The great thing about the Auto Show media events is that you get to speak with the designers and marketers and really get inside their heads and their visions for their cars. Today’s Chevrolet event highlighted the Volt and the Cruze. The designers did a good job showcasing the clean lines, crisp looks and the interior detailing. I was able to have a chat with Margaret Brooks, Marketing Director, Cruze to get her unique perspective on this vehicle’s strengths and positioning. Of course, I’m always interested in how a car will apply to the Boomer and 50 plus demographic, more so than the engine horsepower (what is that, anyway?), wheel size or base, or whatever, or how the wind slides aerodynamically over windshield to spoiler. I look at whether or not I’d buy the car.
The Cruze is going head-to-head with the Honda Civic and the Toyota Corolla, and it’s a good contender! The design is very good, the car feels roomier than either the Civic or the Corolla…but more than that, the interior is really nice. I could hang out in it. It’s not really the right car for me and my current lifestyle — I’m still in the minivan/SUV/station wagon category, but it is a great downsize vehicle for empty-nesters.
I asked Margaret about the point of differences in this vehicle. Basically there are 4 key areas.
- The styling. No question, a strong, clean, crisp exterior.
- The interior. In Margaret’s words, the vehicle boasts a “surprise interior, with a richer, more upscale feel than you’d find in a compact car.” (I agree — and lots of bells and whistles.)
- Roominess. Indeed the Cruze has a large interior and is wider inside than last year due to an expanded wheel base. (You push the tires out to the max and it gives you a few more interior inches…see? I was listening.)
- Fuel economy. Their new 1.4 liter turbo-charge engine (hope I got that right) combines fuel economy and fuel efficiency…to the tune of 40 mpg. Bingo. A winner.
Keep your eyes on Cruze campaigns. A very solid competitor for tight pocketbooks.