New For 2013

MyLink now includes Bluetooth streaming audio, voice recognition for the radio and select phones, and Pandora, Stitcher, and Gracenote capability. A seven-inch touchscreen display is standard. There are four new option packages, including the enhanced safety package with rear park assist, side blind-zone alert, and rear cross-traffic alert.

Overview

The Cruze is a solid effort that stacks up well in the highly competitive small-car class, which recently has seen all-new or heavily refreshed cars from Honda (Civic), Hyundai (Elantra), and Ford (Focus) added to its ranks. Where the Cruze really shines is inside. Its cabin is user-friendly, attractive, and nicely trimmed and comes in a close second to that of the class-leading Elantra. Under the hood, the Cruze offers a choice of two 138-hp engines. The base 1.8-liter four is adequate, but we’d recommend stepping up to the optional turbocharged 1.4-liter. That in-line four—exclusive to the North American market—is lively around town and moves the Cruze effortlessly at highway speeds. Either engine can be paired with a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic. To compete with the fuel-economy ratings of its competitors, Chevy has managed to eke out another 2 mpg from the turbo engine when paired with the automatic, for a rating of 26/39 mpg. The Eco version sheds a few pounds with lighter-weight parts, aerodynamic aids, and low-rolling-resistance tires to achieve 39/42 mpg highway (auto/manual). Although the Cruze has some shortcomings—light but somewhat artificial steering feel is its most egregious—its excellent interior, quiet ride, good body control, and supple suspension make it a legitimate contender in the small-car segment.

Safety

Front, side, knee, and side curtain air bags; ABS; traction and stability control; and OnStar are standard. Rear parking assist is standard on the LTZ, optional on Eco and LT models, and unavailable on the LS.

You’ll like:

  • Nicest interior Chevy makes
  • Eco manual gets 42 mpg highway
  • Refined highway cruiser

You won’t like:

  • Overboosted steering
  • Overweight
  • Unsupportive seats

Key Competitors For The 2013 Chevrolet Cruze

  • Ford Focus
  • Honda Civic
  • Hyundai Elantra
  • Mazda 3

Sum Up

Finally, a good small car from General Motors.

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