Review of the 2019 Chevrolet Cruze

By John Hayden

Back in 2019, Chevrolet was wagering on a fresh new look for its Cruze, a compact sedan/hatchback backed by impressive crash-test scores. Still today, there’s a lot to like about the  2019 Chevrolet Cruze, 

Packed with features that appeal to this consumer segment, its options include Bluetooth and smartphone mirroring through a fast-response seven-inch touchscreen, with an interface that is particularly user-friendly. And during those harsh Canadian winters, the remote start feature makes sure the car is toasty warm before drivers and passengers leave the house. 

Upsides  of the 2019 Chevrolet Cruze

Generally, this comfortable ride offers great gas mileage. There’s an impressive list of features, for even the simplest L model. Here are some of the reasons why it always hovers close to the top of any compact car ranking: 

  • Spacious seats with plenty of shoulder room; 
  • Large trunk with a flat load floor and minor wheel-well intrusion;
  • Plenty of cubbies and pockets for storing small items neatly;
  • Outstanding fuel economy, particularly with the diesel option;
  • Teen Driver system monitors young drivers with speeding alerts, volume limits, and audio mutes until belts are buckled;
  • OnStar Crash Response contacts emergency responders, even the driver is incapacitated; 
  • Rear Cross-Traffic Alert sounds a warning if anyone crosses your reversing path, particularly in parking lots; 
  • Controls that are simple to handle;
  • Disable option for the automatic engine start/stop system;
  • Easy to understand gauges;
  • Impressive infotainment system;
  • Hatchback option (except for the L trim)
  • Excellent predicted reliability rating.

Downsides of the 2019 Chevrolet Cruze

According to driver reports, its main disadvantage is sluggish acceleration, with a lacklustre performance from its standard 1.4-liter engine. Consequently, the Chevy Cruze is less than ideal for city traffic. However, this is offset by its performance on twisty roads, where it remains solidly planted on bends, despite its sporty feel. 

Another driver-reported downside is the limited seat adjustments, which might need some tweaking to get comfortable for a long trip, although consumers generally rate this ride as enjoyable.

This model has always lagged behind segment leaders like the Mazda 3, Kia Forte, and Honda Civic, despite its unique and fuel-efficient diesel engine option. This carries a significant price premium that makes it harder to justify over the shorter term, particularly when taking out car financing on a tight budget. Nevertheless, its fuel economy is so impressive that some drivers rate these savings as equivalent to far more expensive hybrids. 

2019 Chevrolet Cruze Trims

Most Cruze trims – L, LS, LT, Diesel, and Premier – are fitted with a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine with 153 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque, powering a six-speed automatic transmission that drives its front wheels. 

  • Light on features, the L model was available only as a custom-ordered sedan from dealers, with standard equipment that included automatic headlights and air-conditioning, 15” steel wheels, and a remote locking/unlocking system, a rear-view camera, and folding rear seatbacks with a 60/40-split for added trunk space. Its electronics include a 7” central touchscreen, four-speaker audio system with twin USB ports, Bluetooth, and a Wi-Fi hotspot. Furthermore, it has smartphone integration through Apple CarPlay play and Android Auto apps.
  • More common, the LS trim encompasses carpeted floormats and a centre-front armrest. Its Driver Convenience package adds cruise control, with steering wheel-mounted controls and 16” wheels;
  • The mid-range LT model is still priced competitively, particularly with a regular gas engine, while offering reasonable option mixes, particularly with added safety and comfort offered by Driver Convenience packages: a six-speaker audio system with satellite radio, a rear center armrest with cupholders, keyless ignition/entry, heated mirrors/front seats, adjustable driver’s seat, and a rear USB port; the Driver Confidence package offers blind-special monitoring, a rear cross-traffic alert, and rear parking sensors.

Premier and Diesel 

  • Top of the Cruze line, the Premier includes almost all these benefits, plus an upgraded rear suspension, illuminated vanity mirrors, and ambient interior lighting, with exterior chrome accents and 17 “wheels. Available only for this model, the Driver Confidence II package includes low-speed automatic emergency braking.  Additionally, it offers lane-keeping assist, forward collision warning, and automatic high-beam headlight control.
  • Similar to the LT with all its options, the Diesel version is powered by a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder diesel engine (137 hp, 240 lb-ft) with an automatic nine-speed transmission. A heated steering wheel and simulated leather upholstery are included in its Preferred package.

Up-Market Packages for the 2019 Chevrolet Cruze

The Sun & Sound package offers a sunroof and a nine-speaker Bose audio system. Meanwhile, the RS Appearance package includes a sport body kit with a rear spoiler and fog lights for the LT, plus 18” wheels for Premier models. 

Comfort and Safety with Good Value

With appraisal values ranging from $16,000 to $24,000 this compact sedan is still easy to finance.  Particularly good options are shorter-term loans with lower negative equity risks.  For families seeking a safe and comfortable ride with auto financing that fits into pandemic-strapped budgets, the 2019 Chevy Cruze is a smart choice. 

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