2017 Chevrolet Cruze
- Cabin is attractive, especially with the two-tone color scheme
- Lots of rear-seat legroom
- Fuel-sipping diesel-engine upgrade available
- Plenty of appealing convenience and technology features are offered
- Cruise control isn't available on the L or LS trims
- Engine stop-start feature cannot be disabled
- Disappointing acceleration and real-world fuel economy from base 1.4-liter engine
2017 Chevrolet Cruze pricingin Ashburn, VA
Edmunds' Expert Review
It wasn't long ago when we viewed Chevrolet's compact sedan offerings as significantly inferior to rival sedans from Asian automakers. That changed somewhat when the Cruze replaced the Cobalt in 2011, which in turn took the mantle from the loathsome Cavalier in 2005. But the 2017 Cruze offers the best reason yet to strongly consider Chevy's compact offering alongside the heavy-hitting rivals from Asia (and one compelling domestic rival).
The original Cruze represented a monumental improvement over Chevy's previous small cars, but the new Cruze — fully redesigned last year — truly brings the fight to the rest of the compact class. Front and center is a heavy emphasis on technology. Each Cruze comes with a touchscreen radio, a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, a rearview camera and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto functionality. Advanced safety features — including rear parking sensors, lane departure warning and blind-spot monitoring — are also available. But the Cruze isn't just about shiny new gadgets. It also boasts a world-class cabin that feels more luxurious than most other compact cars and a ride that is both sporty and comfortable. Put a late-model Cavalier up against the Cruze, and you'd be stunned to learn they were produced by the same company.
At the same time, though, there are some great small sedans and hatchbacks out right now. The Honda Civic, which was also redesigned last year, is one of the best small cars on the market, especially when powered by its potent 1.5-liter turbocharged engine. The Mazda 3 and Ford Focus are compelling alternatives if you want something with an extra dose of driving spirit. We're also fond of the Kia Forte for its extensive collection of features and reasonable price. But the Cruze's sportiness, style and high-tech accoutrements give it the edge over many rivals in this extremely competitive class.
All 2017 Chevrolet Cruze models come with stability control, four-wheel antilock disc brakes, full-length side curtain airbags, front knee airbags, and front and rear side-impact airbags. Also standard is OnStar, which includes automatic crash notification, on-demand roadside assistance, remote door unlocking and stolen vehicle assistance. Every 2017 Cruze comes with Chevrolet's Teen Driver watchdog feature, which can be used to set certain parameters for secondary drivers such as teens or valets.
Optional safety equipment is limited to the LT and Premier, consisting of the Driver Confidence I and II packages detailed above (see Body Styles, Trim Levels and Options section).
In Edmunds performance braking, a Cruze Premier with the RS package came to a stop from 60 mph in 110 feet, an exceptional stopping distance for a compact sedan with all-season tires.
Trim levels & features
The 2017 Chevrolet Cruze is a compact sedan or hatchback. The sedan is available in L, LS, LT, LT Diesel and Premier trim levels, while the hatch comes in LT and Premier only.
Standard equipment on the Cruze L includes 15-inch steel wheels, automatic headlights, remote locking/unlocking, air-conditioning, a height-adjustable driver seat, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, 60/40-split folding rear seatbacks, Bluetooth connectivity, a four-speaker audio system with a USB port, OnStar (with 4G LTE connectivity and Wi-Fi hotspot), a rearview camera, and a MyLink infotainment system with a 7-inch central touchscreen and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone app integration.
However, the L is only available to dealers through custom ordering. Much more common is the LS, which is similarly equipped but adds a front center armrest and carpeted floor mats. It can also be equipped with the automatic transmission and a range of dealer-installed options.
The LT steps up to 16-inch alloy wheels, upgraded headlights with LED running lights, heated mirrors, cruise control, steering-wheel-mounted phone and audio controls, a rear center armrest with cupholders, and a six-speaker audio system with satellite radio. Hatchback models also get a cargo cover and rear spoiler. A charge-only USB port is added to models equipped with the automatic transmission, while manual-equipped models have a front armrest with a sliding feature.
For the LT, the optional Convenience package adds keyless ignition and entry, heated front seats, an eight-way power driver seat and remote engine start (with the automatic transmission).
The LT Diesel is available in sedan body style only (it is expected to be added to the hatchback's roster next year) and adds the contents of the Convenience package minus remote start. The available Leather package adds a heated and leather-wrapped steering wheel, leather upholstery and a height-adjustable front passenger seat.
The Cruze Premier gets everything above plus 17-inch wheels, an upgraded rear suspension, chrome exterior accents, ambient interior lighting and illuminated vanity mirrors.
Both the LT and Premier offer an RS Appearance package (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, a color driver information center, ambient interior lighting, a larger 8-inch center touchscreen display and a nine-speaker Bose audio system. A navigation system is additionally available for this package on the Premier.
