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Nice Chevies Finish Next-to-Last

GM Hype Watch–Cruze Loses Doubleheader: In the early, heady days of GM-is-back hype, much was made of the recently introduced compact Chevy Cruze. Even Atlantic bailout skeptic Megan McArdle momentarily fell under the sway of GM’s spinners:

[David] Cole says that GM is already using that advantage to deliver higher quality, even in the small-car market. He points to the latest Chevy Cruze, the company’s answer to the Corolla and the Civic. With a sophisticated new rear suspension, spacious interior, and small-but-important amenities like better noise reduction, it’s arguably a better car than its Japanese competitors.

Well, two car mags have now done comparison tests of the Cruze against its competition.  Car & Driver drove 5 cars, back to back. The Cruze came in 4th. At Automobile, where they also tested the new Civic, the Cruze was 5th out of 6.   C & D‘s report included this quote, which probably won’t be circulated in the coordinated GM-White House four-more-years campaign:

 Logbook comments following our mountain loop ranged from “soft and floaty” to “soft and rolly.” The brakes also came under fire—and nearly caught on fire, judging from the smoke pouring off of them—after the pedal turned to mush. [E.A.]

Neither magazine said the largely Korean-designed Cruze is a bad car–to the contrary, if it proves reliable it’s a competitive entry, worth comparison-shopping.  It seems to be selling reasonably well.  But it’s clearly nothing that is going to save GM, and it’s not really a “better car than its Japanese competitors.” …

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  • Steve in Toronto

    What remarkable is that GM is beat not just by the Japanese but by the (excellent) Ford. Focus. Can some one tell me why it is that GM has been making a perfectly respectable small car in Europe (the Vauxhall Astra) but is only now starting to get there act together in North America.