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Refreshing or Revolting: 2016 Chevrolet Cruze

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 6/27/2015 Megan Stewart

The Chevrolet Cruze was an all-new model for the 2011 model year, and while it's had a few cosmetic changes and other updates over the years, it hasn't received the level of attention it has for the new model year. The 2016 Chevrolet Cruze has been given a major overhaul, offering up a sleeker exterior, new technology, and more power under the hood. The second generation of the Chevrolet Cruze hopes to show the aspirations of the automaker, and not be just another economy car. Does the 2016 Chevrolet Cruze have enough of a wow-factor to turn consumers away from the more popular Toyota Corolla or Honda Civic?

Looking at the front of the new Cruze, it's easy to distinguish it from the outgoing model. Chevrolet has redesigned the entire front fascia. The headlights are now attached to the redesigned upper grille that seems to have been lowered for a more dramatic appearance. The lights themselves have been updated, offering a more streamlined appearance. The lower grille has been made larger, and the foglights have also been given an update. The character lines on the hood look more sculpted, giving the front an overall sportier appearance when compared to the outgoing model.

2016 Chevrolet Cruze 18© Provided by MotorTrend 2016 Chevrolet Cruze 18

Thanks to the coupe-like styling, the side shows offer a new look, with more angular features. The windows and doors have been redesigned to flow with the stronger lines of the body, offering a sharper appearance in place of the rounded edges on the previous model. The lower door lines show off a more muscular look, along with sharper, more distinct lines running the length of the body. At the rear, Chevy has redesigned the taillights. The new lamps feature a new shape, with the white portion of the lights contributing to an overall more angular look. Added to that, Chevrolet has also updated the rear bumper, which brings the sportier look full circle.

Chevrolet has updated the interior just as much as the exterior, continuing the sharper design language in the cabin. The center stack has been given a significant update. Gone is the outdated dashboard design, and in its place is a more streamlined, condensed set of controls for the infotainment and HVAC systems. The air vents are now vertical instead of horizontal, and the number of controls has been significantly reduced. The infotainment screen is larger, and more centered on the dash. The gauges have also been updated to offer a simpler appearance compared to the previous model.

The 2016 Chevrolet Cruze has been significantly updated for the new model year, and the second generation shows off a more striking appearance, inside and out. But are these changes enough to wow the segment and pull consumers away from the more popular Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic?

Last week's Refreshing or Revolting featured the 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC, and responses were overwhelmingly positive.

"Definitely refreshing. Brings it right in line with the new C and S classes. Hopefully the new E-Class will follow suit," said Skywarped.

"Looks more sophisticated than the previous model. I like it!" said SuperCarEnthusiast.

"I'm glad it lost the awkwardly boxy styling. This one is refreshing inside and out," said RCD.

"I would also say refreshing. This car, compared to current competitors, has the nicest interior design within its class. In my opinion, the BMW X3 and Audi Q5 are a notch below this car in terms of style," said jharrison.berg.

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