Chevrolet Cruze

2016 Chevrolet Cruze

Redesigned for 2016, Chevrolet Cruze is a compact sedan that glides down the road with surprising levels of refinement for the class. Attractively trimmed inside, the 2016 Cruze offers easy everyday operation and practicality.

The Chevrolet Cruze should be on any shopping list that includes the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, Ford Focus, or Nissan Sentra.

The all-new 2016 Cruze is substantially longer (by three inches) than the previous generation riding lower on a slightly longer wheelbase.

Benefitting from extensive wind-tunnel development to minimize drag and maximize fuel economy, the Cruze looks a bit like the electric Volt, but all Cruze models are powered by a small turbocharged gasoline engine.

The 1.4-liter engine uses turbocharging and direct fuel injection to generate 153 horsepower and 177 foot-pounds of torque while achieving an EPA-estimated 30/42 mpg City/Highway, or 35 mpg Combined, with the popular 6-speed automatic transmission. Loaded models get slightly reduced fuel economy due to added weight. With the standard 6-speed manual, the 2016 Cruze is rated 29/41 mpg.

Inside is a roomy cabin, with roomier back seats than those offered by the Hyundai Elantra or Ford Focus.

Cruze cruises easily. The handling is not sporty but its enjoyable to drive, with a smooth, easy manner. Its pleasant balance of ride and handling is a result of a more rigid unit-body than what was used in the previous generation, along with precise suspension tuning and reduced weight. Cruze Premier models use a suspension upgraded with a Watt link, a little nicer than the standard torsion-beam suspension that comes on the rest of the lineup.

A rearview camera is standard equipment along with a seven-inch touchscreen that includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto with streaming audio. An eight-inch display and 4G LTE hotspot is a popular option, along with wireless cell charging, premium leather interior, even heated rear leather seats, unusual in this class.


2014 Chevrolet Cruze

Chevrolet Cruze is an excellent choice among compact sedans, and is one of the best-selling cars in the Chevy lineup. It has a roomy interior, admirable fuel economy and a long list of standard features. This front-wheel-drive, four-door sedan seats up to five people.

New for 2014 is a diesel model that achieves a notable, EPA-estimated 27/46 mpg City/Highway, fitted with a turbocharged 2.0-liter diesel four-cylinder engine that makes 151 horsepower and 264 pound-feet of torque. The Cruze diesel comes standard with a 6-speed automatic transmission. Other Cruze models carry over unchanged for 2014.

Launched as a 2011 model, the Cruze is a compact sedan developed jointly by GM tech centers in Asia, Europe and the United States to compete with the stylish Hyundai Elantra, sporty Mazda3, and affordable Kia Forte, as well as the sales-leading compacts, the Honda Civic, Ford Focus and Toyota Corolla.

Styling of the 2014 Chevrolet Cruze is conservative, though its a well-designed, handsome car. Its interior is one of the roomiest in its class, and its also one of the nicest. Its trunk is also one of the largest in a compact sedan.

Cruze is offered with a choice of two four-cylinder gasoline engines: Cruze LS models get a 1.8-liter inline-4 that makes 138 hp and 125 lb.-ft. of torque. Cruze LT, LTZ and Eco models are powered by a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder good for 138 hp and 148 lb.-ft. of torque. Transmission choices include a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic.

Fuel economy is admirable from the turbocharged 1.4-liter, at 26/38 mpg City/Highway with both transmissions. Fuel economy for the 2014 Chevrolet Cruze with the base 1.8-liter engine is an EPA-rated 25/36 mpg City/Highway with manual transmission and 22/35 mpg with the automatic. Cruze Eco, the most fuel-efficient regular gasoline model, rates 28/42 mpg with the manual transmission and 26/39 mpg with the automatic.

Ride quality is quite good, and we found the Cruze handles well. It is slower compared to many cars in its class, but for everyday driving, the average person wont notice. The Cruze Eco is perhaps the biggest compromise; though it achieves a high fuel economy rating, efficiency comes with a penalty in the form of even slower acceleration, longer stopping distances and poorer handling compared to the less fuel-friendly Cruze models. Those who drive long distances at highway speeds would do well to opt for the Cruze diesel. Although it has a higher starting price, its superior range and highway fuel economy makes for a better value long-term.

