in 2012 Affordable Small Cars

Avg. Price Paid: $12,684 - $14,895
Original MSRP: $16,800 - $23,190
MPG: 25 City / 36 Hwy
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Used Car: 2012 Chevrolet Cruze Review

Review Last Updated: 8/29/14

With an upscale cabin, a sporty, yet comfortable, ride and excellent gas mileage in higher trims, reviewers said the 2012 Chevrolet Cruze is a practical small car that also offers some fun behind the wheel. 

The 2012 Chevrolet Cruze is ranked:

The 2012 Chevrolet Cruze comes standard with a four-cylinder engine and either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. Also available is a turbocharged four-cylinder engine that makes the same horsepower and slightly more torque as the base engine. Reviewers said the base engine offers adequate power and the turbocharged engine’s added torque makes it peppy from a stop and a lot more engaging to drive. The base Cruze gets an EPA-estimated 22/35 mpg city/highway with an automatic transmission, which is poor for the class. However, the 2012 Cruze is available in an Eco trim that gets up to 28/42 mpg, which is great for a compact car. Test drivers reported that the Cruze has strong brakes, accurate steering and agile handling, especially around curves. They also praised its quiet, compliant ride.

Test drivers agreed that the 2012 Chevrolet Cruze’s cabin feels upscale, with a sleek design and quality materials and construction. Several added that increased insulation makes the Cruze’s interior one of the quietest in the class. They said there’s ample head- and legroom in the front seats and that the back seat offers adequate head- and legroom to accommodate adults on short trips, which is the case with many small cars. The 2012 Cruze has a large trunk compared to rival compact sedans. The Chevrolet Cruze comes standard with a six-speaker audio system with an auxiliary jack and satellite radio. Optional features when it was new include remote start, Bluetooth, a USB port, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, cruise control, a power sunroof, heated front seats, navigation and rear park assist. The 2012 Cruze comes standard with 10 air bags, which is a high number for the class, and includes front knee air bags, which aren’t common among 2012 compact cars. We named the 2012 Chevrolet Cruze our 2012 Best Compact Car for the Money.

Other Cars to Consider

Reviewers were impressed with the 2012 Mazda Mazda3’s crisp handling, saying it adds a bit of fun to the daily commute. In fact, test drivers reported it has near-perfect performance for the class, which is impressive considering it still achieves great fuel economy ratings.

If you need more cargo space, consider a hatchback like the 2012 Honda Fit, which reviewers said has an impressive amount of room for a small car. The Fit also comes with more standard features than the Cruze, including a USB port. We named the 2012 Honda Fit the Best Hatchback for Families.

Compare the Cruze, Mazda3 and Fit »

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