We’re particularly excited about the new turbocharged, 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine, which makes 153 horsepower, an upgrade from the outgoing 1.8-liter naturally aspirated engine’s 138 hp. Torque climbs even more significantly, from 148 pound-feet to 177 in the new mill. Peak twist can be called up between 2,000 and 4,000 rpm, which should make performance easy to access. Combined with a lighter architecture that slashes the Cruze’s curb weight by 250 pounds (although the actual curb weight hasn’t been released), the new four-door can hit 60 miles per hour in a respectable eight seconds. That’s not hot hatchback territory, but it should be more than suitable for the average consumer.
That same consumer should also appreciate the new engine’s economy. The Cruze now returns an even 40 miles per gallon on the highway and will cover 530 miles on a single tank, all the while running on plain old 87-octane fuel. There’s also a diesel-powered Cruze model, although Chevy didn’t release specific details, aside from saying that it will arrive in dealers in 2017, over a year after the gas-powered model’s early 2016 on-sale date.
Despite the 250-pound drop in weight, the new Cruze has grown significantly. Its wheelbase is now the longest in the segment, with 106.3 inches of sheetmetal between the front and rear axles compared to 105.7 in last year’s model, while the sleek new body cuts the coefficient of drag to just 0.29. The overall length increases from 181 inches to 183.7, though the new model is nearly an inch lower overall. That’s both good news and bad news for interior space. Rear legroom is up from 35.4 to 36.1, but headroom is down in both the front and backseats by over half an inch.
Tech fans, meanwhile, will appreciate the new standard MyLink display. The seven-inch touchscreen is compatible with both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, while an optional eight-inch display will be offered, as well. 4G LTE wi-fi, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, and wireless phone charging will also be offered as an optional extras. New safety features include blind-spot monitoring with cross-traffic alert, lane keeping assist, and forward collision warning.
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