2016 Chevrolet Cruze Expert Review

4.4 Overall Score
Performance 4.4 Comfort 4.3 Styling 4.4 Value 4.4

Editor's Overview

Now entering its second generation, the Chevrolet Cruze is all-new for 2016. After several years of adeptly battling other best-selling compact sedans such as the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, Ford Focus and Hyundai Elantra, this latest Cruze builds on a strong foundation. It especially impresses in terms of comfort, technology and value.

You'll Like The 2016 Chevrolet Cruze If...

If you want a compact sedan that is comfortable, fuel-efficient and filled with tech features like in-car Wi-Fi and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, the Cruze deserves a strong look. All the latest safety features like blind-spot monitoring and forward-collision alert are available, too.

You May Not Like The 2016 Chevrolet Cruze If...

If you desire a small sedan that emphasizes sporty handling and a fun-to-drive nature, try the Mazda3 or Honda Civic. If you want all-wheel drive for better traction in inclement weather, look no further than a Subaru Impreza.

What's New

All-new for 2016, the Chevrolet Cruze sedan is slightly larger yet lighter and more efficient, featuring a new turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, plus terrific tech and safety features. This new Cruze should not be confused with the 2016 Cruze Limited, a carryover model that has since ceased production.

Interior Features

The Cruze's interior is much like its exterior in that it looks good without being flashy. This is a sensible place with a fair amount of room and logically placed controls. Highlights include a central-mounted touch-screen display and good ol' knobs and buttons for audio and climate functions. We found both cloth and the optional leather front seats comfortable, but wish there were adjustable lumbar support. Rear-seat legroom has grown over the prior model, though trunk space has decreased a hair. The rear seat folds for larger items, but you'll have to step up to an LT model for 60/40-split folding action.

Exterior Features

The new Cruze has grown a couple of inches in length from the outgoing model, but still sports a small, easy-to-park footprint. More noticeable is the Cruze's new skin. The latest model has a sleeker and swoopier shape, with an all-new face and sweeping headlights, and a nicely buttoned-up rear with less-chunky taillights. Its roof is nicely tapered at the rear, and even the sides are more interesting with their creases. We still deem the Cruze rather conservative, and that's hardly a bad thing. We think its lines will hold up well in the years to come.

Driving Impressions

The latest Cruze continues to do what it's always done best: provide a comfortable, quiet and composed ride. If you're looking for a small sedan that drives more like a midsize one, this Chevrolet is for you. Power from the standard 1.4-liter turbocharged gasoline engine is average for this segment. It won't wow you with its acceleration, but it's hardly slow. Moreover, the little engine plays nicely with the 6-speed automatic transmission for which most buyers will opt. Chevy touts the Cruze as "athletic," but we'll leave that descriptor for the Mazda3. More apt for the Cruze is "comfortable." And in a segment where too many players are trying to dazzle with dynamics, we find it refreshing to find one that's actually just a really good highway cruiser.

Pricing Notes

With a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Starting Price (MSRP) starting at $17,495, the Cruze undercuts rivals like the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, Ford Focus, Mazda3 and even the Hyundai Elantra. About the only main rival that starts less is the Kia Forte, though a base Nissan Sentra and Dodge Dart are close. In reality, most buyers will opt for a better-equipped Cruze, and with that in mind we recommend the Cruze LT, which rings in for under $21,000 with a manual transmission and less than $22K with an automatic. Fully loaded, a Cruze Premier can reach beyond $29,000. Before buying, check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for their new Cruze. The Chevy Cruze's resale value has traditionally trailed leaders like the Subaru Impreza, Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla.

Notable Equipment

For 2016, the Cruze comes in four main trims: L, LS, LT and Premier. The bargain-basement L, offered only with a manual transmission, is pretty basic but does have a 7-inch MyLink infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility, rearview camera, 6-way manual-adjust driver's seat, built-in 4G LTE connectivity with Wi-Fi (subscription-based), and a 4-speaker audio system with AM/FM/USB and auxiliary inputs. LS models add extra bits like a nicer steering wheel, floormats, armrests, and the availability of an automatic transmission. All Cruze models come with 10 airbags, 6-month trial to OnStar Guidance and two scheduled maintenance visits.

