I had been waiting for this car to come out for over a year. I like compact cars that have decent interior space, and on paper, this looked like it would be great. When it finally came out, I took an LT for a long test drive, fully expecting to buy it if I liked it. There were several things I liked about it: (1) Once going, the engine accelerated really well. (2) The driver's seat was extremely comfortable. (3) The ride and handling were great for an inexpensive compact car. (4) The rear seats finally have decent legroom. (5) Tight turning radius makes it very easy to maneuver in tiny parking spaces. (6) The instruments and infotainment screen gave me all that I needed and were easy to use. OK, sounds great, but I didn't buy it. Why? Because: (1) The stupid start/stop that cannot be turned off. I hate this feature, it completely intrudes on the driving experience and makes it not natural. (2) First gear feels remarkably weak - it's almost as if the car is starting in second gear or something. Added to the annoying hesitation from the start/stop, the car felt downright unsafe if I have to make a quick move from a stop such as doing a left turn before oncoming traffic. The car is great once it gathers some speed, but there's something odd about how it first gets moving. (3) The rear window is really small - at least the backup camera comes standard. (4) The interior, while spacious, was not attractive. The one I drove had this shiny black hard dashboard and the color and material extended to the doors. Maybe it works in other colors. So overall, I left the dealership feeling disappointed because I had really wanted to like this car and it does have some great attributes. I am thinking of getting the LT in manual, which would eliminate the start/stop and pudgy first gear issues.
Renting this car for a summer vacation trip. First thing I noticed is the rear window has a smaller visibility view. Had a hard time seeing the road directly behind me. Further on back, no problem. Next thing was the annoying speed limit indicator going off every time I went over 55 mph. Took me an hour to figure out how to turn that off. You had to go to the (DIC) driver information center settings to turn that off. Now the most annoying feature is the Auto Stop. Every time you stop, the engine shuts off until you take your foot off the brake. When taking your foot off the brake, then the engine restarts. Constantly turning on and off during city driving. Extremely annoying with the constant shutter as the engine shuts off. Can't imagine what the transmission and engine will be like with this feature at 50,000 miles. Car is being rented and only had 1,800 miles on it. So it's right off the line. Highway driving was fine. Ride a little hard on rough roads. Gas mileage great. The rear view camera was a very nice feature. A/C was good. Rented a 2015 Cruze last year and was impressed with that model. Renting a 2016 this year and would consider it a downgrade. If looking to buy I would take it out and drive in the city for a half hour and get a good feel for the Auto Stop feature before making a final decision.
I got rear ended and Enterprise gave me this car, with only 4,000 miles on it, while mine was being repaired. Interior looked good, seats are super comfortable, and the touch screen info center is surprisingly, not bad. Colors were vibrant, touch sensitivity was nice, and Apple CarPlay was very cool to use considering my current car is not new enough to have that feature. Backup camera was a nice touch too. Ride quality was a little soft for my taste, but very comfortable. Steering was way too mushy for me, however most American cars are like that, so I can't be too surprised. Acceleration and power were satisfactory considering the small size of the engine. For 1.4L of displacement, I was actually pleasantly surprised. The brakes were a little touchy, but I prefer responsive, powerful brakes to squishy ones so not complaints there. So far, everything I've said was quite positive, and you may wonder, why is this car killing me from the inside out? Auto-stop technology. This feature makes me question who got in the final prototype car and said, "this is great!". For those of you who are not familiar with this feature, I can explain. Auto-stop will temporarily shut off your engine when the car is stopped, for example, at a red light. Doing so saves fuel when the car is not moving. Once the driver lets his/her foot off the brake, the engine automatically starts back up and you're on your way. On paper, this feature sounds fantastic. However, it absolutely ruins the driving experience of this car. Every time I come to a stop, you feel a slight shudder as the engine shuts off. Once this happens, the auxiliary battery engages to power all the cars accessories temporarily (a/c, radio, 12v ports, headlights, etc) until the engine starts turning the alternator again. However, running an a/c compressor takes a fair amount of energy, so to ensure the auxiliary battery is not drained, the Chevy Cruze