New 2016 Cruze Sports an EPA-Estimated 42 MPG Highway from New 1.4L Turbo

Posted by at 4:16 pm on April 18, 2016

2016 CHEVROLET CRUZE

The redesigned 2016 Cruze compact sedan that hits showrooms this month will meet or exceed that coveted 40 mpg highway number.

The Cruze joins a slew of compact cars that also boast at least 40 mpg on the highway and 30 mpg in city driving, evidence that automakers continue their drive to meet tightening fuel-economy regulations despite the era of $2-a-gallon gasoline.

The Cruze’s rating of 30 mpg in city driving and 42 highway beats or matches its closest competitors in the declining — but still huge — compact-car segment, including the Honda Civic (31/42), Hyundai Elantra (28/38), Toyota Corolla (30/42) and Ford Focus (30/42).

The city and highway ratings for the Cruze each jumped 4 mpg from those of the outgoing car, despite being powered by the same size engine: a 1.4-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder. The new car’s engine, however, is a clean-sheet redesign that is more efficient and more powerful (153 horsepower and 177 pounds-feet of torque, vs. 138 hp and 125 pounds feet in the outgoing generation).

A big key to the improved mpg ratings: The new engine doesn’t have to push around as much mass. The redesigned Cruze is 150-250 pounds lighter than its predecessor, depending on the model. The weight loss is the result of switching to an aluminum engine block, a lighter-six-speed automatic transmission and use of lighter high-strength steels in the body.

U.S. sales of the Cruze plunged 38 percent in the first quarter to 37,241 deliveries, ranking it sixth in the segment well behind the No. 1 Honda Civic with 87,303 deliveries.

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