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Chinese Chevrolet Cruze heads up-market inside

Small luxuries: Liberal use of leather and matte plastic with chrome highlights give the Chinese version of the Cruze a more premium feel.

Euro look and cleaner lines mark big change for Chevrolet’s Chinese Cruze


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24 Jun 2014

GENERAL Motors has unveiled the interior of the next-generation Chinese-spec Cruze small car, but Holden's decision to stick with the current model until it closes its local manufacturing operations means the premium-look cabin is unlikely to debut in Australia before 2017.

The interior reveals a much more up-market look for the refettled version of the Cruze that will sell in one of the most discerning, quality conscious markets worldwide, and according to GM, the new made-for-China interior was penned using the car-maker’s global design network.

“The model offers the first expression of Chevrolet's next-generation design language characterized by the slogan ‘Design with a Heartbeat’, and demonstrating the brand’s global design cues,” GM said in a statement revealing the new interior.

“These photos attest to the car’s ‘dynamic, sophisticated, efficient, and innovative’ design philosophy from inside to outside.” Hype aside, the new Cruze interior features a dash that is significantly cleaner and more modern than the version sold in Australia.

It keeps its wave design, but in the place of plastics, the new Cruze has swathes of real leather providing soft-touch surfaces in most places where a hand, or elbow, is likely to fall, offset by matte black plastic highlights and subtle chrome-look trim.

The round air vents at either end of the dash are gone, replaced with more European-look trapezoid forms, while the centre console features a much cleaner look and a bump further up into the driver’s eyeline.

An eight-inch multimedia screen – an inch larger than the Australian-made Cruze’ s – features a number of smartphone-like apps as part of the MyLink II system, which allow the driver to connect with their mobile device via voice activation.

The three-spoke steering wheel has a smaller hub that allows better vision through to the split-level instrument cluster, which features a row of gauges nestled between the traditional two-dial instrument cluster.

The doors are also significantly redesigned to show a more flowing shape to the door pulls, storage pockets and audio system speaker.

Of note, too, the next-generation Cruze interior sticks with a traditional handbrake rather than swapping across to an electric one.

While the Chinese market version of the Cruze gains a wholesale makeover, Holden is expected to spritz up the Australian-built version of the hatch and sedan – the wagon is fully imported from South Korea – with a minor facelift that it will share with a US version of the car.

The refreshed versions of the Cruze are expected to start rolling off Holden’s Elizabeth production line later this year.

So far this year, Holden has sold 7261 Cruzes, which is down 28.3 per cent compared with the same period last year in a segment dominated by the all-new Mazda3, Toyota’s Corolla and Hyundai’s i30 range.

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