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.

a version of this article first appeared on thetruthaboutcars.com

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