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2016 (all new) Chevy Cruze LT 1.4t automatic

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DRIVEN:

2016 Chevrolet Cruze 1LT 1.4t automatic (all new model) MSRP around 24,700

Includes technology package and sun and sound package

 

HIGHS:

-Ride....PLUSH

-QUIET inside...OMG quiet for this class of car

-good OOMPH from the fairly smooth 1.4t, which really has some of the character of the current 1.4, that is to say no lag and a willingness to rev (just smoother and much less noisy / buzzy).

-TRANSMISSION is nicely responsive to the turbo.  It takes some gas pedal sometimes, but mostly on the spot.

-HANDSOME interior.  Comes off as tidy, handsome, classy, attractive.  Dash, doors, console, etc.....no issues on any plastics, and the dash cloth even looks good.  Super tight on the seams for all the different finishes.  Great steering wheel, and the displays are all good.  Center controls are minimal and very nice to use and look at.  This is perhaps the biggest attraction of the car.......you can drive ALL day in this car.

-COMFORT.....less console intrusion vs. outgoing model means room to SPLAY your 6 foot legs and not bang so much into the console (and climate control switch).....shoulder space and armrest are nice.

-Great view out of the car, mostly in the front but very panoramic.  I use this term repeatedly but it's true, it's not a BUNKER.

-LEG ROOM....second row has some more leg room now vs the outgoing.  Relaxed rear seat angle makes for comfortable seating for most also.

-STYLING....for those that are sick of the outgoing version, the new Cruze has styling more akin to the competition (Asian makes mostly)

-TRUNK.......very deep and high and wide.  A big trunk for this class of car and the finish is more than tasteful and adequate.

-Touchscreen is quite attractive and nice in function and very crisp display.  It looks better in the Cruze than the Volt or Malibu because it is not in the guise of an iPad popping out of someone's uterus with blatancy.

-I really liked the sunroof overhead...seems like a ridiculous comment but it really helped at to the classy feel of the car here, and seemed larger and less like a slot.

-The heated seats are in this package with the cloth seats....thanks Chevy for not making us pony up for the leather here.

-The usual GM stuff, OnStar, 4GLTE, and now Apple Carplay and Android Auto.

-I am not sure how GM is doing it, making these really light cars feel so solid and secure on the road, but this is another example of it, its BILLET in feel.

-Even the hefty smooth feel when you open and close the doors on this car, more like a Buick.....feels far more premium in comparison to the 16 Civic i tested again right before this.

 

LOWS

-Some may criticize the new styling to be a little bland or a little too Asian (Hyundai / Kia / Honda / Mazda)

-Again, like the new cousin Malibu, the front seats feel a little insubstantial in materials and structure.

-C'mon, throw in a leather wrap on the steering wheel here.......

-Steering is a bit too slow and neutral (although probably set right for an LT / base model....perhaps the up level trim will have quicker steering with more feel)

-Cabin volume might actually be a bit less than the outgoing...at a minimum, the cabin feels a bit narrower, and us six footers have to duck our heads a lot more to get under the rear door opening.  Feels like the shoulder space is down a bit from the outgoing one (most notably in the rear).

-a 1.5 or 1.6 would be a good up level engine choice for the consumer to have (or even a 1.8 for a little more zip)

-Makes the outgoing Cruze, which is a good car, feel REALLY dated, like 10 years old

-I'm really struggling for lows here......serious when i say that.

-I think its a low when a smaller Cruze is actually a more desirable drive than the similarly new and very good Malibu, that's how good this is.

 

SUMMARY

 

Winner, winner, CHICKEN DINNER.  This really is a nice car in so many ways.  And perhaps the biggest complement i can say here is this would be a REALLY great all day trip car....i mean that....a great road vehicle compared to the outgoing one because of how refined and quiet it is.....user friendly, cushy, LUXURIOUS even.   I like the new Malibu, but I like this car even more......enough such that I would probably desire to drive this more every day.  I would even recommend this to my mom to replace her Cadillac if she just wanted something small and well priced.

 

Grade = A.  This car IMO should be the winner of the next compact class comparison in the magazines.  If not, it's a crime (THE MAZDA IS NOT THAT GOOD).  Now i think i know why there haven't been any reviews on it yet in the press.  I bet on tax day the reviews come out and blast the net, and they will all be good reviews.

 

I can't wait to try an RS package one or an LTZ / Premier........