The LT and Premier are also eligible for the Driver Confidence package, which consists of rear parking sensors and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert. The Driver Confidence II package, offered only on the Premier, adds automatic high-beam headlight control, forward collision warning, and lane departure warning and intervention.
The Driver Confidence, Sun and Sound package, offered only on the LT Diesel with the automatic transmission, combines the contents of the Sun and Sound package with the Driver Confidence package. The Premier-exclusive Enhanced Convenience package throws in an auto-dimming rearview mirror, automatic climate control, heated rear outboard seats, wireless personal device charging and a 110-volt, household-style power outlet.
The front-wheel-drive 2017 Chevrolet Cruze comes standard with a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 153 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard on the L, LS and LT trims. A six-speed automatic is optional for the LS and LT, while the Premier gets it as standard equipment. The automatic transmission also comes bundled with an automatic engine stop-start feature to save fuel when the car isn't moving.
In Edmunds testing, a Cruze Premier sedan with the automatic transmission and RS package accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 9.6 seconds, about 1 second slower than most compact sedans. An LT with a manual transmission fared better with an 8.8-second run from zero to 60. For comparison, the Ford Focus sedan with the 2.0-liter engine does the zero-to-60-mph run in 8.3 seconds, while the hot-rod turbocharged Honda Civic needs just 6.7 seconds.
According to the EPA, the Cruze sedan should return 32 mpg combined (28 city/39 highway) with the manual, 34 mpg combined (30 city/40 highway) with the automatic and 33 mpg combined (29 city/39 highway) in automatic-only Premier trim. Hatchback versions are expected to achieve 1 to 2 mpg less across the board.
Overall, these fuel economy numbers are very good for a small sedan or hatchback. However, in a Premier sedan, we averaged just 31.8 mpg on our highway-heavy, 115-mile test loop. On the same loop, a 2016 Honda Civic with the turbocharged 1.5-liter engine beat its EPA combined estimate by 1.8 mpg, and a 2015 Ford Focus with the 2.0-liter engine beat its combined rating by a whopping 11 mpg.
If a low monthly fuel bill is what you're after, consider the new turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder diesel engine. It develops 137 hp and 240 lb-ft of torque, earning an EPA rating of 37 mpg combined (30 city/52 highway) with the six-speed manual and 37 mpg combined (31 city/47 highway) with a new nine-speed automatic.
Although the power output of the turbocharged 1.4-liter is healthy for the class, real-life acceleration is little disappointing. In a full-on drag race, for instance, the Cruze is only a half-second quicker to 60 mph than a Toyota Prius. For more relaxed driving situations, however, the engine downshifts smoothly and quickly to give you the boost you need. We haven't yet tested a diesel engine to see if it moves the bar forward on the performance front, but we will update this section when we do.
An engine stop-start feature comes with all models equipped with an automatic transmission. Although the system in the Cruze is one of the least intrusive examples of this technology, we wish there was a way to disable it. You feel a slight shove as the engine turns off, and the time delay between your foot releasing the brake pedal and engine startup is noticeable.
The Cruze offers a compliant ride that ranges from cushy to lively (depending on how large the wheels are), but even with the RS package's 18-inch alloys, the car never feels jarring. The Cruze is also an adept handler, inspiring confidence as you travel around tight turns. It doesn't have the unflappability of the Mazda 3, but in general you'll have more fun driving a Cruze than other small cars when the road gets twisty.
Unlike compact Chevrolets of the past, the Cruze's interior is stylish and composed of high-quality materials. The curving character line that runs diagonally through the dashboard is an unusually artistic touch for this segment, as is the cloth or leatherette upholstery that covers it. These details, along with a large backseat, make the Cruze's interior fully competitive in terms of both appearance and construction.
Standard across the board is the attractive MyLink infotainment system, which employs either the standard 7-inch touchscreen or the optional 8-inch version (LT and Premier only). That means even the least expensive Cruze is outfitted with a high-tech interface that boasts clear graphics and a pretty intuitive menu structure. The standard inclusion of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto ensures that every Cruze buyer can enjoy a fully integrated smartphone experience.
Chevy says that the Cruze sedan's trunk can hold 14.8 cubic feet of cargo (13.9 in Cruze LT and Premier trims), which is a bit roomier than average for this class. Cargo space is greatly expanded on the hatchback, which holds 18.5 cubic feet behind the second row and 47.2 cubes with those seats folded down.
