Used 2013 Chevrolet Cruze Sedan Review & Ratings | Edmunds
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Used 2013 Chevrolet Cruze Sedan Review

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2013 Chevrolet Cruze Sedan

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Summary

Edmunds Summary Review of the 2013 Chevrolet Cruze Sedan

  • B Edmunds Rating
  • Put the preconceived notions to bed, because Chevrolet has a quality small car in the form of the 2013 Cruze.

  • Pros

    Handsome interior design; Eco model's high fuel economy; useful electronics interface; secure handling; top safety scores; big trunk.

  • Cons

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

  • What's New for 2013

    For 2013, the Chevrolet Cruze gets enhanced infotainment and safety features, including Bluetooth streaming audio, a rearview camera and blind-spot monitoring.

Review

Choosing a lively, fuel-efficient compact car was once pretty easy. You couldn't miss with a Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla. Or you might dial up a Mazda3 if you desired more driver involvement. But with the debut of the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze, this market segment has been turned upside-down by a quality entry from an iconic American brand that carries a surprisingly affordable price.

Sharp looks inside and out, top safety scores andcapable handling are some of the 2013 Chevrolet Cruze's primary advantages in the small car marketplace. It's also one of the most fuel-efficient small sedans you can buy, though this does depend on which model you choose. Base LS models come with a 136-horsepower 1.8-liter four-cylinder, but most versions of the Cruze get a turbocharged 1.4-liter engine. Outputfrom the turbo engine is about the same (138 hp), but significantly more torque helps the Cruze feel quick and responsive in around-town traffic. The turbo also sees duty in the Cruze Eco,and it delivers an impressive 42 mpg on the EPA highway cycle.

Chevy isn't the only brand with a greatly improved small car, however. The Hyundai Elantra also looks sharp, claims to achieve 40 mpg on the highway no matter the model and is also an excellent value. You could also look at the Ford Focus for its nicer interior, the Mazda 3 for its fun-to-drive nature or the Volkswagen Jetta if a roomier backseat is important. But considering its main strengths, the Chevy Cruze remains a top contender for an affordable small sedan.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2013 Chevrolet Cruze is a small sedan offered in four trim levels: LS, Eco, LT and LTZ.

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

The Eco gets the turbocharged engine, cruise control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a 7-inch touchscreen display and the Chevrolet MyLink system, which bundles Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, voice control and smartphone integration. An available Driver Convenience package includes a six-way power driver seat, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a rearview camera and heated mirrors. The Eco also benefits from aerodynamic improvements, lightweight alloy wheels, low-rolling-resistance tires, a smaller fuel tank and a few minor feature deletions to reduce weight and maximize fuel efficiency.

The LT actually comprises 1LT and 2LT subsets. Compared to the LS, the 1LT comes with the turbocharged engine, 16-inch alloy wheels, cruise control and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. The same features in the Eco's Driver Convenience package are also available for the 1LT.

The 2LT differentiates itself with 17-inch alloy wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, four-wheel disc brakes, leather upholstery, heated front seats, a six-way power driver seat, a 7-inch touchscreen display and Chevrolet MyLink.

The Cruze LTZ adds 18-inch alloy wheels, foglamps, heated mirrors, keyless ignition/entry, automatic climate control, premium interior trim andanauto-dimming rearview mirror and rearview camera.

The Enhanced Safety package is available for all but the LS model and includes rear park assist, blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.

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

Powertrains and Performance

The front-wheel-drive Cruze LS is powered by a 1.8-liter inline-4 that makes 138 hp and 125 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 with the automatic transmission accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 9.2 seconds, a slightly slower than average time for this class.

EPA estimated fuel economy stands 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 28/42/33 mpg with the manual transmission and 26/39/31 mpg with the automatic.

Safety

All 2013 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. Also standard is OnStar, which includes automatic crash notification, on-demand roadside assistance, remote door unlocking and stolen vehicle assistance. Blind-spot monitoring and cross-traffic alert are optional for all Cruzes except the LS.

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 frontal-offset, side-impact and roof-strength testing.

In Edmunds brake testing, a Cruze LTZ stopped from 60 mph in 122 feet, a slightly better-than-average 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 interiors of other compact cars often illustrate where the automaker chose to cut costs, but the Cruze's traditional big-car design with two-tone color schemes looks more upscale than many of the car's competition. Sure, there are a lot of hard plastic surfaces and we'd like more padding on the armrests, but the application of cloth or leather-look trim to the dash and doors improves both the look and feel. This year's updated electronics interface is easier to use than last year and also provides additional functionality through the Chevy MyLink system, providing smartphone integration (for apps such as Pandora) and enhanced voice control.

Some drivers might find the Cruze's front seats a bit narrow, but they're supportive and comfortable, and they offer plenty of adjustment. A low bottom cushion for the backseat diminishes comfort for longer-limbed riders, as it offers little thigh support. Actual legroom is only average for the segment; you'll find more space in the Honda Civic and Volkswagen Jetta. Considerably above average, however, is the Cruze's large trunk, which accommodates an impressive 15.4 cubic feet.

