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2019 Chevrolet Cruze Sedan

$17,995 - $25,620
Price Range (MSRP)
Chevrolet Cruze Sedan

2019 Chevrolet Cruze Sedan Review

by Jay Traugott

It's not often that you get the choice of having your bread buttered on both sides. Some might even call it unnecessary. We call it the Chevrolet Cruze. It's been three years since a complete redesign, introducing the world to the second-generation Cruze, which features styling updates, newer technologies, and a diesel engine making it unique in the compact sedan segment. Paired with either its 1.4-liter turbocharged (153 horsepower/177 lb-ft of torque) or 1.6-liter turbodiesel motor (137 hp/240 lb-ft), the Cruze sedan is a competent compact car. It competes against two iconic Japanese cars, the reliable Toyota Corolla and formidable Honda Civic, which is tough going for America's entrant in the segment, but it's up to the task.

2019 Chevrolet Cruze Sedan Changes: What’s the difference vs 2018 Cruze Sedan?

2019 introduces a revised front fascia for the Cruze, as well as updating the infotainment system. Automatic climate control now features on the upper LT and Premier models, as well as a remote starter system. A new Umber color scheme makes its way to the interior palette, with LED accent lighting enhancing the dual-element tail lamps at the rear. The auto stop/start system gets the option to be disabled, too. The manual transmission has been removed from the line-up, as well as the optional eight-inch touch-screen with navigation, and wireless charging. Infotainment software has also been upgraded.

Pros and Cons

  • Two turbocharged motors offer strong performance
  • Diesel model available
  • Exceptional gas mileage
  • Above-average cargo space for its segment
  • Brilliant infotainment system
  • High-cost diesel option counters cheap running costs
  • No manual offering
  • Inconsistent acceleration

Cruze Sedan Exterior

With the updated front end styling, the Cruze sedan now looks more aggressive than ever before, while at the rear, updates to the lighting include LED accents in the taillight clusters. Largely unchanged from last year's iteration, the Cruze sedan features body-color door handles, optional fog lamps, halogen twin-reflector headlights (dual-projector on higher trims), power-adjustable mirrors (heated on Diesel/Premier), and wheels ranging from 15- to 18-inches depending on trim selection. The RS package adds some extra aggression in the form of RS badging, a sports body kit, a sporty rear spoiler, and black bowtie badges.

2019 Chevrolet Cruze Sedan Front Angle View
2019 Chevrolet Cruze Sedan Rear Angle View
2019 Chevrolet Cruze Sedan Front Angle View
See All 2019 Chevrolet Cruze Sedan Exterior Photos

Dimensions

The Cruze sedan fits right into its compact classification with a 106.3-inch wheelbase and 183.7-inch overall length, the latter being 8.4 inches longer than the length of the hatchback variant. At 57.4 inches tall and 70.5 inches wide, it's an easy fit for tight parking maneuvers. Depending on your choice of trim and drivetrain, the Cruze sedan tips the scales anywhere from 2,870 lbs up to 2,989 lbs in its heaviest iteration.

Cruze Sedan Performance

2019 Chevrolet Cruze Sedan Front View Driving
2019 Chevrolet Cruze Sedan Rear View Driving
2019 Chevrolet Cruze Sedan Badge

Engine and Transmission

Across its five-model line-up, the L, LS, LT, and Premier models share a single engine and gearbox configuration, while the Diesel model sports its own unique setup. The former batch of trims draws power from a 1.4-liter turbocharged Ecotec four-cylinder motor developing 153 hp and 177 lb-ft, sending outputs to the front wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission. A 1.6-liter turbo-diesel four-cylinder motor powers the lone diesel model, with a nine-speed automatic transmission paired for efficiency. Producing 137 hp and 240 lb-ft, both motors offer ample acceleration to get the Cruze going. With its additional torque, the diesel Cruze feels more potent in roll-on acceleration, making overtaking a simple affair, while the nine-speed auto is also smoother through the gears.

  • Engines
    1.4-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas, 1.6-liter Turbo Diesel
  • Transmissions
    6-Speed Automatic, 9-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrain
    FWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

The Chevrolet Cruze offers a lot of driving enjoyment, with its predictable nature and easy-going attitude guiding it through corners and side streets with reassuring ease. Agility and handling are also surprisingly good for a compact class car, feeling planted and connected to the road surface in a manner we might even dare call sporty. It's also largely forgiving to drive, retaining that 'sporty' feel whilst smoothing out the road's imperfections to a comfortable cruise. Though not a sports car by any measure, it's certainly an ambitious daily driver that feels as capable as it does practical.

