2016 Chevrolet Cruze Premier Review
Chevrolet ups its game with the new Cruze PremierNo Comments
The Chevy Cruze is one smooth compact sedan.
The first Cruze proved to be a major success for Chevrolet. It sold incredibly well domestically and internationally, and it's actually their top-selling car globally. As good as the first generation Cruze was, it wasn't without the need for improvement and received mixed reviews upon its release. While it was an impressive addition to Chevrolet's lineup and a much-needed successor to the Chevy Cobalt, the Cruze still wasn't on the same level as the Honda Civic or the Toyota Corolla.
Now, Chevy has a new Cruze and we got to take it for a week to see how it stacks up this time around against tough competition. During that week we put this car through the wringer, by driving it all over Illinois. Here's what we found out about this American compact sedan.
The ride isn't the only thing that's smooth. The 1.4-liter turbo engine features silky smooth operation. We hesitate to say it's as smooth as Honda's power plants, but it is darn close. The six-speed transmission cycles through gears effortlessly and doesn't hunt for the right gear. The powertrain feels solid and confident. The car always seems comfortable to cruise along at just about the right pace and rarely feels out of breath or near its limit. Ride Quality: Smooth, cushioned and comfortable. The suspension is well-tuned. You get a good balance of comfort and sportiness, erring on the side of comfort. Steering: Lacking road feel, but well-weighted. Its steering isn't as precise or well-tuned as a car like the Mazda3 but is on par with the Corolla and Civic. Acceleration: The car isn't slow, but it's much more comfortable cruising at a consistent speed than it is at accelerating. Braking: The brakes are smooth and progressive, providing plenty of stopping power. Handling: The Cruze has minimal body roll, even when you really pitch it into curves. It felt confident and sturdy no matter the situation.
We see the Cruze doing well this year, but many people will still pick the Corolla or Civic because of those cars' reputations. Still, for the relatively short time the Cruze has been out, it's managed to garner quite the reputation of its own. The little Chevy sedan has certainly earned it too. It's a heck of a nice car.
Engine: 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Drivetrain/Layout: Front-wheel drive, front engine
Power Output: 153 hp and 177 lb-ft or torque
Fuel Economy (mpg): 30 city / 40 highway
Base Price: $23,120 (Premier trim level)
As Tested: $27,250 (incl. $875 destination charge)
Standard Features: Rear enhanced suspension; 4-wheel disc brakes; engine control start/stop system; airbags: driver & front passenger frontal knee side impact & head curtain, rear outboard passenger side impact & head curtain; remote panic alarm; Stabilitrack-stability control system with traction control; tire pressure monitor; rear vision camera; EZ key passive entry system; power door locks; door handles, body color chrome strip; mirrors, outside heated, power adjustable, body-color turn signal indicator; moldings, bright window surround; wheels, 17' aluminum; wheel, 16' steel spare; headlamps, automatic dual projection, LED signature; front bucket seats; rear 60-40 split fold rear seats; power seat adjuster, driver 8 way; floor mats; air conditioning; console, floor, with armrest; visors, driver/front passenger with illuminated vanity mirrors; cruise control; driver & front passenger heated seats; leather-wrapped steering wheel; steering column, tilt & telescopic; lighting, interior roof, rear courtesy, dual reading lamps; steering wheel controls; USB port with auxiliary jack; audio system, 6 speaker; trunk release, power; keyless start; remote vehicle start; Chevrolet MyLink audio system 7' diagonal color touchscreen select Bluetooth streaming, Apple CarPlay capability and Android Auto capability provided by Apple and Google available with compatible smartphone; OnStar RemoteLink app; XM radio and service; 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot with limited data trail.
Options on our test vehicle: Sun & sound with navigation package: power sunroof, Chevrolet MyLink audio system with 8' diagonal touchscreen, select Bluetooth streaming, Bose premium 9 speaker audio system, multi-color driver instrument info enhanced display; enhanced convenience package: power window with express driver up/down, automatic air conditioning, auto dimming inside rearview mirror, wireless device charging, heated rear outboard position seats, 110-volt AC kinetic blue metallic power outlet
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