Used 2019 Chevrolet Cruze
Pros & Cons
- Feels sporty and planted around turns
- Touchscreen interface is easy to use
- Available diesel-powered engine for high fuel economy
- Gas engine's disappointing acceleration and real-world fuel economy
- Diesel engine's high upfront cost
- Front seats aren't particularly comfortable
Which Cruze does Edmunds recommend?
Edmunds' Expert Review
Chevrolet hopes a fresh new look will entice buyers to take a look at the 2019 Cruze. It has features that buyers in the compact class want, such as smartphone mirroring through a fast-acting 7-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth, solid crash test scores and enjoyable handling. The Cruze is also available as a sedan or a hatchback and can be fitted with a fuel-efficient diesel engine, which is distinctive for this class of car.
But certain aspects of the Cruze have kept it as the perennial second string to segment leaders Honda Civic, Kia Forte and Mazda 3. The Cruze's engine choices are the main drawback. The base engine lacks punch, and the diesel, though preferable from a driving standpoint, is a costly option with questionable value from a gas-savings standpoint.
Chevrolet Cruze models
The 2019 Chevrolet Cruze is a compact sedan or hatchback. Available trims include L (sedan only), LS, LT, Diesel and Premier. The L and the LS are pretty light on features. The LT is better, though you'll still need to get a couple option packages to equip it with some desirable safety features. The Diesel and the Premier get most of the Cruze's features.
Powering most Cruze trims is a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine (153 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque) that drives the front wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission.
The L is only available to dealers through custom ordering. Standard equipment includes 15-inch steel wheels, automatic headlights, remote locking and unlocking, air conditioning, 60/40-split folding rear seatbacks, Bluetooth, a four-speaker audio system with two USB ports, OnStar (with 4G LTE connectivity and Wi-Fi hotspot), a rearview camera, a 7-inch central touchscreen and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone app integration.
Much more common is the LS, which is similarly equipped but adds a front center armrest and carpeted floor mats. An LS Convenience package adds cruise control, 16-inch wheels and steering wheel-mounted controls.
We think you'll be happier with the LT. It comes with the above as standard plus upgraded headlights with LED running lights, a rear center armrest with cupholders, a rear USB port and a six-speaker audio system with satellite radio. You can also get more features through a couple of packages. An optional Driver Confidence package adds rear parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert, while the Convenience package (requires the Driver Confidence package) includes keyless ignition and entry, heated mirrors, heated front seats and a power-adjustable driver's seat.
The Diesel is similar to the LT with its optional features. It's powered by a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder diesel (137 hp, 240 lb-ft) and a nine-speed automatic transmission. An optional Preferred package bundles simulated leather upholstery with a heated steering wheel.
The Cruze Premier gets most of the above plus 17-inch wheels, an upgraded rear suspension, chrome exterior accents, ambient interior lighting and illuminated vanity mirrors.
Both the LT and the Premier offer an RS Appearance package, with foglights, a rear spoiler, a sport body kit and 18-inch wheels for Premier models, and a Sun and Sound package that includes a sunroof and a nine-speaker Bose audio system. The Driver Confidence II package, offered only on the Premier, adds automatic high-beam headlight control, forward collision warning, low-speed automatic emergency braking and lane keeping assist.
Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the Chevrolet Cruze Premier Sedan (turbo 1.4L inline-4 | 6-speed automatic | FWD).
NOTE: Since this test was conducted in 2016, the current Cruze has received some revisions, including this year's revisions to the list of standard and optional features, including faux-leather instead of real leather on the Premier trim. Additionally, the 2019 model finally gives drivers the ability to disable the automatic engine start/stop system. Our findings remain broadly applicable to this year's Cruze, however.
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Most helpful consumer reviews
2019 Chevrolet Cruze video
2017 Chevrolet Cruze Expert Rundown
NOTE: This video is about the 2018 Chevrolet Cruze, but since the 2019 Chevrolet Cruze is part of the same generation, our earlier analysis still applies.
Our experts like the Cruze models:
- Teen Driver system
- Monitor your young driver with alerts for exceeded speed limits. Can mute audio until all occupants are belted.
- OnStar Crash Response
- Contacts emergency response in the case of an accident, even if you are incapacitated.
- Rear Cross-Traffic Alert
- Warns you if someone is crossing your path of travel when in reverse. Perfect in parking lots.
Chevrolet Cruze vs. the competition
2019 Chevrolet Cruze
2018 Chevrolet Malibu
Chevrolet Cruze vs. Chevrolet Malibu
City drivers will prefer the Cruze's smaller footprint and tighter turning radius, but the Malibu's larger interior cabin will benefit rear passengers. Interestingly, the Cruze hatchback has more cargo room than the Malibu. The Cruze's available diesel engine will be of interest to drivers who operate primarily on the highway, while the Malibu's available hybrid powertrain will benefit city drivers.
Chevrolet Cruze vs. Ford Focus
Both models are available in either hatchback or sedan form. They share similar exterior and interior dimensions, though rear passengers in the Focus will have to deal with less legroom. The Cruze's smaller engine doesn't make as much horsepower as the Focus', but it gets better economy.
Chevrolet Cruze vs. Kia Forte
Although the interior and exterior dimensions are very similar, that's all that the Cruze and Forte share. The Cruze has tighter handling, while the Forte's engine is more powerful, though at the expense of fuel economy. You can get more features for your money with the Forte, and Kia also offers a few that Chevy doesn't (such as dual-zone climate control and ventilated front seats). Read Edmunds' long-term road test of the Kia Forte.
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Is the Chevrolet Cruze a good car?
What's new in the 2019 Chevrolet Cruze?
According to Edmunds’ car experts, here’s what’s new for the 2019 Chevrolet Cruze:
- Mildly updated styling
- All Cruze trims come standard with a 7-inch infotainment system
- Revised feature availability
- Engine stop-start function can now be switched off
- Part of the second Cruze generation introduced for 2016
Is the Chevrolet Cruze reliable?
Is the 2019 Chevrolet Cruze a good car?
How much should I pay for a 2019 Chevrolet Cruze?
The least-expensive 2019 Chevrolet Cruze is the 2019 Chevrolet Cruze L 4dr Sedan (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A). Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $17,995.
Other versions include:
- LS 4dr Sedan (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A) which starts at $19,120
- LT 4dr Sedan (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A) which starts at $21,720
- LT 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl Turbodiesel 9A) which starts at $25,620
- L 4dr Sedan (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A) which starts at $17,995
- Premier 4dr Sedan (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A) which starts at $23,520