Range of Cruze Diesel Enables Stops For Fun, Not Fuel, in Rockies

Originally Published in New Roads Magazine

Westbound pioneers crossing the High Plains of Colorado must have been awestruck at their first sight of the Rocky Mountains rising ahead. The steep terrain and craggy peaks would certainly be quite a formidable challenge for their fragile horse-drawn wagons. That challenge was easily met when I ventured from Denver into the foothills of the Front Range to sample the region’s outdoor recreation spots and excellent driving roads. Making the trip in a 2017 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel Sedan proved practically effortless, thanks to its quiet new turbodiesel engine—and more fun with the standard 6-speed manual transmission. 

Even today, Denver serves as something of a gateway to the American West, a transition point from the expansive farming stretches of the heartland to the continent’s mountainous spine. Yet this diversity of settings and activities is within range of an easy day’s or two-day drive—and affordable when your fuel economy rating offers up to 52 MPG highway by the EPA’s measure. 1.

Setting out early to avoid traffic, I quickly note how the available heated front seats of the Cruze Diesel quickly overcome the chill of a morning at high altitude. My goal of experiencing some of Colorado’s best hiking trails and enjoying the area’s magnificent vistas over the course of one day is made simpler by a maximum highway range of up to 702 miles per tank. 2. 

1. Up to 52 EPA-estimated highway MPG for Diesel Sedan with 1.6L 4-cylinder engine and manual transmission. Automatic transmission with EPA-estimated 47 MPG highway, 31 MPG city. 
2. Based on EPA-estimated 52 MPG highway and fuel tank capacity. Your range may be less. 

Cruze Tackles Mountain Roads 

Driving toward the mountains, the two-lane road parallels the flowing rapids of Boulder Creek. On the twisting canyon pavement, the responsive steering and the compliant suspension combine to make covering the miles a pleasant treat. As I wind from one low-speed turn to the next approaching the cozy mountain town of Nederland, the rising sun reflects off the canyon walls, painting them pink. The steep climbs demonstrate the athletic side of the Cruze, with the broad power band of the diesel’s 240 lb.-ft. of torque minimizing the need to shift gears. 

As I pull into Nederland, famous for its annual music and arts festival, NedFest, folks are gathering at the local coffee shop. A wide selection of house-made pastries and coffee at the New Moon Bakery & Cafe, as well as a welcoming vibe for neighbors and visitors alike, makes the stop satisfying in every respect. 
Hunger abated, it’s back on the canyon roads until I reach the Flatirons, a distinctive sandstone formation near Boulder that’s a popular hiking and rock-climbing spot for both amateurs and professionals. Offering spectacular views of the Boulder area, it’d be easy to spend all day here. Alas, I’m on a mission to explore more, so I plug my iPhone into the handy USB port 2. to take advantage of Chevrolet MyLink 3. with support for Apple CarPlayTM4 and my favorite music via Apple Music while on the road. 

2. Not compatible with all devices. 3. MyLink functionality varies by model. Full functionality requires compatible Bluetooth and smartphone, and USB connectivity for some devices. MyLink on Cruze does not include a CD player. 4. Vehicle user interface is a product of Apple and its terms and privacy statements apply. Requires compatible iPhone and data plan rates apply. Apple CarPlay is a trademark of Apple Inc. iPhone is a trademark of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. 5. Premium color option.

Cruze At Home In The City, Too 

Back on the highway, I head east toward Denver to try one of the city’s newest dining spaces, The Denver Central Market. I’m overwhelmed by a delicious wave of aromas and surrounded by fresh, locally sourced produce, bread, fish, meats and sweets. There are 11 vendors to choose from in this gorgeously restored 1920s-era building, making it something of a community food court, serving those who need to grab-and-go, as well as those who treat it like a casual hangout. 

Wrenching myself away, I point the Cruze for Union Station, the city’s public transportation hub. Its recent renovation has turned the station into a popular downtown gathering spot. Once a week, the farmers market bustles outside the busy promenade, while inside the beautiful architectural details provide a stylish connection to the past. 

A short distance from downtown, the River North district is an up-and-coming center for local artists, craft breweries, and small-batch coffee roasters. As I pull in to park, I appreciate the standard Rear Vision Camera, which can help reduce parking anxiety. 

I then take a moment to appreciate the depth of the Kinetic Blue Metallic 5. finish of the Cruze before heading to the Crema Coffee House for a sandwich and a cup of the local coffee brew. Once again refreshed, I head back toward the foothills to witness sunset at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre

Taking advantage of the area’s natural beauty, the outdoor concert space incorporates breathtaking sandstone monoliths and is considered to be the only naturally occurring, acoustically perfect amphitheater in the world. On my visit, I am lucky there are no concerts, movies or weddings—just an ideal place to wind down and gaze at the sunset’s glow on the sandstone walls.

Soon, it’s time to head back to the city and call an end to the day’s adventure. Thanks to the Cruze Diesel, it was time well spent. 

Want to re-create this Denver-based Cruze Diesel-fueled exploration for yourself? Stop by Stevinson Chevrolet today to try out the Chevy Cruze! You can even take a test drive through Red Rocks Amphitheater! 

SALES (877) 604-7094 


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