Driving Impressions

The 2013 Chevrolet Cruze deftly combines responsive handling with a comfortable, compliant ride. The sport suspension on the 2LT and LTZ is firmer but still provides an agreeable ride.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.

Full Edmunds Expert Review: 2013 Chevrolet Cruze Sedan

What's New for 2013

For 2013, the Chevrolet Cruze gets enhanced infotainment and safety features, including Bluetooth streaming audio, a rearview camera and blind-spot monitoring.

Introduction

Choosing a lively, fuel-efficient compact car was once pretty easy. You couldn't miss with a Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla. Or you might dial up a Mazda3 if you desired more driver involvement. But with the debut of the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze, this market segment has been turned upside-down by a quality entry from an iconic American brand that carries a surprisingly affordable price.

Sharp looks inside and out, top safety scores andcapable handling are some of the 2013 Chevrolet Cruze's primary advantages in the small car marketplace. It's also one of the most fuel-efficient small sedans you can buy, though this does depend on which model you choose. Base LS models come with a 136-horsepower 1.8-liter four-cylinder, but most versions of the Cruze get a turbocharged 1.4-liter engine. Outputfrom the turbo engine is about the same (138 hp), but significantly more torque helps the Cruze feel quick and responsive in around-town traffic. The turbo also sees duty in the Cruze Eco,and it delivers an impressive 42 mpg on the EPA highway cycle.

Chevy isn't the only brand with a greatly improved small car, however. The Hyundai Elantra also looks sharp, claims to achieve 40 mpg on the highway no matter the model and is also an excellent value. You could also look at the Ford Focus for its nicer interior, the Mazda 3 for its fun-to-drive nature or the Volkswagen Jetta if a roomier backseat is important. But considering its main strengths, the Chevy Cruze remains a top contender for an affordable small sedan.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2013 Chevrolet Cruze is a small sedan offered in four trim levels: LS, Eco, LT and LTZ.

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

The Eco gets the turbocharged engine, cruise control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a 7-inch touchscreen display and the Chevrolet MyLink system, which bundles Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, voice control and smartphone integration. An available Driver Convenience package includes a six-way power driver seat, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a rearview camera and heated mirrors. The Eco also benefits from aerodynamic improvements, lightweight alloy wheels, low-rolling-resistance tires, a smaller fuel tank and a few minor feature deletions to reduce weight and maximize fuel efficiency.

The LT actually comprises 1LT and 2LT subsets. Compared to the LS, the 1LT comes with the turbocharged engine, 16-inch alloy wheels, cruise control and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. The same features in the Eco's Driver Convenience package are also available for the 1LT.

The 2LT differentiates itself with 17-inch alloy wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, four-wheel disc brakes, leather upholstery, heated front seats, a six-way power driver seat, a 7-inch touchscreen display and Chevrolet MyLink.

The Cruze LTZ adds 18-inch alloy wheels, foglamps, heated mirrors, keyless ignition/entry, automatic climate control, premium interior trim andanauto-dimming rearview mirror and rearview camera.

The Enhanced Safety package is available for all but the LS model and includes rear park assist, blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.

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

Powertrains and Performance

The front-wheel-drive Cruze LS is powered by a 1.8-liter inline-4 that makes 138 hp and 125 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 with the automatic transmission accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 9.2 seconds, a slightly slower than average time for this class.

EPA estimated fuel economy stands 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 28/42/33 mpg with the manual transmission and 26/39/31 mpg with the automatic.

Safety

All 2013 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. Also standard is OnStar, which includes automatic crash notification, on-demand roadside assistance, remote door unlocking and stolen vehicle assistance. Blind-spot monitoring and cross-traffic alert are optional for all Cruzes except the LS.

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 frontal-offset, side-impact and roof-strength testing.

In Edmunds brake testing, a Cruze LTZ stopped from 60 mph in 122 feet, a slightly better-than-average 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 interiors of other compact cars often illustrate where the automaker chose to cut costs, but the Cruze's traditional big-car design with two-tone color schemes looks more upscale than many of the car's competition. Sure, there are a lot of hard plastic surfaces and we'd like more padding on the armrests, but the application of cloth or leather-look trim to the dash and doors improves both the look and feel. This year's updated electronics interface is easier to use than last year and also provides additional functionality through the Chevy MyLink system, providing smartphone integration (for apps such as Pandora) and enhanced voice control.

Some drivers might find the Cruze's front seats a bit narrow, but they're supportive and comfortable, and they offer plenty of adjustment. A low bottom cushion for the backseat diminishes comfort for longer-limbed riders, as it offers little thigh support. Actual legroom is only average for the segment; you'll find more space in the Honda Civic and Volkswagen Jetta. Considerably above average, however, is the Cruze's large trunk, which accommodates an impressive 15.4 cubic feet.