Notable Options

We recommend the Cruze LT. In addition to offering a manual or automatic transmission, it packs more features yet maintains an affordable price. It includes the 24/7 Promise connectivity package, 6-speaker audio system, cruise control, 16-inch aluminum wheels, and steering-wheel-mounted audio and phone controls. Manual models even come with the sporty RS appearance package. Top-line Premier models include leather seats, visors with illuminated vanity mirrors, 17-inch wheels, and an improved rear suspension that builds on the standard torsion beam. Options include Bose audio, sunroof, navigation, wireless phone charging, and safety features like blind-spot monitoring, lane-keep assist and forward-collision alert.

Favorite Features


Odd name, awesome feature. In a first for Chevy, all 2016 Cruze LT and Premier models will come with 24 months/24 gigs of 4G LTE Wi-Fi, 24 months of SiriusXM satellite radio, 24 months of OnStar guidance, two routine maintenance services, and 5 years/60,000 miles of roadside assistance.


Remember when 40 mpg was reserved for hybrids? With today's small but efficient engines, that number is reality for small sedans like the 2016 Chevy Cruze. All models earn at least 40 mpg/highway, topping out at 42 mpg. A new diesel Cruze will replace the prior one that earned 46 mpg.

Under the Hood

All 2016 Cruze models feature a new, turbocharged 1.4-liter 4-cylinder gasoline engine. With 153 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque, it is more powerful than the previous 1.4-liter turbo, and more efficient, too. Power is sent to the front wheels via a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission. Though turbocharged, this little engine is happy to drink regular unleaded gasoline. Next year, Chevy plans to go forth with a diesel Cruze sedan that is expected to be even more efficient.

1.4-liter inline-4

153 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm

177 lb-ft of torque @ 2,000-4,000 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 29/41 mpg (manual), 30/42 mpg (automatic), 30/40 (automatic, Premier trim)

Editors' Notes

Now entering its second generation, the Chevrolet Cruze is all-new for 2016. After several years of adeptly battling other best-selling compact sedans such as the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, Ford Focus and Hyundai Elantra, this latest Cruze builds on a strong foundation. The 2016 Chevy Cruze stands out with its comfortable and quiet ride, in-car technology that includes Wi-Fi access, and its conservative yet handsome design. For 2016, all Cruze models come with a 1.4-liter turbocharged gasoline engine that achieves at least 40 mpg on the highway. Next year, the lineup will expand to include an ultra-efficient diesel model and a sleek 5-door hatchback. With a price starting under $18,000 and a well-equipped model around $22,000, the 2016 Cruze is also a good value.

Road Test Video Reviews

2016 Chevrolet Cruze Owner Reviews

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Chevy Cruze review: the right size for me.

I really love my Chevy Cruze limited. It is the perfect size for me to maneuver. The trunk looks bigger than it actually is. I was able to fit all of my family’s luggage in the trunk for a family trip. It is a little small on the inside for more than four passengers. However, if all seats are needed it is manageable for short car rides. Many passengers have been confused with operating the seat adjustments. They are not like majority of the other cars. The adjusters are located in spots that people would not generally look for them at. The AUX and charger ports were a small problem for me at first because they didn't work. The SiriusXM stations were very useful during this time. I was able to take my car to the dealer and get new parts installed. The Bluetooth system only works for calls and not for music. It does still have a CD player which is still very useful. I love the different screens I can change to see what is going on with my car. I use the digital speedometer when driving my car instead of the older speedometer. I am able to check the tire pressure and oil level on my car. This has been very useful when detecting if I have a nail in my tire or if I need to go back in for an oil change. I love that there is also a Chevrolet app that allows me to check everything and lock my doors. Overall, I love it and it is comfortable for me.

