The second generation of Chevrolet's Cruze compact gets a mid-cycle update for 2019 that brings new front-end styling and LED signature lighting, restyled wheels and a new Chevrolet Infotainment system (it's no longer called MyLink) standard across the line with a 7.0-inch touchscreen.
This update also brings an important question about the Cruze's powertrain, which may or may not still be available with a manual transmission. Rumours started circulating in early 2018 that this 2019 model might be automatic only, and while GM's information on the car lists fuel economy figures for both manual and automatic transmissions, other sources (like the specs below) show a car that comes with self-shifters only.
So we'll leave that alone for now and focus on what we do know about this good-looking little car. The Cruze comes as a sedan and hatchback and can be had with either a 1.4L turbocharged four-cylinder gas engine good for 153 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque or a 1.6L diesel that makes 137 hp and 240 lb-ft.
Assuming the demise of the manual transmission (which was available with either engine), the gasser gets a six-speed automatic and the diesel a nine-speed.
Other changes include the addition of standard single-zone automatic air conditioning in LT and Premier trims, and the driver confidence II package gains low-speed forward automatic braking and front pedestrian braking.
There's a revised trim range too, which no longer includes a bargain L sedan configuration. Both sedan and hatchback models now start out in LS trim and can be optioned through LT to the Premier variant, while the diesel engine is marketed as a trim unto itself for a total of eight distinct versions across the board.
The Cruze faces stiff competition in a segment that is basically owned by the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla and Hyundai Elantra. But despite the continuing push crossovers and SUVs are making for entry-level buyers, the compact car category remains important in Canada, where these affordable and increasingly refined cars are more popular than in the U.S.
And while we stand behind our contention that the Cruze is a good-looking car, it looks awkward in its lower trim levels thanks to 16-inch wheels that are dwarfed by the car's body.
Fuel consumption estimates for the Cruze are 8.1/6.0 L/100 km (city/highway) for the gas engine with the automatic transmission and 7.7/5.0 for the diesel and automatic combination.
This vehicle has not yet been reviewed