Like the Chevy Malibu, the Chevy Cruze is the right product at the wrong time: thanks to the ongoing shift in consumer vehicle buying dynamics that favors crossovers over sedans, sales of the compact passenger car family fell 16.7 percent to 188,876 units in 2016 (yet are up 46 percent in the first four months of 2017). Regardless, Chevy is giving its compact sedan and hatch a handful of small updates for the 2018 model year.
First, the 2018 Cruze loses two exterior colors while gaining one new one:
- Orange Burst Metallic
- Tungsten Metallic
- Satin Steel Gray Metallic
Arguably the biggest change is the addition of two Cruze hatchback trim levels containing the 1.6L LH7 diesel engine — the LT Diesel Manual Hatch (model 1SG) and LT Diesel Automatic Hatch (model 1SH). The 1.6L LH7 is mated to either a six-speed manual or nine-speed automatic transmission. Regardless of transmission, the oil burner makes 137 horsepower and 240 pound-feet of torque, delivering 52 MPG highway.
Finally, the trial period of the OnStar Guidance Plan changes to Guidance Plan Limited Trial Service. From what we can tell, this is simply a change in name and does not impact the features or functionality of the three-month trial period.
The 2018 Cruze Sedan will continue being built at the GM Lordstown plant (which is being idled for two weeks in July and is due for layoffs) while the 2018 Cruze Hatch will remain at the GM Ramos Arizpe plant in Mexico. Look for it to begin arriving on dealer lots in the third quarter of 2017.
The updates and changes described here are specific to the U.S. market and may be different for other markets.