Chevrolet has just taken the wraps off the all-new 2016 Cruze – a larger and lighter, more efficient and more sophisticated evolution of the brand’s best-selling global car.
The all-new 2016 Cruze is now packed with new technologies such as available Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and new active safety features, as well as a more spacious interior and an athletic, aerodynamically optimized design.
Under the hood, power is supplied by a new 1.4-litre turbocharged engine with direct injection that produces 153hp and 240 Nm of torque. With more torque than the current Cruze’s 1.4-litre turbo and a lighter architecture, the new turbocharged engine is expected to deliver 0-100km/h sprint in just 8 seconds. That makes the new Cruze quicker than most competitors, while also beating most of them in terms of fuel efficiency, with a GM-estimated 7.1-litres/100km on the highway with the help of a 6-speed automatic transmission. Stop/start technology also helps enhance the Cruze’s efficiency in stop-and-go driving.
Proportionally, the new Cruze is 68 mm longer and nearly 25 mm shorter in height than the current model, giving it a longer and leaner appearance. A faster windshield rake and a faster-sloping rear profile lend a sportier look to the design, while the rear profile culminates in a standard integral rear spoiler that contributes to the car’s aero efficiency.
The 2016 Cruze’s interior on the other hand, is designed to be more comfortable and a better connected environment for the driver and passengers.
The greater spaciousness includes more rear legroom 917 mm and 51 mm more rear knee room – more than Ford Focus and Hyundai Elantra. Beyond the quantifiable, there’s greater perceptual spaciousness in the new Cruze, driven by flowing line work in the instrument panel, which blends almost seamlessly with the front door panels.
Like the exterior, the Cruze’s interior – and the instrument panel in particular – feature lean, muscular and layered surfaces built around the Chevrolet-signature dual-cockpit theme. It’s a thoroughly modern design that emphasizes human-technology interaction through the standard MyLink screen in the “centre stack.”
A mixture of accents, from piano black and matte black finishes to bright trim, along with more premium features such as heated rear leather seats and wireless phone charging, complement the cabin with an upscale ambience generally reserved for midsize sedans in now available in a smaller vehicle like the Cruze.
Through smartphone integration, Cruze’s all-new Chevrolet MyLink infotainment system provides simple and intuitive use of smartphones in the vehicle. It integrates certain phone functions onto the Cruze’s 7-inch-diagonal colour touchscreen, allowing them to call up music, navigation apps and more. An uplevel MyLink radio with an 8-inch display and navigation is available and also incorporates Apple CarPlay.
Apple CarPlay takes the iPhone features owners want to access while driving and puts them on the vehicle’s display in a smart, simple manner. This allows drivers to make calls, send and receive messages and listen to music right from the touchscreen or by voice via Siri. Apple CarPlay-supported apps include Phone, Messages, Maps, Music and compatible third-party apps.
Those who don’t have an iPhone fret not, because there’s also Android Auto. It is built around Google Maps, Google Now and the ability to talk to Google, as well as a growing audio and messaging app ecosystem that includes WhatsApp, Skype, Google Play Music, Spotify and podcast players. Android Auto requires a phone running an Android Lollipop 5.0 operating system or higher.
Getting connected with both applications is very simple. A “Projection” icon on the MyLink screen is visible when a phone is not connected, then changes to indicate CarPlay or Android Auto when a compatible phone is connected via USB.
Complementing MyLink to enhance Cruze’s connectivity is available OnStar with 4G LTE and built-in Wi-Fi hotspot.
In terms of safety, the 2016 Cruze’s safety story begins with the new, stronger body structure that incorporates high-strength steel in key areas to enhance strength and crash protection by helping to prevent intrusion into passenger compartment.
Cruze also returns with a segment-leading 10 standard air bags, including frontal driver and passenger air bags, roof rail-mounted head curtain side air bags that help protect the front and outboard rear seating positions; seat-mounted side-impact air bags (front and rear); and front knee air bags.
Available safety features include an expanded range of crash-avoidance technologies, including Side Blind Zone Alert, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, Lane Keep Assist and Forward Collision Alert.
The all-new Chevy Cruze will be offered in more than 40 global markets and it goes on sale first in North America in early 2016.