DETROIT -- General Motors is looking to add to the momentum of its hot-selling Chevrolet Cruze by making more features standard for the 2012 model year. The company said today that it also will boost the fuel economy of turbo versions.
The two most popular six-speed automatic versions of Cruze models with the 1.4-liter turbo engine -- the LT and LTZ versions -- will get 38 mpg on the highway in 2012, compared to 36 mpg on the 2011 model.
The automatic version of the Cruze Eco, a pricier version of the turbo that is more aerodynamic, will get 39 mpg highway, up from 37 mpg.
GM credits the fuel-economy improvements to a lower axle ratio.
GM also is making the $525 “Connectivity Plus Cruise” option package, which includes Bluetooth phone connectivity, a USB port, cruise control, steering wheel-mounted audio controls and leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, standard on more trim levels.
Those features will be standard on the 1LT and Eco versions; it already came standard on the 2LT and LTZ. Buyers of the base model LS will be able to get the package for $275.
Adding those features “streamlines the ordering process and answers the call of what our customers told us should be standard,” Rick Scheidt, vice president of Chevrolet marketing, said in a statement.
The 2012 Cruze goes on sale next month.
The Eco model accounted for about 15 percent of Cruze sales so far this year. The Eco with a six-speed manual gearbox is the most fuel-efficient nonhybrid vehicle in America, GM says, with an EPA highway rating of 42 mpg.
GM launched the Cruze last September, and sold 98,076 in the United States in the first five months of this year. Its 22,711 sales was tops among compact cars in May.