Small sedans are a crowded market with lots of great options, and the Toyota Corolla has long been a leading product. That dominance is now being challenged by the Chevy Cruze, which offers superior performance and a more exciting design.
The Corolla has a reputation for being a reliable but very stodgy vehicle. That reputation has held true for the latest iteration of the small sedan, which, while competent and dependable, isn’t exactly a fun drive. The “fun deficit” has created an opening for Chevy dealers to exploit with the 2017 Chevrolet Cruze, a sedan that’s just as dependable as the 2017 Corolla, but that’s a lot sexier and more fun to drive.
- Exterior design – The Cruze has an angular athletic look that makes it the sexier alternative to the Corolla’s more vanilla exterior design. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but the Cruze seems to have a pretty clear advantage over the Corolla, in terms of aesthetics.
- Performance – The Cruze has a significant performance advantage over the Corolla, and the added muscle makes the Chevy a much more fun vehicle to drive. The Cruze has a 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 153 horsepower and 177 lb. ft. of torque. The Corolla’s base model engine is a 1.8-liter four-cylinder that puts out 132 horsepower and 128 lb. ft. of torque. The LE Eco version of the Corolla is also a 1.8-liter four-cylinder, but it has an upgraded valvetrain that allows it to generate 140 horsepower and 126 lb. ft. of torque.
On the road, the Corolla has a distinct lack of “oomph,” while the Cruze provides nice acceleration and great handling on twisty roads.
- Fuel economy – The Cruze doesn’t just beat the Corolla on performance; it also has a practicality advantage over its Japanese rival. The base-level Corolla gets a fuel economy of 30 mpg combined, while the base level Cruze gets a fuel economy of 32 mpg combined. The LE Eco version of the Corolla gets 34 mpg combined, however.
- Interior – The Cruze also has a distinct advantage over the Corolla when it comes to interiors. The Cruze has a stylishly designed interior that makes use of high-quality materials and thoughtful aesthetics. Toyota has made the Corolla’s interior a little less Spartan, in recent years, but the Cruze interior offers a comfier, cushier look and feel.
The Cruze also has superior cargo space compared to the Corolla. The Cruze’s trunk can hold 14.8 cubic feet of cargo space—roomier than most other small sedans.
- Lots of standard features – Chevy is a lot more generous than Toyota with standard features. Standard equipment on base-model Cruzes include 15-inch steel wheels, LED headlights and running lights, remote locking and unlocking, a rearview camera, Bluetooth connectivity, a USB port, 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot capability, the MyLink infotainment system, and the Teen Driver watchdog feature.
If you’re ready to give the new Cruze a test drive, visit Valley Chevy, a Spencer Chevrolet dealership. With years of serving the Spencer area, Valley Chevy has the staff and inventory to make your car-buying experience fun and easy.