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Average User Score
4 ⁄ 5 stars
Based on 10 reviews
2013 Chevrolet Cruze Overview
Overall User Score
Based on 10 reviews
The Chevrolet Cruze compact passenger car receives some minor updating for 2013, including two new audio systems and a new optional Enhanced Safey Package that includes rear park assist, a blind-spot alert and a rear cross-traffic alert. In addition, the automaker makes its MyLink infotainment system standard on additional mid-level Cruze trims, and adds 3 new exterior colors, including Cyber Gray Metallic, Champagne Silver Metallic and Atlantis Blue Metallic.
Now in its third year of production, the Chevy Cruze has garnered quite a bit of buzz since its debut, when it replaced entry-level vehicles like the Chevy Cobalt and Cavalier. Developed in conjunction with Suzuki in Japan and marketed globally, the Cruze has earned praise from owners and reviewers alike, thanks to its smooth ride, competent handling, fuel-efficient powerplants, well-equipped interior and good safety ratings. In addition, many compliment the Cruze's stylish cabin and strong list of standard features, as well as its ample cargo capacity.
For 2013, Chevy offers the Cruze in LS, 1LT, 2LT, Eco and LTZ trims, as well as in a Fleet version. When equipped with a manual transmission, the Eco trim posts fuel economy numbers of up to 42 mpg, making it the most fuel-efficient gas-powered non-hybrid vehicle available in the U.S., according to the automaker.
The 4-door Cruze displays exterior design elements that give it a coupe-like, slightly sporty profile and make it look larger than it actually is, approaching midsize vehicle proportions. Styling cues include a two-tier grille, prominent halogen headlights with wraparound corners, a steeply raked windshield, subtle side and hood sculpting, minimal front and rear overhangs, and a short rear deck. While the look was designed to appeal to a global audience, some reviewers find the Cruze's appearance too subtle, especially when compared to the more aggressive styling of competitors like the Hyundai Elantra, Mazda3 and Volkswagen Golf. In addition, the Cruze's extremely competitive small-car segment includes such design trendsetters as the MINI Cooper, Kia Soul, Nissan Cube and Honda Fit.
Chevy offers the Cruze with a choice of two 4-cylinder powerplants. The entry-level LS trim receives a 1.8-liter Ecotec 4-cylinder with continuously variable valve timing. It delivers 138 hp and 125 lb-ft of torque. When coupled with a 6-speed manual transmission, which comes standard, the engine posts decent fuel economy numbers of 25/36 mpg. When owners select the optional 6-speed automatic, the numbers drop slightly to 22/35.
All other Cruze trims, including the 1LT, 2LT, Eco and LTZ, get a smaller yet more efficient turbocharged 1.4-liter Ecotec 4-cylinder engine, which also delivers 138 hp but pumps up the torque to 148 lb-ft. In addition, the smaller 4-cylinder provides better fuel economy numbers, which check in at 26/38 mpg with either transmission on LT and LTZ trims. Thanks to a lower drive ratio, which makes overdrive more efficient without losing lower-end torque, the Eco delivers even better fuel economy numbers, topping out at 28/42 mpg with the manual transmission. When equipped with the automatic, the Eco still delivers good fuel economy numbers of 26/39.
Despite the fact that it's a compact car, the Cruze offers a spacious, comfortable and surprisingly refined cabin, with a strong list of standard features and plenty of cargo space. Owners and reviewers alike point out the generous use of high-quality interior materials, as well as the cabin's supportive seats and numerous soft-touch surfaces. The dashboard sports a twin-cockpit design, with easy-to-use controls, backlit instrument gauges and a center stack that houses the climate and infotainment systems. The trunk offers an impressive 15.9 cubic feet of cargo space.
Standard equipment for all Cruze trims includes air conditioning with rear ducts, remote keyless entry, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel with audio controls, a 60/40-split rear seatback, Bluetooth and an updated 6-speaker audio system with a CD/MP3 player and SiriusXM satellite radio, as well as power windows and door locks. In addition, all Cruze trims receive standard OnStar with 6 months of the Directions and Connections plan. The entry-level LS trims also receives premium cloth upholstery and 6-way manually adjustable front bucket seats, along with 16-inch steel wheels with all-season tires.
The 1LT trim adds cruise control and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, as well as 16-inch alloy wheels. In addition, the 1LT offers a number of options not available on the LS, including Chevy's MyLink infotainment, an updated 9-speaker premium Pioneer audio system and a power-adjustable driver's seat.
Stepping up a notch, the 2LT trim gets such standard features as leather upholstery, heated front seats, a 6-way power-adjustable driver's seat and Chevy's MyLink system, which includes a 7-inch color touchscreen, a USB port and Pandora Internet radio. Owners can also opt for an available new Driver Convenience Package, which adds a rear-vision camera, power-adjustable side mirrors, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror and illuminated interior vanity mirrors. The 2LT comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels.
The Eco trim also receives the MyLink system as standard equipment, along with cloth upholstery and 6-way manually adjustable front seats. In addition, the Eco includes an exterior Aero Performance Package, which includes a lower front grille air shutter, mid-body aero panels and a front fascia air dam. The Eco rides on 17-inch alloy wheels.
At the top of the lineup, the LTZ gets automatic climate control, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror and push-button start, along with leather upholstery and the MyLink system. The LTZ also receives foglights and heated exterior mirrors, along with 18-inch alloy wheels.
All Cruzes come standard with 10 airbags, including knee airbags for both the driver and passenger, as well as side-impact and roof rail-mounted airbags. All trims get daytime running lights, Stabilitrak electronic stability control and traction control. In addition, the new Enhanced Safety Package comes standard on the LTZ trims and is offered as an option on all trims except the entry-level LS. The standard OnStar system also includes a number of safety features, such as automatic crash response, emergency services and remote door unlock.
Rob has been a contributor to CarGurus since 2007, and an automotive test-driver and writer since the early ’90s. He’s test-driven everything from BMWs and Jags to Bentleys and Saabs, with an occasional Range Rover, Ferrari, Porsche or Lamborghini thrown in. He also created the annual Car of the Year and Exotic Car of the Year awards for Robb Report magazine. He currently resides in Florida.
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