2014 Chevrolet Cruze

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Key Specs
Our Take
Road Test
Photos
Reviews
Safety & Recalls
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Key Specs

of the 2014 Chevrolet Cruze. Base trim shown.

  • Body Type:
  • Combined MPG:
    27-33 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
  • Comfort and quietness
  • Interior quality
  • Simple controls
  • Choice of engines and transmissions

The Bad

  • Diesel acceleration
  • Diesel sacrifices spare tire
  • Hard surfaces on door panels
  • Only one power-door-lock button
  • Drum rear brakes standard
  • Fuel-efficient models' price premium

Notable Features of the 2014 Chevrolet Cruze

  • Newly available efficient diesel engine
  • 1.8-liter or turbo 1.4-liter gas engines
  • Six-speed manual or automatic
  • 10 airbags
  • High-mileage gas-engine Eco model

2014 Chevrolet Cruze Road Test

Joe Wiesenfelder

The 2014 Chevrolet Cruze remains an attractive player among compact sedans, though its interior reveals the car is now a few years into its first generation, and the new diesel option is disappointing.

The Cruze is in a car class packed with many very attractive options. Every year that passes makes unchanged models seem noticeably outdated. The Honda Civic, Nissan Sentra and Kia Forte are a few of the models that have enjoyed complete redesigns since the Cruze replaced the Chevrolet Cobalt. The Dodge Dart is a new addition entirely. While some compact sedans also come as hatchbacks, such as the Ford Focus, Hyundai Elantra and Subaru Impreza, the Cruze is only a sedan.

The main change for 2014 is the addition of an efficient clean-diesel engine in a trim level Chevy officially calls the Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel, but labels simply with a trunk-lid badge that reads 2.0 TD. (We'll just call it the Diesel). With EPA-rated fuel economy of 27/46/33 mpg city/highway/combined, it's more efficient than the Cruze powered by either of the two available gasoline four-cylinders, including the highest-rated version with an automatic transmission, the Cruze Eco at 26/39/31 mpg.

We tested the 2014 Diesel and earlier gasoline versions, which are unchanged for 2013 (see them compared).

How It Drives
Though the base Cruze LS is equipped with an uninspiring 1.8-liter, four-cylinder gasoline engine, the other gas trim levels have a turbocharged 1.4-liter that provides better accelera...

The 2014 Chevrolet Cruze remains an attractive player among compact sedans, though its interior reveals the car is now a few years into its first generation, and the new diesel option is disappointing.

The Cruze is in a car class packed with many very attractive options. Every year that passes makes unchanged models seem noticeably outdated. The Honda Civic, Nissan Sentra and Kia Forte are a few of the models that have enjoyed complete redesigns since the Cruze replaced the Chevrolet Cobalt. The Dodge Dart is a new addition entirely. While some compact sedans also come as hatchbacks, such as the Ford Focus, Hyundai Elantra and Subaru Impreza, the Cruze is only a sedan.

The main change for 2014 is the addition of an efficient clean-diesel engine in a trim level Chevy officially calls the Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel, but labels simply with a trunk-lid badge that reads 2.0 TD. (We'll just call it the Diesel). With EPA-rated fuel economy of 27/46/33 mpg city/highway/combined, it's more efficient than the Cruze powered by either of the two available gasoline four-cylinders, including the highest-rated version with an automatic transmission, the Cruze Eco at 26/39/31 mpg.

We tested the 2014 Diesel and earlier gasoline versions, which are unchanged for 2013 (see them compared).

How It Drives
Though the base Cruze LS is equipped with an uninspiring 1.8-liter, four-cylinder gasoline engine, the other gas trim levels have a turbocharged 1.4-liter that provides better acceleration after initial hesitation from a standing start. Despite its greater oomph, this engine also provides better mileage, which is becoming common in the market. When it comes to mileage, when you pay more, you now often get more. The same is true of the Eco trim level, which tops the regular 1.4-liter Cruze automatic by 1 mpg combined. The Eco is even more efficient with a six-speed manual transmission, though, getting an estimated 33 mpg combined fuel economy. Both Eco models sacrifice some quickness in the pursuit of efficiency. The LS and LT trim levels also offer manual transmissions.

Though I like diesels, the Chevy Cruze Diesel disappoints. I called out the balky transmission in my Quick Drive of the 2.0 TD, and the car's acceleration characteristics haven't grown on me. It's actually worse than I originally thought. The estimated zero-to-60-mph time is 8.6 seconds — not bad — but what I object to is the character of the acceleration. In addition to the transmission's hesitation once in motion, the car is downright poky from a standing start: Step on the accelerator, and the car responds immediately but accelerates very, very slowly. You're close to 20 mph before it really gets moving. I understand needing to limit the prodigious diesel pounds-feet of torque to prevent wheelspin, but this goes overboard. It's worse than the gas-powered Cruze. This is no small shortfall for a diesel. Its two major benefits are supposed to be stout acceleration and efficiency. First one's a strike.

As for the mileage, the Cruze Diesel truly did hit mid-to-high-40 miles per gallon on the highway, though it drops precipitously at lower speeds and in the city — but it's still in the mid- to high-20s there. This performance is as estimated, and nothing to complain about, but there's no question this car's mileage in mixed driving is closer to the city figure than the highway one.

