2016 U.S. Market Chevrolet Cruze Caught Wearing Its American Front End34
The all-new D2XX-based 2015 Chevrolet Cruze was officially unveiled at a private event before the start of the 2014 Shanghai Auto Show in April, and then launched in August 2014 in China. We knew the this Cruze would eventually make its way to North America with some cosmetic revisions, but until now, it wasn’t clear what changes would be made. Luckily, the U.S.-market 2016 Cruze has been caught completely uncovered by Car and Driver, giving us a sneak peak at what the future has in store for one of Chevy’s most successful nameplates.
The car spotted by C&D looks nearly identical to the Chinese-market Cruze. The biggest change comes in the way of a new front-end, which brings the car’s design in line with the rest of the Chevrolet lineup. The body styling remains the same, as does the rear clip, so any of you hoping the U.S. market Cruze would look dramatically different from the Chinese version will be left disappointed. C&D notes the model photographed appears to be a lower-level trim level without the optional HID headlamps or LED daytime running lights, both of which are available on the Chinese model.
As far as powertrains go, the U.S. market Cruze could use engines carried over from the outgoing model. Due to its fairly recent introduction, the 2.0-liter diesel unit (LUZ) in the Cruze Diesel is the strongest candidate for adoption into the new model. It is unclear if the new 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder and the 1.5-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder Ecotec engines announced for the Chinense-spec Cruze will find their way into the U.S. model, although it’s likely the new 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission from the Chinese variant will carry over, as will the six-speed manual. A six-speed automatic could also be offered.
The U.S.-market 2016 Chevrolet Cruze could debut as early as November at the Los Angeles auto show, or at the Detroit Auto Show in January. Pricing shouldn’t stray too far from the current model, which carries a base MSRP of $18,345. The new model is expected be continue being built at GM’s Lordstown Assembly Plant in Ohio.
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It does say on the car that it’s a Turbo model though I think.
I know there’s a lot of critics drawing comparisons to other compact car designs already on the market; but I, for one, actually find the 2016 Cruze to be fairly attractive for the North American market. This is definitely one of GM’s better designed vehicles as of late; the slight revision to front fascia gives this car its own identity compared to the Chinese version.
These pics show a much more attractive 3/4 view, front and rear, than the ones we saw yesterday. I like it. C&D said it was bland. I gotta disagree. It is not as overwrought as competitors.
I don’t think “bland” is too far off. I would go more with “generic”.
I think overall it looks “fine”, but it doesn’t look much different than many of their competitors — if you took the bowtie off, I’m not sure many customers would be able to tell who made it.
Perhaps that’s a good thing, but I liked the 2014 and earlier version b/c it had its own look. Now it doesn’t and that’s my issue with it.
If I were to park my ’13 Black Civic EX-L next to the one in the article, I’d have to look twice to go to mine.
The Civic looks like an elongated Prius! This Cruze is very handsome..
Well, looks like GM doesn’t know how to make a small car with an attractive face.
I have no other choice but to agree with you. The front end looks quite pudgy. That being said, it doesn’t turn me away from the 2016 Cruze at all as everything else about it looks amazing! I expect at least 45mpg with the 1.5i and 41mpg with the 1.4t. It would be really interesting if GM offered a 1.5i eAssist that got 30 City and 50 Highway. The diesel is carrying over right?
The diesel will most likely carry over, or get updated along with the rest of the new ecotec engines. But I do agree with you, the rest of the car looks great, it’s the front end from the sonic that bugs me.
All Chevy cars should have an over hung hood like Impala, regardless of size. The grill can vary, follow Camaro if possible.
I hate the cross bar. I guess it is aliases to represent another bow tie? It looks tacky & you. Chevy could even look to MB CLA for inspiration.
The cat is growing on me, though, but Mazda 3 is still the leader regardless of price point.
