Chevy Cruze to start at under $17,000

Posted: June 4, 2010

Chevy Cruze to start at
under $17,000

BY TIM HIGGINS
FREE PRESS BUSINESS WRITER

The Chevrolet Cruze, which may be the most
important vehicle General Motors is launching
this year, will arrive in showrooms
in September
with a starting price of nearly $17,000, the
company announced Thursday.

"We believe the Cruze can redefine the
expectations for compact-car owners and
shoppers who are new to the segment," Jim
Campbell, U.S. vice president of Chevrolet
marketing, said in a statement. "For the price of a
compact car, Cruze offers the styling,
safety
features
, roominess, amenities and refinement of
a much more expensive car."

The Cruze is to compete in the ultra-competitive
small-car segment against popular favorites such
as the Toyota Corolla and
Honda Civic. The
Corolla and Civic, including delivery fees, start at
$16,200 and $16,405, respectively, the
companies’ Web sites say.

GM hopes that its replacement for the Cobalt will
help reposition the company’s lineup as
appealing to small-car shoppers and people
looking for
fuel-efficient vehicles.

Jessica Caldwell, an industry analyst at
Edmunds.com, said the Cruze’s extra features
will make it a good value but worried that some
price-conscious shoppers might overlook that
when they see less well-equipped competitors at
cheaper prices.

"An informed consumer doing an apples-to-
apples comparison may think the Cruze is a
better deal but I think if people are just looking
for a cheap, economical
car, it’s not the best out
there in that segment," she said. "I think that’s
 
where they could have some trouble. … Compact
car buyers are pretty price sensitive."

GM plans four models of the Cruze:

• The Cruze LS will have a manufacturer’s
suggested retail price of $16,955, including
destination charges, and come with a 1.8-liter
Ecotec engine and manual transmission.

• The Cruze LT will have an MSRP of $18,895
and come with a 1.4-liter Ecotec turbo engine
and 16-inch wheels.

• The Cruze Eco will have an MSRP of $18,895
and come with a 1.4-liter Ecotec turbo, 17-inch
wheels and enhanced aerodynamics. Because of
fuel-saving measures, this model is expected to
get 40 m.p.g. on the highway.

• The Cruze LTZ will have an MSRP of $22,695
and come with a 1.4-liter Ecotec turbo, 18-inch
wheels and many more features, including a six-
way power drivers seat, standard cruise control
and remote vehicle start.

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