China is the first global market to see the next-gen Cruze, with other markets expected to see their new models in late 2015 or early 2016, including Australia.
The 2015 Chinese Cruze features new headlamps and an ‘edgier’ bonnet over its US sibling, first previewed in spy photos earlier this month, although the same (and current) corporate ‘face’ for Chevrolet from the US version dominates front styling.
The rear shows a few differences over the US version, however, including a new boot and tail light design with a nod to styling from the midsized Malibu.
Improved fuel economy, handling and technology are GM’s major goals for the new Cruze, while interior space is a focus, as always, for the Chinese market.
Wheel placement has been ‘pushed-out’ to make the footprint and interior space as plentiful as possible, and the roofline stretches rearward to allow for more rear head room.
The new-generation Ecotec engines will debut in the new Cruze, with four-cylinder 1.4 litre turbocharged and 1.5 litre naturally-aspirated versions – described by GM as ‘mid-mounted’ - for the Chinese market.
All-new six-speed manual and seven-speed DCG dual clutch automatic transmissions will accompany the new power plants, while a six-speed ‘automated manual’ gearbox will also be available.
The new Cruze is expected to deliver fuel economy improvements of 14-21 percent over its predecessor, which GM says is ‘best in class’ for the Chinese market.
The next move for Holden’s Cruze in Australia is currently unclear, although an update along the lines of the US version is the likely option, before the new-generation Cruze arrives in 2015.
Images via 'ifeng'.