- Kristen E

My Chevrolet Cruze is a awesome vehicle for a incredibly affordable price.

My vehicle is a 2016 Chevrolet Cruze. I really like this car for a number of reasons. The exterior design is modern and sleek. Even though it's a four door sedan it has somewhat the look of a sports car. The interior is roomy and offers the latest in technological advances. I especially like the large amount of room in the rear seat compared to other sedans. There is even enough leg room for a six foot tall man which is a huge bonus especially for my husband and son. I also love how the interior is so easy to navigate. The designers of this car did a great job putting everything just in the right place making it easy to use while driving. I have become addicted to the GPS unit. It makes it so easy to navigate especially in the large cities. So far I have had no mechanical issues with this car. I have read numerous reviews of this model online and have fun them to be pretty mechanically sound. I love how quiet they are to drive especially on the highway. Lastly I think the Chevrolet Cruze is a perfect car for just about everyone. It would work well for the single individual since its not to large, works well for families since it has good interior room and even for those looking for high end comforts at a lower price. I am so pleased to own this car and know it's going to be a good quality car for me and my family for years to come.

- Jordan P

My 20 16 Chevy cruze. Best car ever.

My cruise is the best car we have ever had. It is midnight black with a black interior. Our car is not a luxury car, but it have everything that I need. We have had the car for a year and have had no problems with anything about the car. Our gas mileage was great. We went to Branson mo. Last June and the car performed beautiful. The day we brought the car home, my neighbors all told us it was a very nice looking car. We have a very nice radio with a CD player. There is two cell phone power outlet, one in the front and the other in the back seat. We have bucket seats in the front that are shaped like our bottoms, very comfortable. We go to flea market almost every week, and our trunk is large enough to buy a lot of items. Our heater and air conditioner that works great. In the winter when we put on our heater, we really got warm and had to turn it off before long, and in the summer the air conditioner put out very cold air until again we had to turn it off because we got too cold. We also liked the idea that the lights stay on when we turn the car off at dark and the stay on long enough to get out of the car and into the house. Our car can be locked three ways. On each door have lock buttons and on the wireless key.

- Joyce S

Me & my cruse, get more for the money. Buy American! & save money!!

I bought my car new it's really been a good vehicle. It's great on gas mileage, I drove to Daytona beach Fl it's 404 miles one way I filled the tank in Cleveland gab & didn't have to add gas the whole time I was there. I stopped at a friends house in Orlando for 3 days I probably drove 10-15 miles while there before going on to Daytona. I drove up & down the strip probably adding another 10-15 miles, then I drove back to my friends house which was about a50 mile stretch. Anyways I filled the tank in Orlando as I started my trip back and drove all the way back & when I pulled in my driveway I still had almost a 1/4 of a tank left so as far as gas mileage I don't think theres a car out there that gets any better. As comfort I usually have to stop & stretch my legs on a long trip but in my cruse as small as it is I didn't have to take a break I was comfortable. As far as reliable well, it is new and so far it's always ready whenever I have to use it. I haven't been keeping up with how much but I would be willing to bet I have saved enough money at the gas pumps to pay the insurance for a year or more. I have owned a few cars in my life time & I have to say economically the Chevy cruze is at the top of my list.

- Mark P

Test out all new features that you have never had in a car before.

I love the car, it's a nice color and runs great. One of the things I am not to thrilled about is "auto stop". So when I am driving and get to any kind of stop the car turns off, to save on fuel economy, but during the hot days of the summer if I have the air conditioner on and every time I come to a stop, the car turns off, which in turn turns my air off. So then I have to release the break to get the car to restart to get my air back on. And also being a brand new car when the air can back on it was stinky, not a good smell at all. Kind of a big pain. There is no option that I have found to turn it off. I was told unhooking its battery will always give me an error reading on my computer dash screen and I didn't want that. I tried to remove the fuse that controls the auto stop but it also disabled other features in the car so couldn't do that. During the winter I found out that it does not turn off if its under 40f but in summer has to be over a hundred ( that I have noticed) before it even thinks of not turning the car off. So if this feature had a button to turn it off then it would be a great car.