 

 

EDIT......06/03  second test drive of Cruze LT, scroll down for later post.

 

 

 


 

 

Edited by regfootball
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Very cool, so awesome to hear that GM is building a worthy compact auto for the masses.

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The last Cruse and Verano.. not to mention, Sonic and Volt were all awesome compacts (sub), but these latest efforts are 2 steps better. The steering commentary I think is a non-issue because I really think that they may have a nice surprise in store with an "SS" and truth of the matter seems that having a "sports" compact is a secondary, by a longshot, concern for 90 percent of this market

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I'd like to see a performance version as well. Not everyone wants a Camaro 2.0T for inexpensive speed.

+1 

 

As well as an AWD version to put the STI in it's place. :P

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MT's take on the manual transmission was really negative, which is a damn shame. There were no major complaints about the stick shift in the Sonic or outgoing Cruze.

 

"Acceleration is nice and smooth with the six-speed automatic, but our single biggest gripe with the new Cruze is with the manual transmission’s shifter. The top of the knob is bigger than average and borderline clunky, the need to pull up on a little button under the shifter to get reverse feels antique, the shift throws are slightly long, and the shift action feels way too light. It seems as if its engineers didn’t expect many takers, which will of course probably be the case, and hence didn’t sweat the details."

Edited by cp-the-nerd

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MT's take on the manual transmission was really negative, which is a damn shame. There were no major complaints about the stick shift in the Sonic or outgoing Cruze.

 

"Acceleration is nice and smooth with the six-speed automatic, but our single biggest gripe with the new Cruze is with the manual transmission’s shifter. The top of the knob is bigger than average and borderline clunky, the need to pull up on a little button under the shifter to get reverse feels antique, the shift throws are slightly long, and the shift action feels way too light. It seems as if its engineers didn’t expect many takers, which will of course probably be the case, and hence didn’t sweat the details."

Shame that they had that to say, but then I really think Manuals are the way of dodo birds and should go to the history books.

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MT's take on the manual transmission was really negative, which is a damn shame. There were no major complaints about the stick shift in the Sonic or outgoing Cruze.

 

"Acceleration is nice and smooth with the six-speed automatic, but our single biggest gripe with the new Cruze is with the manual transmission’s shifter. The top of the knob is bigger than average and borderline clunky, the need to pull up on a little button under the shifter to get reverse feels antique, the shift throws are slightly long, and the shift action feels way too light. It seems as if its engineers didn’t expect many takers, which will of course probably be the case, and hence didn’t sweat the details."

Shame that they had that to say, but then I really think Manuals are the way of dodo birds and should go to the history books.

 

 

Well my car isn't getting any younger, and I have to consider what I'd get as an affordable replacement if it died or was totaled. A new Cruze 5-door was looking pretty attractive (for band gigs), but I've gotta have a stick shift if I'm gonna be stuck in a low power mainstream car.

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It's a damn good car.

 

I think it's actually the Impala of its class. As in you drive it, and you feel like you're driving a classy car.

 

GM said they were going after amazing NVH, and in a compact that is to be lauded. I wonder if they're using active noise cancellation. Of imagine if it's a Buick and Cadillac exclusive, the Verano should be downright SHEA BUTTER SMOOTH. Mnnnn....Donuts...

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MT's take on the manual transmission was really negative, which is a damn shame. There were no major complaints about the stick shift in the Sonic or outgoing Cruze.

 

"Acceleration is nice and smooth with the six-speed automatic, but our single biggest gripe with the new Cruze is with the manual transmission’s shifter. The top of the knob is bigger than average and borderline clunky, the need to pull up on a little button under the shifter to get reverse feels antique, the shift throws are slightly long, and the shift action feels way too light. It seems as if its engineers didn’t expect many takers, which will of course probably be the case, and hence didn’t sweat the details."

Shame that they had that to say, but then I really think Manuals are the way of dodo birds and should go to the history books.

 

 

Well my car isn't getting any younger, and I have to consider what I'd get as an affordable replacement if it died or was totaled. A new Cruze 5-door was looking pretty attractive (for band gigs), but I've gotta have a stick shift if I'm gonna be stuck in a low power mainstream car.

 

I thought the new versions had Torquey engines to not give that impression with an auto?

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MT's take on the manual transmission was really negative, which is a damn shame. There were no major complaints about the stick shift in the Sonic or outgoing Cruze.

