A more potent standard engine and a streamlined exterior design highlight Chevy Cruze’s 2016 model year changes. The compact sedan’s improved agility, largely due to a 250-pound weight reduction, was on full display during a week-long test drive. When fitted with its new standard turbocharged engine, the 2016 Cruze has faster 0 to 60 mph acceleration than the prior model. New for 2016 features include an automatic transmission with stop/stop technology and available Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility that integrates apps with Chevrolet MyLink via the car’s 7- or 8-inch color touchscreen display. The 2016 Cruze also has more available safety technologies, like rear cross traffic alert and forward collision alert.

Powering the front wheel drive Cruze is a 1.4-liter turbocharged, direct injection 4-cylinder engine producing 153 horsepower at 5600 rpm and 177 pounds-feet of torque between 2000-4000 rpm. (The 2015 Cruze offered a 138 horsepower 1.8-liter 4-cylinder; a 1.4-liter turbocharged 138 horsepower 4-cylinder; and a 2.0-liter 151 horsepower turbocharged diesel engine.) A diesel engine offering returns in 2017. Cruze pairs the turbo-direct injection 4-cylinder with either a 6-speed automatic or 6-speed manual transmission. Four trim levels (L, LS, LT and Premier) are offered. The test driven 106.3-inch wheelbase Cruze LT with manual transmission carries a MSRP of $19,820 and collects estimated mpg of 29 city/41 highway.