Amid the industry-wide shift to larger trucks, SUVs and crossovers, the Chevrolet Cruze represents an increasingly rare breed: an American compact car that's actually built in the U.S., not imported from overseas. First released in the U.S. in 2008 and built in Lordstown, Ohio, the nameplate goes back to the turn of the millennium in Japan as part of a joint venture with Suzuki. It's part of a generation of American small cars credited with salvaging their ilk's once-poor reputation. The Cruze is offered in a hatchback variant, but we'll limit this buying guide to the sedan, which is offered in four trim levels: L, LS, LT and Premier. The LT is also available with a diesel engine; more on that later. If you like driving a stick, the Cruze is one of six Chevrolet models that are offered with a six-speed manual transmission (for now: It's going away when the 2019 version rolls into showrooms), except on the Premier. Otherwise, you get a six-speed automatic standard, or a nine-speed automatic with the diesel version. Chevrolet's RS performance package is available on the LT and Premier nondiesel versions and includes a rear spoiler, front fog lamps, sport body kit and RS ornamentation. If you go the RS route on the LT sedan equipped with an automatic transmission, you can option the Redline Edition, which adds red-outlined black emblems, a black grille bowtie badge, black beltline, grille and fog lamp trim, special 18-inch wheels and a Z-link rear suspension. This guide will help you make an educated decision about whether to buy the 2018 Chevy Cruze. We'll touch on safety and reliability ratings, engine specs, horsepower, fuel-economy ratings and pricing, and we'll conclude with a summary of what the Autoblog editors who've reviewed the Cruze think of it. Chevy Cruze safety ratings The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gives the 2018 Chevy Cruze an overall five-star rating, the top rating possible for protecting the driver and passengers against injury. The federal agency gives the Cruze a five-star frontal crash rating and four of five stars for both side-crash and rollover-crash protection. Crash-test data on the Cruze from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is more patchwork in nature. IIHS gave the 2018 Cruze "good" ratings for both moderate overlap front- and side-crash protection and a "marginal" rating for child-seat LATCH anchors, but it apparently didn't subject the car to many of its tests. When it reviewed the 2016 Cruze Limited, it gave the car a "marginal" rating for driver-side small overlap front-crash protection; "good" ratings for moderate overlap front crashes, side crashes, roof strength and head restraint and seats; and an "acceptable" rating for child seat anchor ease of use. Ratings may differ for Cruzes from other model years, so be sure to visit the NHTSA and IIHS websites to review ratings on the specific vehicle you're researching. Is the Chevy Cruze reliable? J.D. Power most recently reviewed initial quality of the 2017 Cruze, which is part of the same generation …
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|MPG||27 City / 40 Hwy|
|Transmission||6-spd man w/OD|
|Power||153 @ 5600 rpm|
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