2012 Chevrolet Cruze Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2012 Chevrolet Cruze Sedan

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Chevrolet Cruze Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 1.8 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 138 hp @ 6300 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 25/36 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2012 Chevrolet Cruze

  • B Edmunds Rating
  • Put the preconceived notions to bed, because Chevrolet finally has a quality small car in the form of the 2012 Cruze.

  • Safety | Rating Details
  • Pros

    Upscale interior design; lively yet efficient turbocharged engine; Eco model's high fuel economy; secure handling; top safety scores; big trunk.

  • Cons

    Mediocre seating comfort; six-speed automatic's sleepy responses.

  • What's New for 2012

    There are no major changes for the 2012 Chevrolet Cruze.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

Things start going wrong at

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Vehicle: 2012 Chevrolet Cruze LS 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 6M)

I am a home health nurse and I bought my car because it was supposed to have great gas mileage and so far I am happy with it. There is a weird noise coming from the drivers side front of the car that the service department has not been able to figure out. It idles rough at times. The service department replaced a valve cover that they said was faulty, but the car still has problems with idling. The transmission seems like it is slipping at times when I am trying to accelerate and lurches when downshifting My car has been in the shop for 5 days now for the noise and the idle. They also found a faulty water pump since it's been in there. All in all, I still love my car, just wish they'd fix

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

2012 chevrolet cruze ls 1.8

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Vehicle: 2012 Chevrolet Cruze LS 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 6M)

Excellent car! This car trumps the competition. I have read the reviews on this car and see a lot of complaints about it, none of which I have encountered. I just rolled over 15k in it and have not had a problem. Many of the reviews I say complain about the turbo in the 1.8 LS......if they read about the car they would know that the 1.8 LS does NOT come with a turbo. Gas mileage complaints.....depends on how you drive I average 34.6 mpg and I am not easy on the car. I drive this car extremely hard and fast, average 75-80mph on the highway, but still get 430 miles to the tank. Not as powerful as the 1Lt and up models, since it does not have a turbo, but I am very very happy with it.

Good value / decent mileage

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Vehicle: 2012 Chevrolet Cruze LS 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 6M)

My '12 Cruze LS gets mileage as advertised. Mileage depends *heavily* on driving style. This weekend I drove the family to Disney and got 40 mpg round trip (EPA = 38 mpg highway). Driving more aggressively, I'd get 34-36 mpg highway. Like any car, numerous factors are at play: More passengers / more gas in tank = lower mpg. Lower temperatures = lower mpg. Air conditioner = lower mpg. More uphill than downhill = lower mpg (I therefore rely more on round trip values). I have even noticed mpg variations depending on the quality of the road. Some of the comments I've read probably don't account for these variables, and the many others, that do affect mpg.

Seating is very uncomfortable

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Vehicle: 2012 Chevrolet Cruze LS 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 6M)

I have never complained about a car but my drivers seat is the most uncomfortable seat and is causing me great pain. My shoulders are pushed forward and my neck and shoulders are in constant pain now. I will start to buy various items to try and fix the seat and I hope something will make it more comfortable for me.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

Glad i bought the cruze

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Vehicle: 2012 Chevrolet Cruze LS 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 6M)

After buying the Cruze Ls model and reading the reviews I thought I made a mistake by not upgrading to the Eco 1.4 turbo model.Some reviews said the Ls got nowhere near the expected mileage.I drive approx 70 mi (mainly highway) each day to work and so far I am VERY impressed with the mileage without air I am getting 38 mpg and with air a little over 35.I'm 6'4" and alot more comfortable than if i would have bought a Civic.Understand I was driving a Dodge dakota truck everyday and spending $80 dollars a week on gas,so now you can understand my point of view.I bought the Silver met. Ice and had the windows tinted and it looks great!

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

Best car i have ever

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Vehicle: 2012 Chevrolet Cruze LS 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 6M)

I love my 2012 Cruze LS 6 Speed Manual! This car is by far the best car I have ever owned, its trumps both the Honda Civic and Honda Accord that I have owned previously. Great gas mileage, handles like a dream, and has amazing get up and go.

Gas Mileage


  • 25
  • cty
  • 36
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs

Full 2012 Chevrolet Cruze Review

What's New for 2012

There are no major changes for the 2012 Chevrolet Cruze.


Researching a small car on Edmunds.com to find a top pick used to be pretty straightforward. Chances are we'd point you to a Honda Civic, a Mazda 3 or, if you really wanted to fly your freak flag, a Subaru Impreza. But now things are different. There's been a regime change for small cars, and one of the rebel leaders is the 2012 Chevrolet Cruze.

The Cruze debuted last year as an all-new model and has gone on to be both a sales and critical success. The reasons are multifold, but the bottom line is that the Cruze is simply a quality car. It looks sharp inside and out. Attention to detail is apparent the first time you close the door and notice it shuts with a solid "thunk." The feature content is up to date with options such as hard-drive-based navigation and keyless ignition/entry. Chevy's come a long way since the Cobalt.

On the move, the 2012 Chevrolet Cruze impresses with capable handling and a quiet cabin. Under the hood you have a choice of two engines. Base LS models have a 136-horsepower 1.8-liter four-cylinder, but most Cruzes actually come with a turbocharged 1.4-liter engine. Horsepower is about the same from this smaller engine (138 hp), but torque rises significantly to give the Cruze a boost in around-town acceleration. The turbo also sees duty in the Cruze Eco variant. Thanks to various tweaks, the Eco achieves an impressive 42 mpg highway EPA rating.

