The Chevrolet Cruze has been in the spotlight since its humble beginnings in 2011, and it further impressed car buyers with its redesign in 2016. Like its predecessors, the 2017 Cruze has continued to prove that compact sedans and hatchbacks aren’t to be underestimated.
The 2017 Cruze places emphasis on technology and connectivity. Each Cruze comes with a wi-fi hotspot, MyLink infotainment system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, a touchscreen radio, and a backup camera. Advanced safety features are available on some trim levels. For sedan lovers who desire power and fabulous fuel economy, a turbocharged diesel engine is an option for two of the models.
The Cruze has more up its sleeve than just gadgets. Its interior is stylish and made of high-quality materials. Rear passengers will be relieved with the large backseat. While it might not seem that important, this feature is missing on many popular sedans and compact vehicles, and it’s usually overlooked until one of your passengers points it out.
The Cruze has several disappointing characteristics, however. Acceleration and real-world fuel economy – from the standard 1.4-liter engine – is uninspiring. The engine stop-start feature, while useful to increase mpg, can’t be disabled. The lack of cruise control on the L or LS trims is also a pretty big drawback.
There are several trims available for the sedan: L, LS, LT, and Premier. The Cruze Hatchback is only available in LT and Premier.
The L and LS
The starting MSRP for the Cruze L is $17,850. This trim comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission, 15-inch steel rims, remote locking and unlocking, and automatic headlights. The LS includes a 1.4-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine, which is rated at 153 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque. The fuel economy is 32 mpg combined, or 28 in the city and 39 on the highway. For those interested in buying the L, it must be custom ordered by a dealer.
Starting with an initial MSRP of $19,400, the LS is more accessible than the L. It comes with everything in the previous trim, along with adding a front armrest, upgraded floor mats, and the option for an automatic transmission. The horsepower and torque is the same as the L, as is the mpg for the manual. The fuel economy of the automatic is 34 mpg combined, or 30 city and 40 highway.
The LT Sedan has a base MSRP of $22,115, while the LT Hatchback is $22,795. The LT improves upon the L and LS with 16-inch wheels, upgraded headlights, LED running lights, cruise control, heated mirrors, steering wheel controls, a six-speaker audio system, and satellite radio. In addition, hatchback models have a rear spoiler and cargo cover. An upgraded armrest is included with manual models, and automatic models have a USB port. The horsepower, torque, and mpg of the LT sedan is the same as the L and LS. However, the hatchback has a slightly lower mpg.
There are four packages offered on the Cruze LT. The Convenience package adds keyless entry and ignition, heated front seats, and remote engine start for automatic transmissions. The RS Appearance package upgrades the car with fog lights and a rear spoiler. The Sun and Sound package gives the car ambient interior lighting, a sunroof, a Bose audio system, and an 8-inch touchscreen display. The Driver Confidence package includes blind-spot monitoring, rear parking sensors, and a rear cross-traffic alert system.
The LT Diesel comes standard with the features of the Convenience package without remote start. It has a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine, and it produces 137 hp and 240 lb-ft of torque. The six-speed manual has a combined mpg of 37, or 30 city and 52 highway. The nine-speed automatic transmission has a fuel economy of 37 mpg combined, or 31 city and 47 highway.
The LT Diesel can be upgraded with a Leather package. The package gives the sedan a leather-wrapped heated steering wheel and leather upholstery. The Driver Confidence, and Sun and Sound packages are grouped together when offered on the LT Diesel.