Hot-selling Compact Introduces First Flexible Venting Air Bag for Drivers
The 2013 Chevy Cruze recently became the latest example of the industry’s newfound focus on safety basics—like seatbelts and air bags—when it debuted with an industry-first upgrade in the latter department. For the new model year, the Cruze now protects its drivers with a flexible venting air bag that is less complicated and less expensive than the dual-stage systems often found on the competition, yet is just as safe for occupants.
Conventional dual-stage front air bags can deploy with two inflation levels, one geared for low-speed crashes and one designed for high-speed scenarios. In the Cruze, there is just one inflation level, and the driver’s forward momentum pushes unnecessary air out of the bag through its flexible venting, while the unit still retains the pressure it needs to offer top-notch crash protection.
Uncoincidentally, at the same time Chevrolet was announcing its new flexible venting air bag, the brand also reported that the 2013 Chevy Cruze had earned a five-star overall safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)—just as it had done in the two past model years as well.
“This new air bag technology is a smart way to manage crash forces, and is an integral part of Cruze’s continued success in safety testing,” said Gay Kent, GM general director of vehicle safety and crashworthiness. “The latest safety rating reflects the confidence we have in its new and carry-over safety technologies and overall crashworthiness.”
(The 2013 Cruze, which was the first compact car with 10 standard airbags, also has earned Top Safety Pick status from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.)
The 2013 Chevy Cruze is in dealerships now, and it features both new pricing and some new content in addition to its latest safety advance. First, the good news: The Bowtie brand has re-configured the Cruze's standard content levels and available options packages up and down the lineup, with an eye on features that “bring more value” to the car.
They certainly bring more audio choices: For example, standard on the upper-level trims (2LT, LTZ, Eco) will be the Chevy MyLink setup with Bluetooth technology for both hands-free calling and music streaming, a seven-inch color-touch screen, the ability to control the phone and audio systems using voice commands, interfaces for Pandora and Stitcher Internet radio, and access to Gracenote data for playlists and album art.
Further, in a first for the Cruze, the 2013 model will offer GPS-enabled navigation as part of its upgraded audio system.
In terms of option packages, the 2013 Chevy Cruze has added the following to its roster:
- Technology Package—With color-touch AM/FM/CD audio system, Chevy MyLink and a rearview camera
- 1LT Driver Convenience Package—Boasting a six-way power-adjustable driver’s seat (with manual reclining function), illuminated front vanity mirrors, power-adjustable and heated exterior mirrors, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and on models with automatic transmissions, remote start
- 2LT Driver Convenience Package—Bundling the mirror enhancements of the 1LT package with a rear-vision camera
- Enhanced Safety Package—Delivering side blind-zone and rear cross-traffic alerts with rear park-assist technology
Three new exterior colors also have been added to the palette of the 2013 Chevy Cruze: Cyber Gray Metallic, Champagne Silver Metallic and Atlantis Blue Metallic.
2013 Chevy Cruze: Pricing Details
On the other hand, along with the content revisions, the 2013 Chevy Cruze also gets a revised MSRP, and it represents the kind of breakthrough that may not be as appealing to owners. As the result of a $300 price increase—+1.8 percent—the Cruze is now the first domestic compact sedan with a starting point above $17,000. Of course, that’s still more than a grand below the cost of its refreshed Honda rival, which opens north of 18 large.
More specifically, here’s how the Cruze matches up against both that car and the rest of the segment in terms of MSRPs.