That said, looking at other models is still a wise idea. The redesigned Ford Focus is similarly impressive and holds advantages in handling and technology features. The stylish Hyundai Elantra is equally well rounded and arguably a better value. And even though they're not the dominant choices they once were, the Honda Civic and Mazda 3 are still great cars. But the fact remains that the small car segment has changed, and the Chevy Cruze is a top contender.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2012 Chevrolet Cruze is a small sedan that comes in four main trim levels: LS, Eco, LT and LTZ.

The LS includes 16-inch steel wheels, OnStar, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, air-conditioning, a six-way (manual) adjustable driver seat, a 60/40-split rear seat, a trip computer, full power accessories and a six-speaker stereo with a CD/MP3 player, satellite radio and an auxiliary audio jack. A Connectivity package adds Bluetooth, a USB port and steering-wheel-mounted audio controls.

The Eco is equipped similarly to the LS but is optimized for maximum fuel efficiency with aerodynamic improvements, lightweight alloy wheels, low-rolling-resistance tires, a smaller fuel tank and a few minor feature deletions to further reduce weight.

The LT actually comprises 1LT and 2LT subsets. The 1LT comes with a turbocharged engine, cruise control, color-keyed power outside mirrors, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and the contents of the Connectivity package.

The 2LT differentiates itself with 16-inch alloy wheels, remote vehicle start, cruise control, a sport-tuned suspension, four-wheel disc brakes, leather upholstery, heated front seats and a six-way power driver seat. The Cruze LTZ adds 18-inch alloy wheels, rear park assist, keyless ignition and entry, automatic climate control, premium interior trim and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

Many of the standard features found in the upper trim levels also can be had on lower trims as options. A hard-drive-based navigation system, a Pioneer nine-speaker premium sound system, a sunroof and an RS appearance package (unique front/rear fascias, foglights, rear spoiler) are all available on the upper trims.

Powertrains and Performance

The Cruze LS is powered by a 1.8-liter inline-4 that makes 136 hp and 123 pound-feet of torque. The Eco, LT and LTZ are fitted with a turbocharged 1.4-liter inline-4 that generates 138 hp and 148 lb-ft of torque. On the LS, LT and Eco, power flows to the front wheels through a standard six-speed manual transmission. A six-speed automatic is optional on those trims and standard for the LTZ.

In Edmunds testing, the turbocharged Cruze accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 9.2 seconds, which is an average time for this class.

EPA fuel economy estimates stand at 25 mpg city/36 mpg highway and 29 mpg combined for the Cruze LS with the manual transmission and 22/35/27 mpg with the automatic. The turbocharged engine (LT and LTZ) with either transmission receives 26/38/30 mpg estimates.

The fuel-economy-focused Cruze Eco earns a laudable 28 mpg city/42 mpg highway and 33 mpg combined with the manual transmission and 26/39/31 with the automatic.


All 2012 Chevrolet Cruze models come with stability control, antilock brakes, full-length side curtain airbags, front knee airbags and front and rear side impact airbags as standard. All trims except the 2LT and LTZ have a front-disc/rear-drum brake setup; those models are upgraded to four-wheel disc brakes.

In government crash testing, the Cruze earned a top five-star rating for overall safety performance, with five stars in both frontal and side-impact categories. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety testing, the Cruze received a top score of "Good" in both frontal-offset and side-impact testing.

In Edmunds brake testing, a Cruze LTZ stopped from 60 mph in 122 feet, a good distance for this class of car. Even with its fuel-economy-friendly tires, the Cruze Eco stopped in just about the same distance.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Cruze's "twin cockpit" interior design and two-tone color schemes deliver an upscale ambience. There are a lot of hard plastic surfaces and we'd like more armrest padding, but the application of cloth or leather-look trim to the dash and doors improves both the look and feel. The layout of the Cruze's audio controls is a little too convoluted, but the climate controls couldn't be simpler, and the revised navigation system for 2012 is a big improvement in terms of functionality.

The Cruze's front seats are a bit narrow, which might be an issue for some drivers, but they offer plenty of adjustment and are both supportive and comfortable. A low cushion for the backseat diminishes comfort for longer-limbed riders, whose thighs will have minimal support. Actual legroom is only average for the segment; you'll find more space in the Civic and Volkswagen Jetta. Considerably above average, however, is the Cruze's large trunk, which measures an impressive 15.4 cubic feet.

Driving Impressions

The most surprising characteristic of the 2012 Chevrolet Cruze is its combination of genuinely athletic handling with a comfortable, controlled ride quality. The Cruze's chassis isn't particularly sophisticated as far as economy cars go, but its design ensures secure handling and a compliant -- but not mushy -- ride. The standard suspension rides as well and as quietly as just about any compact car, while the sport suspension on the 2LT and LTZ is firmer, though without harshness.

Most drivers should be satisfied with either of the Cruze's engines. The upscale turbocharged engine is pretty average in terms of outright acceleration, but it's peppier around town thanks to its increased torque. The main issue, however, is the automatic transmission. Programmed for maximum fuel economy, it's reluctant to downshift for quick acceleration and passing unless you really boot the throttle.

Talk About The 2012 Cruze

Read more about the 2012 Chevrolet Cruze

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