 

"Acceleration is nice and smooth with the six-speed automatic, but our single biggest gripe with the new Cruze is with the manual transmission’s shifter. The top of the knob is bigger than average and borderline clunky, the need to pull up on a little button under the shifter to get reverse feels antique, the shift throws are slightly long, and the shift action feels way too light. It seems as if its engineers didn’t expect many takers, which will of course probably be the case, and hence didn’t sweat the details."

Shame that they had that to say, but then I really think Manuals are the way of dodo birds and should go to the history books.

 

 

Well my car isn't getting any younger, and I have to consider what I'd get as an affordable replacement if it died or was totaled. A new Cruze 5-door was looking pretty attractive (for band gigs), but I've gotta have a stick shift if I'm gonna be stuck in a low power mainstream car.

 

I thought the new versions had Torquey engines to not give that impression with an auto?

 

 

What I mean is that I need the fun and involvement of a manual transmission if I'm stuck in a mundane car. The only thing that keeps me content in my Malibu is the sound and power of a brawny V6, flappy paddles, and a shift pattern that I wrote myself. If I have to go from a low 14 second car to a cheaper car with 100 less horsepower and an automatic, I'll drive from the dealership straight off the nearest cliff.

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MT's take on the manual transmission was really negative, which is a damn shame. There were no major complaints about the stick shift in the Sonic or outgoing Cruze.

 

"Acceleration is nice and smooth with the six-speed automatic, but our single biggest gripe with the new Cruze is with the manual transmission’s shifter. The top of the knob is bigger than average and borderline clunky, the need to pull up on a little button under the shifter to get reverse feels antique, the shift throws are slightly long, and the shift action feels way too light. It seems as if its engineers didn’t expect many takers, which will of course probably be the case, and hence didn’t sweat the details."

Shame that they had that to say, but then I really think Manuals are the way of dodo birds and should go to the history books.

 

 

 

I agree at this point due to the fun to drive factor of automatics... sorry manual lovers, but unless U live in Texas.. and I mean BIG Texas and not Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, Fortworth, or Austin, then U really get more frustration than anything else these days with congestion the way it is. I love my Stingray's 7Speed... but I love my CTS-V's 8Speed more

 

 

MT's take on the manual transmission was really negative, which is a damn shame. There were no major complaints about the stick shift in the Sonic or outgoing Cruze.

 

"Acceleration is nice and smooth with the six-speed automatic, but our single biggest gripe with the new Cruze is with the manual transmission’s shifter. The top of the knob is bigger than average and borderline clunky, the need to pull up on a little button under the shifter to get reverse feels antique, the shift throws are slightly long, and the shift action feels way too light. It seems as if its engineers didn’t expect many takers, which will of course probably be the case, and hence didn’t sweat the details."

Shame that they had that to say, but then I really think Manuals are the way of dodo birds and should go to the history books.

 

 

Well my car isn't getting any younger, and I have to consider what I'd get as an affordable replacement if it died or was totaled. A new Cruze 5-door was looking pretty attractive (for band gigs), but I've gotta have a stick shift if I'm gonna be stuck in a low power mainstream car.

 

 

 

In the end.. U should have tested the manual out before U read what they said. It may just influence your decision some how even when U do now.

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The last Cruse and Verano.. not to mention, Sonic and Volt were all awesome compacts (sub), but these latest efforts are 2 steps better. The steering commentary I think is a non-issue because I really think that they may have a nice surprise in store with an "SS" and truth of the matter seems that having a "sports" compact is a secondary, by a longshot, concern for 90 percent of this market

 

The LT for steering was very good to meet the expectation of those who want a mid level trim car as a commuter.

 

I have no doubt with the premier + watts link and revised steering its fine for those who want it a bit sharper.

 

The car just came out too, we'll have a performance version down the road.  

 

Really, it is amazing, I drove the civic turbo and this back to back, and the Civic is a nice car.  But the turbo has lag, not tire spinning torquey, and what ruins it is the CVT and typical Honda tinny / noise crap.  Get in the Cruze right after and its quiet and feels refined, like a little luxury car.  I'm friggin shocked.  

 

Like I said, for the bulk of the population, I don't see how this is not the best compact out there.  No way general folks won't like the quietness of it and make it #1 vs the Civic and Mazda if they drive it.  The lame ass buff books will still call the Honda and Mazda the winners, and honestly its a lie for them to do that.  

