–Detroit, Michigan

Every year, rising to the top of the compact-sedan segment gets even tougher. Each new model brings a fresh dose of style, equipment, fuel efficiency, and interior space — all while still sticking to an affordable price point. It’s a tough formula to get right, and for years, Chevrolet small cars, like the Cavalier and Cobalt, really struggled to pull it off.

The first Chevy Cruze, introduced in 2010, turned that around, showing that Chevrolet knew what compact-car buyers wanted. Now the all-new 2016 Chevrolet Cruze arrives with more interior room and less weight than its predecessor, plus a sharper look and more equipment. A new, lighter 1.4-liter turbocharged inline-four engine delivers up to 42 mpg highway, and a full suite of optional active-safety tech includes lane-keep assist and forward collision alert.

Above all, though, compact sedans need to deliver everyday utility. The 2016 Cruze delivers two inches more rear knee room than the old one, for instance, and city fuel economy rises to 30 miles per gallon, better than any 2015 Cruze. But in the wake of refreshed cars like the Honda Civic and Hyundai Elantra, plus a host of existing rivals, is that enough to push the Cruze toward the top of its class? Find out as we subject the 2016 Chevrolet Cruze to the Why Buy? treatment.


ENGINE Turbocharged 1.4L I4
OUTPUT 153 Horsepower / 177 Pound-Feet
TRANSMISSION 6-Speed Automatic
EPA FUEL ECONOMY 30 City / 40 Highway / 34 Combined


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