When the Chevrolet Cruze first hit showrooms in 2008, few people could have foreseen just how popular it would soon become.
Chevrolet has sold in the area of 3.5 million of them worldwide. In the US, the bulk of those who bought the new model were first time Chevrolet customers, which says a lot about how well designed a new model is.
With 2016 on the horizon, Chevrolet has announced the base price for the 2016 model – $17,495.
A new turbo-charged 1.4L direct injection engine has been developed for the Cruze. It will utilise start/stop technology and comes with a 6-speed manual transmission or the optional 6-speed automatic.
The “little engine that could” will develop 153 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque, more than enough for day to day tasks.
Through added use of aluminum in the suspension and engine parts, the Cruze has lost some 250 lbs and the company believes the 2016 model will be capable of 40 mpg on the highway and claims a total range of 530 miles per tank. Not too shabby.
Another benefit of building a car using lighter materials is the ability to stretch the vehicle to offer more interior space, without adding weight and ruining the performance and efficiency.
The wheelbase has gained an inch and is now 106.3 inches long. The overall vehicle has been stretched over 2 inches.
This, of course, means the interior has expanded. The additional space was smartly allocated for rear occupant legroom, no longer will passenger’s knees be jammed into the front seatbacks.
The 2016 Cruze will deliver an abundance of technology to the segement.
The Cruze features the latest version of Chevrolet MyLink with smartphone integration, including a standard seven-inch-diagonal screen and available eight-inch-diagonal screen. There is also the option of equipping it with a WiFi hotspot, wireless phone charging, heated rear leather seats and heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel, Side Blind Zone Alert, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, and Lane Keep Assist and Forward Collision Alert.
The new Mylink system will feature Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Both programs allow the user to link and access their cell phones as well as use various apps while driving. For a full list if the available apps check out either: Apple.com/ios/carplay or g.co/androidauto, depending on what type of phone you have.
These options will be divided among the 5 available models, but the bulk of this tech will likely be held back for the highest trim levels.
For fans of the current diesel powered Cruze, a new version is set to be released as a 2017 model. Stay tuned for updates as they become available.
The 2016 models will hit dealership floors early next spring. With the increased content, added space and better looks, can the Cruze continue to control the segment? What do you think?