The Cruze is one of Chevrolet’s popular sedans, and it does its best to keep survive against its equally popular rivals. Last year Chevy introduced the Cruze hatchback, which offers more cargo carriers than the sedan, and a new diesel-powered engine that can generate more than 50 mpg on the highway. This year you can choose both, because Chevrolet offers Cruze hatchback diesel for the first time.
Trim, Features and Engine Specs
The 2018 Chevrolet Cruze is a compact hatchback and sedan. The sedan is available in L, LS, LT and Premier trim levels, while the hatchback only offered in LT and Premier trim.
Standard equipment for the 2018 Chevrolet Cruze L includes 15-inch steel wheels, automatic headlights, remote unlocking and locking, a rearview camera, air-conditioning, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a six-way manually adjustable driver seat, 60/40-split folding rear seatbacks, OnStar with Wi-Fi hotspot and 4G LTE connectivity, a MyLink infotainment system with a 7-inch central touchscreen, Bluetooth connectivity, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, a four-speaker audio system with a USB port. The LS models add a front center armrest and carpeted floor mats.
The 2018 Chevrolet Cruze LT comes with 16-inch alloy wheels, LED running lights, upgraded headlights, heated mirrors, steering-wheel-mounted phone and audio controls, cruise control, a rear center armrest with cupholders and a six-speaker audio system with satellite radio. Hatchback models also get a rear spoiler and cargo cover. Models equipped with the automatic transmission also get USB port charge, while manual models have a front armrest with a sliding feature.
The optional Convenience package available for LT models. It adds remote engine start, keyless entry and ignition, heated front seats and an eight-way power driver seat.
The LT Diesel models add the contents of the Convenience package except for remote start. The Leather package adds a height-adjustable front passenger seat, leather upholstery, a heated and leather-wrapped steering wheel.
The 2018 Chevrolet Cruze Premier gets all content above plus an upgraded rear suspension, 17-inch wheels, chrome exterior accents, illuminated vanity mirrors and ambient interior lighting.
The LT and Premier can be equipped with RS Appearance package, which adds a rear spoiler, foglights, a sport body kit and 18-inch wheels for Premier models. The Sun and Sound package includes a sunroof, ambient interior lighting, a color driver information center, a larger 8-inch center touchscreen display and a nine-speaker Bose audio system. A navigation system is available for this package on the Premier.
The LT and Premier can be equipped with the Driver Confidence package, which includes blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert and rear parking sensors. The Driver Confidence II package only on the Premier, adds lane departure warning and intervention, forward collision warning and automatic high-beam headlight control.
Exclusive for the Premier, is the Enhanced Convenience package, it adds an automatic climate control, auto-dimming rearview mirror, heated rear outboard seats, a 110-volt, household-style power outlet and wireless personal device charging. The Sun and Sound, Driver Confidence package offered only on the LT Diesel with the automatic transmission, combines the contents of the Sun and Sound with the Driver Confidence package.
Most of the 2018 Chevrolet Cruze is powered by a 1.4-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder gasoline engine that produces 153 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque. That’s mid-pack power output for this class, but offering high fuel economy. The power sends to the front wheels through a 6-speed automatic transmission or 6-speed manual. It also uses regular gasoline, which keeps costs low. EPA city/highway fuel economy: 28/39 mpg (manual sedan), 30/40 mpg (automatic sedan), 29/39 mpg (automatic, Premier sedan) 28/37 mpg (manual hatch), 29/38 mpg (automatic hatch), 28/37 mpg (automatic, Premier hatch).
The new engine is the 1.6-liter 4-cylinder diesel, which is the only diesel in the segment. It’s available in either body style and produces 137 horsepower and 240 lb-ft of torque. It also delivers outstanding fuel economy, which EPA fuel economy stand at 30/52 mpg for manual and 31/47 mpg for automatic.
The 2018 Chevrolet Cruze interior is not as wide as Honda Civic, but four adults can sit comfortably without feeling squeezed. The small cabin means most of the controls are within the range of the driver, including the large touch screen. The tall driver can easily find the ideal seating position.
With a glistening black center console, faux leather surface on dash and contrasting stitching colors, the 2018 Chevrolet Cruze cabin feels and looks premium. Excessive chrome trim can dazzle in bright sunlight, though. The instrument panel is clear and easy to understand. Most of the controls on the middle stack are within the range of the driver, except for the temperature button. The manual gear selector button is awkwardly above the shifter.
The 2018 Chevrolet Cruze hatch’s cargo area is 7 cubic feet larger than the sedan’s, and class-competitive. Behind the rear seats there, Cruze hatchback offers 22.7 cubic feet of cargo space, fold down the seats and the volume increases to 47.2 cubes. These numbers are average for the class, but the tall cargo liftover height and sunken load floor will make it difficult to load and unload heavy stuff.
Release Date and Price
The 2018 Chevrolet Cruze expected to be available in the showroom this September 2017, while the diesel models will go on sale this fall. The MSRP on a base 2018 Chevrolet Cruze L sedan starts at about $18,500, including the $875 destination charge. The Cruze LS starts at $20,000, and the better-equipped Cruze LT price of about $22,500 with a manual, or $23,000 with an automatic. The Premier model starts around $25,000, add about $1,000 to $1,500 for LT or Premier hatchbacks. The LT diesel price starts at about $25,000.