When I’m urgently looking for something, I can never find it. Efforts to locate my house keys leave me temporarily empty handed. Earnestly burgling my home in search of a wallet that I distinctly recall having in my pocket last night usually include a great deal of frustration.

However, in the automotive world – even if I’m only vaguely looking for something – it’s funny how I seem to find it everywhere.

On test is a 2018 Chevrolet Cruze Premier Hatch and, as such, I’m finding myself passively looking for Chevys. (Or is it ‘Chevies’?) Interestingly and with only minimal effort I see cars, trucks and SUVs of every imaginable shape, size and vintage all bedecked in bow-ties pretty much everywhere. Hmmm…

The Chevy insignia on the front of the Cruze is accompanied by the letters ‘RS’, denoting that this model has eighteen-inch, a bit of a body kit, and a rear spoiler. I am fond of how it seems somewhat hunkered down and ready for a little thrashing. My right foot calls upon 153 horsepower and 177 pounds of torque generated by the turbocharged, 1.4-litre four cylinder. My left foot can wait to see what my right foot decides to do because my tester is a six-speed automatic.

So far as engine power is concerned, the Cruze puts rubber to the road in a linear fashion. It has no trouble sailing along at highway speed and works just fine in the left lane. The Chevy does not feel it necessary to announce or call attention to its forward inspiration through a boomy exhaust and provides more than sufficient go for responsible daily use. The six-speed transmission is geared well for the turbo four, plus it’s smooth and predictable.

My driving style has me more inclined to keep the Cruze in a straight line than to drive it in a manner more befitting its sporty appearance. However, if I lean on the car in corners it remains flat and composed and, to some, might encourage more aggressive motoring. Alas, I am not willing to engage in any off-track antics to find out just how well it might corner at high speed or respond to urgent flicks of the steering wheel.

The inside story is a pleasant one. Chevy has figured out a way to keep the hatchback version of this car quieter than expected. Wind and engine noise are minimal and with a comfortable driver’s seat I am putting on some significant mileage. The Cruze is a mid-size car and doesn’t pretend otherwise – and with great visibility I don’t feel small, relative to trucks and SUVs, while in traffic.

After roughly 700 kilometres of mixed city and highway driving I am averaging a very consistent 8.1L/100km. With the exception of one passenger (for a grand total of fifteen minutes) the Cruze has been completely unladen and has not been driven hard.

Along with the RS Package, this tester has the Premier Technology and Convenience Package, which includes options that will show and tell me how to get where I’m going, recognize the apps on my phone and play my music through absolutely thumping Bose speakers. Additionally, if I had more friends they’d enjoy heated rear (outboard) seats, wireless charging and a lovely sunroof.

The Cruze Premier Hatch is easy to like. Comfort, convenience, an appearance that is sporty without being brash, and plenty of storage space in the hatch all work together to earn respect for this bow tie.

2018 Chevrolet Cruze Premier Hatch
Base Price: $24,995.00
As Tested: $31,410.00
Drivetrain: 1.4-litre, turbocharged, four cylinder, six-speed automatic transmission
Performance: 8.1 litres per 100 km in mixed driving
VVUZZ Recommended: Versatile comfort and convenience with plenty of options to suit.

 

Images courtesy of Chevrolet.

Published on Jan 31, 2018