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Have owned a 2012 LS for 5 years. Thinking of trading in for a new car in a few months and would consider another Cruze LS, since I’ve mostly been happy with this one. Couple of questions:

- Am I correct in thinking that ALL Cruze configurations now use the 1.5L engine? If so, is this a “new” version of the engine, or does it still suffer from the same issues as previous years (i.e. - leaking coolant problems, thermostat, etc)?

- The one thing that I have not liked about my Cruze is the auto transmission. It shifts too often, and sometimes not so smoothly. When the car was new I thought there was something wrong with it. Then I found out that it’s just the way that transmission is. I’ve learned to live with it, but I don’t like it. Wondering if Chevy has a better transmission in the new model.

- Am I correct that the new LS’s do not have Sirius/XM as an option anymore? (If so, bad choice on Chevy’s part….that might make me lean towards another car that does)

- Do the new LS’s come with a USB port? Looking at specs online is confusing. I do not care at all about wifi hotspots, data usage, bluetooth connectivity. But I DO want a USB port. I currently have a flash drive with a few thousand songs on it that is always plugged into my car’s USB…I love having a music library available like that at all times. (and my wife likes to be able to charge her iPhone in it as well). Again, if no USB in LS, then that’s a definite deal breaker for me.
 

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I just looked at the specs of the 2017 LS, did you want the sedan or the hatch? Either way, it appears as if the LS trims do NOT come with SiriusXM (according to chevrolet.com). On the LS trims, you DO get a USB port though.
 

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1. All Cruze have the same 1.4L engine, but it's different than the last generation. Until, of course, the diesel shows up
2. The new Automatic seems much better and shifts well
3. You have to get the LT or higher to get XM
4. Looking at the pics of an LS where I purchased my LT, the LS does have a usb port, one in front of the gearshift
 

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I had a 2013 Cruze LS and it was totaled. I now have a 2017 Cruze LS. I can answer a few of your questions

2. The new engine shifts MUCH better than the old one. My old Cruze drove me insane with how rough it shifted
3. I am in a big huff with Chevy over this. I bought mine the day after it started arriving on lots out here. At that time they had no information on their website about the cars not having XM and in fact had several places where it said it did have XM. This has turned out to not be true.
4. It does have usb ports
 

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Totally different 1.4L. Built from the ground up - no relation to the old one. Malibu is the 1.5T.

Transmission is improved by leaps and bounds from the old generation cars. The automatics in those drove me nuts, so I bought a manual. The new automatic is very, very good, less confused, and never seems to really put a foot wrong except being a bit stubborn about downshifting at low RPM. So now I own an auto.

The difference between the two generations is huge. They improved nearly everything that needed to be improved upon with the first generation, and IMO it is now a very competitive car in the segment. Even Consumer Reports (who normally hates GM) went as far as to predict very good reliability for the new gen Cruze - something the old ones were not at all.
 
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