2017 Chevrolet Cruze Review
Pros & Cons
- 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
- Disappointing acceleration and real-world fuel economy from base 1.4-liter engine
- Engine stop-start feature cannot be disabled
- Cruise control isn't available on the L or LS trims
Edmunds' Expert Review
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.