$10,257 - $16,052

2016 Chevrolet Cruze Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2016 Chevrolet Cruze was new.

Scorecard

Interior: 8.3

The 2016 Chevrolet Cruze has a comfortable and nicely styled interior, and the top-of-the-line Premier trim has upscale materials. Even in lower trims, most surfaces are soft to the touch, and the hard plastics that can be found are appropriate for a compact car. The front seats are roomy and cushioned, and the back seats offer enough space for most adults, though headroom is restricted by the slanted roofline.

All trims are well-equipped, with a touch-screen infotainment system, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, standard even in the base trim. The system is simple to use, and there is no delay after you tap an on-screen button. The trunk is large for the class, with a wide opening that makes it easy to load.

  • The Premier's interior is handsome and expensive-looking, recalling Chevrolet's longstanding philosophy of looking richer than it costs, though the LS and LT interiors only look like they belong in the $21,000-$25,000 sedans they are." -- Automobile Magazine
  • Interior material choices in base trim are predictably inexpensive - cloth and plastic; that being said, the budget interior is perfectly acceptable for the price." -- AutoWeek
  • Materials in the Cruze are generally good across the board, particularly in the top-spec Premier models we tested. However, some touch places -- such as the top of the doors -- use hard plastics that ding an otherwise up-scale feeling interior." -- Left Lane News

Seating

The five-seat 2016 Chevy Cruze comes standard with cloth upholstery, while leather upholstery, heated front and rear seats, and a power-adjustable driver’s seat are optional. The front seats are comfortable and have plenty of cushioning to keep you in place during more exuberant driving.

The rear seats offer ample legroom to keep a couple of adults happy for short trips, though tall passengers may want more headroom, thanks to the Cruze's sloped roof. The roofline also makes it a bit difficult to get into the back seats, so be careful so you don’t hit your head. Visibility to the sides and rear is also limited by the roof's shape.

  • "While many small cars suffer from front seats with short cushions that leave occupants' legs unsupported, the Cruze's front chairs are big and cosseting, providing a consistent hug from behind one's knees all the way up to the shoulders." -- Car and Driver
  • Cruze's front seats proved comfortable with ample support. There's even a decent amount of side bolstering … [to] keep you in place during more spirited driving stints. Head and legroom is plentiful for those six-feet and even a little above. The Cruze's rear bench, however, isn't quite as accommodating. The sedan's low-slung roofline can make it difficult to get into the back seat without bonking your head. Once in that roofline blocks your line of sight and eats up some headroom. The Cruze at least offers adequate legroom in the back." -- Left Lane News
  • "As far as compact sedans go, the Cruze is spacious--fully capable of carrying five adults comfortably, at least for a short while. Rear headroom will be a problem for the taller set, but that comes with the compact territory." -- AutoWeek

Interior Features

Standard features in the redesigned 2016 Cruze include a four-speaker audio system, a USB port, Bluetooth, a 7-inch touch-screen infotainment system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, a Wi-Fi hot spot, and a rearview camera. Optional features include automatic climate control, a power sunroof, wireless mobile device charging, a six- or nine-speaker Bose premium audio system, satellite radio, an upgraded 8-inch touch-screen infotainment system, navigation, remote start, rear parking sensors, blind spot monitoring, lane keep assist, rear cross traffic alert, and forward collision warning.

The base Cruze is well-equipped for a compact car, with a standard touch-screen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Infotainment systems are typically only optional in most rivals, and many don't feature Apple CarPlay or Android Auto at all. Navigation is an optional feature with the upgraded infotainment system, though you can save yourself some money by using your phone's maps app on the infotainment system's screen and forgoing the upgrade.

The infotainment system responds quickly when you tap on-screen buttons, and operating it is straightforward. Climate and audio controls, which you'll surely be adjusting frequently, are set with physical buttons and knobs that let you easily and quickly make changes.

As driver assistance features spread further and further down market, they're beginning to show up in compact cars, and the Cruze is available with a full suite of them. While they may tempt you into thinking that the car can do a lot of the driving for you, you should still be vigilant. For example, the Cruze's lane keep assist system monitors lane markings and will provide automatic steering corrections at speeds above 37 mph. A few critics found that it didn't always function correctly in their testing, so you shouldn't become too reliant upon it.

See 2016 Chevrolet Cruze specs »

  • "On the dash you'll find a standard 7-inch infotainment touchscreen, which unlike some of the competition operates without any notable lag. Poking through the interface proves intuitive and perfectly responsive to an index finger." -- AutoWeek
  • "Climate controls are a mix of handy rotary knobs for temperature and fan speed, with individual pushbuttons for mode - a very simple-to-use arrangement." -- Consumer Guide
  • … the lane keep assist system was a little hit or miss; sometimes it nudges us back in our lane while other times it would let us drift outside of the lane markings." -- Left Lane News

Cargo

The base Cruze has 14.8 cubic feet of trunk space, which is above average for the class. If you buy the LT, RS, or Premier trims, you'll only have 13.9 cubic feet. The trunk's opening is fairly large, making it easy to load your luggage. The lid's hinges intrude upon the usable cargo area, so be sure to pay attention to where you place your items in the trunk.

You can fold down the rear seatbacks to accommodate longer items, but the seatbacks don't fold flat with the trunk floor, so you'll have to pick items up and over the hump. The L and LS trims come with a solid seatback that folds as one piece, which doesn't leave room for a passenger if you need the seat folded. The LT and Premier trims, on the other hand, have a 60/40 split-folding rear seatback giving you a bit more flexibility. There are numerous small-item storage cubbies throughout the cabin, though they aren't especially large in size.

  • The trunk has a good-size opening and is wide at the rear. However, the sickle-shaped trunklid hinges dip into the cargo area, and they're not covered, so you have to be careful when placing large items back there. The rear seat backs fold, but they rest about 4 inches above the level of the trunk floor, so you can't just slide long items all the way forward; you have to lift them halfway in to clear the hump." -- Consumer Guide
  • "… did we mention the trunk is a huge and usefully shaped hold measuring 14 cubic feet?" -- Car and Driver

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