The 2012 Chevrolet Cruze is significantly more fuel-efficient than the Cobalt models it replaced last year; and even against a number of compact sedans that don't feel as roomy, the Cruze gets better mileage.
EPA ratings for the Cruze models with the 1.4-liter turbocharged engine are higher than those with the 1.8-liter engine in general, with 1.4T versions rated at 26/38 mpg with either of the transmission choices. 1.8-liter versions range from 22 to 25 mpg in the city and 35 or 36 on the highway.
The Cruze Eco model targets shoppers who are looking for good fuel economy and perhaps have other green motivations but lack the higher budget that hybrids require. Changes include thinner steel panels, smaller welds, and reduced flanges at welded joints, altogether reducing weight by about 25 pounds. To help aerodynamics, the Eco has a lower ride height (about the same as the Sport models), a rear spoiler, a larger front air dam, and an underbody air diverter, among many features that aid aerodynamics and reduce drag. Overall, the Eco gets 26/39 with an automatic transmission or 28/42 with the manual. As such, the Cruze Eco is claimed to have the highest fuel economy of any non-hybrid compact car sold in the United States, with a cruising range of more than 500 miles.Cruze models with the automatic transmission also get a neutral idle feature that automatically disengages the torque converter when sitting at stoplights in Drive—helping to boost mileage in stop-and-go driving.