What's New for 2014:
- New turbo-diesel model debuts
- Four new exterior colors
The 2014 Chevy Cruze is a 4-door compact sedan that competes against a broad spectrum of small cars. Its most direct competitors include the Dodge Dart, Ford Focus, Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra, Kia Forte, Mazda 3, Nissan Sentra, Toyota Corolla, and Volkswagen Jetta.
Models and Features
There are five different 2014 Cruze trim levels from which to choose: LS, LT, LTZ, Eco, and Turbo Diesel.
The Cruze LS is the least expensive version, and is the only version equipped with the standard 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine. Standard equipment includes air conditioning, power mirrors, power door locks with remote keyless entry, power windows with express-down for all, driver's seat height adjuster, floor mats, and a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel. Bluetooth connectivity is standard, along with OnStar telematics, a CD player, auxiliary audio input jack, USB port, satellite radio, and 16-inch steel wheels with plastic wheel covers.
The Cruze LT is upgraded with a 1.4-liter, turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, aluminum wheels, nicer exterior trim, cruise control, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, and extra interior storage. Add the 2LT package to this trim level for leather seats, a power driver's seat, heated front seats, Chevrolet MyLink connectivity and audio streaming, and upgraded brakes, suspension components, and 17-inch alloy wheels.
The Cruze Eco builds from Cruze LT trim with a mild-hybrid powertrain, Chevrolet MyLink connectivity and audio streaming, aerodynamic body enhancements including revised front styling and a rear spoiler, and polished 17-inch forged aluminum wheels.
New for 2014, the Cruze Turbo Diesel builds from the Cruze 2LT package, swapping in a turbo-diesel engine and including the Aero Performance package and rear spoiler from the Cruze Eco.
The Cruze LTZ is equipped with a standard automatic transmission, as well as enhanced trim inside and out, automatic climate control, remote engine starting, keyless access with push-button ignition, heated exterior mirrors, auto-dimming rearview mirror, reversing camera, fog lights, and 18-inch aluminum wheels.
Options and Packages
Choose to cruise in LS trim, and dealers are responsible for installing nearly all of the available options. Beyond that point, a number of factory-installed extras are offered.
Highlights, depending on the trim level, include Chevrolet MyLink technology, reversing camera, premium audio system, power sunroof, navigation system, power driver's seat, and both functional and appearance upgrades from higher trim levels. An RS package adds a sportier look to the Cruze, while an Enhanced Safety package adds rear park-assist sensors, rear cross-traffic alert, and a side blind-zone warning system.
Under the Hood
The 2014 Cruze LS is equipped with a 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine generating 138 horsepower. A 6-speed manual transmission is standard, with a 6-speed automatic available as an option.
The LT, Eco, and LTZ trim levels also have a 138-horsepower engine, but it's a turbocharged 1.4-liter 4-cylinder that makes its peak power lower in the rev range. The turbo engine also generates more torque, and delivers it at just 1,850 rpm, improving acceleration compared with the non-turbo version. A 6-speed manual gearbox is standard for the Cruze LT and Eco, with a 6-speed automatic transmission optional. The LTZ gets the automatic as standard equipment.
The new 2014 Cruze Turbo Diesel is equipped with a direct-injection, turbocharged, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder diesel engine. It generates 151 horsepower at 4,000 rpm and 264 lb.-ft. of torque at 2,600 rpm. A 6-speed automatic is the only transmission choice with this engine.
According to the EPA, the Cruze LS gets between 22 mpg in the city with an automatic transmission and 36 mpg on the highway with a manual transmission.
The Cruze LT and LTZ are expected to return 26 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway with the automatic transmission. The same engine installed in a Cruze Eco delivers 26 mpg in the city and 39 mpg on the highway. As this article is written, the EPA has not rated fuel economy for the Cruze LT and Eco with manual transmission.
A 2014 Cruze Turbo Diesel should return 27 mpg in the city and 46 mpg on the highway, according to the EPA.
Safety Ratings and Technology
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gives the 2014 Cruze a 5-star overall crash-test rating, the best possible. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has not rated the crashworthiness of the 2014 Cruze as this article is written.
To help avoid a collision in the first place, the Cruze is available with a reversing camera, rear park-assist sensors, rear cross-traffic alert, and a side blind-zone alert system. If a crash is unavoidable, 10 air bags are standard to help protect occupants.
The Chevrolet MyLink system includes a 7-inch color touch screen with Bluetooth pairing and music streaming, hands-free text messaging, and access to Internet radio stations. Owners using an iPhone can execute commands using Siri Eyes Free technology.