2018 Chevrolet CruzeShould you buy?
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What’s New for 2018?
The Chevrolet Cruze saw a full redesign for the 2016 model year and has not had many changes since then. The hatchback model was introduced for the 2017 model year, and for 2018 it is now available with the popular turbodiesel engine option. Otherwise, the 2018 Cruze remains much the same as the 2016 version.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2018 Chevrolet Cruze – The Pros
1. Unique Hatchback Design
The last redesign of the exterior of the Chevrolet Cruze has produced a pair of very good-looking exterior designs, but the hatchback stands out as an especially distinctive vehicle. Thanks to its very aerodynamic profile and well-designed front and rear elevations, it manages an attractive shape while still maximizing the amount of room the rear hatch adds to the vehicle.
2. Turbodiesel Option
Diesel engines are rare in passenger cars, especially now that Volkswagen has withdrawn all of its diesel models from the US lineup, but as the 2018 Chevrolet Cruze proves, they offer a very effective combination of economy and power. The 1.6-liter turbodiesel available on the Cruze is very responsive and gets the car moving quickly thanks to its 240 pound-feet of torque. Buyers looking for something like this are unlikely to find it in any other compact.
3. Excellent Gas Mileage
Both the gasoline and the diesel engines on the Cruze are in the upper range for their class. The standard Cruze with a gas engine and an automatic transmission posts up to 30 miles per gallon in the city, 40 mpg highway and 34 mpg combined, which is above average for the class. The diesel, however, is even more impressive. It offers similar efficiency in the city, but can get up to 52 miles per gallon on the highway, for a combined rating of 37 mpg.
4. Chevrolet MyLink
Smartphones and smartphone apps have been ubiquitous for over a decade now, but many automakers are still struggling to make infotainment systems that play nice with them. Chevrolet is not one of them. Their MyLink infotainment system comes with a large 7-inch touch screen, and support for both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. It is also quick and easy to use, with crisp graphics and intuitive menus, putting many competitors’ systems to shame.
5. Many Standard Features
The infotainment is not the only upmarket feature that the 2018 Chevrolet Cruze includes free of charge. Bluetooth and a rearview camera are also standard equipment on the manual-only basic L model, while automatics, hatchbacks and diesel models come even more well-equipped right out of the box. That provides the Cruze buyers with good value for the money.
6. Lots of Interior Space
The 2018 Cruze feels quite spacious for a compact car, especially for the back seat passengers. There is lots of headroom in both rows, and plenty of opportunity to spread one’s legs out. With 14.8 cubic feet of trunk space in the sedan models and 22.7 cubic feet in the hatchback cargo compartment, the Cruze is near the top of the class for cargo space as well.
7. Upscale Interior
Despite being a relatively inexpensive vehicle, the cabin of the Chevrolet Cruze is surprisingly upscale. Nice materials are spread around the cabin to give it a good ambiance, and even the plastic bits have a bit of a premium feel. The higher trim lines bring some truly luxury accents and the optional leather upholstery looks and feels very nice.
8. Ride Quality
The Cruze is optimized for driving comfort, which means an absorbent suspension, precise steering and good noise insulation. The combination makes it a very easy car to both drive and ride in, adding to the vehicle’s premium feel. It may not excite the thrill-seekers, but most others will find driving or riding in the Cruze a very enjoyable experience.
9. High Expected Reliability
How reliable a vehicle is can have a very noticeable effect on the overall cost of ownership, and the Cruze falls near the top of the charts for expected reliability. After performing quality testing on the vehicle, J.D. Power and Associates awarded it a 4.5 rating, out of the total of five. Most other vehicles in the class fall between 2.5 and 3.5, indicating that the Cruze is among the best in the segment.
10. Safety Scores and Equipment
The 2018 Chevrolet Cruze offers a lot of optional safety equipment and performs very well in federal crash tests. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gives the compact a rating of five start - the maximum - for its crashworthiness. Blind-spot monitors, rear cross traffic alerts, automatic high-beam headlights, forward collision alerts, and active lane control are all available to add to a Cruze vehicle to further improve that safety.
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Reasons Not to Buy a 2018 Chevrolet Cruze – The Cons
1. No Automated Emergency Braking
While the 2018 Cruze stocks practically every other major modern active safety feature, automatic pre-collision braking is missing from the options sheet. Many buyers consider this a key technology, and its lack could rule out the Cruze for them.
2. Unexciting Performance
While the 2018 Chevrolet Cruze feels nice to drive, neither of the engine options makes it particularly quick and the electric power steering lacks good feedback. It offers a calm and measured drive, so drivers looking for excitement might give it a pass.
3. Strong Competition
The Cruze is a very strong vehicle with many advantages going for it, but so are many other compact sedans and hatchbacks. It stands out in some categories, but with many other vehicles to choose from, it is easy to find a car that matches one’s preferences better than the Cruze does.
How It Stacks up to the Competition
The 2018 Chevrolet Cruze faces off against a large field of other compact sedans and hatchbacks, covering everything from the Honda Civic to the Ford Focus. The Honda Civic is a traditional leader in the segment, and it is one of the few that matches the mileage of the gas-powered Cruze. However, the Cruze diesel is far more efficient, and the Civic’s reliability scores, while above average, are well below those of the Cruze. The Ford Focus offers a much sportier drive than the Cruze, and has much stronger engines available. The Cruze is more spacious and offers better technology at a lower price point, making it a better all-around vehicle instead.
The 2018 Chevrolet Cruze has some drawbacks, but they are significantly outweighed by its advantages for most buyers. Thanks to its great fuel economy and good value when it comes to features, technology and reliability, the Cruze is a great long-term investment that provides excellent comfort and security.
• Why buy a 2017 Chevrolet Cruze? w/ pros vs cons