better than the up-to-date Cruze (5.9 l/100 km) and the Cruze Classic (6.6 l), technically similar to the Cavalier, due to its 135 kg lower weight, using the D2-derived PATAC K platform.  The automatic consumes 5.8 litre vs 7.2 for the Cruze Classic, and 6.3 for the new Cruze.  Both consumption figures are more than 20% lower than those of the earlier Cruze that was abandoned only two years before, and 26% lower than the original manual Cruze before it was updated early 2013.

The Cavalier, manufactured at SAIC-GM's green facility in Wuhan, sold over 10,000 per month from the start, likely taking buyers who would have bought the Buick Excelle (Kaiyue), that unexpectedly was stopped, while still selling in similar quantities.  The Wuhan-built Excelle GT took sales as well.  Cruze Classic production also had stopped at the end of 2016. 

Cavalier imports to Mexico by August 2017 urged GM to stop building the new Cruze there in 2019.  Cavalier is also sold in Chile, Ecuador and Central America, with prices far below those of the Cruze. 

By September 2017, the car got the ‘320’ suffix, in line with the other Chevrolets.  In March 2018, the ‘325T’ was added with the 1.0-litre dual injection turbo engine, earlier introduced in the Buick Excelle GT, and equipped with the 6-speed dual-clutch transmission, with an average fuel consumption of 5 litre/100 km (104,900 yuan), but this version sold only marginally, due to its much higher price.  The Cavalier stopped in China after the release of the Onix in April 2019, both having the same Chinese name (Kovaz).

platform:

PATAC-K

Cavalier

rear suspension:

compound crank, coils

SGM

SGM/SAIC

1185

kg

4 cyl.

3 cyl.

wheelbase (cm):

260

DOHC

DOHC

length from (cm):

454.4

cc:

1485

999

width (cm):

177.9

inject.

dual inj.

market:

China

16-19

Chevrolet Cavalier (Kovaz)

16-19

18-19

 suffix 17-

320

325T

5M/6A

6DCT

kW

80

85

hp

109

116

l/100 km

5.4/5.8

5.0

Latin America

17-

Chevrolet Cavalier

17-

5M/6A

kW

80

hp

109

 

 

Chevrolet Monza (RS)  China: March 2019 -

This model is essentially a Buick Excelle GT with revised sheet metal, and was sold next to the Cruze J400 for some months.  Its main distinguishing characteristic is the reworked ex-Daewoo independent rear suspension.    Just like the American Cruze, the front face is highly aggressive, with a hexagonal "big mouth" and there is an RS version with large ‘gills’.  The 1.0 turbo is called 320T and the 1.3 turbo 330T.  Both models are more powerful than the J400 Cruze 320 and 330T.

Some months after the 2019 Cruze went on sale in North America, this Monza with similar-looking grille, was unveiled at the Guangzhou Auto Show in November 2018, and ten days thereafter GM, when the exhibition was closed, GM announced, it would end production and marketing of the 2019 Cruze in North America.  While the Cruze in China is called Cruz, the Chinese name for the Monza is Kruze, and has been released in March, in the same month that the Cruze in North America stopped production.  The Chinese Cruze stopped as well.  Monza sales were promising with 10,000~20,000 per month, with the majority having the 1.3-litre engine. 

The entry-level Buick Excelle GT Progress type at 109,900 yuan without sunroof, leather upholstery, and split foldable rear seats, was skipped late 2018, so that, at 116,900 yuan, the Buick is 30% more expensive than the Monza at 89,900 yuan.

platform:

PATAC-K

Monza

rear suspension:

dual transverse links,

1225

kg

SGM/SAIC

SGM/SAIC

one longitudinal link, coils

sedan

3 cyl.

3 cyl.

wheelbase (cm):

264

DOHC

DOHC

length from (cm):

461.4

cc:

999

1349

width (cm):

179.8

dual inj.

dual inj.

turbo

turbo

6M/6DCT

6A

kW

85

115

hp

116

156

l/100 km

5.2

5.8

designation:

320T

330T

China

19-

Chevrolet Monza (Kruze)

sedan

19-

19-

 

 

Chevrolet Onix   China: April 2019 –

This model on the GEM platform for global emerging markets (co-developed with SAIC), and designed by GM Mercosur (as the integrated operations in Argentina and Brazil were called since 2017) effectively replaced the Cavalier in China.  However, sales of the Onix were on one-third level of that of the Cavalier (79,900 Yuan) forcing Chevrolet to lower the price from 96,900 to 89,900 Yuan in late May 2019.  In May and June 2019, sales were over half of those of the Monza 1.0.  The non-turbo 1349cc engine of the Buick Excelle (Kaiyue) with manual transmission will be added for the 2020 model year.

 

platform:

GEM

Onix

GM

 

rear suspension:

compound crank, coils

E-Tec

1120

kg

3 cyl.

wheelbase (cm):

260

DOHC

length from (cm):

447.1

999

cc

width (cm):

173

direct inj.

market:

China

19-

Chevrolet Onix (new Kovaz)

19-

designation:

325T

6A

kW

85

hp

116

l/100 km

4.9

 

 

For recent specifications on Chevrolet cars built in China, see:
On a Global Mission: The Automobiles of General Motors International                                  

 

Far East Auto Literature

14 August, 2019