I think all of Chevy’s FWD lineup should resemble the 2014 impala which obviously gets its swag from the camaro. The excuse being made is that GM wants to give Chevy a global face that works in china, but we all know that’s a bunch of crap because 1. The ford fusion and focus maintain their really aggressive front faces around the globe and 2. Cadillac had to make A&S a little but still ended up with a pretty aggressive and elegant design language. So, honestly, I don’t know why they went with such a cheap and funky look.
GM should be alarmed at Chevy being number three brand in the US but I think Chevy design looks cheap in order to encourage Buick and GMC sales. Sloan’s ladder went rotton years ago but no one at Ren Center got the message.
This logic may work in China but in the US each brand must stand on it’s own merits. Chevy, Buick, and Caddy can attract different demos even when price points over lap.
Chevy is getting clobbered by Ford (America’s VW), Nissan (stylish design) Hyundai/Kia (Transformative brands with great warranties)
Ford killed Mercury, took design upmarket, and sells “premium” thru Titanium trim. I love Buick but it’s holding Chevy back due to the dated thinking of GM.
Wasn’t it discussed earlier on this site that it makes perfect sense to take Buick into Cadillac territory, as they both stand for two different things? Well then Buick should move up-market so as that it isn’t stepping on Chevy’s toes all the time. And yes, Sloan’s ladder of success did go rotten years ago, but before Sloan stepped down, Chevy produced some of the best looking cars on the road. It’s, not the ladder philosophy driving GM right now, it’s the old cost cutting culture, creeping back in again.
You are spot on! I expected to see Buick cooperate more with Caddy on R&D to gain scale. Such a program would not harm Caddy sales since Buick design is the conservative polar opposite of Art and Science.
Still, it seems most logical for Chevy and Opel to further cooperate in a manner similar top One Ford. Chevy has sourced Opel products for years in markets like Brazil, as did Holden in AU.
A lot of the problems surround the idea of Chevy being a global brand like Ford. Not every company has the same history, and the focus should have been on a global core GM line up distributed through brands like Chevy, Holden, Opel and Vauxhall.
On the flip, Buick does produce excellent front wheel drive entry level luxury and is capable of competing with Acura and Lexus.
Hell, Audi sells luxury cars on FWD platforms with many of their performance models being AWD, and at the same time being a little bit more conservative and less flashy than Mercedes and BMW, why can’t Buick do the same? GM would simply be milking more cash out of their not-so-profitable FWD delta and epsilon platforms.
Audi, many Japanese luxury brands, and even sad old Lincoln.
I think Regal is a sort of trial balloon for the all wheel drive GS approach.
This would work great in NA. In China, though, Buick sort of tests in the former Oldsmobile space, and I doubt GM wants to rock the boat on success.
I still don’t get Audi, and how it has gained so much popularity. For the price, I can think of many better options.
Let’s not forget, in the past GM decided to play it safe no matter what, and they got criticized for it.
GM still refuses to rock the boat in NA. The Malibu & new trucks are a great examples of how evolutionarily design does not work when the previous generation was anything but a run away hit.
Ford, love or hate, took mega risks even a non Ford shopper like me admires.
GM taking broad risks in China would be a mistake, however, given the mainstream appeal of Buick and it’s semi premium image.
I do think GM should quickly roll out higher end 60,000 Buicks for both markets to ensure brands like Hyundai don’t gain the upper hand in such a valuable market segment. These cars would be great halo offering for Opel, too.
Only aging baby boomers want to relive the Chevy good old days. Holden designers would just build unapologeticly American red neck racers.
GM knows Chevy’s current demo: People with sub prime credit; aging 50 somethings out for one last ride in a retro Camaro; buyers in the Heartland.
Ford had the same problem five years ago before the new management and design team reinvented the brand. Taste & style are subjective, sales figured and margins not so much. For that matter, Ford has even gained ground on the coasts and major cities.
