2011 Chevy Cruze: Excellent Pioneer Stereo
June 10, 2011
Folks have criticized our long-term Chevy Cruze for being too expensive, but I tell you, the $445 that went to the optional Pioneer sound system was worth every penny.
This nine-speaker system sounds excellent, even when utilizing the rather imperfect sound quality of iPod files. Strong bass, sharp treble, etc. I thought the pre-set tone settings (rock, pop, etc.) worked rather well, too, giving me a quick-and-easy way to maximize the sound quality of differing music styles. Both Limelight by Rush and Young Blood by The Naked and Famous sounded superb.
Of course, I'm not an audiophile.
If you are, then Doug Newcomb says that the Cruze's nine-speaker system gets "decent" sound quality with a letter grade of C. He notes such things as "the soundstage was above average, but not as wide as I would have liked. Imaging was also good, although center images tended to waver and weren't stable." Okey dokey.
I'd say this is relative, since you might also be disappointed by the Cruze's handling if you own an M3. The important thing to note is that Newcomb also says you can't get a better aftermarket system for less than $500. You'd also be hard pressed to find a better OEM system in one of the Cruze's competitors.
Therefore, I say this stereo is quite good relatively speaking and a must-have with the Cruze. I also pulled out the infrequently used "Right!" stamp just for the hell of it.
James Riswick, Automotive Editor @ 10,707 miles