Watch out Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla, there’s a new big little dog in town, as the Chevrolet Cruze is taking its place among the top choices in the compact sedan class. In fact, the Chevrolet Cruze was the highest selling compact car in 2012, and the 2013 Chevrolet Cruze is positioned to do even better. The 2013 Chevrolet Cruze comes in four trim levels, LS, Eco, LT, and LTZ. With great fuel economy, especially in the Eco model, decent power, strong handling, and an impressive amount of space for a compact, not to mention affordability; the Chevrolet Cruze can go up against any top seller in this class.
New For 2013
Part of being a serious competitor in the challenging compact sedan class means constant improvements, and you’ll definitely see some of these in the Chevrolet Cruze, including:
- Blind spot notification
- Rearview camera
- Enhanced navigation, information and entertainment system
The 2013 Chevrolet Cruze’s exterior is designed with a beveled hood and a strong, yet aerodynamic shape to mimic the look of a high end luxury sedan, with eye-catching sculpted fenders with swept back headlights to give the feel of motion. The honeycomb front grille prominently displays the classic Chevrolet logo right in the center. You’ll find 16-inch steel wheels (alloy wheels on the LT) and available flush mount rear spoiler, with color options that include Black Granite, Blue Topaz, Champagne Silver and Silver Ice. Some additional colors on the LT and LTZ include Crystal Red Tintcoat and Victory Red. With the LT2 you get 17 inch alloy wheels and available power sunroof. The LTZ offers all the options and colors with 18-inch painted alloy wheels.
Interior & Cargo
One of the biggest plusses the Chevrolet Cruze brings to the market is the impressive amount of space it provides for a compact car. A full 15.0 cubic feet of cargo space should be plenty of room to meet your needs, especially when you can give yourself a little extra with the 60/40 folding rear seats. You’ll find a surprising amount of room for passengers too, with 39.3 inches of front head room, 42.3 inches of front leg room, 37.9 inches of rear head room, and 35.4 inches of rear leg room. The interior of the Cruze has a bold, luxurious feel, with rich colors and features like available leather appointed seats. The Cruze offers a touch screen interface with OnStar Turn by Turn Navigation, entertainment, information and telephone options. The Cruze is equipped for SiriusXM satellite radio, Bluetooth technology, and USB port access for your smartphone. Ward’s AutoWorld actually made the Cruze one of its top ten Best Interiors in 2011.
There are plenty of safety features on the 2013 Chevrolet Cruze, features that helped make it an IIHS Top Safety Pick with an NHTSA five star safety rating in 2012. It all starts with OnStar for crash response and emergency roadside assistance. It continues with the StabiliTrak Electronic Stability Control System with Traction Control, ten standard air bags, front seatbelt pretensioners, and electronic brake force distribution. Rear Park Assist helps you stay out of trouble when backing into a spot. Other safety features on the Chevrolet Cruze include a theft system and engine immobilizer, a four-wheel Anti-lock Braking System, child safety locks and seat anchors, and ventilated front disc brakes.
If driving is about fuel efficiency for you, the Chevrolet Cruze Eco is a no-brainer, offering a staggering 28/42 mpg city/highway with the six-speed manual transmission linked to a turbocharged, 1.4-liter, four-cylinder engine. You won’t find better from a non-hybrid vehicle. That engine delivers 138 horsepower with 148 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed shiftable automatic transmission is also available, though that will shave a few mpg off of that impressive highway fuel economy. Even the other Cruze models hold their own when it comes to MPG. The LS 1.8-liter, four-cylinder engine with six-speed manual transmission delivers 25/36 mpg city/highway (22/35 mpg city/highway with the shiftable automatic trans), and the LTZ’s turbocharged, 1.4-liter four-cylinder with six-speed shiftable automatic offers similar mpg to the Eco, 26/39 city/highway. You’ll get 138 horses and 125 lb-ft of torque out of the LS, while the LT and LTZ offer horsepower and torque equivalent to the Eco. The drive itself is a solid, comfortable ride, especially with the turbocharged engine. You’ll probably find that you’ll get just about everything you want out of a compact sedan driving experience, including a nice quiet ride to help you focus on your next destination, whether you’re headed to work, to drop the kid off at school, or just on a relaxing Sunday drive.
Key Competitors For The 2013 Chevrolet Cruze
- Honda Civic
- Toyota Corolla
- Hyundai Elantra