Make no mistake that Chevy is in danger. They cling to the number three sales spot mainly due to their in house financing plus competing in segments long abandoned by other automakers like Tahoe large SUVs, mid sized trucks, niche offerings like SS and Corvette. Month after month, Cruze is Chevy’s only passenger car in the top 20 while Ford, Toyota and Honda dominate.
GM isn’t producing Asian clones. If they were then maybe Malibu might be selling.
So, Idiot Boy, please tell me whothe Chevy target buyer is? Outside of Cruze, how is Chevy pleasing them?
Okay, I can agree with that. I just assumed you meant retro when you talked of designs representing Chevy’s better days.
Nissan isn’t doing quite as badly as you think. I’m Japan, they have finally surpassed Honda & in the US they attract a younger customer meaning that they should continue to gain market share.
I’m starting to question whether “Asian” or “European” or”American” design even exists anymore. It seems more and more like Global Design had taken over–partly due to media, partly due to the corporate bean counters desire to standardize.
Are Ford designs American or European and how does this impact sales in China? I inductor Ford because Chevy just rolled out Heartbeat design language, &it has yet to have an impact.
Chevy, as a global brand, needs to fuse the best elements of global design into one profit intensive product line.
As for Cadillac, I notice GM abandoning Art and Science with the ATS coupe in favor of a less polarizing globalized aesthetic. I hate it, but sales will probably improve.
Starting to feel like Chevy needs to either steal Mark Adams or go on a shipping spree and purchase Mazda.
This car is okay, but will never be number one in its class. GM could have done better.
I’ve been following all of the comments on this thread. Good comments.
I just bought a Cruze diesel a couple of weeks ago. I bought this late model, knowing that a new design was coming. As with any decision, there are multiple reasons why I did so, but the primary reason was the diesel running gear. I’m very glad I did do, because this is a surprisingly good car. The acceleration, and torque, are startling.
As long as the design of the vehicle threads the tight rope of Goldilocks, and is not too radical, or not to bland… For a diesel this is good, because this auto will still be running strong twenty years from now.
I don’t know what the new Cruze will look like, but I’m in a nice position of… I don’t care.
I’m not a nit picker, but the only two things I do not like are Siri, and the low rolling resistance, hard as rocks, tires. Everything else is extremely well done engineering for the price point of this vehicle. Kudos to the General.
C&D says it looks to be a lower trim level although it is wearing what look to be the current models’ LTZ level wheels. I like this different nose with the exception of how far around the sides and toward the wheel opening the headlights go. For some reason the flared wheel openings look too puffed out to me. because the lights are so close to the opening I think. Other than that I think this has plenty of originality to the design, contrary to what the naysayers think.
Well these are only photos and generally most of todays cars do not photo well especially in spy shots.
I think the car not being white helps a lot as we see a white small car here and it generally relates to a fleet base car that goes around reading meters and picking up blood samples.
This car is not bad enough bases on what we see to piss and moan nor is it ever going to be a poster car in a kids bedroom as it’s just not that kind of car. This is the appliance class and this car will do all and everything that 90% of the buyers are looking for and GM will make a profit with near or over 300,000 units sold and hopefully more.
Too many fail to understand that in this class few are looking for a performance car nor are they looking for a car that gives up practicality for style. As long as it is not putrid and It does all the task they ask of it in a reliable efficient way they will buy it in droves.
As for the styling brush up on the rules for most global crash standards and you will understand why most of the noses are the same. All the automakers are put into a small box where they can work and it forces them to build cars with taller noses and to make it more aero they have to slope the sides in more. This car is subject to more than one market so it has to meet these standards. They now have to have so much crush space between the hood and then top of the engine it has jacked the nose up on many of these cars with inline 4 cylinders. It is even to the point some countries may force automakers to put air bags under the hood so if they hit a pedestrian that the hood will soften their blow.
The small nose on the small cars today have so much to do and so little to work with it limits styling to a point.
