2012 Chevrolet Cruze vs. Its Competition

2012 Chevrolet Cruze 4-door Sedan LTZ Angular Front Exterior View
Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Senior 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 Cruze
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2012 Ford Focus2012 Ford Focus
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2012 Honda Civic Sedan 4-door Auto LX Angular Front Exterior View2012 Honda Civic
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2012 Hyundai Elantra 4-door Sedan Auto GLS (Alabama Plant) Angular Front Exterior View2012 Hyundai Elantra
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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.
MSRP From   
$16,800$16,500$15,755$15,345
Gas Mileage   
25 MPG City / 42 MPG Hwy26 MPG City / 38 MPG Hwy22 MPG City / 44 MPG Hwy23 MPG City / 38 MPG Hwy
Engine   
Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4
EPA Class   
Midsize CarCompactCompactMidsize cars
Style Name   
4-Door Sedan LS4-Door Sedan S2-Door Manual DX4-Door Sedan Manual GLS (Alabama Plant)
Drivetrain   
Front Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity   
5555
Passenger Doors   
4N/AN/A4
Body Style   
Sedan4 Door Sedan2 Door Coupe4 Door Sedan
Transmission   
ManualManualManualManual
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2012 Chevrolet Cruze vs. 2012 Ford Focus2012 Chevrolet Cruze vs. 2012 Honda Civic2012 Chevrolet Cruze vs. 2012 Hyundai Elantra