July 02, 2015
Matthew de Paula

The Chevrolet Cruze is maturing for 2016. An all-new version set to go on sale early next year is larger, lighter, more efficient and more sophisticated—basically, it’s more of everything.

For decades cars have grown in size with each new generation, adding unwanted weight in the process. The first part is still true—cars keep getting bigger—but not the second part. Even as cars continue to grow in size—the new Cruze is 2.7 inches longer than its predecessor—they are also getting lighter, thanks to advancements in metallurgy and lightweight composites.

That means consumers get more of what they want—such as added space in the backseat and lots of new gadgets, to give just a couple of examples on the new Cruze—without paying the price at the pump; because lighter cars burn less fuel.

The 2016 Chevrolet Cruze is about 250 pounds lighter than the outgoing model, thanks to the use of high-strength steel, aluminum and other lightweight materials.

The design of the new Cruze is a big departure from the previous model, with more of a wedge shape and lots of details borrowed from the larger Malibu and Impala. But the front and rear styling appear to most resemble a different sedan, the sporty Chevrolet SS. This is evident in the shape of the front grilles and taillights. An optional RS trim package (shown in the photos) gives a more aggressive look.

The exterior aerodynamics benefit from lessons learned with the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid. Chevy says aerodynamic efficiency is a big contributor to the new Cruze’s improved fuel efficiency.

An all-new 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine is lighter, more powerful and more efficient than the previous engine of the same size. A six-speed manual transmission is standard; a six-speed automatic is optional.