Don't Expect to See Many 2019 Chevy Cruzes With a CVT
General Motors, inventor of the modern automatic transmission, is only just recently warming up to the idea of shiftless driving. There’s a continuously variable transmission on offer with the 2019 Chevrolet Malibu, which our own Chris Tonn spent some time flogging last week ( in mildly sporty RS guise).
Despite the availability of eight- and nine-speed automatics for transverse GM front-driers, a VIN decoder document and even EPA fuel economy ratings pointed to the existence of a CVT-equipped Cruze for 2019, despite a lack of flouting on the part of GM. Turns out, you’ll have trouble getting your hands on one.
According to CarsDirect, the 2019 Cruze, which undergoes a facelift just like its bigger Malibu sibling, won’t appear in any showroom with a CVT. That particular model will, however, appear in fleet lots.
“There were a small number of Cruzes built with a CVT for fleet use only which is why the option is disclosed on the EPA website,” said Chevrolet spokesperson Katie Minter. GM order guides do not show a CVT option.
Instead, retail buyers will face fewer transmissions than last year, not more. The six-speed manual transmission disappears in the U.S. for the 2019 model year, though it just barely hangs on in Canada. All Cruzes sold to individual customers with a 1.4-liter turbo four-cylinder under the hood will boast a six-speed automatic. Diesel buyers see a nine-speed unit.
It’s too bad about the CVT, as dropping the stick shift already means non-diesel customers can’t hit (or pass) that vaunted 40 mpg figure on the highway. The six-speed auto returns an EPA-rated 28 mpg city/38 highway/32 combined, whereas the CVT model sees a 1 mpg gain on the combined cycle. A 2018 Cruze manual returned 27/40/32.
[Image: General Motors]
Jeffjeffmurray on Aug 29, 2018
I will never understand the hatered for CVT’s. I owned a cvt in my 2012 Legacy sedan. My thoughts about it were always that I didn’t particularly enjoy it, but only for the exact same reasons i dont enjoy all automatics- lack if engagement, sluggish response, ect. However, the cvt came with 2 benefits at least over a conventional automatic, namely better efficiency and extremely smooth (technically zero) shifting. If i cant have a stick, I would much prefer to have a CVT than an automatic.
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