The Chevrolet Cruze, a compact sedan known for its fuel economy, was introduced for the 2011 model year. It's a 4-door model with a backswept profile, and is available in the base LS, 1LT, 2LT, and LTZ trims, and the Cruze Eco, which features a more fuel-efficient engine and other weight-saving and aerodynamic-enhancing components. Chevrolet stresses the vehicle's design, proportions, and roominess. The Cruze's main competitors include the Hyundai Elantra, Ford Focus, Honda Civic, and Toyota Corolla.
The 2013 Chevrolet Cruze is available in 10 exterior colors. The base LS trim features 16-inch wheels and keyless entry. The 1LT trim upgrades to alloy wheels; the 2LT adds 17-inch alloy wheels, a sport suspension, and 4-wheel disc brakes. The LTZ trim features 18-inch alloy wheels and adds fog lights, heated mirrors, and keyless ignition. The Eco model has various subtle exterior design tweaks that boost its fuel economy.
Standard interior features on the Cruze LS trim include a manually adjustable driver's seat, 60/40 split-folding rear seats, power accessories, air conditioning, OnStar, Bluetooth connectivity, and a 6-speaker sound system. The Cruze's 1LT trim includes cruise control, more storage space, enhanced styling, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel, while the 2LT upgrades to leather upholstery (available in black, black/brown, or beige), heated front seats, power-adjustable driver's seat, and a touch-screen display. LTZ models offer a general upgrade of the interior trim, along with automatic climate control, auto-dimming rearview mirror, and a rearview camera. The Cruze Eco's trim is similar to the 1LT, with many optional upgrades available. The Cruze offers 15.0 cubic feet of trunk space; the Eco with manual transmission has a very slightly bigger trunk: 15.4 cubic feet.
The 2013 Chevrolet Cruze offers option packages that add many of the features found on upper trim levels to lower trims. Available features and packages include navigation, Pioneer premium audio system, power sunroof, splashguards, 18-inch alloy wheels, smoker's package, and an RS appearance package. This includes sportier looking bumpers, lower body moldings, and a rear spoiler. On LT models, the RS package adds fog lamps and an enhanced instrument cluster with chrome trim rings; that cluster is standard with the LTZ trim. An Enhanced Safety package includes rear park assist, rear cross-traffic alert, and side blind-zone alert. On 1LT models, the safety package requires the available 1LT Driver Convenience package and Technology package. On 2LT models, it requires the available 2LT Driver Convenience package. On Eco models, it requires the available Eco Driver Convenience package.
Under the Hood
Chevrolet Cruze models are fitted with one of two different engines. Base Cruzes feature a 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine rated at 136 horsepower and 125 lb.-ft. of torque. The Eco, LT, and LTZ models feature a turbocharged 1.4-liter 4-cylinder rated at 138 horsepower and 148 lb.-ft. of torque. The standard transmission is a 6-speed manual, offered in all but the range-topping LTZ trim. A 6-speed automatic transmission is optional. All 2013 Chevrolet Cruze models employ front-wheel drive.
EPA fuel-economy estimates for the 2013 Chevrolet Cruze are:
Cruze with standard engine and manual transmission: 25/36/29 mpg (city/highway/combined)
Cruze with standard engine and automatic transmission: 22/35/27 mpg
Cruze with turbocharged engine and either transmission: 26/38/30 mpg
Cruze Eco with manual transmission: 28/42/33 mpg
Cruze Eco with automatic transmission: 26/39/31 mpg
Standard safety features of note on the 2013 Chevrolet Cruze include 10 air bags. The lower trims feature a combination of disc and drum brakes, while the upper trims' brakes are all disc. Other safety features are optional. In government crash tests, the 2013 Cruze received an overall rating of 5 (out of 5) stars, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the Cruze sedan received a "Good" rating--the Institute's highest--for frontal-offset and side-impact crash protection. Roof strength results from the Institute were also "Good."
Advanced aerodynamics are key to the Eco model's high gas mileage. Chevrolet's proprietary MyLink radio includes the latest mobile technology.