 

By the way, what i found strange most of all was how much quicker the 1.4 cruze felt than the 1.5 malibu.  I bet there is a full second diff in the 0-60, withe Cruze being faster.  The 1.5 Malibu runs out of breath quickly.  The Cruze winds up and lasts longer.  You gotta gas it to downshift, otherwise it might feel slower.  The Cruze feels like a mid 7 second car.  

Edited by regfootball

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MT's take on the manual transmission was really negative, which is a damn shame. There were no major complaints about the stick shift in the Sonic or outgoing Cruze.

 

"Acceleration is nice and smooth with the six-speed automatic, but our single biggest gripe with the new Cruze is with the manual transmission’s shifter. The top of the knob is bigger than average and borderline clunky, the need to pull up on a little button under the shifter to get reverse feels antique, the shift throws are slightly long, and the shift action feels way too light. It seems as if its engineers didn’t expect many takers, which will of course probably be the case, and hence didn’t sweat the details."

Shame that they had that to say, but then I really think Manuals are the way of dodo birds and should go to the history books.

 

the outgoing Cruze had a really sweet manual, and i agree, manuals are on the way out.  I love driving a stick but now again I am sick of them, and to be honest they will be regulated out of existence I feel.  You can't shift faster or better than an auto, autos get better mpg, and being stuck in traffic in a manual in between shifts and the need for sudden acceleration etc, i believe they will try to prove them unsafe.

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The last Cruse and Verano.. not to mention, Sonic and Volt were all awesome compacts (sub), but these latest efforts are 2 steps better. The steering commentary I think is a non-issue because I really think that they may have a nice surprise in store with an "SS" and truth of the matter seems that having a "sports" compact is a secondary, by a longshot, concern for 90 percent of this market

 

The LT for steering was very good to meet the expectation of those who want a mid level trim car as a commuter.

 

I have no doubt with the premier + watts link and revised steering its fine for those who want it a bit sharper.

 

The car just came out too, we'll have a performance version down the road.  

 

Really, it is amazing, I drove the civic turbo and this back to back, and the Civic is a nice car.  But the turbo has lag, not tire spinning torquey, and what ruins it is the CVT and typical Honda tinny / noise crap.  Get in the Cruze right after and its quiet and feels refined, like a little luxury car.  I'm friggin shocked.  

 

Like I said, for the bulk of the population, I don't see how this is not the best compact out there.  No way general folks won't like the quietness of it and make it #1 vs the Civic and Mazda if they drive it.  The lame ass buff books will still call the Honda and Mazda the winners, and honestly its a lie for them to do that.  

 

By the way, what i found strange most of all was how much quicker the 1.4 cruze felt than the 1.5 malibu.  I bet there is a full second diff in the 0-60, withe Cruze being faster.  The 1.5 Malibu runs out of breath quickly.  The Cruze winds up and lasts longer.  You gotta gas it to downshift, otherwise it might feel slower.  The Cruze feels like a mid 7 second car.  

 

 

 

 

The Mazda 3 is a nice car, but just from pics I can bet the Cruze has one upped them at least. The Cruze is a segment leader in sales.. and only fell in sales last year because of the change-over. Magazines act a if they don't kno this.. and completely forget that the new Cruze was supposed to debut a year ago. I think the idea was to essentially kill the Chevy Car line.. and Reboot it almost simultaneously with a Camaro, Volt, Malibu, Cruze SLAM.. riding on the wave of the Stingray, Impala, and SS. The Sonic and Spark got makeovers too.

 

As for the acceleration difference between the 'Bu and the Cruze.. Yeah.. I have read that it might be the case. But there for those who want a faster Malibu... the 250HP Malibu 2.0L Turbo actually is almost as fast as my 3.6L Impala. STEPPING STONES I think is the way they are modelling it, so I don't find it strange at all. 

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Yeah I've driven the 2.0 Malibu and that has plenty of go juice. Thing is. Cruze is 30/35/42 mpg. Malibu 2.0 is only 22/26/33. Huge mpg diff

 

 

Just different approaches.. especially concerning size. I mean one could make the same assessment coming out of a 535 and getting into a 335i. Also.. in terms of fuel economy.. as far as I kno.. the Cruze will be stopping at 30/35/42, while the Malibu does have a hybrid pulling in 47/46/46 and a 0-60 time in the exact same numbers as the Cruze, while being a larger car.