Like it or not this car will do well and GM will make a lot of money with it. That is what it needs to do. I think what will be telling will be the level of refinement of this car and new engine. This is where GM will make the biggest changes as they have taken the time to get this right. The extra time was not just extra time to work on it but also extra money and funding to better refine it.
You have to think like an automaker on these deals not a internet auto CEO.
While I do agree with your statement to some extent, you failed to realize that cars like the Hyundai elantra and Mazda 3 manage to look attractive without sacrificing much of their practicality and safety in this class. In fact, the Mazda 3 even has styling that we’d usually come to expect from a German luxury sedan. The ford focus, a very successful American compact manages to do the same thing. The reality is, automakers aren’t put in a box, they just choose cut funding on one aspect of a car (styling) in order to invest that money into other areas (fuel economy). Also, how is it hard to make these cars comply with safety standards for multiple countries? The US Europe have to toughest standards to meet (Europe is a little tougher I’ve been told) if they can get a 5 star rating in both these markets, I’m pretty sure they’ll be safe for any other market.
Well we all have opinions and to me the Mazda 3 is quite unattractive. The front end is nice but the side view is bad and the rear is awful. But that is only my opinion. And I did not like the previous version with the funky hole front end. But Mazda is one to try and look different and it does do that.
Looks are subjective, always have been, always will be. But we can both agree that the front end on the 3 is attractive. You also said that Mazda is one to try and look different, which is what they do very well, yes I agree with you, and that is my question to the GM designers, is it that hard to make a compact that looks as unique on the road as a Mazda? I mean GM has made the camaro and Cadillac line up pretty unique, why can’t their highest volume sedan have that same kind of uniqueness?
I really like what they did here – but I’m surprised as it’s a dramatic departure from the 2015 Cruze facia.
I’m not saying that’s a bad thing – the “industry-wide giant lower grille” fad needs to go the way of the dodo.
There’s a lot of Code 130r and Tru 140s in this one. Let’s hope there’s a 300 hp LTG to go with it and (finally) a Cruze SS. An AWD Cruze SS is sorely needed, especially with the Chrysler 200 now delivering.
Well styling is subjective as The Elantra to me is nasty but the Mazda is better than most. It is a matter of hides the regulations best.
I would not hold my breath for a 300 HP Cruze. It at this point is not that kind of car. Also the 200 is in the class with the Malibu, Camry and Fusion. The Cruze is in line with the already over weight and under selling Dart.
Granted the 200 is elongated off of the Dart, but it’s small enough to steal Cruze sales… it really depends on how much Chrysler prices downmarket to compete.
We’ll probably see a Malibu SS first, but if GM wants to be a class leader, offering an AWD Cruze with an engine dating back to Cobalt would be a win for GM… in a market segment they want to win in…
I like it.
What were the testers doing to these cars? They both had front end damage. I think GM needs new test drivers not designers.
In all seriousness I think the car looks good. It has a lot of the design cues of the tru140 concept in that front end and I think the Impala like rear-end is the best part of the car. This car looks like a Chevrolet and any car person could tell it is if they really pay attention to cars. To all who say it looks like this model or that model, you’re right. However, the compact segment is one the most bloated and competitive segments in the car industry and it would be hard for any manufacturer to not pick up some design cues that look similar to a competitor. If you don’t like the typical compact econobox design because it doesn’t offer something different or exciting, then maybe your dollars would be better spent on something like a MINI. But the automakers know these cars are for comfortable commuting and are built to be mostly vanilla volume sellers not niche cars. Hopefully GM will get wise someday and bring us an exciting compact similar to the Code130 or even the TRU140.
I like reading all the comments posted so far! As far as pictures go, I suspect when seeing the car in reality, comments will change more favorably as pictures can only go so far! I hope GM packages options well and for an upper class trim, maybe introduce ‘vented seats’ for us folks here in the hot summer south! …in addition to all four express up and down windows… Start setting some standards and maybe keep up somewhat to what Hyundai/Kia are doing. Thanks