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The 2019 Chevrolet Cruze compact car finally gets with the times. This year, the Cruze sedan and hatchback sport revised styling, updated technology, and a raft of collision-avoidance gear it lacked last year.
The 2019 Cruze, available in L, LS, LT, and Premier trim levels, can be had with either a 1.4-liter turbo-4 gas engine or a 1.6-liter turbodiesel, paired to 6- or 9-speed automatic transmissions. GM has added some new features to the 2019 Cruze, on certain trim levels. On the most expensive Cruze Premier, Chevy now offers a full suite of safety technology, including automatic emergency braking and active lane control. That’s a shame, especially because most rivals make those features available across their entire lineups. Safety advances should be made available across the board, in our view.
This year’s nip-and-tuck gives the Cruze a new front bumper and grille, plus LED accent lighting on some trim levels. The sport-styled RS trim package available on higher Cruze trim levels now features black wheels and emblems. Oddly, leather upholstery is no longer optional—what looks and kind of feels like real hides is synthetic.
Outside, the Cruze is taut and toned, with few wasted lines—aside from a busy front fascia that’s new for 2019. The Cruze hatchback’s wheelbase stretches the same 106.3 inches as the sedan’s, but its truncated rear end shaves a hefty 8 inches off of its overall length. So much for hatchback utility.
The vast majority of Chevy Cruzes, regardless of body style, feature a 1.4-liter turbo-4 rated at 153 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque. The small engine is smooth, but hardly quick with the standard 6-speed automatic transmission. Quick power steering delivers good response around town and the Cruze settles into a comfortable, uh, cruise at highway speeds. Its tires let in more road noise than we’d like to see from a compact car that can hit $30,000 with a few options, but overall it’s a hair more refined than most rivals.
Higher-spec Cruzes—Premier and LTs with the RS or Redline package—feature a more sophisticated rear suspension setup that delivers sharper handling. However, no Cruze has the quick reflexes of the Mazda 3 or the Honda Civic.
*This vehicle is Certified Pre-Owned and is eligible for our third party warranty program.