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Yeah I've driven the 2.0 Malibu and that has plenty of go juice. Thing is. Cruze is 30/35/42 mpg. Malibu 2.0 is only 22/26/33. Huge mpg diff

 

 

Just different approaches.. especially concerning size. I mean one could make the same assessment coming out of a 535 and getting into a 335i. Also.. in terms of fuel economy.. as far as I kno.. the Cruze will be stopping at 30/35/42, while the Malibu does have a hybrid pulling in 47/46/46 and a 0-60 time in the exact same numbers as the Cruze, while being a larger car.

 

Aren't we supposed to see a diesel Cruze yet? That thing will eat up that 47/46/46 of the hybrid Malibu. The ratings may not be there but diesels are known to easily out due their ratings anyway. 

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Yeah I've driven the 2.0 Malibu and that has plenty of go juice. Thing is. Cruze is 30/35/42 mpg. Malibu 2.0 is only 22/26/33. Huge mpg diff

 

 

Just different approaches.. especially concerning size. I mean one could make the same assessment coming out of a 535 and getting into a 335i. Also.. in terms of fuel economy.. as far as I kno.. the Cruze will be stopping at 30/35/42, while the Malibu does have a hybrid pulling in 47/46/46 and a 0-60 time in the exact same numbers as the Cruze, while being a larger car.

 

Aren't we supposed to see a diesel Cruze yet? That thing will eat up that 47/46/46 of the hybrid Malibu. The ratings may not be there but diesels are known to easily out due their ratings anyway. 

 

 

 

 

Yeah.. but its diesel tho. Sorry, but I have never been a fan of Diesels, and have always been confused as to what so-called enthusiasts saw in them. Sure they have nice torque.. but they are slow in most situations. To fuel economy.. it is usually a wash.. as diesel fuel may get U better MPGs but the cost is normally $.15 higher than regular

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Wish I could have driven one of these before I left the GM store I worked at. I really like how they look, and am a big fan of the outgoing Cruze. Based on my impressions of the Malibu, I have no doubts this is a fantastic vehicle.

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MT's take on the manual transmission was really negative, which is a damn shame. There were no major complaints about the stick shift in the Sonic or outgoing Cruze.

 

"Acceleration is nice and smooth with the six-speed automatic, but our single biggest gripe with the new Cruze is with the manual transmission’s shifter. The top of the knob is bigger than average and borderline clunky, the need to pull up on a little button under the shifter to get reverse feels antique, the shift throws are slightly long, and the shift action feels way too light. It seems as if its engineers didn’t expect many takers, which will of course probably be the case, and hence didn’t sweat the details."

Shame that they had that to say, but then I really think Manuals are the way of dodo birds and should go to the history books.

 

the outgoing Cruze had a really sweet manual, and i agree, manuals are on the way out.  I love driving a stick but now again I am sick of them, and to be honest they will be regulated out of existence I feel.  You can't shift faster or better than an auto, autos get better mpg, and being stuck in traffic in a manual in between shifts and the need for sudden acceleration etc, i believe they will try to prove them unsafe.

 

 

Better MPG is questionable conclusion, the EPA test procedures are clearly biased toward the pre-programmed gear shifting of an automatic. In the vast majority of cases, owners of manual transmissions still report higher fuel economy than their automatic counterparts (with equal gears). I also don't see any viable case to call manual transmissions "unsafe," it's a clear defense against distracted driving and these modern cars have hill-hold assist when stopped on an incline, rev matching, and no-lift shifting to prevent mistakes.

 

From what I've seen, Americans have become disenchanted with driving itself in favor of automation and technology. It's certainly EASIER to drive an automatic, and we live in an age where easy defaults to "better."

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the combined mpg on the new gas Cruze is 35 mpg.  The combined mpg on the outgoing diesel is like 33.  There is huge mpg improvements over the last gen.  I will not be surprised to see a combined 40+ out of the 17 Cruze diesel.

 

If it gets here........and the global diesel witch hunt doesn't take it out.

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the combined mpg on the new gas Cruze is 35 mpg.  The combined mpg on the outgoing diesel is like 33.  There is huge mpg improvements over the last gen.  I will not be surprised to see a combined 40+ out of the 17 Cruze diesel.

 

If it gets here........and the global diesel witch hunt doesn't take it out.

I would not be surprised to see the Diesel replaced with a Hybrid based on the VOLT system.

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