The Cruze has been one of Chevrolet's go-to subcompacts since its introduction to the U.S. market in 2010. And even though the model has been discontinued in the U.S. with the 2020 model year, it continues to go strong in other countries. Hence, the reason why it received a significant redesign.
However, will consumers purchase the 2020 Chevrolet Cruze now that it's being retired from service? If so, does this new version live up to its decade-long legacy? Furthermore, how does it compare to other subcompacts in the crowded domestic market?
What's New for 2020?
Though the last U.S.-made Cruze came off the assembly line in March of 2019, the 2020 Chevrolet Cruze was still given a makeover for this model year. It features a redesigned front end, updated wheel designs, restyled taillights, and a change in interior colors. In addition, it now matches the rest of its vehicle family with the introduction of Infotainment System 3.
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Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2020 Chevrolet Cruze – The Pros
1. Multiple Trim Options Available
Unlike other manufacturers, the 2020 Chevrolet Cruze trims are more than upgrades in refinement or safety. They are also represented by changes in body design and fuel use. In this example, the Cruze comes as a standard subcompact and a four-door hatchback. Fuel-wise, consumers can choose from a standard fuel injected engine to one that runs on diesel.
2. Low Base Price
The 2020 Chevrolet Cruze in one of lowest-based subcompacts on the market today with a base MSRP of approximately $17,000. Even the higher-end trims stay well below $25,000 with their upgraded interiors and safety enhancements.
3. Increased Fuel Efficiency
The 2020 Chevrolet Cruze matches the fuel economy of other subcompacts on the market and even exceeds it with some models and trims. The base model, with its turbocharged 1.4L engine and six-speed automatic transmission. gets an impressive 28 mpg in the city and 39 mpg on the highway. The turbo diesel, with a 1.6L four-cylinder engine, gets 31 and 48 mpg, respectively. Therefore, in addition to the low vehicle cost, money is saved in fuel purchases.
4. Available Storage
Despite being a subcompact, the 2020 Chevrolet Cruze offers consumers a good deal of storage space. In the sedan model, the Cruze holds approximately 14 cubic feet of cargo. Fold down the seats in the hatchback version, and it can hold over 47 cubic feet of materials. Not much less than a small SUV.
5. Numerous Safety Options
Technology improvements continue to enhance advancements in safety. For the 2020 Chevrolet Cruze, this means the implementation of many options once available in only high-end international sedans.
At a total of ten, the number of airbags in the subcompact is more than is loaded in the Cruze's SUV cousin, the Blazer. Thus, drivers and passengers are provided with maximum protection should a collision occur. A Rear Vision Camera, daytime running lights, and OnStar assistance also come as standards across all trims.
In the LS, LT, RS, and Premier trims, Teen Driver mode is available as an important safety option. This mode prevents a teenager from moving the car forward without buckling their seatbelt. Other advanced safety options that are standard or included in enhanced trims are collision and pedestrian alerts, lane assist, and low-speed automatic braking.
6. Smooth Performance
Handling is a critical component for subcompacts due to their small stature and comparatively light weight. Chevrolet is aware of this, so they made sure the Cruze would remain on the road in any condition.
One way they did this was to include StabliTrak on all trims of the 2020 Chevrolet Cruze. The electronic control system maintains stability on the road by adjusting tire traction and steering.
Proper suspension is another way Chevrolet created a smooth ride in the Cruze. Front MacPherson struts and multi-link rear suspension absorb the vibrations of the road to produce a clean ride across any type of surface.
7. An Enhanced Infotainment System
The 2020 Chevrolet Cruze received a technology upgrade in this model year with the implementation of the Infotainment 3 system. It features a seven-inch touchscreen with an intuitive menu layout similar to that of a smart device. This results in a fully equipped unit that is easier to navigate and maximizes time with eyes on the road.
On top of this, the Cruze permits connectivity options for numerous types of devices. Several USB ports are available for charging and data retrieval. Rapid internet access is available thanks to a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot that is adaptable with Android Auto, Apple Play, and Bluetooth.