Driving Impressions

The 2013 Chevrolet Cruze deftly combines responsive handling with a comfortable, compliant ride. The sport suspension on the 2LT and LTZ is firmer but still provides an agreeable ride.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.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Average Consumer Rating (See all 49 reviews) Write a Review

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

One thing after another

by on
Vehicle: 2013 Chevrolet Cruze LS 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 6A)

I purchased my 2013 Cruze (automatic) brand new from the dealership. First service on the car, my transmission was black, and i was almost out of coolant. the car constantly sucks down coolant, and the recall on transmission makes it worse. continously have problems with electrical wiring. bulbs in headlights constanly explode because of overheating because of bad wiring. had to pay $200 to replace the whole wiring harness on one side because the wiring caught on fire. Interior of car is worthless. first cleaning i used name brand (and expensive) car interior cleaner that scratched away the cheap paint by the volume controls. the steering wheel material is wearing off after only 3 years of owning the car. the carpeting on the walls of thr car and dashboard are difficult to keep clean. cup holders are in an odd place, you can ONLY open the trunk with you key fob. and your car has to be off to open the trunk. acceleration is jerky, car locked itself one time on its own (typical pass lock system of Chevy). oh not to mention the outer plate of my gas flap fell off (it was poorly glued on?) the little adjuster knobs on the ir vents broke and fell off. overall, the car was cheaply made, and a fast dollar for the company.dont get one youll thank me.




This guy loves his cruze!

by on
Vehicle: 2013 Chevrolet Cruze 1LT 4dr Sedan (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6M)

I've had my 2013 Chevy Cruze for 2 years now. I bought it used with 20,000 miles on it and I now have 70,000. Other than regular maintenance (belt, wipers, oil change), I have had no problems. I've taken this car on many trips, just recently drove it a few thousand miles between 9 different states and not one problem. Gas mileage is excellent and I love the way the car handles when driving. Seating is very comfortable in the front, I've never been in the back so I don't personally know but people that have ridden in it say the back is fine. Huge trunk space for hauling things. This is the best, most reliable car I've ever owned and would buy another one in a heartbeat.




Phil's cruze

by on
Vehicle: 2013 Chevrolet Cruze LS 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 6A)




Love my cruze!

by on
Vehicle: 2013 Chevrolet Cruze 1LT 4dr Sedan (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6M)

I absolutely love my Cruze. It handled beyond my expectations this past winter.



3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Transmission issue & more

by on
Vehicle: 2013 Chevrolet Cruze Eco 4dr Sedan (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A)

I bought my car brand new in May 2013. Within a couple of months I was experiencing the car lunging forward while at a stop, loss of power, and loss of acceleration. MPG has also been significantly impacted. I was originally getting 36-42 mpg highway, and now get 28-30mpg. I took the car in several times and had ALL recalls performed on the vehicle, including the transmission part. "Fixing" the transmission made it worse, to the point where when driving it would feel as if we were constantly being rear-ended, hard. Final in Oct/Nov 2015 ( I can't recall now), GM agreed to totally replace the transmission with a new one (not used). Guess what, this didn't solve the issue and I'm to the point where I physically can no longer drive the car due to the pain caused by the constant surging and jerking the car makes. Getting rid of the car is not an option since the Cruze has flooded the resale market (thanks to Cruze's being rental cars), as my car is approx. $5-6k under water. I contacted Chevrolet directly to resolve the matter and they advised me that they are unable to help, and to work directly with the Dealership. The Dealership can't fix it, so now I'm stuck paying for a car that can't be driven.



2 of 4 people found this review helpful

Reliable until i was in an accident

by on
Vehicle: 2013 Chevrolet Cruze 1LT 4dr Sedan (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A)

You get what you pay for. I purchased it used from the dealer. It had a few minor recalls that were easily fixed. Price was nice but there are better cars at the same price point. It was good until someone rear ended me and now the car is a right off. The air bags never went off though! I wouldn't buy it again but I was happy with it for what it was. A cheaper reliable car for getting around town that got good gas mileage. Pros Visibility was good and the back up camera was great . Driving was comfortable. Satellite road was great Controls were easily accessible Gas mileage was great Trunk space was fine Usb charger in front console was nice Pockets on doors was nice Headlights were bright Remote start Seats easily cleaned, I had a Montana that would stain with water stains every time it rained or got snow on them A jeep Laredo hit me, hardly any damage done to it ! Cons Extremely under powered from a stand still Passenger leg room was small due to the glovebox Cloth material on the dash looks nice but not sure the longevity of it Passenger foot room was small because of the depth of the glove box. Window defrost is only in the enter of the dash and it would take forever to defrost.(I live in Canada) Cup holders placement was awkward No interior trunk release, have to turn off car to use trunk release No leg room in the back seats. (Remember it's a small car) Car jerks at times when stopped, don't know why Smell was coming from engine compartment when I first bought it, smelt like burning anti freeze, has since stopped Cheap plastic on exterior trim would fade Arm rest was extremely small, needs to be longer Great care for someone under 5'7, not for tall or bigger people Dash plastic had a nice style but looked and felt cheap



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Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 26
  • cty
/
  • 38
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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