The Chevrolet Cruze was all-new for 2011 in the American market, but it looks as though General Motors is taking an aggressive tack with the compact sedan and introducing a host of new standard and optional features for the upcoming 2012 model year. Not only will the 2012 Chevrolet Cruze provide buyers with a more comfortable and convenient entry-level economy car option, but rumor has it that the sedan might soon be joined by a two-door coupe body style.
Earlier this month, we reported that the 2012 Chevrolet Cruze would be gaining a fuel mileage increase of two miles per gallon on the highway, bringing it to 38 miles per gallon while cruising with the 1.4-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine under the hood. This is far from the only change to be found on the 2012 model of the compact sedan, however, as the vehicle also gains a host of new standard features, including air conditioning, an MP3-capable CD player, keyless entry, power windows and a driver information system that provides fuel economy readouts and other vehicle details on the fly.
Mechanically, all versions of the 2012 Chevrolet Cruze will also benefit from an electric power steering system that is designed to further reduce fuel consumption, while four-wheel disc brakes become standard on the 2LT trim level along with 17-inch alloy wheels. The vehicle’s six-speed manual transmission will additionally become available across all Cruze models, and it features more eco-oriented gear ratios to match the automobile’s new final drive gearing.
Chevrolet Cruze buyers will also be able to pick and choose from a more comprehensive options list that provides access to equipment like a touch screen navigation system and three new colors. The previously optional Connectivity Plus Package is slated to become standard on the 1LT and Eco trim levels, and this group of features installs a leather-wrapped shift knob and steering wheel as well as cruise control, Bluetooth and a USB port for the stereo system.
As for a two-door 2012 Chevrolet Cruze coupe, The Detroit News is reporting that GM is exploring its options and attempting to gauge market interest in a sportier-looking Cruze offering. Shortfalls in the production of competitors such as the Honda Civic and the Toyota Corolla have helped to make the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze sedan a hot seller throughout the spring, and Chevrolet is having trouble keeping up with demand at its current production facility. Introducing a coupe edition of the 2012 Chevrolet Cruze that could be assembled at a separate plant would allow the automaker to relieve some of its manufacturing pressures while also appealing to a segment of the entry-level market that has traditionally purchased compact two-door automobiles.