By Lethbridge Herald on July 15, 2016.
Whether cruising or commuting, this compact is capable and comfortable
Are there any better affordable compact sedans on the market than the 2016 Chevrolet Cruze? Thats a question buyers will have to answer for themselves but its clear after a test drive, the bowtie company has set the bar high with its redesigned model.
The Cruze, Chevrolets entry in a highly competitive market, was a revelation for the company when it first rolled into showrooms. Murray Chev-Cadillac gave me one of its first for a weekend and I was impressed.
But several years later, the latest generation of Cruze shows just how far advanced the compact segment has become.
With sporty sleek new styling, improved rear seat space and high quality textures and surfaces throughout, the Cruze is a car that is going to have widespread appeal.
With a variety of trim lines, the Cruze will offer buyers everything from affordable, economical transportation to a degree of luxury and sophistication found in more expensive sedans.
This weeks tester, provided by Chris Murray of Murray Chev-Cadillac, is an LT model equipped with the RS package, painted an appropriate Red Hot colour. Thats GMs description of the paint, not mine but it is appropriate thanks to the spunky 1.4-litre turbocharged direct injection engine under the hood that produces a decent 153 horsepower. That motor is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with manual shift capability. Fuel economy with this combination is rated at a superb 31 mpg city and 45 mpg highway.
Priced at $26,135, the tester delivers high feature content for a relatively low price. The RS package adds a sport body kit, fog lights and RS badging to the Cruze, giving it a factory tuner look.
The included LT technology and convenience package, which costs $3,045, adds remote vehicle start, eight-inch colour voice-activated touchscreen with Bluetooth and Apple Carplay capability, Bose nine-speaker sound system, SiriusXM Satellite radio, power sunroof, remote vehicle start, push-button ignition, ambient interior lighting, eight-way power driver seat and a colour driver information centre mounted in the instrument cluster.
The car also has a tilt and telescoping steering wheel, heated cloth seats, steering wheel-mounted audio controls and rearview camera.
Safety features include Stabilitrak electronic stability control, a theft-deterrent system, remote panic alarm and electronic immobilizer.
For improved fuel economy, the Cruze also has an engine start/stop system which works seamlessly at stoplights. This feature will impress drivers in the urban environment who use the car for commuting.
The Cruze interior has well-bolstered comfortable seats, a simple-to-use technology suite and an airy cabin with plenty of head and shoulder room.
Three adults should find decent room in the backseat which is a noticeable difference over that first Cruze I drove years ago.
On the highway, the 1.4-litre engine delivers superb torque for passing performance.?At highway speeds, the cars interior is absolutely hushed, showing the refinement of this latest generation.
Braking is absolutely phenomenal.
Trunk space is a decent 13.9 cubic feet, making the Cruze a good companion for vacations or shopping trips.
Access to the car is easy and virtually anyone should feel comfortable in any seating position.
The exterior styling alone should attract buyers. Its edgy and sporty with an aerodynamic look that makes the car almost look in motion when its parked. Styling alone should appeal to a younger crowd who want to modify and accessorize the car, the potential to personalize for the new Cruze being unlimited.
This car is fun, well-rounded and has enough trim lines to make it appealing to a wide cross-section of buyers. Chevrolet has a winner.
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