By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 6.9
With the exception of one or two models, foreign manufacturers have pretty much dominated the lucrative compact-car segment. Determined to put an end to this cycle, General Motors has rejuvenated its Chevrolet division to embark on the mission for which it was originally created: building solid, affordable and attractive cars at a fair price. To this end, the 2013 Chevrolet Cruze sedan seems to hit all the right marks, offering a desirable blend of styling, comfort, economy and features. And, while it's true that the entry-level Cruze isn't priced as competitively as some compacts, the price gap quickly closes once comparable features are added. When it comes to ride, handling, interior appointments and overall drivability, Chevy's 2013 Cruze sedan is a step above most other compacts.
Where some compacts feel light and flimsy, the 2013 Chevrolet Cruze exudes a feeling of solidity and strength. Those seeking maximum fuel economy will likely be impressed by the Eco model's 42-mpg EPA highway figure.
For 2013, Chevy's Cruze receives a number of electronic and safety upgrades, including the availability of the MyLink infotainment system and two new color touch-screen radios, one of which features navigation. Side Blind Zone Alert and Rear Cross Traffic Alert are also made available.
Driving Impressions The 2013 Chevrolet Cruze offers two engine choices: A 1.8-liter 4-cylinder rated at 138 horsepower and a peppy 1.4-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder with the same horsepower but more torque and better...fuel economy. While we love the turbocharged engine, we did find some lag upon acceleration from a dead stop, a characteristic we blame on the somewhat sluggish 6-speed automatic's inability to downshift with any authority. As for the Cruze's driving dynamics, we mostly found them pleasant and even a bit sporty. The ride is impressively stable and smooth and the steering, although a bit numb in the corners, is nicely weighted. Even when the road ahead gets a bit twisty, the 2013 Chevrolet Cruze manages to remain poised, with minimal body roll and lean. The electric-assist power steering, which weighs less than hydraulic types and thus enhances fuel economy, delivers good feedback and generally feels direct and well balanced.
1.4-LITER ECOTEC TURBO ENGINE
The 2013 Chevrolet Cruze sedan's 4-cylinder turbocharged engine not only delivers ample torque for a fun drive, it's also quiet and fuel-efficient.
MYLINK INFOTAINMENT SYSTEM
MyLink provides voice controls for the phone, music and radio, as well as Bluetooth music streaming. MyLink can also pair with certain smartphones to stream such popular apps as Stitcher and Pandora.
Chevrolet spent a lot of time and effort the get the 2013 Cruze's interior right, and it has paid off handsomely. The quality of the materials, combined with their design and execution, is far and away above anything else in this price range. Seat comfort, both front and rear, is another area where the Cruze sedan shines. Legroom up front is excellent, while the rear seats offer a comfortable place for two adults – as long as the front seats are not fully extended. Attention to safety is evident by the Cruze's 10 airbags, including front and rear seat-mounted side airbags and front knee airbags. Ample use of sound-deadening material makes the Cruze sedan's cabin one of the quietest in the segment.Exterior
Chevrolet gave the 2013 Cruze sedan an aggressive hood and front fender treatment connected to a split front grille that has become the company's current "face." The Cruze's wide stance and big wheel-and-tire combo impart a solid, stable look that makes the car seem larger than its compact status. Base models ride on 16-inch rims, with the more expensive models on 17- and 18-inchers. For those who might prefer a more stylized ride, Chevrolet offers a number of exterior and interior appearance packages that include machine-finished wheels, a rear spoiler, body-colored mirrors and door handles, and fog lamps.
The base Chevrolet Cruze LS comes equipped with a 1.8-liter Ecotec 4-cylinder engine, a 6-speed manual transmission, 10 airbags, air conditioning, keyless entry and power windows and door locks. Opting for the 1LT model brings a 6-speed automatic transmission paired to a 1.4-liter turbocharged engine, cruise control, Bluetooth, a USB port, power mirrors and steering-wheel audio controls. The 2LT Cruze adds leather seating surfaces, voice-activated MyLink infotainment system, a 6-way power driver's seat, color LCD touch-screen radio and heated front seats. The top-of-the-line LTZ trim further enhances the Cruze sedan with rear park assist, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, 18-inch wheels and dual-zone climate control.
Options for the 2013 Chevrolet Cruze vary by trim and include the Technology Package with MyLink and a rear-vision camera, and the Enhanced Safety Package that brings rear park assist, Side Blind Zone Alert and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert. A sporty RS Package is also available, offering front fog lamps, rocker panel moldings and a rear spoiler. Additional features include a power moonroof, color touch-screen GPS navigation, heated outside mirrors and a Pioneer premium audio system.
