Unlike other websites and magazines, our ratings are not based solely on a singular road test, but rather a more encompassing batch of criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value. When comparing vehicles using our Rating System, it's important to note that the rating earned by each vehicle correlates only to the models within its class. For example, a compact car cannot be compared to a SUV—They are different vehicles altogether.
You can interpret our ratings in the following way:
5-Star: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.
4-Star: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.
3-Star: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.
2-Star: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.
1-Star: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.
2016 Chevrolet Cruze OVERVIEW
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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