Chevrolet's mainstream compact sedan continues to find plenty of buyers, which shouldn't be too surprising given its deep model range and reassuring road manners. Perhaps most critical to the Cruze's appeal is a level of overall refinement and packaging prowess that always seemed to elude previous generations of small Chevys.
What's New for 2015
The Cruze receives a slightly revised grille and other minor trim revisions, plus a WiFi hotspot built into the standard Onstar system.
Choosing Your Chevrolet Cruze
The Cruze engine roster starts with a 1.8-liter four-cylinder that develops 138 horsepower, matched to your choice of a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. The available 1.4-liter four-cylinder turbo makes the same horsepower, but offers more torque and slightly better fuel economy.
The choice for ultimate efficiency is the 2-liter turbo-diesel, which puts out 151 horsepower and achieves 33 mpg in combined driving and a stunning 46 mpg on the highway. The turbo-diesel come standard with the automatic transmission.
It's worth noting that any Cruze has an unusually large trunk for this class of vehicle.
Engine and equipment choices are largely determined by trim level:
Every model except the LS can get the Enhanced Safety package with rear parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and a rearview camera (if not already already equipped). You can also get a Pioneer nine-speaker sound system and a sunroof, either separately or as a bundle. Finally, the RS package for the LT and LTZ provides specific exterior styling elements for a sporty appearance.
If performance matters to you at all, we recommend starting your build at the 2LT level, where the sport-tuned suspension and four-wheel disc brakes pop onto the equipment list. The Diesel, meanwhile, is a viable hybrid alternative for long-distance drivers.