I've never cared much for the Cruze grill, particularly the black plastic honeycomb. I know GM Accessories makes an (expensive!) replacement in chrome, which would look nice, and there are a few aftermarket overlays which look exactly like that- an overlay. I've always had a great deal of respect for the '08-12 Malibu, which the LTZ had a different grill from the rest:
If you look close, the honeycomb in the grill is actually bright silver with the chrome surround. The LS and LT trims have a black honeycomb there as well, with the chrome surround like the Cruze.
Also, after I did some investigating, the 2013 Malibu follows the same process, except the honeycomb is larger like the Cruze's. LS/LT/Eco has black, LTZ has silver:
So I'm thinking, why didn't the Cruze LTZ get this unique grill? I mean, this black is boring. I don't like black anything on my car unless it can be shined up with product, which doing a honeycomb like this is way to time consuming.
So I decided to do something about it, Malibuize it, if you will:
Two in process:
I removed the top part of the grill, taped off all the chrome, and prepped each 'hole' with rubbing alcohol. Paint went on well, two coats, followed by two coats of clear. It has the perfect matte finish to it to make it look molded into the plastic.
Now my dilemma is that lower grill. As you can see above, the Malibu has no RS package option, so the lower grill area is like the non-RS Cruze. In some ways I think the lower grill would look good matching the top, but then the fog light housings would look out of place. I actually like the fog light housings like they are with the chrome insert over the black, so I don't want to paint them. My inclination is to leave it all as it is, but do any of you think the lower grill should be silver too?
For those who are curious why my grill opening isn't pronounced. That opening is simply created by two pieces of plate plastic that snap onto the back of the grill on each side with little tabs that come out of the back of the grill honeycomb. I simply put a screwdriver in there, pushed back on them to pop out, and removed the panels from the top. This way the grill looks uniform without big blobs of silver. I imagine the Eco pieces are just a little larger and snap onto the same grill. A word of warning- they are a bitch to get back in with the bumper on, especially the passenger side.