The 2016 Chevy Cruze was completely redesigned to create a roomier, more luxurious feel. At the time, it was being touted as “the best new thing since sliced bread for stylish and socially connected people.” The compact sedan geared toward millennials was selling like hotcakes. More than 3.5 million units sold since the vehicle splashed onto the market in 2008. Vehicle authority J.D. Power was impressed with the 2016 Chevy Cruze and had nothing but rave reviews to offer.
The 2016 Chevy Cruze
The redesign of the 2016 Chevy Cruze brought together the best features of the popular Chevrolet Malibu and Impala sedans. Improvements included advanced safety features, more functions on the infotainment system, and better driving dynamics.
The car increased three inches in length and was made lighter by 225 pounds. In 2016, the starting MSRP was $21,120 for the base model before any upgrades. The asking price in 2020 for the same model now ranges between $8,325 and $12,300.
According to Chevrolet, the 2016 Chevy Cruze has a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine that can get to 60 mph in 7.7 seconds. Delivering 153 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque, the Cruze offers great maneuverability without much effort. The smaller size allows for a faster ride, with better fuel efficiency at 30 mpg. A new start-stop feature was added to the 2016 Cruze to reduce fuel use while idling.
The J.D. Power dependability survey
For the past 30 years, J.D. Power has been conducting a Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS) for the benefit of consumers in the market for a new car. Thousands of vehicle owners are surveyed to determine what, if any, problems they have had with their car, truck, SUV, or van.
The questionnaire is only sent to original owners, and only covers issues for the previous year. The data is then collected, and each vehicle is assigned an overall dependability rating that is based on a 10-point scale. The 2016 Chevrolet Cruze received a 10 out of 10 Vehicle Dependability score from J.D. Power.
Consumer Reports reliability rating
Consumer Reports felt differently about the 2016 Chevy Cruze. They assigned a three out of five predicted reliability score to the vehicle. In fact, Consumer Reports ranked the 2016 Chevy Cruze at 11 out of 15 among other small cars in its class.
The low scores were based on common complaints from owners that included problems with the integrity of the body. There were reports of continuous squeaking, rattling, and wind noise. Cracks in the weather-stripping caused constant air and/or water leaks. Other issues commonly reported were related to the in-car electronic system.
The road test revealed that the 2016 Cruze pales in comparison to competitors such as the Mazda3 or Volkswagen Jetta. Consumer Reports felt that the Cruze lacked the reflexes to keep up with others in its class. Consumer Reports felt the Cruze, “imparts the feeling of being a comfortable and relaxed midsize sedan, compressed into a compact package.”
The Chevy Cruze has been discontinued
The 2019 Chevrolet Cruz received a refresh that included new color options and minor equipment changes. This wasn’t enough to save the Chevy Cruze. Sales plummeted in Q1 2019, with only 23,311 units delivered in the United States. That was a 42 percent decrease compared to the previous year, causing GM to cancel production.
The 2019 Chevrolet Cruze is the last model available in North America. General Motors continues to offer a 2020 Cruze in markets such as South America where sales are more consistent. According to a GM Authority press release, the Cruze will be available through 2022, but the future of the product line remains unclear.