2012 Chevrolet Cruze

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Key Specs
Our Take
Overview
Photos
Reviews
Safety & Recalls
Warranty & CPO
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Key Specs

of the 2012 Chevrolet Cruze. Base trim shown.

  • Body Type:
  • Combined MPG:
    30-34 Combined MPG
  • Engine:
    138-hp, 1.8-liter I-4 (regular gas)
  • Drivetrain:
    Front-wheel Drive
  • Transmission:
    6-speed manual w/OD
  • View more specs

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • Roomy cabin and trunk
  • Higher-quality interior
  • Choice of transmissions
  • Built in U.S.

The Bad

  • No coupe or hatchback
  • Drum rear brakes
  • Eco model not cheap

Notable Features of the 2012 Chevrolet Cruze

  • Improved gas mileage for 2012
  • 1.8-liter or turbo 1.4-liter four-cylinder engines
  • Six-speed manual or automatic
  • 10 airbags
  • High-mileage Eco model

2012 Chevrolet Cruze Overview

By Cars.com Editors
Vehicle Overview

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.

Exterior
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


Interior
In addition to being roomier than the Cobalt, the Cruze's cabin ha...

Vehicle Overview

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.

Exterior
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


Interior
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


Safety
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:

  • Antilock brakes
  • Electronic stability system


Cruze Eco

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


Latest 2012 Cruze Stories

Consumer Reviews

Exterior Styling
(4.5)
Performance
(4.0)
Interior Design
(4.4)
Comfort
(4.2)
Reliability
(4.2)
Value For The Money
(4.2)

What Drivers Are Saying

(4.0)

Great First Car!

by anthonymira from Chicago, IL on August 16, 2018

First car as a teen and got me through college. Commuted long distances for work/school, extremely reliable ride. Met all my needs, and then some. Read full review

(5.0)

Super Car

by LibrarianLady from Utica, NY on August 10, 2018

I owned this car for two years. I only had to replace a few parts, such as the thermostat and the battery, but nothing major, and it always passed the NYS inspection easily. No cruise control on my ... Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2012 Chevrolet Cruze currently has 7 recalls

IIHS Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

Based on 2012 Chevrolet Cruze LS

IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal, or poor.

Front

Chest
good
Head/Neck
good
Hip/thigh
good
Lower leg/foot
good
Overall evaluation
marginal
Retraints and dummy kinematics
marginal
Structure and safety cage
poor

Head Restraints and Seats

Dynamic Rating
good
Overall Rear
good
Seat Head/Restraint Geometry
good

Moderate overlap front

Chest
good
Head/Neck
good
Left Leg/Foot
good
Overall Front
good
Restraints
good
Right Leg/Foot
good
Structure/safety cage
good

Other

Roof Strength
good

Side

Driver Head Protection
good
Driver Head and Neck
good
Driver Pelvis/Leg
good
Driver Torso
good
Overall Side
good
Rear Passenger Head Protection
good
Rear Passenger Head and Neck
good
Rear Passenger Pelvis/Leg
good
Rear Passenger Torso
good
Structure/safety cage
good
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a nonprofit research and communications organization funded by auto insurers.

Manufacturer Warranty

  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    36 months / 36,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    60 months / 100,000 miles

  • Roadside Assistance

    60 months / 100,000 miles

CPO Program & Warranty

Certified Pre-Owned by Chevrolet

Program Benefits

Two Factory-Backed Warranties, CPO Scheduled Maintenance Program, Vehicle Inspection & Reconditioning, 3-Day/150-Mile Vehicle Exchange Program, 24/7 Roadside Assistance and Courtesy Transportation, OnStar & SiriusXM Satellite Radio Trial Offers, and a Carfax Vehicle History Report

  • Limited Warranty

    Two Factory-Backed Warranties

    6-Year/100,000-Mile, Powertrain Limited Warranty and a 12- Month/12,000-Miles, Bumper-to-Bumper Limited Warranty, both with $0 deductible
  • Eligibility

    Under 5 years / 75,000 miles

    Vehicles receive a 172-Point Inspection & Reconditioning.

    See inspection details.

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Cruze received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker