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2013 Chevrolet Cruze

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2013 Chevrolet Cruze Review

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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 509 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

Sluggish and Unreliable

By on Friday, January 29, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Cute car, comfortable, great features"

Cons: "Serious problem that I can't seem to get resolved"

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

"This is my second Cruze and I am not happy. With both cars I have experienced significant issues with them that the dealer seems not to be able to fix. With my 2014 Cruze I must say it is beautiful and a fun car to drive but I have had ongoing trouble with it chugging, heaving, almost like it is being choked. A couple weeks ago I was going 55 on a local highway and I lost power, the check engine lite came on, the traction control light came on and it felt like it was gulping gas. I took it directly to the dealer for the second time and they couldn't find anything wrong with it. Right now I am just super disappointed."

3 people out of 5 found this review helpful

ONe of the best car I had ever owned.

By on Thursday, January 21, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 95,000

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
10/10

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

"It is a great machine. Fuel efficient, comfortable ride. Attenuate the outside noise fairly. The car turns heads."

just one thing

By on Wednesday, January 20, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,000

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
10/10

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

"I love this car so very much, the only thing i would change is that the base model doesn't have cruise control."

1 person out of 3 found this review helpful

I love my Cruze

By on Tuesday, December 22, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 50,817

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
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great driving experience"

Cons: "A small hiccup in first shift"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Bought my 2013 Cruze in July 2015 and have been very very satisfied with my purchase. I did not intend to buy another Chevy (was looking at a Honda Civic) but was blown away by the appearance, handling and overall feel. I have taken this car on two long road trips (NH and FL) and it was great. I look forward to see how it handles Ohio winters though."

8 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Great car, bad braking system

By on Friday, December 18, 2015

I owned and sold this car
Reason: Brake Problems

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
6/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great price, fun to drive"

Cons: "Brakes"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 4

"Overall I have to say that I loved this car. It was the first new car that I had ever bought and I loved how fast and fun it was to drive around. The problem started with the heat that's normal for Florida and for some odd reason it affected the braking system. When backing I would apply the brakes to shift and then release them as I coasted down the hill of my driveway. I would reapply the brakes as I neared the end of the driveway only to realize that they weren't working! This happened many times to my wife and I and with her being pregnant I didn't want to place my family into that kind of situation of having no brakes. Eventually we traded it in due to the dealerships and GM not helping to resolve the issue."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Horrible car..

By on Friday, December 11, 2015

I owned and sold this car
Reason: WORST CAR EVER

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
1/10
Styling
2/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "Comfy"

Cons: "Not reliable, breaks down"

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

"Hate this car for three reasons: Left me stranded multiple times not even two years old Needed water pump replaced on a new car?! Had absolutely no power, felt scared trying to get on the fwy The only thing i liked is it was comfy on the inside and good gas mileage."

2 people out of 6 found this review helpful

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