The Chevrolet Cruze replaced the Cobalt compact car when it debuted for the 2011 model year. It boasts a larger interior than both its predecessor and most competitors in its price class. The Cruze marks the first compact car to reflect the higher-quality approach GM has taken with many other models' interiors. The car has room for up to five people, and competitors include the Honda Civic, Ford Focus and Hyundai Elantra.
(Skip to details on the: Cruze Eco)
New for 2012
Models with the turbo 1.4-liter four-cylinder and the six-speed automatic transmission are more efficient for 2012 with the regular Cruze rated at 38 mpg on the highway and the Cruze Eco at 39 mpg. The Connectivity Plus Cruise Package is standard on 1LT and Eco models. It features Bluetooth connectivity, a USB port, cruise control, and a leather-wrapped shift knob and steering wheel, which has audio controls. All models except the manual-transmission Eco come with a compact spare tire.
Despite its larger interior volume, the Cruze is a few inches shorter than the Cobalt from bumper to bumper. The Cruze's styling isn't daring, but it's distinctive in this class and a big improvement over the bland Cobalt. Exterior features include:
- Available 16-, 17- or 18-inch alloy wheels
- Standard 16-inch steel wheels
- Available fog lamps
- Available power sunroof
- Available remote start
In addition to being roomier than the Cobalt, the Cruze's cabin has higher interior quality. Interior choices include interesting rough-hewn woven trim or more conventional leather-style appliqués on the dashboard and door panels. Interior features include:
- Standard air conditioning
- Standard cloth upholstery; leather optional
- Standard tilt/telescoping steering wheel
- Standard CD stereo with MP3 jack
- Optional touch-screen navigation system
- 15.4-cubic-foot trunk
Under the Hood
The Cruze is offered with a choice of four-cylinder engines: a 1.8-liter and an optional turbocharged 1.4-liter. Mechanical features include:
- Standard 138-horsepower, 1.8-liter four-cylinder makes 125 pounds-feet of torque
- Optional 138-hp, turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder makes 148 pounds-feet of torque
- Both engines use regular gas
- Standard six-speed manual transmission
- Optional six-speed automatic transmission
The Cruze was the first affordable compact car to include 10 airbags standard. In addition to the required front pair, there are seat-mounted side-impact airbags for all four outboard seats, curtain airbags to cover the side windows on both sides and front knee airbags. The knee airbags protect the occupants' legs and help prevent them from sliding forward, which would make the other restraints less effective. Additional standard safety features include:
The Eco is a high-mileage version of the Cruze whose modifications improve upon the car's already respectable fuel economy without adding as much cost as a hybrid system would. However, the Eco is based on a higher Cruze trim level and uses the turbo 1.4-liter engine, so it's nicer than a stripped-down version, but correspondingly not super cheap. The Cruze Eco gets an EPA-estimated 28/42 mpg city/highway when fitted with a six-speed manual transmission.
The Eco's efficiency provisions include different gearing, lightweight 17-inch alloy wheels with low-rolling-resistance tires and numerous aerodynamic treatments, including a lower grille with shutters that close at higher speeds. Back to top
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