The new MY2016 Chevrolet Cruze will be up for sale starting spring of 2016. Interested customers only have to pay a starting price of $17,495 just to get their hands on this technology-laden compact car.
While its starting price is around $2,000 less than that of the MY2016 Honda Civic LX ($19,475), it boasts of a number of standard features like Chevrolet MyLink radio with a seven-inch-diagonal screen, and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility.
Larger, lighter and more spacious than the current model – with two inches more rear knee room – the new Cruze also features OnStar 4G LTE with a Wi-Fi hotspot and a standard rear-vision camera.
Available in L, LS, LT and Premier models, the MY2016 Chevrolet Cruze is powered by a new direct-injected 1.4L turbo engine that is SAE-certified to develop 153 hp (113 kW) and 177 lb-ft of torque (240 Nm) and is mated to a six-speed manual transmission as standard.
This means that the new engine produces even more torque than the 1.4L turbo equipped in the current. Along with a lighter architecture, this amount of torque allows the Cruze to accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 8 seconds – the best in the segment.
Interestingly, while the new Cruze is more powerful and quicker now, it consumes less fuel with a GM-estimated 40 mpg on the highway on automatic transmission.
Featuring direct injection and stop/start technology, the new 1.4L engine can be mated with either a standard six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission. Its start/stop feature saves fuel by automatically shutting down the engine when the Cruze comes to a halt in situations like when in front of a stoplight.
When the foot is taken off the brake pedal, the engine then automatically restarts. Since the 1.4L turbo boasts of an aluminum cylinder block and head, it helps trim the Cruze’s overall weight, thereby improving both performance and efficiency.
GM also enhanced the engine's efficiency by reducing friction, which is achieved by installing low-friction piston rings, a low-friction camshaft drive and a low-friction oil pump.
In fact, the Cruze LS with an automatic transmission --- with a starting price of $19,995 – boasts of a GM-estimated highway fuel economy of 40 mpg. This fuel efficiency is also helped by the 2016 Cruze’s expressive design, which was developed and perfected through wind tunnel testing – resulting to an elegant yet aerodynamic figure with a 0.29 coefficient of drag.
In terms of dimensions, the new 2016 Cruze is around 2.7 inches (68 mm) longer and almost an inch (25 mm) shorter in height than the 2015 model. These dimensions made the latest iteration of the Cruze not only longer but also leaner.
GM fitted the new Cruze with a faster windshield rake and a faster-sloping rear profile as well as a standard integral rear spoiler. Its sleek profile is further accentuated by layered lines in the hood and body-side panels to give the Cruze a muscular impression. With its longer wheelbase, the compact car features an athletic stance.
Also lending the Cruze its bold looks are headlamps sweeping back into the front fenders as well as a stacked dual-port grille design. Premium forward lighting systems, including projector-beam headlamps and LED signature daytime running lamps, are featured in the LT and Premier variants.
Other exterior elements found on the 2016 Cruze include a center-rear stop lamp mounted on top of the roof line and seamless rocker panels that contribute to the vehicle's aerodynamic performance.
It also features polished aluminum, piano black and bright-finished accents that give the Cruze a more contemporary look. For those seeking a sportier version of the Cruze, they could avail of the Premier variant that features the RS package, which includes distinct grilles, fog lamps, rear spoiler, front splitter, unique front and rear fascias, rocker panels, and 18-inch wheels.
Cafaro, executive director at Chevrolet Design, remarked that the MY2016 Cruze brings Chevrolet’s new global design language to the small car segment. He said that the Cruze’s approach to proportion and premium details is a fresh interpretation of an identity that remains unmistakably Chevrolet.