2016 Chevrolet Cruze Is Another Decent Compact, Says Consumer Reports

The compact segment is better than ever, with plenty of cool sedans that make you consider giving up on the Camry. But the all-new Chevy Cruze is worth checking out if you don't want to pay upwards of $25,000 for a Mazda3 or 2016 Civic.
2016 Chevrolet Cruze Is Another Great Compact, Says Consumer Reports 1 photo
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Despite being 3 inches longer, the sedan is about 250 pounds (120 kg) lighter. The engine has also been downsized to a 1.4-liter turbo, the same one featured on the Buick Encore high-grade models. Both these things help significantly reduce fuel consumption, says Consumer Reports in their latest review.

Despite the Dieselgate scandal, Chevy still plans to put a diesel engine on the Cruze. We often wonder which one, since the European cousin from Opel dropped the 2.0-liter block and is instead using a 1.6-liter. It's been a long time since such small oil-burners have been available in North America.

Speaking of the future, Chevrolet is keeping the Cruze global, despite pulling out of the European market. There's a hatchback version on the way, one which promises to appeal to those dorky Euro car fans that currently buy the Scion iM (rebadged as a Corolla) and Golf.

We think the best thing about the Cruze is that it's good without being expensive. Depending on the trim level, prices range from $17,495 to $23,995 including destination. That means it undercuts the Civic by nearly $2,000, so it should sell well. All versions come with standard Chevrolet MyLink radio, with a 7-inch screen that's compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The LT models get a bigger 8-inch screen with navigation.

With just 153 horsepower, the Cruze is never going to be as nimble or fun as the Ford Focus or Mazda3. The 1.5-liter comes with a manual, but S and LT trim levels offer an optional automatic for $1,000. Chevy says that no matter what you go for, this compact sedan should do 40 mpg on the highway.

Our only complaint is that, in a segment that's filled with great rivals, Chevrolet doesn't offer anything special. Even Hyundai is developing a hot version of its compact because you don't make headlines without going fast.

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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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