For the 2017 model year, Chevy added a hatchback variant to the Cruze lineup as well as brought back a diesel mill; the diesel mill will now be used on hatchbacks as well starting with the upcoming 2018 variants. Having undergone a more comprehensive revamp for the 2017 model year, the 2018 Chevrolet Cruze will likely carry over virtually unchanged. Even the cabin will have only mild changes. Addition of the diesel mill will propel the model to the top of the segment on matters fuel economy as the mill is expected to return over 50 mpg particularly on highway drives which will put many hybrids to shame.
2018 Chevrolet Cruze Exterior
After the comprehensive redesign, the Cruze underwent for the 2017 model year, I don’t expect the 2018 version to feature many changes; the model looks stylish the way it currently is. The current design of the Cruze is largely inspired by the Chevrolet Volt which looks very sleek. Like the Volt, the Cruze sedan has low proportions and a fast roofline. The hatchback exterior is, however, more appealing thanks to the extra European touches. The hatchback’s rear also looks more muscular due to its aggressive rear bumper, lively tailgate as well as the integrated spoiler.
Both the sedan and the hatch feature a huge grille and stylish DRLs.
Actually, the sedan and the hatch are identical at the front all the way up to the rear doors. The base L and LS models ride on 15-inch hubcap wheels which is a big letdown from Chevrolet. The Cruze rivals are replacing hubcaps with alloy wheels but Chevrolet looks reluctant to let them go. However; on higher trims, buyers have an option to upgrade to 18-inch or 19-inch wheels. Buyers looking for some sporty attitude can select the RS package.
In the cabin, the Chevy Cruze designers have designed a cleaner dashboard; it is not littered with numerous buttons and switches. A 7.0-inch MyLink infotainment system is standard even for LS trims; for extra cash, enthusiasts can go for an 8.0-inch screen. 4G LTE connectivity, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are part of the system. Quality cloth upholstery is used on lower trims with the LT and Premier trims adding an option for saddle-colored leather. The hatchback is the most spacious of the two body styles and can accommodate up to 47.2 cubic feet of cargo when the rear seats are folded.
A rearview camera, a 4-speaker sound system that integrates auxiliary inputs, AM/FM radio, USB port as well as a 6-way manually adjusted driver’s seat are standard on base models. LS models add armrests and floor-mats. Hatchbacks are offered starting from the LT trim. LT and Premier trim levels in both sedans and hatchbacks add a 6-speaker premium audio system, phone and audio controls mounted on the steering wheel. Leather seats are standard on the Premier trim on both the sedan and hatchback. A Bose sound system, wireless phone charging, a sunroof as well as a navigation system are optional. In addition, driver assist systems are optional including a lane-keep assist, blind-spot monitoring as well as forward-collision alert.
Engine and performance
The 2018 Chevrolet Cruze is offered with a choice between a gasoline and a diesel engine. The gasoline engine is a 1.4 L, turbocharged 4-cylinder unit that produces 153 hp as well as 177 lb-ft of torque. The diesel mill, on the other hand, a 1.6 L, turbo diesel 4-cylinder unit is good for 137 hp and 240 lb-ft of torque. While the gasoline mill is equipped with a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic gearbox, the diesel mill is fitted with either a 9-speed automatic or a 6-speed manual gearbox. The two engines post excellent fuel economy figures with the diesel mill being the most economical it returns 31 mpg in the city and 47 mpg on highway drives when paired with an automatic gearbox and 30 mg in city and 52 mpg on highway drives when paired with an automatic gearbox. These figures apply for both the hatch and the sedan. On the other hand, the gasoline mill returns 28-29 mpg in city and 37-40 mpg on highway drives across the sedans and hatchbacks depending on the type of transmission and trim level chosen.
Price and release date
The base Cruze L sedan has an MSRP of $17,850 exclusive of an $875 destination fee which makes the model more affordable than most of its competitors. The 2018 Chevrolet Cruze LS, on the other hand, goes for $19,400 and $20,400 for LS models with manual and automatic gearboxes respectively. LT models start at $21,700 for models with manual transmission and $22,325 for models with automatic transmission. The top Premier trim has a starting price of 24,350. Hatchbacks are offered from the LT trim with the base model starting at $22,115 (manual transmission) and $22,795 (automatic transmission). A Premier Cruze hatchback starts at $24,820 and can reach around $30,000 if you go for extra features.
The 2018 Chevrolet Cruze sedan variants compete with sedan variants of the Hyundai Elantra, Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic, Mazda 3, and Ford Focus. Hatchbacks, on the other hand, compete with hatchback versions of the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla and the all-famous Subaru Impreza.