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2020 Chevrolet Cruze Trim Levels with Comparisons & Configurations.

2020 Chevrolet Cruze Trim Levels, Configurations & Comparisons: L vs LS vs LT, Diesel & Premier

What 2020 Chevrolet Cruze Trim Level Should you Buy? What is the Difference Between Trims?

There has been talk in recent years of GM giving the Cruze the ax. This would follow the cost-cutting trend a lot of automakers are taking in lieu of consumers demanding more SUVs and trucks. However, the Cruze is hanging in there, both in its sedan and hatchback forms.

The 2019 line-up saw a mid-cycle refresh, so there are not a whole lot of new things happening on the 2020 Chevrolet Cruze. Still, there are a lot of things to enjoy about this year's Cruze, from its numerous safety features to the 1.4-L turbocharged engine. It also gets a decent fuel economy, which is sure to make it attractive. It is also pretty reasonably priced, which is likely a method for attracting more buyers.

With five different trim levels to choose from, the decision to buy might not exactly be an easy one. The base L trim might end up feeling a bit too bare-bones for some buyers, which might prompt them to check out the higher trim levels: the LS, LT, Diesel, and Premier.

So, which trim level might best suit your needs? Is there one trim level that you should totally avoid? This trim level comparison review will help you figure that out, so be sure to read through to the conclusion, where we will declare which trim is the best deal.


Compare the 2020 Chevrolet Cruze L vs LS Trims. What is the difference?

What might the base L trim have to offer? How does it stack up against the LS? To start off with, the L receives its power from a 1.4-L turbocharged engine that generates 153 h and 177 lb-ft of torque. It gets paired up with a 6-speed automatic transmission and a 130-amp alternator. The engine has a stop-start function, and front-wheel drive comes standard.

The LS also has the 1.4-L turbo engine powering it. The only real mechanical difference is that the LS offers an optional performance exhaust, whereas the L only gets the standard one.

On the outside, these two trim levels are pretty similar. They both have 15-inch steel wheels with bolted-on covers, black beltline moldings, daytime running lamps, body-colored door handles, front intermittent windshield wipers, solar absorbing glass, twin halogen reflector headlights, power side mirrors, and a solar absorbing windshield. However, the LS offers optional 16-inch aluminum wheels, 17-inch 5-split spoke wheels, a bright chrome accent grille, chrome bodyside moldings, front and rear black bowtie emblems, splash guards for the front and rear, a front license plate bracket, body painted side moldings, a rear spoiler, and wheel locks.

Their interiors are fairly similar as well. The L and LS both feature a 2-way manually adjustable front passenger seat and a 6-way manually adjustable driver seat. A 4-speaker sound system comes standard, as does 4G LTE WiFi hotspot connectivity. They also both provide an integral rear antenna, Bluetooth hands-free connectivity, Chevrolet Connected Access capabilities, the Chevrolet Infotainment 3 system with a 7-inch touchscreen display, a driver information center, sun visors up front, a manual day/night rearview mirror, two foldable keys, an easy-to-access LATCH system for child car safety seats, a manual tilt and telescoping steering column, an oil life monitoring system, power windows and door locks, a rearview camera, remote keyless entry, and cloth seat upholstery. Additional safety measures include the teen driver system and an anti-theft system. You will also find two USB jacks and an auxiliary input jack in front of the shifter.

The LS does make a few standard and optional additions. Standard features include a deluxe steering wheel and carpeted floor mats up front. Optional items include all-weather floor liners and mats, a cargo net, illuminated front door sill plates, jet black cloth seat trim, jet black and galvanized cloth seat trim, and the LS Convenience Package. This Package gives you cruise control, a remote vehicle starter system, 16-inch aluminum wheels, and steering wheel-mounted control. Premium carpeted floor mats, a reflective window shade, and stainless steel front door sill plates are also optional on the LS.

There are a few differences between the trim levels when it comes to safety features. The L and LS both have OnStar and Chevrolet Connect available, a tire pressure monitoring system, and teen driver. However, both leave features like rear park assist, rear cross-traffic alert, lane keep assist, and forward collision warning for the higher trim levels - features that tend to come standard on base and low trim levels on other automakers' vehicles. Buckle to Drive is available as an option on the LS.

Compare the 2020 Chevrolet Cruze LS vs LT Trims.  What is the difference?

So, what does the LT add to the foundations set forth on the lower trim levels? Is it a much more well-equipped vehicle than the LS? Let's take a look.

First, the powertrain is the same as what is on the LS. The only mechanical difference that is worthy of note is the electric power steering system with reduced travel. There is also a Z-link rear suspension available if you want it.

