The 2012 Chevrolet Cruze received a solid Total Car Score within the Compact Sedans and Wagons category, confirming Chevy has made improvements in vehicle quality over the past few years.
The Cruze received praise for its solid overall feel and stylish cabin. Its interior is very well-equipped with the roominess of a midsize vehicle rather than a compact. The same goes for the Cruze’s large trunk. And the Cruze’s high safety ratings are underscored by its 10 standard airbags. In terms of driving, the Cruze was noted for its steady, controlled ride and secure handling. And the fuel economy of its Eco model is one of the best of its class.
Reviewers were not as impressed by the Cruze’s unresponsive six-speed automatic transmission. Other negatives included the car’s narrow front seats and low placement of climate controls.
The Chevrolet Cruze was introduced in North America as an all-new car three years ago. There are no significant changes for 2012.
The 2012 Chevrolet Cruze is a compact five-passenger sedan available in four trim levels: LS, Eco, LT and LTZ.
The base LS has standard a tilt/telescopic steering wheel, a manually-adjustable driver seat, 16-inch steel wheels and a six-speaker stereo. The Eco model has the same content, but adds lighter wheels and some aero body upgrades to increase fuel efficiency.
The LT model is broken down into 1LT and 2LT subtrims. While the 1LT comes equipped with cruise control, Bluetooth and a USB interface, the 2LT brings a sportier suspension, remote ignition, leather upholstery, seat heat and a power-adjustable driver seat.
The uplevel LTZ trim adds 18-inch wheels, push-button start and automatic climate control.
Stand-alone options include a sunroof, navigation and a premium nine-speaker audio system.
Standard occupant safety comes from ABS, stability control and 10 airbags – front, side, curtain, rear-side, and front-knee. The Cruze earned very high crash test scores from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the highest possible safety ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
The front-wheel drive Cruze gets a choice of two engines. The base LS model is equipped with a 1.8-liter inline-four producing 136 horsepower and 123 pound-feet of torque. The Eco, LT and LTZ are powered by a turbocharged 1.4-liter inline-four making 138 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque. Energy is managed by a either a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic.
EPA-estimated fuel economy for the 2012 Chevrolet Cruze in base LS trim is 25 mpg city, 36 mpg highway and 29 mpg combined with the manual transmission and 22/35/27 with the automatic. The turbocharged LT and LTZ models yield 26/38/30 with either transmission. And the Cruze Eco model achieves a very efficient 28/42/33 combined with the manual transmission and 26/39/31 with the automatic.
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