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2013 Chevrolet Cruze Photo
7.8
/ 10
TCC Rating
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Reviewed by Bengt Halvorson
Deputy Editor, The Car Connection
BASE INVOICE
$16,530
BASE MSRP
$17,130
Quick Take
The 2013 Chevrolet Cruze is one of the smartest picks for anyone wanting practicality, comfort, and safety in a compact sedan—although it's missing the fun-to-drive edge of some other models. Read more »
Decision Guide
Opinions from around the Web
Styling
Performance
Quality
Safety
Features
Mileage

Up front, the car wears the same handsome split grille found elsewhere in the Chevy line.

Autoblog »

This car is the missionary position of compact-sedan styling.

Wall Street Journal

looks good from any angle

Road & Track »

intentionally conservative but handsome and well proportioned

Kelley Blue Book »

The Cruze has been criticized as too conservatively styled, an understandable complaint, especially because the upcoming 2012 Ford Focus compact has been lauded for its design.

Cars.com »
Pricing and Specifications by Style
$17,130 $23,550
MSRP $17,130
INVOICE $16,530 Browse used listings in your area
4-Door Sedan LS
Gas Mileage 25 mpg City/36 mpg Hwy
Engine Gas I4, 1.8L
EPA Class Midsize Cars
Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity 5
Passenger Doors 4
Body Style 4dr Car
See Detailed Specs »
7.8 out of 10
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The Basics:

Are you ready for this? The Chevrolet Cruze is, quite frankly, a better car than the Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla. Behind its subtle styling is a top-shelf alternative to every other car in the compact economy car segment. It's built with excellent safety, features, comfort and interior room–and it's now one of our top recommendations for small cars, alongside the Ford Focus and Hyundai Elantra.

The Cruze feels more mature, more like a mid-sizer, and that's a good thing if this sedan is going to pinch-hit as a family vehicle. Its isolated cabin and absorbent ride will please most day-to-day users. It's one of the quietest vehicles in its class, damping out road and wind noise and soaking up major road shocks and potholes well—even if its ride is on the taut side. Seating is a strong point; you'll find more front headroom than most vehicles in its class, and it's a great pick for taller drivers as there's so much rearward seat travel. Look to the backseat, and it's what reveals the Cruze as a compact; it's just a little too tight to fit three across. The trunk? It's huge.

It's a soberly styled vehicle, which might be considered a relief given its more brash competition. When it was first introduced for the 2011 model year, the Cruze set a new design direction for GM compact cars. And while it isn't all that head-turning from the outside, the interior has one of the most stylish, cohesive layouts in this class of rather look-alike sedans. Inside, rich materials, stunning two-tone combinations, and an upscale feel all keep the Cruze above the rest.

The Chevy Cruze could be perplexing when it comes time to choose between powertrains, but to us the choice is clear. There are two four-cylinder engines offered in the Cruze, but don't be lead astray; it's the smaller of the two that's the 'premium' pick. The step-up 1.4-liter turbocharged four that you get with most LT and all LTZ models is smooth and refined, and it pairs better with the available six-speed automatic (a six-speed manual is offered, too). The base 1.8-liter four is a little too noisy and coarse when pressed. EPA ratings are pretty impressive for the whole lineup, but they're best for the Eco model, which gets 42 mpg highway through weight savings and special aero improvements.

The Cruze has in past model years been both an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick, as well as a federal five-star performer; the only exception is a 'marginal' small overlap result. To complement that, Chevy has introduced even more available safety equipment. A rearview camera system is now available as part of a Technology Package, and a new Enhanced Safety Package includes Side Blind Zone Alert, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, and rear park assist—all features that were the exclusive domain of luxury brands up until a few model years ago.

Chevrolet MyLink, which gives you voice-command access and touch-screen control of connected smartphones—is now offered in the 2013 Cruze. Chevy also offers Gracenote functionality, which grabs playlist and album-art information; Pandora and Stitcher apps let you stream music while using your smartphone's data connection. MyLink is included on Cruze 2LT, Eco, and LTZ models, and optional on 1LT.

 

Likes:

  • Ride quality
  • Gas mileage (Eco especially)
  • Comfortable, well-coordinated interior
  • Top-tier safety
  • Cargo space

Dislikes:

  • Conservative exterior
  • Unremarkable performance
  • Climate controls placed low
Next: Interior / Exterior »
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