2018 Chevrolet Cruze
By Phil Shuyler
Get ready world, the 2018 Chevrolet Cruze hatchback now comes with an optional diesel engine. Not only that, but it’s available with an automatic transmission or a manual. The styling of the Cruze may not blow you away, but overall it hits the sweet spot for many by having a conservative yet visually appealing exterior.
The 2018 Cruze is available with a 1.4L turbocharged I-4 variable valve timing (VVT) direct injection engine, or a 1.6L turbodiesel. The I-4 provides 153 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque, while the turbo diesel has just 137 horsepower, but boasts 240 lb-ft of torque. That torque number is key for those wanting a zippier driving experience.
Both engines are extremely efficient, with the diesel achieving up to 52 mpg on the highway with the manual transmission. We averaged around 40 mpg with mixed city and highway driving, which is right where it should be. The gasoline engine tops out at 40 mpg with the sedan and an automatic transmission.
Speaking of transmissions, there are 3 available for the Cruze. A 6-speed manual (for both the gasoline and diesel engines), a 6-speed automatic (for the 1.4L gas engine), and a 9-speed automatic (for the 1.6L diesel engine). The manual gear shifter looks a little different than most, with an oblong tapered shape that fits well in your hand.
On the road, the power of the diesel engine has more power than you’d think, however with that power comes a bit of torque steer. There’s also a fair amount of turbo lag if you put your foot down at a stoplight. Stopping at stoplights may be inevitable, but stopping at the gas station doesn’t have to be. The diesel engine can go up to 700 miles on a single tank of fuel (depending on your driving of course), which is impressive and much higher than most vehicles.
The inside of the Cruze is simple and functional, and overall esthetically pleasing. There aren’t many buttons on the center stack, which gives it a nice and clean look. A 7” screen is standard, and an 8” screen is available and includes navigation. Both screen sizes include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. The seats are comfortable, even on longer trips, and both front and rear seats can be heated on higher trim levels. A power driver’s seat is also available.
For those wanting to spruce up their ride, wireless charging, a heated steering wheel, and a sunroof are all optional, as are 15”, 16” or 18” wheels. You also have the option for remote start, an excellent addition for those living in cold weather climates.
Standard safety equipment includes 10 total airbags, a rearview camera, bluetooth connectivity, daytime running lights, and a Teen Driver mode. Optional safety gear includes
a Following Distance Indicator, Forward Collision Alert, Lane Departure Warning and Lane Keep Assist, Rear Park Assist, Side Blind Zone Alert, and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert.
The 2018 Chevrolet Cruze starts at $17,850 for the gasoline sedan model and $22,695 for the diesel. The hatchback body style adds a couple thousand more to the price tag.