2012 Chevrolet Cruze vs. Its Competition

2012 Chevrolet Cruze 4-door Sedan LTZ Angular Front Exterior View
Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Deputy Editor

The 2012 Chevrolet Cruze aims at the heart of the small-car market—meaning models like the Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic, Ford Focus, and Hyundai Elantra.

Both the Corolla and Civic are longtime best-sellers with loads of name recognition, so Chevy faces a hurdle in that way.

But the Cruze is more refined and comfortable than either of those models; its feature set and value for the money is also well ahead of those two models.

It's also noticeably more refined than the Corolla.

The Civic has more responsive handling and a sportier feel overall, though its interior appointments now look and feel cut-rate compared to much of the class.

The Jetta is perhaps the worthiest rival to the Cruze—if VW shoppers were to give the Cruze a chance—as it has a comparably hefty, secure feel, an isolated ride, and a top-notch interior.

The Ford Focus (along with the Mazda3) are both sportier alternatives to the Cruze.

Also, the new Suzuki Kizashi is just a little larger than the Cruze, and also has a sportier look and feel, as well as crisper handling, though its mileage isn't nearly as good.

2012 Chevrolet Cruze 4-door Sedan LTZ Angular Front Exterior View2012 Chevrolet CruzeBrowse Used Listings2012 Ford Focus2012 Ford FocusBrowse Used Listings2012 Honda Civic Sedan 4-door Auto LX Angular Front Exterior View2012 Honda CivicBrowse Used Listings2012 Hyundai Elantra 4-door Sedan Auto GLS (Alabama Plant) Angular Front Exterior View2012 Hyundai ElantraBrowse Used Listings2011 Suzuki Kizashi 4-door Sedan Man FWD SLS Sport Angular Front Exterior View2012 Suzuki KizashiBrowse Used Listings2012 Volkswagen Jetta GLI2012 Volkswagen Jetta SedanBrowse Used Listings
Quick Specs
8.0
The 2012 Chevrolet Cruze is a practical, comfortable, fuel-efficient, and a strong value, but it does lack the nimble, tossable feel that some small-car fans appreciate.
8.8
With the 2012 Focus, Ford shows that small cars don't have to feel so banal, with charismatic compacts that are more satisfying to drive, more luxurious, and better-equipped.
7.0
The 2012 Honda Civic is a little more spacious, comfortable, and economical, but it's now one of the blandest of the bunch.
8.2
The 2012 Hyundai Elantra has officially left the Civic and Corolla in the dust, thanks to a 38-mpg gas mileage rating, a sleek look, and tremendous value for the money.
8.2
If you're looking for a sophisticated, well-equipped sporty sedan that's a lot of car for the money, you should definitely check out the 2012 Suzuki Kizashi.
7.8
The 2012 VW Jetta delivers a better driving feel and more back-seat room than many other compact sedans; skip the cost-cutter base versions in favor of the TDI or the GLI for a distinctive choice in the compact class.
MSRP From     
$16,800$16,500$15,955$15,345$18,999$15,515
Gas Mileage     
25 MPG City / 42 MPG Hwy26 MPG City / 38 MPG Hwy22 MPG City / 41 MPG Hwy28 MPG City / 38 MPG Hwy20 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy23 MPG City / 42 MPG Hwy
Engine     
Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4
EPA Class     
Midsize CarCompactCompact CarsMidsize carsCompactCompact Cars
Style Name     
4-Door Sedan LS4-Door Sedan S4-Door Manual DX4-Door Sedan Manual GLS (Ulsan Plant)4-Door Sedan Manual FWD S4-Door Manual Base
Drivetrain     
Front Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity     
555555
Passenger Doors     
4N/AN/A444
Body Style     
Sedan4 Door SedanSedan4 Door Sedan4 Door Sedan4 Door Sedan
Transmission     
ManualManualManualManualManualManual
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2012 Chevrolet Cruze vs. 2012 Ford Focus2012 Chevrolet Cruze vs. 2012 Honda Civic2012 Chevrolet Cruze vs. 2012 Hyundai Elantra2012 Chevrolet Cruze vs. 2012 Suzuki Kizashi2012 Chevrolet Cruze vs. 2012 Volkswagen Jetta Sedan