We already have yet another reason to celebrate the coming New Year. Sometime in early 2016, Chevy will give all of us automotive consumers located State-side, the new compact Chevy Cruze.
This isn’t news…we already have the Chevy Cruze.
True enough, but we only have the sedan while the rest of the world has been enjoying the fun and hip hatchback. We’re finally going to get with the times and be able to cruise along in the hipper hatchback sibling of the Cruze sedan.
But not to worry. The Chevy Cruze sedan isn’t going anywhere. In fact, it will be refreshed for the 2016 model year. But, if you’d rather not wait to drive the 2016 Cruze sedan, there will be plenty of sedans from the current model year for purchase at your used car dealers.
Although I’m already hooked on the new hatch, I’ll give you a rundown of what the current and new sedan has in store as well.
It’s Coming: Chevy’s Hatchback is Set to Arrive Stateside
I can hardly wait!
The 2016 Chevy Cruze hatchback is destined to reach our American shores sometime early in the new year.
If the 2016 Chevy Cruze hatchback does half as well here as it does abroad, Chevy is looking at a serious payday. According to Chevrolet, “The hatch variant helped make the Cruze Chevrolet’s best-selling car globally…”
Since 2008, the Cruze sedan has been a top seller, totaling upwards of 3.5 million units sold around the globe across 115 countries. Here in the States, after the Cruze sedan replaced the Chevy Cobalt in 2010, sales of the model have exceeded one million units.
Overseas, the Chevy Cruze hatchback is a four-door vehicle; however, for the State-side release, Chevy is planning to add an extra door.
Exactly when we’ll be able to drive it remains unknown, but there is one clue that will help us estimate how soon we might drive the 2016 five-door Cruze hatchback. Although Chevy hasn’t committed to an official release date – yet – the Chevy Cruze hatchback will follow on the heels of the new 2016 Chevy Cruze sedan.
This is an interesting move by Chevy, given the current dominance of crossover vehicles and pickup trucks over all the other automotive segments. According to IHS Automotive’s Manager of Loyalty Solutions and Industry Analysis, Tom Libby, only 5.2 percent of sales through July were from the hatchback segment. And, the total number of hatchbacks sold in the United States has steadily decreased since 2012.
Libby attributes this to, “The success of the crossover is affecting all other body types except for pickups.”
That said, industry experts predict that the hatchback segment will increase at a rate of 5.8 percent by 2018. And that, according to Libby, is the reason why Chevy is releasing its hatchback on American soil now, or…soon. They want to compete with other hatchback manufacturers. In his words, “I suspect that the Cruze (hatchback) is partially in response to the success of the Focus.”
Granted, Ford has realized significant success with its hatchback version of the Ford Focus. And it’s not the only automaker to have done so. Both Kia and Hyundai have also enjoyed strong sales of their hatchback Forte and Elantra, respectively.
In fact, some automotive publications and reviewers have celebrated certain hatchbacks, like the Mazda 3 and Volkswagen Golf as among the best compact cars on the market.
Until we get closer to the actual, for now unknown release date, I can’t tell you much about the upcoming 2016 Chevy Cruze hatchback. However, if it takes any inspiration from the refreshed 2016 Chevy Cruze sedan, we should all expect a lighter model than those overseas, or in the case of the sedan, than its current 2015 version.
Also, the 2016 Chevy Cruze hatchback will likely come equipped with the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto expected to enhance most of the 2016 Chevy vehicle lineup.
So, for now, let’s see what we can track down about the revised Chevy Cruze sedan, and take a look at the what the present model has to offer.
The 2016 Chevy Cruze Sedan: Here’s the Scoop
In addition to being lighter and more tech-savvy (we should all be so lucky!), the 2016 Chevy Cruze sedan is set to be the first car from General Motors sold in the United States that will be built on the D2XX compact platform. This new architecture is poised to replace the Delta II, which is the basis for the current Chevy Cruze sedan, not to mention some Buick models.
Looking very much akin to its kin, the updated Impala and Malibu models, the new Chevy Cruze sedan sports dual-binnacle taillights, like the ones generally seen on the larger Chevy sedans.
Equipped with Chevy’s direct-injected Ecotec small-engines, expect to see at least one four-cylinder gasoline-powered engine. One of the 2016 Cruze sedans will offer a brand new dual-clutch seven-speed automatic transmission, while the others are projected to carry over the six-speed manual and six-speed automatic transmissions.
In the interest of competitive fuel economy, the Cruze will surely boast active grille shutters, and maybe an extra model with the Eco-badging.
Similar to the official release date, Chevy is keeping mum on pricing. However, industry experts are projecting the MSRP of the 2016 Chevy Cruze to be close in range to the current $17,000 tag.
Current Cruze Sedan Styling: Capable, Comfortable, and Competitive
The 2015 Chevy Cruze sedan is rife with options and customizable features.
Available in six trim levels: the L, LS, LT, LTZ, Eco, and Diesel, the 2015 Chevy Cruze sedans are all front-wheel drive and feature three engine options.
Standard equipment comes from the 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine, rated at 138 horsepower and 125 lb.-ft. of torque, as featured in the Cruze L and LS models.
Opting for the LT, LTZ, and Eco Chevy Cruze sedans gets you the 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which is rated at 138 horsepower and 148 lb.-ft. of torque.
For the diesel option, the Cruze is outfitted with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder diesel (obviously) engine, which is able to produce 151 horsepower and 264 lb.ft. of torque.
The six-speed manual transmission is standard fare on the L, LS, LT, and Eco models, while the six-speed automatic transmission is an option on the LS, LT, and Eco, but standard operation for the LTZ and diesel trim levels.
Regardless of the trim level you ultimately choose, the 2015 Chevy Cruze has some serious bragging rights when it comes to fuel economy.
The standard L and the LS models feature 22 city/35 highway/27 mpg combined, when paired to the automatic transmission, and 25 city/36 highway/29 mpg combined from the manual.
Expect 26 city/38 highway/30 mpg combined from either transmission in the LT and LTZ, while the Chevy Cruze Diesel gets 27 city/46 highway/33 mpg combined. The Cruze Eco comes in at 28 city/42 highway/33 mpg combined, which is really impressive, when paired with the manual transmission, though it does dip to 31 mpg combined when matched to the automatic transmission.
But still, you’re saving money at the pump any way you slice it…
Ready, Set, Shop? Or Wait?
Depending on your driving needs and desires, you might want to hold out for the next generation of Chevy Cruze models, whether from the sedans or the first-time-ever-U.S.-available hatchbacks. But if time is of the essence, as it usually is, the current generation of Chevy Cruze creations is capable, comfortable, and competitive, particularly with fuel efficiency.
Looks like once again, Chevy is offering a win-win situation when it comes to helping you “Find New Roads.”