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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.

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

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.

2013 Chevrolet Cruze Details
2013 Chevrolet Cruze 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

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)

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2013 Chevrolet Cruze Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.4
Out of 10

Based on 480 Ratings for the 2011 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.4/10
    Quality
    8.5/10
  • Reliability
    8.9/10
    Performance
    8.5/10
  • Comfort
    8.5/10
    Styling
    8.8/10

Good, but not great

By on Wednesday, July 01, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 70,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6

"Pros: 6 speed manual, doesn't lunge and sometimes feels more like an auto in how it shifts. Easy standard car to drive. It's pretty the systems screen is handy, monitors all the vitals and other useful stuff. USB connection is handy, has hands free and SyriusXM Spacious interior and trunk Great on fuel economy, best I have gotten is 50 mpg driving at 50-55 mph. Average is closer to 40 with city/hwy combined. Cons: Keep hitting the onstar by accident when I move the mirror. It's annoying. The hands free button on the steering wheel is annoying. I try to change the station and activate hands free because it's touchy. Small fuel tank. Even though you get good fuel economy, it doesn't feel like it having to stop to fill up so often. It was designed this way to save weight, and thus, get better fuel mileage. Small con, but it bugs me. If the A/C is on, you have to really rev the engine up to get up and go. It's even worse with people in the car. The downside to a car that relies on a turbo for any real movement. A/C off and single driver, it's just enough to accelerate into a high speed lane. Poor aerodynamics on the front end. Too much turbulence on the windshield and it causes rocks from trucks to hit hard. Went through 2 windshields already. Do not stay near large trucks AT ALL, especially their rear 3/4 area. I had an eclipse that I would literally see the rocks ride the air current over my windshield. Definitely not the case here. Overall a good car, you won't regret buying it (assuming you have the 6-speed, I heard the auto has issues). Hope it lasts me a long time because I'm going back to buying, fixing, and driving old cars. There's no replacement for displacement."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Solid car great value

By on Sunday, May 31, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 35,750

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "easy on gas, solid, no rattles, solid little car"

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

"Purchased this car used with 31K for my son's first car. Excellent experience so far with about 5K on the clock since purchase. No issues whatsoever. Great gas mileage. Good power for a small 1.4L engine. Long term reliability to be determined but so far this seems like a great little car."

10 people out of 13 found this review helpful

It's whatever

By on Sunday, May 31, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 8,000

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Comfortable, cute,"

Cons: "no fm, not reliable,"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2

"Well, I can rely on it to take me from location to location, but my problem with the car is that the FM, bluetooth, rearview camera, and radio screen don't work half of the time I turn on the car. It's not very convenient, and not what I expected when I leased a new car."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

good car

By on Wednesday, May 27, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 41,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "fun to drive, quiet, huge trunk"

Cons: "none"

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

"this is a good car and has been reliable. I have a few issues taken care of under warranty but I have had issues with all my cars including my toyota corrolla which the dealer refused to fix and said I was crazy and that there wasn't a problem. My GM dealer actually listens to me and takes cares of issues. But this car has been very reliable and very low cost on maintenance. I get a consistent 27-28 MPG 100% city driving with the 1.4L turbo engine. I get 38 to 40 100% highway driving. This is the quietest car in it's class and also handles great and is fun to drive. The car hasn't been perfect but is solid and well built and at least seems like it will last a long time."

5 people out of 7 found this review helpful

I love my Cruze! Great gas mileage

By on Thursday, May 21, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 53,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great car for the price"

Cons: "Could use More cup holders and a longer armrest"

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

"I love my Cruze. It drives great and handles well. It feels solid compared to some of the imports I have driven. Good storage space when I put the seat down. I can even take my bike with me! It has a good turning radius and is comfortable even on longer trips across the state. Having On Star is comforting to a single girl. The 11 airbags make me feel as safe as when I drove larger gas guzzling vehicles. I average 31 mpg in town and higher on the highway if I keep my speed down to 65."

9 people out of 10 found this review helpful

Great car for economy.

By on Saturday, May 09, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 62,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Power, Economy"

Cons: "Climate control knob placement."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6

"Only complaint is the positioning of the Climate control knob as it is in the way when sitting in either front seat. Those that get in and out of this car know what I am talking about. I busted my knee a few times before I gave it to my son."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?