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2015 Chevrolet Cruze

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2015 Chevrolet Cruze Review


KBB Expert Rating: 8.0

Where foreign automakers once dominated the compact-car segment, we now see the domestic industry making a resilient comeback. Leading the pack is the 2015 Chevrolet Cruze compact sedan, a thoroughly complete small car offering an impressive array of features and trims. In a matchup with such heavyweights as the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla, the Cruze offers more engine choices, including a fuel-efficient diesel. The Cruze feels more substantial than most economy cars, with a solid feel, an extremely quiet cabin and ride and handling comparable to many midsize sedans. By adding the latest high-tech features, Chevy hopes to lure away younger buyers currently shopping for cars like the Ford Focus and Hyundai Elantra.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you need small-car pricing and fuel-efficiency but you don’t want to give up big-car comfort, check out the 5-passenger Chevrolet Cruze for 2015. Although it’s categorized as a compact sedan, the Cruze’s interior volume actually qualifies it as a midsize model.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Those who enjoy the added convenience offered by a 5-door hatchback will have to look to the Ford Focus, VW Golf or Hyundai Elantra. Driving enthusiasts will find more to like behind the wheel of a Mazda3 or Dodge Dart.

What's New for 2015

For 2015, Chevrolet updates its compact 4-door Cruze sedan with new exterior styling and some minor interior upgrades. Siri Eyes-Free and OnStar 4G LTE with Wi-Fi hot spot are new options this year.

Driving the Cruze
Driving Impressions

Where some small sedans prioritize handling at any cost, the 2015 Chevrolet Cruze bucks the trend, opting instead for a comfortable ride we think most small-car buyers will find a...

... refreshing change of pace. The Cruze’s steering is nicely weighted and direct, the brakes are firm, and throttle response from the 1.4-liter turbocharged engine is admirable. We did experience some turbo lag when accelerating from a dead stop, however, and although we know most people will opt for the somewhat sluggish 6-speed automatic, performance is much livelier with the available 6-speed manual. More impressive is the turbodiesel model offering ample power for quick acceleration and 46 mpg on the highway. Although not as refined as VW’s TDI clean diesel, the Chevy engine nonetheless delivers in the areas most important to diesel-car fans, namely ample torque and a long cruising range.

Chevy’s Cruze sedan for 2015 offers a 4-cylinder turbocharged engine delivering ample horsepower and torque with impressive fuel economy. We also love that Chevrolet offers a manual transmission on models other than just the base car. We definitely prefer it to the somewhat sluggish 6-speed automatic.

OnStar 4G LTE with available Wi-Fi hotspot provides a mobile hub for drivers and passengers with easy access to apps and services that require a high-speed data connection. The hotspot can connect to a smartphone, tablet or laptop and can host up to seven devices at one time.

2015 Chevrolet Cruze Details

For a compact car, the 2015 Chevrolet Cruze's interior is surprisingly roomy. In fact, it qualifies as a midsize sedan, according to the EPA's rating system. Material quality is impressive. Controls for functions such as audio and climate are easy to see, reach and use. The Cruze is commendable when it comes to seat comfort. Front legroom is excellent, while the rear bench seat is comfortable for two adults, provided the front seats are not fully extended. Higher-trim models have leather seating standard in place of cloth. Abundant sound-deadening material makes the Cruze's cabin one of the quietest in the segment.

2015 Chevrolet Cruze photo

Chevy’s compact Cruze for 2015 gets a modest refresh, bringing its styling more in line with the Impala and Malibu sedans. We predict that the sedan's angled lines and confident stance will hold up well in the years to come. What are perhaps the sedan's most striking features are its headlights and lens housings that wrap around the front and angle sharply above the front fenders. LT and LTZ include LED daytime running lights that complement the design. Despite the Cruze's cavernous cargo hold, the car's trunk lid and rear are surprisingly tidy. Wheel sizes range from 16 to 18 inches.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2015 Chevrolet Cruze 4-door sedan comes in six trim levels that admittedly seem like alphabet soup: LS, 1LT, Eco, 2LT, LTZ and Diesel. Even a base LS is reasonably well-equipped with premium cloth seating, Bluetooth, a 6-speaker AM/FM/XM/CD/USB audio system, keyless entry and a 6-month trial of GM's OnStar service. The LS does not come with cruise control. It is also the only gasoline model to use the 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine – the others employ the smaller, more efficient 1.4-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder. All models have an impressive 10 airbags including driver and front-passenger knee airbags.

Optional Equipment

Options for the 2015 Chevy Cruze vary by trim and include navigation, a rearview camera, 9-speaker Pioneer premium audio, a power driver's seat, Wi-Fi hot spot, a power sunroof and a remote vehicle starter. An RS package offers a sportier look with a rear spoiler, lower bodywork, fog lights and unique front and rear fascias. Enhanced safety features include blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and rear park assist.

Under the Hood

Three engine choices are available for the 2015 Cruze. The two gasoline models use a naturally aspirated 1.8-liter 4-cylinder or a smaller, more efficient turbocharged 4-cylinder. Both gasoline engines make 138 horsepower and run on regular unleaded. The third choice is a 2.0-liter turbodiesel that makes an 151 horsepower and impressive 264 lb-ft of torque. The diesel is estimated to earn 46 mpg in highway driving. While that figure matches the manual-transmission Cruze Eco, we've found that diesels often get better-than-stated highway fuel efficiency. The diesel uses an emissions fluid that requires refilling every 10,000 miles to coincide with oil changes. The 2015 Cruze Diesel includes a 2-year maintenance plan. Gasoline models offer a choice of 6-speed manual or auto transmission, while diesels exclusively use a 6-speed automatic.

1.8-liter inline-4
138 horsepower @ 6,300 rpm
125 lb-ft of torque @ 3,800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 25/36 mpg (manual), 22/35 mpg (automatic)

1.4-liter turbocharged inline-4
138 horsepower @ 4,900 rpm
148 lb-ft of torque @ 2,500 rpm (manual), 148 lb-ft @ 1,850 rpm (automatic)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 26/38 mpg (manual), 26/38 mpg (automatic), 28/42 mpg (manual, Eco), 26/39 mpg (automatic, Eco)

2.0-liter turbocharged diesel inline-4
151 horsepower @ 4,000 rpm
264 lb-ft of torque @ 2,600 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 27/46 mpg

Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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