Under the bonnet, there is a choice of three engines – two petrol units and one diesel. In early 2012, moreover, a new 1.7-litre diesel engine will become available. All engines are four-cylinder units featuring double overhead camshafts, 16 valves and either multi-point fuel injection, or in the case of the diesels, common-rail technology.
Both the 1.6 and the 1.8-litre petrol engines operate using continuous variable cam phasing. The model year 2012 modifications include new intake manifolds on both units. Powertrain engineers furthermore raised the 1.6-litre engine’s compression ratio and adjusted the 1.8-litre’s engine control calibration.
At 6,200 rpm, the 1.6-litre petrol engine has an output of 124 hp when equipped with a manual transmission. The 1.8-litre engine delivers 141 hp at 6,200 rpm. Its maximum torque is 176 Nm at 3,800 rpm. Both engines return 42.8mpg, with the 1.6-litre unit emitting 153 g/km of CO2 and the 1.8-litre petrol engine producing 155 g/km of CO2.
Being one of the most powerful engines in the compact segment, the 2.0-litre turbo diesel available in the all-new Cruze Hatchback and model year 2011 Cruze Saloons, can count on increased peak firing pressure in the combustion chamber and a chain-driven timing system.
Excellent throttle response, impressive torque of 360 Nm at 1750 rpm and compliance with Euro 5 standards (147 g/km of CO2) are among the key characteristics of this engine. It produces 163 hp at 3,800 rpm, achieving a top speed of 127mph when combined with a manual transmission and requires 8.3 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 60mph. All engines can be combined with either a manual or a six-speed automatic transmission.
Key to the Cruze Hatchback’s excellent handling characteristics are its wide track width, the body structure and its advanced suspension system. The Cruze Hatchback has a body-frame-integral (BFI) that is made of high-strength steel and among the most rigid in the segment.
The BFI provides a superior foundation for achieving the nimble, responsive yet relaxed driving that can be experienced in the Cruze Hatchback. It also facilitates measures aimed at dampening noise and vibration.
The McPherson strut front suspension has side-load compensated front strut modules with specially shaped springs. The hydraulic ride bushings effectively absorb road input loads and provide a high degree of ride isolation. The design of the compound crank (torsion beam) rear suspension contributes to a lower centre of gravity and also enables weight savings and consistent wheel-camber control.
Steering is either hydraulically or electrically power-assisted and provides the driver with a solid on-centre feel.