2019 Chevrolet Cruze, Malibu, and Spark Show Their Teeth
Midcycle updates for Chevy cars revealed; Malibu gets RS trim
LAS VEGAS, Nevada — Chevrolet unveiled mid-cycle refreshes this week for its Malibu, Cruze and Spark models featuring the brand's "new face." The new grille is most pronounced on the 2019 Chevrolet Malibu, with a much thinner horizontal bodycolor bar separating the upper and lower front fascias, and a cascading mesh for the lower fascia, in chrome for most trim levels except the new RS, for which it is blacked out.
The new Chevy Malibu RS, which goes on sale with the rest of the 2019 models in the traditional late-summer/early-fall season, complements the blacked out "sport grille" with black bowtie emblems, a rear spoiler, 18-inch machined wheels and dual-pipe exhaust. There's also a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift lever and black cloth seats inside. Chevy says base price for the RS will be about $25,000.
Chevrolet also is introducing its third-generation infotainment system, and the '19 Malibu gets a standard eight-inch (diagonal) screen for it. There's a new continuously variable transmission (CVT) standard with the Malibu's standard 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine.
The 2019 Chevrolet Cruze's facelift also is limited to its schnoz, with a thinned horizontal grille bar now in chrome, even on the RS model, and a more prominent, reshaped lower front fasica. There are new interior colors and a new infotainment system with a standard seven-inch color touchscreen. Remote start and automatic climate control now will be standard on LT and Premier models, and the LS trim level is added as an option to the Cruze Hatchback line.
Similarly, the 2019 Chevy Spark gets a new nose with more chrome, plus new paint color options, revised interior trim and a new extra-cost option, Low Speed Forward Automatic Braking.
These facelifts are a bit more extensive than the 2019 Ford Fusion's update (its second in three years), though the three cars' front fenders and hoods, and lower rear fascias are unchanged. Conspicuous by its absence are facelifts for the Chevrolet Impala, which is in its fifth model year as of 2018, and the Sonic subcompact, which will be cut from the lineup, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Chevrolet unveiled the facelifts here at its annual dealer meeting, where it also showed the new Silverado Medium Duty commercial trucks. The Chevy Silverado 4500HD and 5500HD, which initially premiered in Indiana last March, are built in Ohio in a joint-venture deal with truck-builder Navistar.