Five years after its debut as a 2011 model, Chevrolet’s compact four-door sedan has been given a major makeover. Larger, lower and sleeker than before, the 2016 Cruze has lost about 250 pounds. Chevrolet promises greater agility, as well as impressive fuel-efficiency from the new turbocharged engine. Improved aerodynamics gives the Cruze a 0.29 coefficient of drag (a measure of slipperiness through the air).
What's New for 2016
The Chevrolet Cruze has been fully redesigned for 2016. Built on a slightly longer (106.3-inch) wheelbase, measuring 2.7 inches longer overall, the reworked Cruze promises more rear leg and knee room. Stop/start technology helps yield a fuel-economy estimate as high as 42 mpg in highway driving. Ten airbags and all-disc brakes are standard, as is a rearview camera. LED signature lighting and LED daytime running lights are installed. Chevrolet also continues to offer the previous-generation Cruze, dubbed the Cruze Limited.
Choosing Your Chevrolet Cruze
Chevrolet’s new turbocharged, direct-injected 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine, featuring aluminum construction, makes 153 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque. That’s 15 more horsepower and 29 more pound-feet than its predecessor. Either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission may be installed, but the base L model is manual-shift only, while the Premier comes only with automatic.
Fuel economy with automatic is estimated at 30 mpg city/42 mpg highway (40 mpg highway for the Premier). Manual shift lowers the estimate to 29/41 mpg.
Cruze is among the first Chevrolets to offer Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Next-generation Chevrolet MyLink offers smartphone app integration capability, with a 7-inch screen (8-inch available). OnStar 4G LTE with a wi-fi hotspot is available.
The redesigned 2016 Cruze comes in four trim levels:
Chevrolet is obviously hoping to boost the Cruze’s competitiveness against the compact-car leaders: Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla. Manual-shift devotees might be satisfied with the basic L sedan, but most buyers will go for an LS or LT—with the latter adding considerably more equipment. Active-safety features are available for the LT; and even more so, for the Premium edition. Sales began during the 2016 model year, and a diesel-engine version is expected for 2017.
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