Chevy's compact sedan and hatchback get fresh styling for 2019.
The Chevrolet Cruze has been on sale in the US since 2010 and entered its current, second generation in 2016. For the 2019 model year, the Cruze sedan and hatchback receive updated exterior styling and more standard interior tech, while losing the available (and unpopular) six-speed manual transmission.
Click here to read our most recent Chevrolet Cruze review.
The Cruze is offered with a choice of two powertrains. A 1.4-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine is the standard offering with 153 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque, which is about average for the class as far as horsepower is concerned, but that torque figure nearly leads the competition's standard engines.
If you want segment-shattering torque, though, opt for the class-unique 1.6-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder with 137 horsepower and 240 pound-feet of torque. The diesel engine powers the Cruze's front wheels via a nine-speed automatic transmission whereas the standard engine uses a six-speed automatic.
EPA-estimated fuel economy is as high as 28 miles per gallon in the city and 38 mpg highway for the gasoline-powered Cruze while the diesel version, which leads the class, is good for up to 31mpg city and 48mpg highway. The most fuel-efficient versions of the Honda Civic (32/42), Hyundai Elantra (32/40), Kia Forte (31/41) and Volkswagen Jetta (30/40) can't really compete.
There's enough room for up to five occupants in the Cruze. With the sedan, trunk space is pretty good at 14.8 cubic feet, beating the Subaru Impreza (12.3) and Toyota Corolla (13), but falling short against the Honda Civic and Nissan Sentra , both at 15.1 cubic feet.
The Cruze Hatchback offers up to 47.2 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats folded. While that's superior to the Civic hatchback's 46.2 cubic feet, the Cruze is less capacious than the Subaru Impreza at 55.3 cubic feet and the Volkswagen Golf at 52.7 cubic feet.
The 2019 Cruze comes standard with 4G LTE Wi-Fi plus Apple CarPlay and Android Auto on a 7-inch touchscreen. That's pretty robust for the segment, although driver-assistance features including collision-mitigation braking, lane-keep assist, automatic high beams, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert are all optional.
Base prices for the Chevy Cruze range from $17,995 to $26,120 plus $875 for destination, which is pretty affordable for the low end of the class and pricey for the high end. The base Cruze L comes in sedan form only and includes 15-inch steel wheels with plastic covers, automatic stop-start, cloth upholstery, a folding rear seat, power windows, power door locks with lockout protection and a four-speaker stereo.
The LS trim starts at $19,120 and adds carpeted floor mats on the sedan, but the LS and higher trims are both offered on the sedan and hatch. The LT trim starts at $21,720 and adds 16-inch alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights, remote start, cruise control, automatic climate control, a 60/40 split-folding rear seat and a six-speaker stereo with satellite radio.
The Premier starts at $23,520 and features 17-inch wheels, keyless access with push-button start, an eight-way power driver's seat and a heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel in addition to heated front seats and a leatherette-trimmed interior. The diesel starts at $25,620 (with the hatchback version starting at $26,120) and, in addition to the diesel engine and nine-speed automatic transmission, has everything the LT offers plus remote start, heated front seats and an eight-way power driver's seat.
Notable options include a sunroof, a nine-speaker Bose premium audio system and a performance brake package. Tick every box, and the Cruze can end up totaling $32,700 including destination.
The 2019 Chevrolet Cruze is on sale at dealerships nationwide now.