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 Nikkiee on Sunday, January 25, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 36,000overall rating 6 of 10rating details
Pros: "gas mileage, features, look, Remote Starter"
Cons: "No space, too many recalls."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"I bought this car on August 9 2013. I really regret it. This car has so many recalls and you feel every numb while driving. I love the gas mileage but there is no space in back seat. If you're looking for a roomy car pleas don't purchase this car.overall it is a nice car."
By Liz on Saturday, January 24, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 45,000overall rating 1 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"This vehicle is the worse vehicle we have ever owned. In the shop multiple times. Would never recommend buying a Cruze."
By Nate on Friday, January 23, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,400overall rating 2 of 10rating details
Pros: "handles Excellently in the Snow"
Cons: "only lets me bluetooth phone calls but not music?"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3
"Way overpaid for this car- my own fault i guess can't see anything backing up has the worst blind spots of any car i've ever driven catches rocks like they were magnetized to the Windsheild. great on road trips seats are comfy and gas mileage is amazing but forget about tall passengers getting any sleep while you drive theres no room to recline if more than two people in the car. large spacious trunk handles like a dream provided you can find a way to see where your going. wish i could trade it in for something bigger but somehow i'm 20,000 in the hole for a car this site says is only worth 10,000 7 months after buying it."
By Moonglow on Wednesday, January 21, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 12,000overall rating 4 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"After driving this car for almost 2 years I do not like it. It is slow, drives like a truck, takes bumps badly. The inside is small. The steering wheel obscures one of the heater vents. Driving on an expressway, it is VERY noisy. I am sorry I ever bought it !!!"
6 people out of 12 found this review helpful
By Frank on Monday, January 19, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,500overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "great price, fun to drive"
Cons: "no cons."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"I got a good deal $ from the dealer. So far its good. First week 32.3m/g, second weeks 29.6m/g. free 2 years maintenance. Specially 1LT came with cool features like Bluetooth, Remote start, & back up camera. I bought this car for my wife. Seem she like it."
6 people out of 9 found this review helpful
By Derek on Friday, January 02, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "great price, sporty look, plenty of room"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I love this car. I'm 6'7" 310 lbs & I'm actually really comfortable in this vehicle. I've been searching for a good gas mileage car that I can fit into. It's perfect for my wife, 5 year old, baby, & me to cruise around in. Really excellent safety ratings. I got a great deal on it. Excellent bang for the buck! I recommend the LT for a little extra money it has some really cool features like Bluetooth, Remote start, & back up camera. The exterior is so sexy looking. The interior is descent for the price. 1.4 liter turbo is plenty of power for this vehicle."
28 people out of 51 found this review helpful