Chevrolet presents the second generation Cruze in Brazil and prices start at US$ 25,000. Really

Today GM has revealed the second generation Chevrolet Cruze in Brazil. And there is no relevant news on that apart from the prices it will charge for the new car in the Brazilian market. The LT version, the cheapest one, will cost R$ 89,990, or US$ 24,999, to be very precise. US$ 25,000, to give the real picture. And that should be surprising enough for any American that pays only US$ 16,620 for a similar car.

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But it gets worse. The LTZ trim costs R$ 96.990, or US$ 26,944, and the top version, also called LTZ (why not Premier?), is sold for R$ 107,450, or US$ 29,850. With that kind of money, an American could buy not a Malibu, but an Impala.

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The new Cruze is 4.67 m long, 1.80 m wide, 1.46 m high and has a wheelbase of 2.70 m. It is built over the new D2XX platform, what makes it 113 kg lighter than the previous Cruze. It has a trunk of 419 l and a fuel tank of 52 l, small for flex-fuel engines, especially if they are to run on ethanol. And the Brazilian Cruze offers that possibility.With ethanol, the 1.4 Ecotec engine offers 112 kW at 5,200 rpm and 240 Nm at 2,000 rpm. With petrol, it delivers 110 kW at 5,600 rpm and 235 Nm at 2,100 rpm. That is way worse than the Argentinian version of the car, which produces 113 kW at 5,000 rpm and 245 Nm at 2,000 rpm, according to the information released by GM Argentina. And the Brazilian Cruze is produced in the same plant. GM has probably reduced the engine output due to reliability concerns with ethanol.

There were rumors that the South American Cruze would have the same engine used by the Malibu, which has a 1,490 cm³ displacement, with a 74 mm bore and an 86.6 mm stroke. Maximum output is 121 kW at 6,000 rpm and the torque is 250 Nm from 2,000 rpm up to 4,000 rpm. For a car that can cost as much as an Impala, this is the very least we would expect from it.

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It presents tire pressure monitor (TPM), OnStar, BlindSpot Alert and the MyLink 2 sound system with 7 or 8-inch touchscreens, depending on the trim version. The top version offers power seats, front collision alert, blind spot and lane departure warning, wireless charging and Park Assist. Does that justify an US$ 30,000 sticker price? Possibly only to the US$ 11,727 GDP per capita Brazilian rich customers. The poor US$ 54,629 GDP per capita American citizens would never pay so much on a Cruze.

Gustavo Henrique Ruffo

I have been an automotive journalist since 1998 and have worked for many important Brazilian newspapers and magazines, such as the local edition of Car and Driver and Quatro Rodas, Brazilian's biggest car magazine. I have also worked for foreign websites, such as World Car Fans and won a few journalism prizes, among them three SAE Journalism Awards and the 2017 IAM RoadSmart Safety Award. I am the author of "The Traffic Cholesterol", a book about bad drivers that you can buy at Hotmart, Google Play, Amazon and Kobo.