There are more changes worth mentioning to the LT's exterior. This trim level gets equipped with 16-inch aluminum wheels, bright beltline moldings, a compact spare wheel and tire, halogen projector-beam headlights with LED signature, and LED daytime running lights. You can opt to equip the Sun and Sound Package, which gives you a power sunroof and a 9-speaker Bose premium sound system.

Of course, the LT's interior gets a few upgrades. There is a standard 6-speaker sound system, a 60/40 split-folding rear bench seat, two charge-only USB ports, cruise control, interior courtesy lighting and reading maps, rear carpeted floor mats, a rear center armrest, remote start, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, single-zone automatic climate control, and steering wheel-mounted controls. Optional upgrades include a powered universal tablet holder and the interior protection package.

More safety features do open up on the LT, but most of them are only optional. Lane change alert, rear cross-traffic alert, and rear park assist are all options that become available.

Compare the 2020 Chevrolet Cruze LT vs Diesel. What is the difference?

If you want a big boost in torque and prefer driving a diesel option, then the Diesel trim is the best way to go on the Cruze. It gives you a 1.6-L turbo diesel engine that generates 137 hp and 240 lb-ft of torque. You also get upgraded to the 9-speed automatic transmission and 140-amp alternator. Keyless start comes standard, and there is an optional oil pan heater available.

As you are probably aware, having a diesel engine like this will change the vehicle's fuel economy. While the other trim levels get 32 combined mpg (28 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway), the Diesel gets 37 combined mpg (31 mpg in the city and 48 mpg on the highway).

On the outside, the Diesel does somewhat resemble the LT. The differences are that the Diesel has the Convenience Package equipped as standard features. That means the side mirrors gain a heating function.

The standardization of some packages makes the interior a bit different as well. Inside the cabin, you will get an 8-way power-adjustable driver's seat, heated front seats, and keyless open. You also get rear park assist, rear cross-traffic alert, and lane change alert as standard driver aids.

Compare the 2020 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel vs Premier Trims. What is the difference?

How can the line-topping Premier trim best the lower trim levels? Is it really that much more luxurious? It is cheaper than the Diesel by about $2,000, but the Diesel gives you more torque and better miles per gallon since the Premier gets the standard 1.4-L turbo engine. A lowering suspension kit is available as an option, as is the performance exhaust. The Z-link rear suspension does come standard.

The body features an array of standard features. The Premier is loaded up with 17-inch aluminum wheels and LED-accented taillights on top of everything you find standard on the lower trim levels. Options open up for the 17-inch 5-spoke split Ultra Bright aluminum wheels, 18-inch 5-split spokes in high gloss black, 18-inch RS black wheels, black beltline moldings, IntelliBeam, the RS Package (which features unique design elements), and the Winter/Summer Floor Mats Package.

On the inside, you get additions like the 4-way manual front passenger seat, illumination for the vanity mirrors on the sun visors, a heated steering wheel, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and leatherette seat upholstery. A few more options become available as well. Those add-ons include a cargo area tray, a cargo net, the Interior Protection Package, and premium carpeted floor mats.

A few more options get added to the list of safety features, but they come in packages. The Driver Confidence Package II provides the vehicle with low-speed forward automatic braking, forward collision alert, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, front pedestrian braking, and everything that comes in the Driver Confidence I Package (such as rear cross-traffic alert).


Which Trim to Choose?

The 2020 Chevrolet Cruze is showing signs of the line-up's age. Even six or seven years ago, the Cruze was hot stuff. Unfortunately, it now exists in a market that is fizzling in favor of SUVs and trucks. The fact of the matter is, Americans are looking for vehicles that will haul more people and cargo. And automakers are meeting those needs. Some of them are fazing out their sedans entirely. Chevy is hanging in there with the Cruze, but it seems to be hanging on by just a thread.

The Cruze does not compete well with others in terms of standard features. Honda bests it with the Accord, and a few others lead in that arena as well. Chevy could really ramp up the Cruze's appeal by standardizing more of the safety and infotainment features drivers love on lower trim levels. Even the Premier seems kind of bare-bones compared to other automakers' line-topping sedans and hatchbacks.

That being said, there is a winner here among the trim levels. That honor goes to the Diesel. It has the better of the two engines and clearly gets better gas mileage, which is what most people want from a vehicle in this class. It also has the most standard features that they might desire. Sure, it costs a few grand over the Premier trim, but the sacrifice is worth it if you are absolutely settled on getting the Cruze.

That being said, skip the other trim levels. The Cruze is experiencing a fall from greatness, and Chevy is going to have to work hard to get it back in the lead or else snuff the Cruze out of the line-up altogether. The 2020 Chevrolet Cruze is not a bad vehicle, but it is not an industry leader anymore.
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