Cruze Sedan Gas Mileage

The Cruze really steps into its element when it comes to fuel economy, sitting amongst the best in its class. Its 1.4-liter turbocharged gasoline engine sees the Cruze hit 28/38/32 mpg city/highway/combined with an estimated maximum range of 438 miles from its 13.7-gallon tank. The 1.6-liter turbodiesel takes that a step even further, with an EPA rated 31/48/37 mpg leaving it a hair shy of 500 miles between refueling stops with its slightly smaller 13.5-gallon tank. The Honda Civic, one of the most economical rivals in the segment, returns 32/42/36mpg estimates.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    13.7 Gallons
  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 28/38 mpg
* 2019 Chevrolet Cruze L Sedan

Cruze Sedan Interior

2019 Chevrolet Cruze Sedan Steering Wheel
2019 Chevrolet Cruze Sedan Dashboard
2019 Chevrolet Cruze Sedan Dashboard
See All 2019 Chevrolet Cruze Sedan Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

The five-seater compact got a lot of attention from Chevrolet when it came to the interior. In an attempt to maximize comfort, the driver and front seated passenger get 38.9 inches of headroom with 42 inches of legroom, leaving ample space for even six-foot-tall drivers, with the seats and steering wheel offering up enough adjustment to find a perfect driving position with good visibility all around. The rear of the cabin registers 37.3 inches of headroom, while legroom is a respectable 36.1 inches, catering to most adults and enabling a total seating complement of five. The seats are comfortable, too, regardless of their appointment in either cloth on the lower trims or leatherette on higher-specced offerings.

  • Seating capacity
    5-seater

Cruze Sedan Trunk and Cargo Space

The Cruze in its sedan form does well to be a practical get-around, with the wheel arches pushed aside as far as possible to accommodate more goods in the trunk. With 14.8 cubic feet of trunk space found in the L and LS trims, it does well not to disappoint in its segment. If you need to haul more daily, its hatchback counterpart might be the better choice. That said, the LT, Premier, and Diesel models lose 0.9 cubic feet in exchange for all the extra features they receive, which is still plentiful for more modest daily cargo.

Interior storage space is on par for the segment, with pockets on all four doors, two front cupholders and a generous front storage bin, a bin under the center armrest, and a fold-out armrest located in the middle of the rear bench.

2019 Chevrolet Cruze Sedan Dashboard
2019 Chevrolet Cruze Sedan Rear Passenger Seats
2019 Chevrolet Cruze Sedan Rear Passenger Seats
  • Trunk Volume
    14.8 ft³

Cruze Sedan Infotainment and Features

Features

The 2019 Chevrolet Cruze covers both ends of the spectrum in terms of features, sporting a rather extensive list at top trim and a fairly barren list at the entry point to the lineup. For the entry-level trim, the L features start/stop technology, power door locks, a rearview camera, two USB charging ports, remote keyless entry, power windows, a center console with an armrest, and even Teen Driver Technology, should you allow the Cruze into less capable hands now and again. The higher trims get a remote vehicle starter system, cruise control, keyless entry, heated driver and passenger seats, a heated steering wheel, and automatic climate control. Heated power-adjustable mirrors are reserved for the top of the line Premier and diesel models, with no heating options at lower trims.

Infotainment

Included as standard, the entire range sports a brilliantly vibrant and easy to use seven-inch touch-screen Chevrolet Infotainment 3 System, that packs native Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, as well as Bluetooth. The LT, Premier and Diesel trims boast SiriusXM functionality, with Bose's premium nine-speaker setup remaining an optional extra. USB and Auxiliary inputs can be found in the front, whilst we're a bit disappointed to not see any integrated navigation anywhere. Physical buttons on the left and right sides of the touch-screen add redundancy and easy access to menus or modes, but we found the user interface to be responsive and easy enough - and never felt compelled to use these hard buttons.

Cruze Sedan Problems and Reliability

There has been just one recall issued for the 2019 Chevrolet Cruze pertaining to the rear brake caliper pistons having an insufficient coating. As standard, the Cruze leaves the showroom floor with a five-year/60,000 mile powertrain warranty, as well as a three-year/36,000 mile bumper-to-bumper limited warranty.

Cruze Sedan Safety

The Chevrolet Cruze received exemplary safety ratings from the NHTSA, recording an overall safety rating of a full five stars. The IIHS has, however, not completed a full evaluation, but scored the Cruze best-available ratings of Good for side and moderate front overlap tests. Included in the comprehensive basic safety suite, the Cruze boasts no fewer than ten airbags including dual front knee airbags and rear-seat-mounted side airbags. Teen Driver technology allows control of speed limits for cautious parents, while the pair of Driver Confidence packages adds much-needed driver assists like rear park assist, lane-change alert, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-keep assist, and automatic emergency braking to higher trims in the range.

