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FEATURES | 8 out of 10
navigation system with a hard drive that can store MP3 files and allows you to pause and resume a radio broadcast
The center stack's flush-capped audio cluster is effortless to understand and use.
Wall Street Journal
All this goodness doesn't come cheap
the Cruze wins as far as feel, features, and driver-friendliness
Just as the 2012 Chevrolet Cruze approaches the comfort and refinement of a mid-size sedan, it's features list is more in step with a mid-sizer than with other small cars--and that's certainly a good thing.
Standard equipment even on the base Cruze LS includes keyless entry, power accessories, air conditioning, a six-speaker sound system with auxiliary input. Mid-range LT models add items like a USB port, Bluetooth, and remote start, while the LTZ, which we spent the most time with (ours stickered at less than $23,000), gets automatic climate control, heated mirrors, park assist, and a snazzier gauge cluster, as well as optional heated seats.
LT models are split into 1LT and 2LT, confusingly. The 1LT adds chrome wheels and power rearview mirrors, while the 2LT brings 16-inch alloy wheels, leather seats, a power driver's seat, heated front seats, cruise control, a USB port, Bluetooth, remote start, and steering-wheel audio controls. Heated front seats will be included as part of a Touring Package that's optional on the 1LT.
At the top of the lineup, the LTZ includes the sort of feature list you'd find in top V-6 editions of the Malibu--with things like 18-inch flangeless alloys, four-wheel discs, automatic climate control, heated mirrors, rear park assist, and an upgraded gauge cluster and interior trims.
A touch-screen navigation system is optional on the LTZ. But all Cruze models include a six-month subscription to OnStar's Directions and Connections services. Through the latter service, which requires a subscription after an intro period, an operator answers and beams navigation directions to the car. Once the directions are in, the vehicle will correct if you miss another turn. Overall, it's a feature that we've found tremendously useful.
Going smaller won't involve any sacrifice of features; the 2012 Chevrolet Cruze lineup offers the feature set of a larger sedan, despite a bargain price.