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 workin on Friday, December 19, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 70,000overall rating 4 of 10rating details
Pros: "Drives smooth"
Cons: "engine light always comes on, bad mpg"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"We bought this car thinking Chevy had made a "comeback" after the previous years. This is our 2nd Chevy and the first one was nothing but problems. We bought this car used but it had great features, drove better than any car we had ever driven, and was a great deal. We have had this car for 11 months and cannot wait to get rid of it. It has been nothing but problems. The entire front end had to be replaced due to electrical and other issues under the hood. We also recently had to get the water pump replaced which is crazy. Would not recommend this car unless you like the engine light constantly coming on…"
By 852747485 on Friday, December 12, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 31,000overall rating 3 of 10rating details
Pros: "Nice design"
Cons: "Poor Quality, Uncomfortable"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I bought this car in March 2012 and it is now Dec 2014. I drive this car very nicely and mostly on the freeway to and from work. I am sitting here with 3 recall notices in my lap. THREE recall notices in 2 years! - for the floor pedal, the engine leaking coolant and causing problems, and now the steering wheel. PLUS my car had to get the Turbo replaced at 25,000 miles! It was covered under warranty but it was a huge inconvenience. I do not feel like I have a reliable vehicle. I feel like I have a vehicle that before it hits 100,000 miles is going to need a lot of work. Comfort: The cloth seats in the car are SUPER hard if you have to sit on them very long. It's fine to sit on for 30 mins or so but this is NOT a road trip car. I guess if I got the leather seats it would be softer, but I don't like sticking to my seats in summer when I wear shorts or skirts. Also the material on the seats holds crumbs on them because it is cupped shaped fabric. Design: The interior has a very nice design. I love the blue gauges and the chrome around the edges. I do think the vents could be positioned a little differently so the drivers side vent can blow at you and not just on your hands."
4 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By chuckdaddy on Friday, December 12, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 48,000overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "comfortable, space, drives well, avg 30 mpg."
Cons: "sketchy reliability (transmission,water pump)"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"I'm mostly pleased but the quality of the vehicle leaves me underwhelmed. Comfort, driving dynamics and mileage are strong suits for this Chevy. Transmission, water pumps and steering issues in less that 40K miles.....well left me with bad feeling about this car. 1LT trim with cruise, Bluetooth and an Ipod connector are nice touches. Leather wrapped steering wheel and a big trunk are nice too. At $20K, great package, but not reliable like the Chevys of days gone bye."
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By bluemax on Saturday, November 29, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 15,000overall rating 6 of 10rating details
Pros: "Nice to drive and quiet."
Cons: "Way too many problems to recommend this car."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3
"Within 15000 miles I have had a transmission leak,heater core leaking,water pump replaced due to leak,30 days at dealership waiting on parts for an axle shaft recall and several minor issues. Car is nice to drive and relatively quiet but the problems I have had negate any plusses to owing this car."
5 people out of 9 found this review helpful
By chevyman on Wednesday, November 26, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 70,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "great price, plenty of trunk space & fun to drive"
Cons: "can't keep up with my Vette!"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Fun to drive, outstanding fuel economy (35.8 mpg avg over 70k miles) and all the creature comforts needed for work commute or long trips. The price was right and was a no brainer based on 20k miles per year driving. No problems and still running strong!"
4 people out of 4 found this review helpful
By Mcd on Tuesday, November 25, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 17,055overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fun 2 drive"
Cons: "Only getting 41 mpg Darn !!!!!"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This Is the 2nd Cruz I had a 2012 started to put on a lot of miles so I thought I would traded It for a 2013...."
3 people out of 3 found this review helpful