North America’s 2016 Chevrolet Cruze Compact Sedan

Adding to the many new car presentations made on Wednesday – including the 2016 Camaro Convertible, is another Chevrolet, the 2016 Cruze for North America and other markets.

Larger and lighter than the car it replaces, Chevy’s next generation compact sedan also differs notably in appearance from the China market Cruze that was unveiled last year, with its styling influenced by the Impala and Malibu.

I find it better looking and more contemporary than the China-market model, especially in the pictured “RS” trim that adds unique grilles, front and rear fascias, fog lamps, a front splitter, rocker panels, rear spoiler and 18-inch wheels on the Premier model.

The new Cruze rides on GM’s new D2 front-drive architecture that adds 0.6 inches (15mm) to the wheelbase at 106.3 inches or 2,700mm, and 2.7 inches (69mm) of overall length at 183.7 inches or 4,666 mm. According to Chevy, the new model offers more rear legroom at 36.1 inches / 917 mm, and 2 inches / 51mm additional rear knee room.

Even though it’s a little bit bigger than the model it replaces, curb weight has been lowered by 250 pounds or 113 kg, which is very impressive given the category / size of the car, as well as the fact that GM did not use exotic and expensive materials such as carbon fiber.

“The Cruze’s chassis system is perhaps the most mass-efficient in the segment,” said Ron Arnesen, executive chief engineer. “It is at the core of the car’s dynamic driving character, which is designed to deliver fun with an enhanced feeling of connectivity.”

Up front, the 2016 Cruze features a MacPherson strut suspension, while at the back, there’s a torsion beam axle on L, LS and LT models, and an enhanced Z-link design on the new Premier edition. Rack-mounted electric power steering, along with StabiliTrak electronic stability control, with traction control, rollover mitigation and anti-lock brakes are standard on all models. Wheel sizes will range from 15 to 18 inches.

In Canada and the US, the Cruze will be driven by a standard, all-new 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline engine rated at 153hp and 177 lb-ft (240 Nm) of torque paired to a standard 6-speed manual or optional 6-speed automatic transmission. Thanks to its low weight, the base Cruze can reach 60mph (96km/h) in 8 seconds. At the same time, GM says it will return an estimated highway fuel economy of 40mpg.

In 2017, Chevy will add an even more frugal diesel engines to the range, with details to be announced closer to launch.

Other highlights include an all-new and standard MyLink infotainment system with a 7-inch-diagonal color touchscreen that’s compatible with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, plus an available MyLink radio with an 8-inch display and navigation that incorporates Apple CarPlay.

GM said this version of the Cruze will eventually be offered in more than 40 global markets, but it will first  go on sale in North America in early 2016.  A hatchback version of the Cruze for the USA is also under consideration, according to recent reports.

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  • BlackPegasus

    Huge improvement design wise. And I really like the direction GM has taken with it’s interiors. For a compact, it appears well appointed with soft touch surfaces. Nice job 👌🏽

  • Yourmanistaken

    This car is only 0.2 inches shorter than the Dodge Dart which is 183.9″

  • Six_Tymes

    I have been waiting on this since I read they were going to make a big change, since they did in a huge way I will be buying one. Nice job!

  • dubfun

    Very underwhelming. Not a bad design per se, but it could be a Corolla or a Hyundai or a Kia. Hasn’t broken any new ground. Gotta give props to the interior though.

  • Harlan McCartney

    Umm did someone put a Chevy Badge on a Chrysler 200??

  • carsmofo

    Chevy is making the same mistake as Honda did with the Civic and Civic hybrid, by making the Cruze too similar to the Volt. The reason the Prius and the old Volt were so popular because they were unique and distinguishable. The redesigned Volt is already bad, and this new Cruze just made it worse.

    • pcurve

      Hrm I think redesigned Volt is huge improvement. From three quarter rear view, it’s quite striking with its fastback look. But I do see your point. Cruz looks pretty similar.

      I think Hybrid as a statement car phase is over. People buy hybrid to save money. Good mileage, reliability, and practicality would be people’s chief concerns imho.

      • carsmofo

        well, what i really meant was, when consumers are paying $34k+ MSRP for the Volt, they sure would prefer that it doesnt look like a cheap $16K car.

  • Nordschleife

    I like the new Cruze. Hate the rear bumper. Love the interior. Say what you will about American made cars but their interior design is not as cookie cutter as say the German brands.

  • Kash

    I think they just need to conglomerate the Volt and Cruze into one model name.

  • pcurve

    little too much shiny bits on the dash… but love it otherwise!

  • dumblikeyou2

    I like it, but I think it would have turned out better without all the swoops, faux grilles and reflectors on the rear bumper. A smooth bumper cap design looks like it would have been nicer.

  • SSS

    Front and side looks too much like an Elantra and back with little touch of Ford Fiesta.
    The designer is the one who designed the Elantra, used to be at Hyundai.
    But overall, it doesn’t look that bad actually.

  • TheBelltower

    Unlike the awkward current Cruze, this doesn’t look like the designers are attempting to punish you for driving an inexpensive car.

  • SgtBeavis

    Chevy has a problem. Why buy the new Malibu when you can be driving this. Frankly this is a vastly better design. Going up market from the ‘Bu is the very impressive Impala (though pricey).

  • trent

    No HID or LED headlights, no buy.

  • smartacus

    well there must be some kind of redeeming quality to it somewhere… if i look hard enough i might see it.

    • Chatman

      Ahh yes, I see it too…4 doors?

  • smartacus

    the sides are copied from Mazda6 and 2016 Maxima

  • Nik

    And every month recall offer will be available too? as with previous model? 🙂