2015 Chevrolet Cruze

What's new for 2015? For 2015, the Chevrolet Cruze receives a new base trim level called "L" which causes some minor shuffling of equipment. There's also the addition of 4G cellular and an in-car WiFi hotspot connectivity through its OnStar system. The Siri Eyes Free smartphone feature, which gives iPhone owners expanded voice command functionality, is also new. Finally, this year's Cruze gets an updated front end design.

For decades, import brand models were eating Chevy's lunch in the compact car segment. That changed four years ago when Chevrolet introduced the Cruze, a sharply styled sedan that finally matched up well with all-stars like the Civic and Corolla.

High fuel economy is certainly one of the Cruze's strong points. With the available turbocharged gasoline engine, the Cruze boasts combined city and highway fuel economy in the low 30 mpg range. Furthermore, the Cruze also offers an available diesel-powered engine, something very rare in this segment. Only one other carmaker in this class, Volkswagen, offers this type of engine, and in the Cruze, the diesel boasts both relatively quick acceleration and high fuel mileage of 33 mpg combined.

Exterior Highlights
Small sedan available in L, LS, LT, LTZ, Eco and Diesel trim levels

The 2015 Chevrolet Cruze is a small sedan offered in six trim levels: L, LS, LT, LTZ, Eco and Diesel.

Standard equipment on the Cruze L and LS includes 16-inch steel wheels, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, air-conditioning, height-adjustable front seats, a 60/40-split-folding rear seat, full power accessories, Bluetooth phone connectivity, OnStar (with this year's 4G LTE and WiFi hotspot capability) and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, USB port and an auxiliary audio jack. The LS also adds satellite radio.

The LT is made up of the 1LT and 2LT equipment-level subsets. Compared with the LS, the 1LT upgrades to the 1.4-liter turbocharged gasoline engine, 16-inch alloy wheels and cruise control.

The Technology package available at the 1LT level gets you a rearview camera and the Chevrolet MyLink interface, which bundles a 7-inch touchscreen display, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, voice control and smartphone integration. An available Driver Convenience package includes heated mirrors, a six-way power driver seat and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

The Cruze Eco is equipped like the 1LT, but has the MyLink interface as standard. It also benefits from aerodynamic improvements (including a rear spoiler) and has lightweight 17-inch alloy wheels, low-rolling-resistance tires and a smaller fuel tank (manual transmission version only). The Eco Driver Convenience package adds the heated mirrors, auto-dimming rearview mirror and a rearview camera.

Move up to the 2LT to get all of the 1LT's standard equipment, plus the power driver seat and MyLink touchscreen interface. It also comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, four-wheel disc brakes, leather upholstery, heated front seats and dual illuminated visor mirrors. At the top of the Cruze range is the LTZ, which comes with all of the 2LT's content, as well as all of the items in the Technology and Driver Convenience packages. It also features 18-inch alloy wheels, keyless ignition and entry, automatic climate control and premium interior trim.

The Cruze Diesel comes with all of the 2LT model's standard equipment, plus the Eco model's aerodynamic enhancements and low-rolling-resistance tires. It has lightweight 17-inch wheels, too, but they're a different design.

The Enhanced Safety package is available for all but the L and LS model and includes rear park assist, blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alerts. A navigation system, a Pioneer nine-speaker premium sound system and a sunroof are also available on most trim levels. The RS appearance package is available on the LT and LTZ models and features restyled front and rear fascias, sporty side moldings, a rear spoiler, foglights and an upgraded instrument panel.

MyLink touchscreen interface, smartphone app capabilities, supportive front seats, OnStar service, abundant trunk space

The Cruze's cabin has a classy two-tone color scheme and looks more upscale than many of its competitors. What's also ambivalent is the available MyLink touchscreen interface. We like its simple and straightforward menus, useful voice command functionality and smartphone app capabilities.

Larger drivers will probably find the Cruze's front seats a bit narrow, but they're supportive and comfortable, and they offer plenty of adjustment. Considerably above average is the Cruze's large trunk, which measures an impressive 15.0 cubic feet on all but the diesel, whose capacity is a still ample 13.3 cubic feet.

All 2015 Chevrolet Cruze models come with stability control, antilock brakes, full-length side curtain airbags, front knee airbags and front and rear side-impact airbags as standard. A front-disc/rear-drum brake setup is standard on all models except the 2LT, LTZ and Diesel, which are upgraded to four-wheel disc brakes. Also standard is OnStar, which includes automatic crash notification, on-demand roadside assistance, remote door unlocking and stolen-vehicle assistance. A rearview camera, blind spot monitoring and a rear cross-traffic alert system are optional for all Cruzes except the L and LS.

All 2015 Chevrolet Cruzes are front-wheel drive. The Cruze L and LS are powered by a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 138 horsepower and 125 pound-feet of torque. The LT, LTZ and Eco are fitted with a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder that generates 138 hp and 148 lb-ft of torque. The Cruze Diesel has a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder diesel rated at 151 hp and 264 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard on the L, LS, LT and Eco. A six-speed automatic is optional on the LS, LT and Eco and standard for the LTZ and diesel.

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