Standing outside a running CCTD, you know it's diesel. Though it's not necessarily loud, it's louder than its main competitor, the clean-diesel Jetta TDI, and it has the distinctive chugga-chugga diesel sound, which you also hear from inside. Thankfully, you don't feel it. Hydraulic engine mounts isolate the shuddering 2.0-liter four-cylinder from the cabin. You don't even feel it when you turn the Cruze's engine off. Such high-compression diesels tend to jolt the car a bit when you shut them down. It's a bit noticeable in the Jetta.

Whether you have the gas engine or the new diesel, which required some suspension changes, the Chevrolet Cruze has a very comfortable ride. I'd characterize its handling as capable, even refined, but not as sporty as you'll find in the Ford Focus, Mazda3 or Honda Civic.

Interior
The Cruze's strengths include a comfortable, quiet interior and exceptionally long driver's seat travel, meaning tall people can fit in front, albeit at the possible expense of backseat legroom.

The Cruze has been an unlikely canvas for more daring uses of color and nontraditional textures, and to my eyes it still plays well. But there's no mistaking the shortcomings, which include some hard surfaces where you really notice them, such as door panels and even the backseat armrests. Some editors objected to the silver plastic on the center console and steering wheel.

Power locks are standard, but there's no excuse for not having power buttons on the front doors. There's just one on the center control panel — a cost-cutting measure that turns off everyone who notices it.

Compared with competitors, the Chevrolet Cruze's 95 cubic feet of cabin volume is on the high side, matching the Civic, trailing the new Sentra by 1 cubic foot and beating the Focus by 4 cubic feet. The Cruze's backseat is midpack, with less legroom than the Civic and Sentra but more than the Focus. See these models' specs compared here.

Ergonomics & Electronics
With the exception of the single power-door-lock switch mentioned above, the Chevrolet Cruze's controls are pretty simply laid out and ergonomic. The optional touch-screen is among the simpler systems we've used.

One shortcoming is the reflective glass over the gauges. In spite of the deep gauge hoods, reflected daylight sometimes makes the faces harder to see.

Cargo & Storage
With a trunk volume of 15 cubic feet, the Chevrolet Cruze is on the generous side for the compact sedan class. The standard 60/40-split folding rear seat extends the cargo area into the cabin when needed.

The trunk reveals a compromise specific to the Cruze Diesel. This engine requires an exhaust treatment system that relies on a urea solution called diesel exhaust fluid (it gives pollutants in the exhaust a chemical to react with to turn them into less harmful emissions). It must be refilled roughly every 10,000 miles — a minor issue that gets blown out of proportion. But its 4.5-gallon tank occupies the space meant for a spare tire, so Cruze Diesel owners are stuck with a sometimes-worthless sealant system instead. Note that current comparable Volkswagen cars don't require this system or the fluid.

Safety
The 2014 Chevrolet Cruze hasn't been crash-tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, but because the gas-powered car is unchanged, the 2013 results are almost certain to apply. IIHS gave the Cruze its top rating of Good in frontal, side, rear and roof-strength tests. As such, it matches 34 of the other 35 models in the organization's Small Cars body type category. Fortunately, a new test that gauges a car's performance in smaller-overlap frontal collisions now distinguishes better among the test subjects.

Here the Cruze performed less well, with a rating of Marginal. Of the 12 models subjected to this test so far, two scored Good, four scored Acceptable, three scored Marginal and three scored Poor.

In National Highway Traffic Safety Administration testing, the Cruze scored five stars overall out of five.

The Chevy Cruze's optional safety features include rear park assist with cross-traffic alert, a backup camera and a blind spot warning system. See the standard safety features here.

Value in its Class
Typically, the longer a car model goes without a redesign, the better deals you'll find on it. While modest rebates might be available, the Chevrolet Cruze has been selling very well — enough for the company to forgo a planned one-week production shutdown in August 2013 to keep up with demand. As always, comparison shopping is your best strategy.

The higher cost of more efficient Cruze trim levels might be a turnoff to some shoppers, but it's becoming the norm, as more expensive technology delivers the efficiency gains seen in the Eco and Diesel.

But there's no denying the Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel is pricey, starting at nearly $26,000 (all prices cited include destination charges). It's closest in features and appointments to the gas-powered Cruze 2LT, which costs around $23,500 with an automatic transmission, but it's more than $3,800 more than the automatic Cruze Eco and about $6,500 more than the base LS automatic.

Perhaps more relevant, it's about $600 more than the Jetta TDI automatic (and around $1,700 more than the manual), which is rated 30/42/34 mpg with either transmission. That's lower than the Cruze Diesel on the highway but higher in the city and combined.

Send Joe an email  

 


2014 Cruze Video

The 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel offers some of what both diesel fanatics and the average buyer look for in a car -- but not enough of either to really impress anyone.

Latest 2014 Cruze Stories

Consumer Reviews

Exterior Styling
(4.6)
Performance
(4.4)
Interior Design
(4.5)
Comfort
(4.5)
Reliability
(4.5)
Value For The Money
(4.5)

What Drivers Are Saying

(5.0)

Great car with great mpg

by DimplyScrolls from Fond du Lac, WI on September 24, 2018

The car handled well, had nice acceleration, is deemed safe and has decent mpg. I would recommended anyone looking for an affordable used car to check this out. Read full review

(4.0)

Newest car I've ever owned

by EAilene from Maiden, NC on September 20, 2018

This car is nice, roomy up front but kind of cramped in the backseat. We have one child in a convertible carseat and one infant carrier..we struggle for space! This car was perfect before we had baby ... Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2014 Chevrolet Cruze currently has 7 recalls

IIHS Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

Based on 2014 Chevrolet Cruze LS Manual

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

Head Restraint
good
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