Most helpful consumer reviews
2017 Chevrolet Cruze video
I'm Travis Langness, Edmunds editor. And this the Expert Rundown of the 2017 Chevrolet Cruze. The Chevy Cruze gets a new hatchback body style this year. And it comes with a bunch of parental watchdog features, like a teen driver mode. Otherwise, it's unchanged since last year's complete redesign. One of our gripes with the 2017 Chevy Cruze is the standard 1.4-liter engine. Unfortunately, there's no upgrade. And the standard engine isn't very powerful either, making the Cruze one of the slower vehicles in the class. There's also an intrusive engine stop-start feature that can't be disabled. We do like a couple of things about the Cruze, though, like the attractive cabin, especially with the two-tone color scheme, and the fact that there's lots of rear seat legroom and headroom, even for adults. It's also got lots of appealing convenience and technology features, like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The bottom line about the Chevy Cruze, it's a great car if you just need basic transportation and if you like a nice cabin. But some of our favorites in the class are the Mazda 3 and the Honda Civic. So be sure to check those leaders out. Go to YouTube and check out more of the Edmunds Expert Rundowns.
2017 Chevrolet Cruze Expert Rundown
Looking for a small sedan with a surprising amount of room for you and your passengers? The 2017 Chevrolet Cruze might be a good match. Here's a quick rundown of what we like, what we don't and the bottom line from the Edmunds editors.
Features & Specs
2017 Chevrolet Cruze for Sale
Up until six years ago, when Chevrolet brought out the Cruze, the company's entries in the compact car class were undeserving of high honors. More refined entries from Asia easily surpassed the Cobalt, which was the Cruze's precursor. And the Cobalt's predecessor, the Cavalier, should have been made to sit in the corner of the showroom with a dunce cap on.
The first iteration of the Cruze earned much better grades than Chevy's previous compacts and made Chevrolet competitive in the segment. The Cruze was completely redesigned last year, and this latest version is yet another giant step up, boasting handsomely chiseled styling, solid driving dynamics, a much nicer interior, and the latest and greatest in technology. Let's just say that if you checked out a 2010 Chevrolet Cobalt and a 2017 Chevrolet Cruze back to back, you'd swear they were 20 years apart and made by two very different car companies.
It's certainly up to date: Every 2017 Chevrolet Cruze comes with a touchscreen audio system, a rearview camera, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a built-in Wi-Fi hot spot. The Cruze also offers top-notch safety features, such as blind-spot monitoring and lane departure warning. Other commendations for the Cruze include a roomy backseat and a suspension that provides both a supple ride over bumps and responsive, even entertaining, handling in curves.
New this year is a hatchback body style, which provides added cargo-carrying versatility with an even smaller footprint than the Cruze sedan. If you are considering a Cruze sedan, you have four trim levels to choose from, ranging from L to Premier. Even the base L comes with the electronic conveniences already mentioned, as well as a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and automatic headlights. The Premier comes loaded, with leather seating and even a heated steering wheel among its standard features. In between sit the LS and LT. The hatchback comes only in the upper two trim levels.
Our quibbles are few and minor. You can only get one engine in the Cruze: a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder. It can be matched to a six-speed automatic or a six-speed manual transmission. The EPA fuel economy figures are respectable: You’ll get 31 mpg combined (28 city/37 highway) for both a Premier hatchback with the automatic and non-Premier hatchback with the manual. The EPA says you can expect 34 mpg combined (30 city/40 highway) for a non-Premier sedan with the automatic.
However, the Cruze's performance is somewhat lackluster when compared with rivals in all-out acceleration tests. That said, it is perfectly acceptable in the real world as it furnishes ample passing and merging power, thanks to the turbo's torque and a responsive automatic transmission that quickly downshifts when needed. Oddly, cruise control can only be had on the upper two of the four available sedan trim levels.
All things considered, the 2017 Chevrolet Cruze stands as a worthy choice in a class of high achievers. Edmunds can help you find the Cruze that's just right for you.
2017 Chevrolet Cruze Overview
The 2017 Chevrolet Cruze is offered in the following submodels: Cruze Hatchback, Cruze Sedan, Cruze Diesel. Available styles include LS 4dr Sedan (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A), LT 4dr Sedan (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A), Premier 4dr Sedan (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A), LT 4dr Hatchback (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A), Premier 4dr Hatchback (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A), LT 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl Turbodiesel 9A), LT 4dr Sedan (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6M), LS 4dr Sedan (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6M), LT 4dr Hatchback (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6M), L 4dr Sedan (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6M), and LT 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl Turbodiesel 6M).
What do people think of the 2017 Chevrolet Cruze?
Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2017 Chevrolet Cruze and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2017 Cruze 3.5 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2017 Cruze.
Edmunds Expert Reviews
Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2017 Chevrolet Cruze and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2017 Cruze featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.
Our Review Process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.
Which 2017 Chevrolet Cruzes are available in my area?
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Should I lease or buy a 2017 Chevrolet Cruze?
Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.