8. Comprehensive Warranty Coverage
The company's warranty plan, the Complete Care package, does an excellent job to keep your 2020 Chevrolet Cruze running during its lifetime. Furthermore, it does this without the consumer paying extra.
In the first year of the Complete Care package, owners receive one oil change and tire rotation. Afterwards, the Cruze is supported under a bumper-to-bumper, powertrain, and anti-corrosion program. This continues for an accumulated average of four years or 60,000 miles.
9. Solar Absorbing Glass
One of the disadvantages to driving is the buildup of heat when you are in direct sunlight. While this may feel good in the winter, it can be brutal in the summer. Not only for you but also for your air conditioner.
The 2020 Chevrolet Cruze eases this with solar absorbing glass. In turn, the interior cabin doesn't heat up as fast as in other vehicles. In addition, your windows and front and rear windshields maintain their strength throughout the car's lifetime.
10. Clear Views of Your Surroundings
Chevrolet's goal is to make their vehicles as safe as possible in order to contribute to a zero-collision environment. In order to do this, they utilize technology or design enhancements.
In the case of the Cruze, it's design. At close to six feet wide, the subcompact’s large front windshield is not hampered by thick door frame columns. The rear-view camera has a 180-degree view of the area behind the sedan. Thus, drivers can avoid collisions with other vehicles and objects.
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Reasons Not to Buy a 2020 Chevrolet Cruze – The Cons
1. Poor Performance of Manual Transmission
Yes, automatic transmissions are the go-to for most cars these days. However, manual transmissions still exist. For the Chevrolet Cruze, the automatic version has considerably more spunk than the manual version. In fact, some reviewers have called it clunky.
2. Lack of Standards at the Lowest Trims
The good news is the Cruze has a low base cost. The bad news is it means a stripped-down version with limited features. The standard trim doesn't even come with cruise control. Thus, consumers need to pay more for advanced trims or packages.
3. Noisy Diesel Engine
The 1.6L turbo diesel has increased fuel efficiency over the standard fuel injection models offered for the Cruze. The downside to this is volume. When the engine is in idle, it generates a loud noise that can be discomforting to those in the passenger cabin.
4. Safety Enhancements Only Available on Higher Trims
The basic Cruze trims have plenty of safety and security features to protect both driver and passengers. However, the advanced tools, like automatic braking, are saved for the maximum-priced trims. And even some of those come as options instead of standard features.
5. Uncomfortable Front Seats
While the Cruze has adequate leg and headroom, some have complained about the discomfort of the front seats. In particular, there are issues with the lower trim styles. This can make for a rough ride during long journeys.
How It Stacks Up to the Competition
The 2020 ranks high with affordability, infotainment, and safety. Nevertheless, it still has competition. For example, in a comparison between the Cruze LT and the Ford Edge SE Sedan, the two vehicles are matched in fuel efficiency. However, the Cruze excels in infotainment options and airbag setups. When put up against the 2020 Toyota Corolla, the Cruze is behind in styling, despite the redesign. However, it reaches beyond engine power with the turbo diesel.
In its last year on the U.S. market, the 2020 Chevrolet Cruze remains a star for the manufacturer but in the middle of the pack among other brands. Even with the exterior redesign and introduction of the Infotainment System 3, there are other items that turn consumers off.
If you are looking for a reliable subcompact that works well in the city and the highway, then the Cruze is for you. Its engine options are good but not sporty. Furthermore, they have higher fuel efficiency than others in its class. Even the turbo diesel gets close to 50 mpg.
On the other hand, if you want something sportier and fun to drive, then you have two options. First, you can look at the higher-end Cruze trims, like the RS or Premier, and pay a bit more than the base price. Second, you can bypass this subcompact and look at the Edge or Corolla. In the end, it depends on your desires and how much you wish to invest.
A final factor in your decision -- do you want to purchase a last-year model? While it will be sold overseas, the Cruze may not come back to the U.S. for several years, if at all. Eventually, this may result in parts being harder to find or higher costs for service. So, while the cost is low, the Cruze's return on investment may not.