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2013 Chevrolet Cruze

Overview
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2013 Chevrolet Cruze Review

By

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.

You'll Like This Car If...

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.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If exciting exterior styling and a powerful engine top your list of must haves, Chevrolet's 2013 Cruze compact sedan takes a backseat to cars such as the Mazda Mazda3, Ford Focus and Honda Civic Si.

KBB Expert Ratings

  • 6.9
  • 6.4
  • 7.9
  • 6.6
  • 6.7
  • N/A
How It Ranks

#17

out of 22

Fuel Economy

#13

out of 22

Horsepower
View all rankings

Consumer Rating

8.5 out of 10
View all
consumer ratings
2013 Chevrolet Cruze Low/wide front photo What's New for 2013

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 the Cruze
2013 Chevrolet Cruze Front angle view photo

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.
Favorite Features

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.

2013 Chevrolet Cruze Details
2013 Chevrolet Cruze Dashboard, center console, gear shifter view photo Interior

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
2013 Chevrolet Cruze photo

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.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

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.

Optional Equipment

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.

Under the Hood
2013 Chevrolet Cruze Engine photo

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.

Cruze LS
1.8-liter inline-4
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)

Pricing Notes

The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of the base 2013 Chevrolet Cruze LS starts close to $18,000, while the LT is closer to $19,500. The fuel-miserly Eco model starts around a reasonable $20,500, while the feature-laden LTZ begins just over $24,000 and can reach close to $28,000 with all the options. Although nicely equipped, the 2013 Chevy Cruze runs on the high side price-wise to a comparably-equipped 2013 Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, Hyundai Elantra or Nissan Sentra. Before you buy, be sure to check the most recent Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for the Cruze. We expect Chevrolet's 2013 Cruze sedan to retain an average value over a five-year period, slightly below the Ford Focus and well below such segment leaders as the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla and Hyundai Elantra.

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2013 Chevrolet Cruze Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.5
Out of 10

Based on 371 Ratings for the 2011 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.6/10
    Quality
    8.7/10
  • Reliability
    9.0/10
    Performance
    8.5/10
  • Comfort
    8.7/10
    Styling
    8.9/10

Great little car, with 40+ MPG on the highway!

By on Monday, April 07, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 21,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Price, mpg, dash layout, comfort all good."

Cons: "No rear cupholders, slow accel., front elbow room"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"Quality car. A little slow in accelerating, but it's a Cruze "Eco," so that's not at all unexpected. May be a bit small for some - looks like a Malibu "mini-me" inside! Over 40 mpg on the highway, and over 30 mpg in town."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

45 mpg highway, measured in 10K increments

By on Saturday, April 05, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 101,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "45mpg"

Cons: "cheap floor mats"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"bought used with 49K miles, last 52K miles, average 45mpg highway, measured via the fuel consumed gauge in 10K increments. range has been 44-46. Tank measurements vary from 42 to 49. Comfortable to drive, lots of seat adjustments, very roomy, large trunk with lay-down seats, fun to shift 6 speed, durable interior. Mine is a 2011, identical to new ones i believe. Very good quality sound on phone link, sending and receiving."

First Chevrolet Ever!

By on Wednesday, April 02, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,065

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Love My Link and Onstar"

Cons: "Needs a trunk release on the dash."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I have owned this car since 8/29/2013, with 6065 miles as of today. So far I have had no issues with the car. Very reliable, and enjoyable to drive. Goes great in snow and bad weather. Mileage is better than advertised in town and as advertised on the highway."

6 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Very good road performance.

By on Saturday, March 29, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 21,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "secure road handling."

Cons: "GPM not half as good as advertised."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"Good acceleration for size of engine. Very stable on highways. Disappointed with gas mileage, highway and city average nowhere near advertised."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

bitter and sweet

By on Saturday, March 15, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 58,000

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
4/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "sharp inside and out, pulls well in snow"

Cons: "not enough bang for my buck. lots of roadnoise"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5

"Very loud in cockpit. You can hear every road noise and the sound of the car cutting through the air. I paid 27k but feel I should not have paid more than 22 for the brand new LTZ w/ RS package. Good looking car, handles surprisingly well in snow. They told me I'd get 36 MPGs but that's only if I go 64 on the highway... generally get 28 running 75 mph."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Tiny Back Seat

By on Wednesday, March 12, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 48,000

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "gas mileage"

Cons: "tiny back seat, blind sides"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"Holy cow this backseat is tiny. I can hardly fit my daughter's car seat in it. I would put her in the middle any way, but even if I wanted to I couldn't put it behind the drivers or passenger's seat. It does get great gas mileage (which is why I bought the car), and it has minimal road noise. Great car for a high schooler or single person---not great for families or road trips."

6 people out of 6 found this review helpful

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