When I first got word that I was making a trip to New York City a few weeks ago for work, my first instinct was to think about the plane ride there and back. Not that I'm complaining — OK, maybe a little bit — but the flight from the Northwestern United States cross-country to New York is quite the trek, so it takes a toll on a guy.
That said, when Chevrolet hit me up and said they wanted me to drive from New York City to Baltimore and then to Pittsburgh in their 2017 Chevy Cruze, I actually got a little bit more excited.
Why? Well, in addition to actually driving a car — which is something I don't have up here where I live, relying on public transportation and Uber, Lyft and friends to drive me around — Chevrolet promised me a personalized road trip that included a set of wheels that was both high tech and had killer gas mileage, convinced I could do the journey on just one tank of gas. Oh, and lest I forget the fact that I'd be catching two Major League Baseball games along the way, with the car company hooking me up with tickets to a Orioles-Cubs and Pirates-Cardinals game.
Meeting for lunch with the Chevy reps in New York City at some swanky spot prior to getting behind the wheel, I was a bit skeptical about how I'd fair on this journey. After all, the trip from New York City to Baltimore is about 4.5 hours, and, after spending a night there, I had to leave somewhat early in the morning to get my ass up to Pittsburgh for the first pitch — which is another four hours in the car.
But, no joke, the Cruze makes it feel like a trip around the block.
Naturally, I created a personal music studio in the car, blasting a bunch of tunes from my iPhone thanks to Apple CarPlay, which synched up with my phone to let me play the new Jay-Z album and, somewhat embarrassingly, making me lose my voice for belting out the lyrics to just about every Incubus song.
When I wasn't singing my ass off, I was catching up with friends and family thanks to the built-in phone, allowing me to focus my eyes on the road while sharing some laughs with buddies from college who I had been meaning to talk with.
And, while all the tech was incredible, the drive itself was as smooth as a baby's butt, with the Chevy Cruze handling the roads with ease — which were wet from rain, foggy from humidity and bone dry because of midsummer heat.
Packing both power and stability, the 2017 Cruze has some killer highlights that makes it as high-tech as a spaceship, but with a blue collar attitude that only Chevy can pack. Some of these features include the following:
A new, 1.6L turbo-diesel engine builds on the strengths of previous Cruze diesels, taking refinement, durability and efficiency to higher levels.
Engine features include a lightweight aluminum cylinder head, variable-nozzle turbocharger and electronic throttle valve.
Cooled exhaust gas recirculation for enhanced performance and lower emissions.
Available nine-speaker Bose premium audio system, 8-inch-diagonal MyLink radio (7-inch standard) and heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel.
See, like I mentioned, the 2017 Chevy Cruze isn't the car you probably once remember it as, packing some serious luxury.
In addition to the above features, the Cruze has 137 horsepower at 3,750 RPM, with a torque of 240 pounds/foot at 2,000 RPM. To say it is quick on its feet would be an understatement, as the car reminded me of an Audi 6 that my parents had back in the day.
With gas mileage that is absolutely insane — 31 in the city and 47 on the highway for automatic and 30 in the city and 52 on the highway for manual — the Chevy Cruze never once led me to a gas station. Well, that's a lie, I did need to grab a 5-Hour Energy prior to the first pitch of the Pirates-Cardinals game.
And, while I dropped my shot at a foul ball during the Orioles-Cubs game Friday night, with the damn thing hitting me square in the right palm before rolling down the aisle to some old guy who stealthy grabbed it, the entire road trip was well worth the long hours driving — and one hell of a fun ride.
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