Verdict: Is 2019 Chevrolet Cruze Sedan a good car?

With its more distinct styling, an extensive list of features even at base-trim, and a diesel model that boasts seriously frugal gas mileage estimates, the 2019 Chevrolet Cruze offers a largely impressive package to buyers looking for a compact car. Its seven-inch touch-screen display with native Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, spacious and premium-feel interior, great build quality, and refined gas and diesel motors are just a few more reasons the Cruze stands out amongst its peers. Practicality wasn't put on the backburner either, with above-average cargo space and ample room for rear passengers. The drawbacks are few and far apart. Acceleration can be tardy at times and if you want a stick shift, well, there isn't a manual option anymore. It's not as comprehensively brilliant as the Honda Civic, but it's good enough to be well worth a look.

What's the Price of 2019 Chevrolet Cruze Sedan?

Pricing for the 2019 Chevrolet Cruze starts at an MSRP of $17,995, which gets you the entry-level L trim excluding tax, licensing, registration, and an $875 destination charge. The lower mid-range LS trim starts at $19,120, whilst the upper mid-range LT sees a small jump in costs to $21,720. The fully loaded Premier model sees another jump in price, to an MSRP of $23,520, while the Diesel model tops the range at $25,620.

2019 Chevrolet Cruze Sedan Models

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
L
1.4-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
$17,995
LS
1.4-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
$19,120
LT
1.4-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
$21,720
Premier
1.4-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
$23,520
Diesel
1.6-liter Turbo Diesel
9-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
$25,620
See All 2019 Chevrolet Cruze Sedan Trims and Specs

What Chevrolet Cruze Sedan Model Should I Buy?

Three models stand out above the rest. The base model L offers just the bare necessities in terms of features, making it much more suited as a fleet vehicle in the compact segment. With a cost difference of only $1,125 to the next level up, the LS only adds oddities here and there, such as a three-spoke steering wheel, carpeted front floor mats, and a monochromatic driver information display.

That leaves us with the three trims well worth considering. The LT trim gets you better headlights, 16-inch alloy wheels as opposed to the 15-inch steel ones on the lesser trims (17s are optional), as well as SiriusXM, cruise control, remote vehicle start, and a six-speaker sound system. The top of the range Premier and Diesel models net you 17-inch wheels as standard, as well as heated mirrors, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel (diesel), and leatherette seats (Premier).

Check out other Chevrolet Cruze Styles?

2019 Chevrolet Cruze Sedan Comparisons

2019 Chevrolet Cruze Sedan
2019 Chevrolet Cruze Sedan

2019 Chevrolet Cruze Sedan vs Honda Civic Sedan

Chevrolet has gone to great lengths to make the Cruze a hard-hitting competitor in the compact car segment, so much so that it stands toe to toe with the iconic Honda Civic. Both cars have comparable fuel economy at 32/42/36 mpg for the Civic, and 31/48/37 mpg for the diesel Cruze. Despite the Cruze's sporty driving dynamics, it takes a back seat compared to the agile and joyful attitude the Civic is known for, with the Honda also offering a manual gearbox not found in the Chevrolet offering. The Civic also offers 1.3 inches more rear legroom than the Chevy's 36.1 inches. Both cars feature a premium cabin across their respective ranges, with favor going towards the Civic for a more practical design, while the Cruze claws back with a more intuitive infotainment interface. The Cruze has a cheaper base model, starting off at an MSRP of $18,870, $680 cheaper than the Civic LX. Though the Cruze puts up a serious fight, it falls just shy of being our preference between the two when it comes down to practicality and driving dynamics.

See Honda Civic Sedan Review

2019 Chevrolet Cruze Sedan vs Toyota Corolla Sedan

At first glance, it seems like an apples to apples comparison between the two, both featuring sedan and hatchback variants and boasting similar standard features. But the 2019 Corolla Sedan hasn't yet received the redesign the hatchback has, leaving it bland and unexciting, if highly practical. Whilst the Corolla offers superior legroom, the Chevy reigns elsewhere with a significantly better infotainment system, more premium interior, and vastly more exciting driving dynamics. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are native to the Cruze in all trims and configurations, whilst the Corolla only features Apple's offering. The responsiveness, user interface, and clarity of the Cruze's seven-inch touch-screen overshadow the Corolla's interface. The Corolla is practical and frugal, but against a much newer Cruze it simply can't keep up, perhaps the 2020 redesign will fare better?

See Toyota Corolla Sedan Review

Chevrolet Cruze Sedan Popular Comparisons