turns your a/c fan speed all the way down to the lowest setting next to off. This, in my opinion, is legitimately unacceptable. When a feature that is supposed to happen behind the scenes alters my climate control, it is going to frustrate me. In the Texas heat where cars left out in the sun can reach interior temperatures well in excess of 140 degrees, having my a/c fan essentially get disabled at stoplights is infuriating. Then, when I let my foot off the gas, there is a noticeable delay where the car is in neutral, then the whole car jolts forward as the engine turns over and the clutch is engaged. I have zero faith in this power train, and it feels unsafe to drive. When trying to take unprotected lefts at busy intersections, I have to press the gas before I actually want to start moving in order to negate the delay of the auto stop feature. Chevy claims the car can sense when the operator is in stop and go traffic versus daily driving, to ensure the car does not constantly turn on and off in bumper to bumper traffic. I have not noticed this to be true, as even in stop and go traffic during my 45 minute commute home, the engine turns off every time the car stops moving, which makes it feel like you're riding in a car with someone who learned how to drive a manual trans yesterday. I am honestly just shocked that something like this could make it off the assembly line, and I see plenty of these vehicles on the road. Am I the only one that feels like this is a laughable attempt at fuel economy or are all the owners of this car feeling as if they shot themselves in the foot? What is sad is that this would be, quite honestly, a very nice car if this feature were to be removed. I legitimately have essentially zero other complaints, however this feature completely kills the driving experience and makes it more frustrating than it is worth. I don't know how many people will read this far, but please, if you plan to buy this car take it for a very through test drive, with lots of frequent stops so you can experience auto-stop technology and decide if it's right for you.
I question the validity of the negative reviews that have been written. Just because you don't like the Auto Stop/Start feature doesn't mean the entire car is bad. I for one like it because it saves gas and I have no problem accelerating from a standstill; the engine instinctively starts back up and the turbo kicks in and I'm flying. Besides, once you get used to the Auto Stop/Start you won't even notice it. There really is not a better compact car out right now that can match the 2016 Cruze in terms of reliability, comfort, etc. This car is fun to drive and for me the 0-60 time with the automatic transmission is about 8 seconds, which is good for a compact sedan with a 4-cylinder engine. The interior is tastefully appointed and built well for a $20,000 car. Upon getting inside the vehicle you forget you're in a compact car thanks to a welcoming interior, smooth ride, and lots of space! Seriously, this car feels bigger on the inside and the trunk is still a very good size. The controls are simple and very easy to use. This car offers all the bells and whistles for a very affordable price!
This Cruze LT has been great so far. On a 1000-mile road trip, I got 44.3 mpg based on fill-ups, very close to the computer at 44.5. It was 90% interstate at an average of 74 mph with temps in the 80s and 90s. On a 100-mile stretch of rural highway, I got 48.7 mpg going 60-65 mph, including driving through some small towns. The ride is very smooth and quiet. GM builds nice riding cars. The driver's seat fits me perfectly. I had no need for lumbar support. Great seat design. It's the best driver's seat I've experienced for a long drive. The AC is very efficient - with it set on only the third notch, it kept the car cool when it was 95 outside. Around my small town, I have been getting 42-43 mpg, matching the computer. I really like the auto stop - just like in our Prius - and it really helps save gas. The steering is secure, and the car corners nicely with very little lean. I prefer the Cruze handling to the Mazda 3 I test drove. The sound system is very good. I got the RS appearance package with Red Hot paint, and the car looks sharp. I've already received many compliments on the car's looks. The increased back seat space is a welcome change over my 2014 Cruze, which was pretty cramped in the back. The power seat is great and easily adjusts for a comfortable position. A few minor drawbacks: The visors don't slide, which can be annoying depending on the sun's location. Also, the chrome trim is nice, but it creates annoying sun reflections at certain times of the day, especially the chrome around the shifter. The passenger seat has no height adjustment, and sits a little low, in my opinion. There's only one 12V outlet (cigarette lighter), and my previous Cruze Eco had a second outlet in the back, which was convenient for my teenagers on long trips. These are minor issues, though. Overall, I really like this new Cruze.