Chevrolet unveils new longer, lighter Cruze compact – USA TODAY
DETROIT — Chevrolet is unveiling the new Cruze, which gets longer, lighter and more fuel efficient.
Cruze, which goes on sale next spring, was revealed Wednesday night at the Detroit’s Fillmore Theater.
“The new Cruze is truly one of Chevrolet’s most global vehicles,” said Alan Batey, president of General Motors North America.
The new one is 2.7 inches longer, with most of the extra space going to provide more rear-seat leg room.
The new version of the popular compact gets about 40 miles per gallon from its 1.4-liter, four-cylinder Ecotec turbo engine.
Cruze will weigh about 250 pounds less than the 2015 model it replaces. This is accomplished through an aluminum engine block in the engine and a new process of steelmaking.
As with most 2016 Chevrolet models, Cruze will offer buyers the option of Android Auto or Apple CarPlay telematic systems that replicate most icons that appear on one’s smartphone.
John Cafaro, executive director of Chevrolet design, kept a common styling theme that began with the Impala, extended through the 2016 Malibu and now to the Cruze.
“The Cruze’s approach to proportion and premium details adds to Chevrolet’s elevation of craftsmanship, content, quality and a fresh interpretation on an identity that is unmistakably Chevrolet,” Cafaro said.
“They’ve been pretty conservative in this segment for some time, but that has served them well in the market,” said Stephanie Brinley, an industry analyst with IHS Automotive. “What it needs to be is fashionable and help Chevrolet get more loyalty and bring new people into the brand.”
Like other compact models that have been introduced in the last year, Cruze will face headwinds of moderately inexpensive gas and many Americans preference for pickup trucks, SUVs and crossovers.
The new Cruze takes several strides forward in safety technology. There are 10 air bags, a side blind zone alert, rear cross traffic alert, lane departure alert and forward collision alert. All sensor-enabled steps down the road to autonomous driving.
On the infotainment front, there will be a 7-inch diagonal screen is standard on which the next iteration of Chevrolet MyLink will be displayed as well as Android Auto. Apple loyalists who want the CarPlay option will be able to get an 8-inch screen.