Note: This review also applies to the 2013 Chevrolet Cruze as no major changes were made since the 2012 Chevrolet Cruze.
This 2012 Chevy Cruze video review includes information about fuel economy, price, safety, comfort, features and its different models that include the LT, LTZ and Eco. We also compare it to other compact sedans.
The Chevrolet Cruze is one of the best-selling small cars in America, and if you're looking for a compact sedan you should definitely take a look at it. Pricing starts around $17,000 and top-of-the-line models touch $27,000. The heavily optioned Cruze Eco model featured in the video has pretty much everything you need and costs just under $23,000.
The Chevy Cruze offers a handsome cabin that feels more grownup than the competition. Some of the plastics are cut-rate, though. The control layout is straightforward, but some of the button sequences for the audio-navigation system are confusing. Pairing a phone is easy, for example, once you know to hit the "Config" button. On the upside, this system offers a great interface for Apple devices.
The front seats offer ample seat-track travel for tall drivers, but the tradeoff is tight rear legroom. Trunk capacity is well above average and crash test ratings are stellar: five stars overall from the government and Top Safety Pick honors from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Fuel economy is competitive, too. The Eco model has special aerodynamic trim pieces and more efficient tires that help it eke out a couple more mpg. With an automatic transmission, the Cruze Eco is rated at 26 city/39 highway/31 combined mpg. If you can deal with a manual transmission, you'll do even better as ratings climb to 28 city/42 highway/33 combined mpg.
Most versions, including the Eco, have a turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Acceleration is respectable, but the automatic transmission can be slow to respond during passing maneuvers. Base LS models have a non-turbo engine that isn't as energetic. It also gets worse fuel economy.
You'll be impressed by how the Chevrolet Cruze Eco rides. It's comfortable, never harsh. Certain LT and LTZ models can feel too firm, though. The Chevy feels secure going around turns. It's one of the sportier budget sedans.
Although we like the Cruze, it's outpaced in certain areas. The Hyundai Elantra has a nicer interior, the Honda Civic has a better backseat, and the Ford and Mazda come in convenient hatchback body styles. But there's no denying that Chevrolet finally has a competitive small sedan.