Chevrolet offers two engine choices for the 2013 Cruze: a naturally-aspirated 1.8-liter 4-cylinder that produces 138 horsepower and 125 lb-ft of torque (standard on base LS models) and a 1.4-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder that produces 138 horsepower and 148 lb-ft of torque. An available 6-speed manual on the turbo models makes them ultimately more fun to drive, but we know the vast majority of Cruzes will go out the door with the Hydra-Matic 6-speed automatic transmission. Using a combination of lighter materials, better aerodynamics and low-rolling-resistance tires allows the Cruze Eco to achieve hybrid-like fuel economy that exceeds 40 mpg on the EPA highway cycle.
138 horsepower @ 6,300 rpm
125 lb-ft of torque @ 3,800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 25/36 mpg (manual), 22/35 mpg (automatic)
Cruze LT, LTZ and Eco
1.4-liter turbocharged inline-4
138 horsepower @ 4,900 rpm
148 lb-ft of torque @ 2,500 rpm (manual), 148 lb-ft @ 1,850 rpm (automatic)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 26/38 mpg (manual), 26/38 mpg (automatic), 28/42 mpg (manual, Eco), 26/39 mpg (automatic, Eco)
By Cris on Saturday, July 19, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,200overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "Good driving car"
Cons: "Seats are too low"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"It is a nice economical vehicle. Sits very low and hard for a person with back problems to ride and get out of vehicle."
By GTW on Saturday, July 19, 2014
I owned and sold this car
Reason: TOO SMALL FOR ME
Pros: "peppy ride"
Cons: "rather noisy interior"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"My old car was becoming unreliable so i decided to trade. The cruze was an affordable trade for me. Problem was, I underestimated my needs. I'm a big guy, and should have known better than to buy a tiny car. I had a hard time fitting in it. Cons: The bucket seats were too narrow. The car sits too low to the ground, making getting in and out a struggle for me. Visibility out the back window is very poor (thank goodness for the rear camera, The trunk room is lacking for my needs. Pros; The car is a great ride, drives well, peppy engine, well appointed with leather and gizmos. A lot of gizmos for the money in fact. Bottom line, I bought a great care but it was just too small for me. I traded it for a Chevy SUV"
By chevyguy on Thursday, July 17, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Turbo model with 6 speed auto way to go!"
Cons: "Getting slightly less on mpg's then expected."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I have the 1lt, with the RS and fun/sun package with the moonroof and upgraded sound system. This is a great car to drive, love the 6 speed automatic transmission, very smooth and very quite car overall. Chevy MyLink 7 in. touch screen nice and back up camera is awesome. Great looks and styling upgraded interiors make this car look more expensive then it really is. Safe with 10 air bags. Good on gas and insurance rates."
By perry on Sunday, July 13, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 22,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "great on gas, good interior space,"
Cons: "back up sensors don’t work great"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"This car is geared for teenagers or young adults that have just got out of school and going on to further their education. The car handles great and has a little get up and go for a 4 cylinder car. My mail lady always tells me that she loves the red on the car and how it shines. ask for picture if you would like to see it"
3 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By JJ on Wednesday, July 09, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 12,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "MPG, smooth ride"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Excellent MPG summer, very good MPG in winter. Driving habits can significantly affect MPG. Ours averages 33, up to 36+ HW. Exceptional commuter car, very good for longer trips. Reasonable power, sufficient HW performance. Quiet and smooth ride, comfortable for 4 adults despite economy size. Likewise, the trunk is big, for the size of the car. 6 speed transmission and 4 cyl engine take some getting used to. XM radio, blue tooth, Aux USB all enhance the experience."
5 people out of 9 found this review helpful
By Naviterra on Monday, July 07, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 21,000overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great gadgets for the price point"
Cons: "No int trunk release; no unlock button pasngr door"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6
"I bought the Cruze 2LT in a pinch because my Jeep Grand Cherokee was stolen and totaled. The Jeep was a V8 so I was used to power and pick up. This car is lacking a little in that area, it hesitates and revs to 4 or 4.5 to punch it when getting on the highway or accelerating to pass but, overall, I'd say it's a great car for the money. I love the standard heated seats, bluetooth capability, and USB. It also has capability for OnStar and Satellite radio. Good gas mileage was up there on the list of must haves and though this car says it good on gas 26city/38hwy, I tend to believe otherwise. I just returned from a 466 mile one way highway trip and it took 23 gallons of gas. That comes to about 20 miles per gallon. The reviews say it should have used only approx 15-17 gallons. Oh, and that's on a fresh oil change too. Not sure what the deal is but I'm definitely going to check. I haven't yet gotten any recall items fixed, perhaps that will do the trick. Nonetheless, I'd buy the car again and that's what counts."
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful