Now eight years old, the Chevrolet Cruze has been redesigned for 2016 and further adds to the long list of competition in the compact sedan market. The new Cruze has a more masculine exterior appearance with a split front grille and it’s slightly longer than its predecessor.

The Weekly Driver Test Drive

With the market full of standard bearers like the Honda Civic, Mazda3, Hyundai Elantra and Toyota Corolla, the 2016 Chevrolet moves toward to the top of the list with its debuting second edition.

Like others in the compact sedan group, the Chevrolet Cruze is offered in several trims, including the top-line Premier, my weekly driver. It replaces the LTZ trim. The 1.4-liter turbo-charged 4-cylinder engine produces 153 horsepower and is operated with a six-speed automatic transmission.

The 2016 Chevrolet Cruze is completely redesigned.
The 2016 Chevrolet Cruze is completely redesigned. Images © James Raia/2016

With keen competition in the segment, the standard equipment lists are expanding, including the collection offered in the 2016 Chevrolet Cruze.

2016 Chevrolet Cruze: all new edition

All trim levels feature a seven-inch MyLink touch-screen infotainment system with A/M-F/M radio, USB integration, a 3.5-millimeter auxiliary audio input jack, optional SiriusXM satellite radio, voice control, and CarPlay and Android Auto capabilities, keyless entry, power windows, power door locks and air conditioning.

The LT and Premier trim also feature several added feature package. My test vehicle included more $5,000 in options RS Sport Package and Sun and Sound Package. Combined, more than a dozen items are listed int he packages, mostly importantly:alloy wheels, remote start, keyless access with push-button ignition, a premium sound system by Bose with external amplifier and subwoofer, an eight-inch MyLink infotainment system with GPS navigation, a power tilt-and-sliding sunroof, and power seats.

The Premier trim is offered only with a six-speed automatic transmission and it also includes: heated leather seating surfaces and upgraded alloy wheels, among other luxury features.

Driving the new Chevrolet Cruze is surprising. It’s a compact sedan with a midsize sedan feel. It’s comfortable for front-seat and rear-seat passengers, although head room from taller back seat occupants is snug. The ride is quiet and composed, particularly at freeway speeds where the Cruze’s name is appropriate.

2016 Chevrolet Cruze: New Technology

The new Chevrolet Cruze has also kept up with the technology enhancements offered my other manufacturers. In the LT and Cruze trims, 24 months/24 gigs of 4G LTE Wi-Fi, 24 months of SiriusXM satellite radio and 24 months of OnStar guidance are included.

Likes:

Overall spaciousness.
Cavernous trunk.
Intuitive infotainment system.
Confident ride.
Superior gas mileage.

Dislikes:

Tight back seat headroom.
Exterior color (Kinetic Blue Metallic) is too bright.

Facts & Figures, 2016 Chevrolet Cruze

Acceleration: 0-60 mph, unavailable.
Airbags: 6.
Fuel economy: 30 mpg (city), 40 mpg (highway), 34 mpg (combined), six-speed automatic transmission.
Horsepower: 153.
Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price: $23,120.00.
Manufacturer’s Web site: www.chevy.com.
Price As Tested: $29,035.00.
Warranty: Bumper to bumper, 3 years/36,000 miles; Powertrain, 5 years/100,000 miles; Corrosion, 6 years/100,000 miles; Roadside Assistance, 5 years/60,000 miles; Scheduled maintenance, 2 years/24,000 miles.

What Others Say:

“The Cruze isn’t the sportiest car in the compact class, but with a starting price of $17,495 ($19,995 for the least-expensive version with the optional automatic transmission), it packs a lot of value with technology that should appeal to the young, connected car buyers that Chevrolet hopes to reach.” — Cars.com.

“Chevy’s compact sedan has three main strengths: It’s quiet, comfortable, and connected. We could throw in a fourth and applaud its conservative yet handsome design.” — Kelley Blue Book.

“Chevrolet looks to have another hit on its hands with the 2016 Cruze. Although not quite as dynamic as the Honda Civic, the Cruze is still a solid performer with some upside of its own, including a conventional six-speed auto, easy-to-use infotainment and a classic gauge layout. If you’re in the market for a compact sedan, the 2016 Cruze should be near the top of your shopping list.” — Left Lane News.

The Weekly Driver’s Final Words:

“How times have changed. With all available options, the 2016 Chevrolet Cruze approaches $30,000. That’s a lot for a compact sedan, but it’s hard to find fault spending what used to be the average price for a new car in the United States on a vehicle that has so much to offer and few weaknesses.”

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