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Chevrolet's 2016 Cruze is more fun with a manual transmission (pictures)

To make the best use of the 153 horsepower from the 2016 Chevrolet Cruze's 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine it's best to pair it with the six-speed manual transmission. Chevy is offering the fluid-shifting manual gearbox on the L, LS and LT versions of the new Cruze.

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Jon Wong
Jon Wong was a reviews editor for CNET Cars. He test drove and wrote about new cars and oversaw coverage of automotive accessories and garage gear. In his spare time, he enjoys track days, caring for his fleet of old Japanese cars and searching for the next one to add to his garage.
Jon Wong
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Chevrolet's second-generation Cruze is larger and lighter than its predecessor thanks to a lighter body structure and drivetrain components.

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The sole engine option for the new Cruze is a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with direction injection. Output is rated at 153 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque.

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A six-speed manual transmission is standard on L, LS and LT models of the new Cruze, while a six-speed automatic gearbox is available on LS and LT models. On the range-topping Premier version, the automatic is the only transmission option.

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The new Cruze's body structure is constructed from roughly 8 percent hot-stamped/high-strength steel, which helps increase stiffness by 27 percent compared with the first-generation car.

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An optional RS package dresses up the appearance of the new Cruze with specific grilles, front and rear fascias, fog lights, front splitter, rocker panels and rear spoiler.

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The new Cruze borrows styling inspiration from the Impala and Malibu.

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Together with the six-speed manual transmission, the 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine features an EPA fuel economy rating of 29 mpg in the city and 41 mpg on the highway.

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While many of the Cruze's competitors feature independent rear suspension setups, the Chevy retains a torsion beam system out back.

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The electric power-steering system on the new Cruze is shared with the Chevrolet Camaro and Cadillac ATS.

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The new Cruze comes standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration.

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