Autos

GM Reveals Touched-Up 2015 Chevrolet Cruze

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If you were hoping for some dramatic cosmetic updates in the new Chevrolet, then the freshest iteration of the popular compact isn’t the one you’re waiting on. However, if you were hoping to score Chevy’s efficient small sedan with a boatload of tech-related bits, than the 2015 model caters almost directly to you.

That’s not to say Chevy didn’t play with the exterior — it absolutely did, largely more in the front than in the rear. The 2015 model differs from the 2014 version with a new front fascia, which takes its cues from the new Impala and restyled 2014 Malibu, General Motors said in a press release. The changes help the car blend in a little more with the rest of the Detroit-based company’s sedan lineup. On the LT and LTZ trims, daytime running LED lights come standard, and new colors will be available inside and out.

For those with a technology sweet tooth, the new Cruze can come equipped with text message alerts, Apple Siri integration, and OnStar 4G LTE with available Wi-Fi hotspot, GM said over the weekend. On a tech level, this puts it on par with some high-end luxury cars, as far as computing power is concerned.

“We’ve simply made a great, versatile car even better,” said Steve Majoros, Chevrolet’s director of passenger car and crossover marketing. “Chevrolet continues to design, build and sell the most compelling small cars in its history and the 2015 Cruze offers more of the features, connectivity and efficiency that are important to today’s customers.”

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Majoros continued: “Cruze remains a strong entry in the compact segment, with features that continue to bring new customers to Chevrolet. Along with Spark, Spark EV, Sonic and Volt, Chevy’s lineup of efficient, technologically advanced small cars is one of the industry’s most compelling.”

The new text message alerts feature for smartphone users with Bluetooth profiles reads incoming texts via the vehicle’s speakers, and Siri Eyes Free for iPhone iOS 6 and iOS 7 users enhances connectivity and convenience, General Motors explained. We’d recommend staying away from any texting actions entirely when behind the wheel, but kudos to Chevy for making it as safe as possible.

The Cruze will still be available in all its various forms, including the Eco and diesel variants. The Cruze is a particularly important model for Chevy for a couple of reasons: It’s the followup vehicle to the beleaguered Cobalt compact sedan, which has become a stain on General Motors’ history due to the ignition recall, and also because Chevy’s small cars have seen substantial growth this year, up 15.4 percent over the same period of last year. The Cruze is also Chevy’s best-selling global model.

“With Cruze sales up 17 percent in the first quarter of 2014, the updated styling and greater connectivity of the 2015 Cruze will accelerate Chevy’s small-car momentum when it goes on sale this fall,” said Paul Edwards, U.S. vice president of Chevrolet Marketing.