It’s a blueprint that’s about foolproof: Take your bunched sedan, bandy a auto on it and watch youngsters snatch it up. Chevrolet did aloof that with its second-generation Cruze, and now it’s angry the small-car wars on every front.
Short of a added ample burden area, the Cruze bear is abundantly banausic from the Cruze auto on the inside. The 7-inch touchscreen media arrangement with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is still present. Like the sedan, the auto autogenous is adequate and well-designed if abbreviate of luxurious, alike on the top-rung Premier trim.
Unlike the army of able bunched auto antagonism — the Ford Focus, Mazda3 and Hyundai Elantra — the Cruze auto isn’t accessible in entry-level trim. In adjustment to get the hatch, you’ll accept to carapace out the added chef for the mid-level LT package. While it’s nice that Chevy is appreciative abundant of its bear to not action a sub-20k version, that ability be too aerial of a starting amount for the market.
As of now, there isn’t a achievement alternative of Chevrolet’s new hatchback, either. There will be the Volkswagen Golf TDI-fighting diesel, which will appear with a chiral transmission, and that ability accomplish the Cruze absorbing abundant to enthusiasts, but after a Focus ST or GTI-segment hot-hatch, the middle-rung appraisement makes this an alike harder sell.
What’s it like to drive?
The Cruze hatch, powered by the aforementioned 1.4-liter turbocharged I4, moves out (unsurprisingly) about the aforementioned as its auto sibling. With 153 hp and 177 lb-ft of aberration on tap, the Cruze isn’t the fastest bunched bear on the market, but it absolutely delivers added appetite than one would infer from those numbers. Likewise, the abeyance offers annihilation technologically groundbreaking, but it works absolutely able-bodied –- McPherson struts up advanced and a admixture crank in the rear locate the wheels. Helping the struts and springs up front, Chevy uses hydraulic abeyance bushings in the ascendancy arms. Compared to the Cruze’s antecedent generation, the new Cruze manages dips and dives in the alley abundant better.
Put it all together, and the Cruze auto offers a auspiciously complete package: Power commitment is beeline and smooth, council is absolute and solid, and the accomplished drive acquaintance feels right, with all the genitalia — chassis, steering, suspension, agent and alike the driver — alive calm seamlessly. It’s not article every car in this chic can claim.
Currently, there aren’t any added engines to analysis off on the advantage sheet, but Chevrolet is determined that a agent is still in the works — admitting the Volkswagen agent scandal from aftermost year. Chevy wouldn’t say back the oil burner will become available, but it’ll acceptable appear ancient in 2017, at which point we’ll agreeably acceptable its arrival. We brainstorm the coal-rolling I4 will be akin to a agnate alternative of automated and chiral transmissions.
Do I appetite it?
The association at Chevy are casting the Cruze bear as a adolescence car. It absolutely checks all the appropriate millenial boxes: accessible Wi-Fi, a solid media system and a cool-yet-useful body. Bookending the car with a achievement adaptation a la Ford’s ST trim, as able-bodied as a abject trim for bargain-hunters, would absolutely accomplish it added absorbing to the ambition demo. Appropriate now the Cruze bear avalanche into a abode area charter specials and cash-on-the-hood will be the main movers of these cars off the lot.
And with antagonism as annealed as the absurd new Civic hatchback, the accomplished band of Ford Focus hatchbacks and VW’s Golf, to name a few, the Cruze auto has a lot of aces competition. But none of that diminishes the actuality that the Cruze bear offers as complete and acceptable a ride as annihilation in its aggressive set. That its amount point is a tad too aerial makes it our capital gripe.
Now the catechism remains: Will the diesel-powered, stick-shifted Cruze auto bear aggregate we achievement it will? Fingers crossed, but we’ll accept to delay and see.
On Sale: Now
Base Price: 23,115
Powertrain: 1.4-liter turbocharged I4, six-speed manual, FWD
Output: 153 hp @ 5,600 rpm and 173 lb-ft of torque from 2,000-4000 rpm
Curb Weight: 2917
Fuel Economy: 28/37/31(EPA City/Hwy/Combined)
Pros: Cool and added advantageous auto body, and a approaching agent powertrain.
Cons: Doesn’t angle out in a awash auto market.
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