Longer, lower… lighter

Significant changes are coming in the 2016 Chevrolet Cruze (Image: General Motors)

Significant changes are in store for the 2016 Chevrolet Cruze (Image: General Motors)

2016 Chevy Cruze gains power, too


After selling eleventy billion Cruze models in North America since the fall of 2010, it was time for something new from Chevrolet.

Last week’s unveiling of the second-generation of the brand’s big-selling compact sedan showed that a commitment to space and economy is still top of mind amongst GM brass.

And how could it not be, with the Cruze being such a big name in the ever-competitive compact sedan market?

Interior of the 2016 Cruze (Image: General Motors)

Interior of the 2016 Cruze (Image: General Motors)

The 2016 Cruze gains all-new looks and dimensions, coming in an inch lower, 2.7 inches longer, and a whopping 250 pounds lighter than outgoing models.

The ‘more space, less weight’ approach was recently tried on the 2016 Malibu, and like that model, the stretch should aid rear seat legroom.

The weight loss, coupled with a slippery new body, will allow the car to achieve 40 MPG (U.S.) on the highway, according to GM estimates. Before, only the specialized (but popular) Eco model broke the 40 MPG barrier.

Under the hood, the base 1.8-litre four has been mothballed, replaced by a standard 1.4-litre direct-injection turbo four.

The new engine, which comes with start/stop technology sees horsepower bumped to 153, compared to 138 on older models. Torque sees a big boost – 177 lb-ft, versus the 148 cranked out by the previous 1.4-litre.

(As the owner of a current 1.4-litre Cruze, I can only imagine how well this power increase would improve the vehicle’s performance, especially in hilly terrain)

Specs provided by GM show a slight displacement increase over the previous 1.4-litre – 1399 cubic centimetres versus 1364.

The 2016 Cruze is seeking a competitive edge over its rivals (Image: General Motors)

The 2016 Cruze is seeking a competitive edge over its rivals (Image: General Motors)

A 6-speed automatic and 6-speed manual will be available, while it looks like the triple-overdrive setup offered on the 1st Generation Eco models will be retired.

On the niceties front, the top-level LTZ will be replaced by a ‘Premiere’ trim line, while the addition of an ‘L’ version below the familiar LS and LT hints that Chevy might be pursuing a low entry level price.

A new diesel model will bow for 2017, the company claims.

The 2nd Generation Cruze is expected in dealerships in early 2016.