The all-new Chevy Cruze offers midsize car comforts with compact car savings. The company is marketing the Cruze as a "global player" in the compact car segment.
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The Chevy Cruze LT is the midline model that is priced at $18,895. The LT comes standard with 1.4L Ecotec turbo and six-speed automatic transmission. It also comes with 16-inch wheels.
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A lineup of the Chevy Cruze LS, LT, and LTZ models ready to make their East Coast debut. Internationally, customers have purchased 140,000 Cruzes in the first six months of 2010.
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The designers at Chevrolet plan to redefine the compact segment with a wider, longer, and more solid body for the Cruze. The assembly plant in Lordstown, Ohio, was retooled with the latest body-framing and welding equipment to accommodate the solid-body construction.
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The Chevy Cruze doesn't skimp on comforts such as an ultraquiet cabin, a solid frame, 10 airbags, and plenty of headroom. There is more seat travel, offering folks with long legs enough room to be comfortable.
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Whether behind the wheel, or sitting in the passenger side, I found the Chevy Cruze surprisingly comfortable. The Cruze features power windows, doors, and locks; keyless entry; an auxiliary jack for your iPod or 3G or 4G phone; and a three-month subscription to XM Satellite Radio.
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Riding in the Cruze is pleasantly and unexpectedly quiet. Even with the windows down and sunroof open on the LTZ, extra touches such as nylon baffles in the hollow sections of the body structure and other patches of sound-dampening material allow the driver and passengers to hold conversations, or enjoy music at lower volume levels.
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Though the Cruze won't be available in the U.S. until September, it is currently available in more than 60 countries, including China, Russia, Mexico, India, and Spain. It's sold in Australia under the Holden brand and Daewoo in South Korea.
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Chevrolet chose "piano black" for the center console trim. It gives the RS an upscale boost to a sporty package option. Chevy spared no expense to create a more expensive feel to the Cruze cockpit. Even the stereo knobs are soft to the touch, as opposed to cheap, hard plastic found in most compact cars.
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This brown and cream interior reminded me of an ice cream sandwich, but the leather seats of the LTZ probably aren't the best place to enjoy a sweet, sticky treat. The detailed backlit LED instrument panel is visible no matter how bright the sun may be shining through the windows.
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The instrument panel in the Cruze is comprehensive without being distracting. The leather-wrapped steering wheel was easy to grip. And the center console (of the U.S. models) has cup holders big enough to accommodate a Big Gulp.
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The FIA World Touring Championship takes place on August 1 at Brno in the Czech Republic. Look for the Chevy Cruze LT on the track.
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