Kia Cerato Forte 2.0 SX, Chevrolet Cruze LT 1.8 Review
So who's making sense?

Story & pictures by Azfar Hashim
19 Sep 2009
 

The Forte proved to be a big success here, but with the arrival of the Cruze, can all that change?

Chevrolet Cruze, Kia Cerato Forte

So you want a family sedan that can ferry yourself and the family in comfort. Plus the sort you can enjoy driving long-distance with.

Now the BMW 318i would be ideal - you thought - what with that badge appeal and nicely-done facelift. But you know the wife will probably think otherwise, considering the $126,800 price tag. The Honda Civic 1.8 sounds like the next best thing, and being the perennial favourite, you know it will hold its value well. Even with that, you're paying $89,800 - largely for the badge. At the same time, you're thinking of expanding the family, so you should be looking for something which is cheaper than that. How about the Toyota Corolla Altis 1.8? Although significantly cheaper at $79,988, you can't deny the fact that it's far too b-o-r-i-n-g...

Wait a second... what about the Kia Cerato 2.0 and the new Chevrolet Cruze 1.8?

Exterior

Sometimes a new car's appearance grows on you, sometimes it's the reverse and sometimes you're just certain from the start.

But with the new Cruze, we knew we liked it before we set off and then it grew on us. Not only does it have a particularly smooth, flowing, well-balanced form, but its racy five-spoke alloys (although it looks undersized) and sporty front bumper does give it an individual touch. You can also see the designers applying their new design language onto the facade, made even more stylish thanks to the upswept headlamps. On a separate note, the rear tail-lamps look uncannily like the Honda Civic's... doesn't it?

How about the Forte? Well, it has come a long way from the Cerato it replaces. While the first generation Cerato look mature and a tad Japanese, the penned-by-Peter-Schreyer Forte seem much youthful and stylish, and more European above anything else. It's hard to fault its good looks, the unusually short front overhang giving an eager stance. The fact that it comes fitted with awesome-looking 17-inch alloys further seals the deal. If there's anything to criticise, perhaps, is its omnipresence.

Now if you think the Cruze seems bigger than the Forte, then you are - pretty much - spot on. You see, the Cruze is dimensionally bigger - at 4,597mm long, 1,477mm tall and 1,788mm wide, it is actually 67mm longer, 17mm taller and 13mm wider than the Forte.


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