- Laurie A

Chevy Cruze is it the best or is it the blues.

The car on the outside is sporty looking. The Cruze has detail but not enough it is a bland car with a shape that is almost like a strange fruit. The car has problems with the automatic look and most people never wait for me to open the door by my switch they still grab the handle to get out. The car looks more roomy on the outside but when you get in it is low to the ground and cramped. After putting 77 thousand miles on the car it needs an alignment, the heater and air conditioning won't work and it also needs a filter and a flush threw the system. For paying 15000 I thought this car would hold up way better than it has. The car does get like 38 miles per gallon. Chevy customer service is always fast and on point if you need anything checked but all parts are costly. The car is definitely an a to b car there is really nothing luxurious about it, let's face it' it's not my favorite cause my favorite is a lamborghini. The car shifts but with a hesitation factor but once it gets into gear it's good. The horsepower just isn't the best the car also needs top of the line synthetic oil so be sure to pay.

- Francesca G

Chevy Cruze doesn't make the Cut

My Chevy Cruze is a 2016 with less than 50,000 miles on it currently. I was the first owner and I have never been so disappointed in a vehicle. I drive a rental more than I drive my own car because of all the issues I have had. It's unreliable and as a young women it makes me nervous that I may break down in a bad area or end up stranded. I have had to have put a could thousand dollars into this vehicle fixing multiple issues over the past 3 and a half years. From a short that caused my gauges to all go blank while driving to having the car becoming stuck in drive and having to have the entire gear column replaced. The list actual continues on. I will say the car is very comfortable to drive when it's able to be driven. That is truly one of the only positives I've been able to find since buying this car. I warn everyone I know how terrible it is.

- Alexis P

Love my Chevy Cruze, it is my favorite car I have ever purchased.

I got my Chevy Cruze brand new in summer of 2016! It only had twelve miles on it and I love driving it. My car has really good gas mileage which is very important to me. It is two years old and have not had a single problem with it. Very dependable and reliable. I love the heated seats feature. Warms up quickly in the winter. Good cold air for summer. It came with two years of Sirius XM radio which I loved and actually purchased a subscription after my trial. The seats are comfortable. I feel it has a nice big trunk. Plenty of legroom in back seat for passengers. I definitely will consider another Cruze when I am ready for new car down the road. Love the color of it as it is my favorite blue color. I have put about 50000 miles on it since I got it and no issues detected. It rides smoothly and drives smoothly at low and high speeds.

- Ann P

Great compact car, for small family.

I love this car! It's compact, easy to drive and comfortable for me. I have had some taller people tell me it's not very comfortable for them due to their height and the compact size. There isn't much storage space, the center console is quite small. It gets good gas mileage usually anywhere from 30-40 mpg. I really like how it tells me when my tire pressure is low, what percent of oil life I have left, and all the digital features. Like automatic start, and capabilities for satellite radio. One of the things I'm not a fan of is the transmission. When I'm going up hill it's difficult to maintain speed. It hasn't shipped yet, and I've had it for about a year. However, it is slow to shift. This car isn't for someone who likes to go fast. But it's very reliable, and a great family car. If you have a small family.

- Kristin P

2016 Chevy Cruze. Practical and stylish.

So far, has been reliable. Performance has been good, but I do have issues with it revving up and not shifting on occasion. We bought it used, so there were stains, scratches, and cigarette burns, but other than that, it looks very good. Something annoying is that the seats have to be pumped up and down to adjust height. The seats are not automated at all (pumping up/down and bar to slide back and forth), but the windows and locks are. It has a manual feature that automatically shifts down when decelerating. Bluetooth connection possible for phone calls, but not for music. It has an aux cord, but ours does not work. The best thing about this car is the huge trunk. I can fit 1 huge suitcase and 2 small ones, plus a few smaller things.

- Brittany R

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