Cruze comes well-equipped with features that are not always standard on cars of its class, such as a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel. On all trims but the base, the wheels are made of alloy, and are not only lighter than steel, but quieter. Prices climb by nearly $10,000 from the base model to a loaded, top-of-the-line LTZ. True, the latter comes swathed in leather and loaded with technology, but for that kind of money, the alternatives include larger, very nicely equipped midsize sedans. For this reason, we think the midrange Cruze LT hits the sweet spot in this class.

The 2014 Chevrolet Cruze is slightly bigger than many compact cars, yet not quite as big as those in the midsize segment. Competitors include the Ford Focus, Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra, Mazda3 and the new Toyota Corolla. Those considering the 2014 Cruze Diesel might also want to look at the Volkswagen Jetta TDI, which starts at about $1,800 less and gets slightly better combined fuel economy with an EPA rating of 30/42 mpg City/Highway. But the Cruze diesel wins when it comes strictly to highway mpg.


2013 Chevrolet Cruze

The Chevrolet Cruze is an excellent choice among compact sedans. It offers a long list of standard features and admirable fuel economy, especially with efficient Eco models. Inside, it has a roomy interior with attractive, quality materials, and it has a big trunk. It's an attractive car with relatively conservative, angular styling. A four-door sedan, Cruze seats five, four comfortably.

New for 2013 is Chevrolet's MyLink infotainment system. Standard on all upper-level models, including the 2013 Cruze LTZ and 2013 Cruze Eco, MyLink includes voice recognition technology, Bluetooth streaming audio, and support for Pandora and Gracenote. Two new audio systems also appear on the 2013 Chevrolet Cruze, as well as new options and packages. An optional Enhanced Safety Package for the 2013 Cruze LT features a blind spot alert system, rear cross traffic alert and rear park assist.

Launched as a 2011 model, the Cruze is a front-wheel-drive compact sedan developed jointly by GM tech centers in Asia, Europe and the United States to compete with the stylish Hyundai Elantra, sporty Mazda3, and affordable Kia Forte, as well as the sales-leading compacts, the Honda Civic, Ford Focus and Toyota Corolla.

The styling is conservative, though it's a well-designed, handsome car. Its interior is one of the roomiest in its class, with acceptable space for four adults, and it's also one of the nicest. Its trunk is also one of the largest in a compact sedan.

Cruze is offered with a choice of two four-cylinder engines. The base Cruze LS gets a 1.8-liter inline-4 that makes 138 horsepower and 125 pound-feet of torque. Cruze LT, LTZ and Eco models are powered by a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder good for 138 hp and 148 lb.-ft. of torque. There's a choice of 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic.

Fuel economy is very good from the turbocharged 1.4-liter, at 26/38 mpg with both transmissions. Cruze Eco rates an impressive 28/42 mpg with the manual transmission and 26/39 mpg with the automatic. Fuel economy for the 2013 Chevrolet Cruze with the base 1.8-liter engine is an EPA-rated 25/36 mpg City/Highway with manual transmission and 22/35 mpg with the automatic.

Cruze Eco's high fuel economy rating is thanks in part to its aerodynamic features, including grille vanes that close at highway speeds, which help it slip through the air more easily. It also weighs about 200 pounds less than other Cruze models. Efficiency comes with a price, however, as the Cruze Eco sacrifices performance in the form of slower acceleration, longer stopping distances, and poorer handling compared to the less fuel-friendly Cruze models.

Ride quality is outstanding, and we found the Cruze handles exceptionally well. Its steering is powered by electricity to save fuel. Underway, the steering feels sharp, with decent feel. We enjoyed driving it.

Cruze comes well-equipped with premium features such as a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel. On all trims but the base, the wheels are made of alloy, and are not only lighter than steel, but quieter. While the Cruze starts a segment-appropriate $17,130, a loaded, top-of-the-line LTZ will crack the $26,000 barrier. True, it comes swathed in leather and loaded with technology, but for that kind of money, the alternatives include larger, very nicely equipped midsize sedans. For this reason, we think the midrange Cruze LT hits the sweet spot in this class.

In short, the Chevrolet Cruze deserves to be on the list for anyone shopping for a fuel-efficient economy car.


 

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