2013 Chevrolet Cruze LT 1.4 turbo
Surprisingly good car from Chevrolet
Absolutely nothing has gone wrong with the car since I have owned it.
Very pleased indeed with my purchase. We initially had one as a rental car, and I was surprised by how well it handled and how good the build quality was.
Our Cruze LT handles great for a car of its size; it has reasonably firm (for North American standards) suspension, it's very chuckable around corners, and I dare say it has a slightly sporty feel. Composed and refined over bumps (there's plenty of these in Nova Scotia), after test driving many other cars (Mazda 323/626, new Toyota Corolla, Nissan Altima and many more) this was the best for the ride.
Small engine, but you wouldn't know it - I thought it was a 2 litre in the rental car (our car is the 1.4L turbo). Only a little turbo lag, but for regular driving you wouldn't know it. Put your foot down and it goes at a reasonable pace.
Build quality is very good. Interior materials are not very high quality, but very acceptable for a vehicle of its price range. Exterior is good, our car is an ex-rental car and there are barely any scratches or chips on the outside. Feels like there has been a bit more of an effort protecting the areas where the sheet metal folds over from rust; the edges are all sealed with some kind of flexible strip and painted over.
The body feels very rigid, no creaks or sounds within the cabin. It feels like you are driving a much more expensive car, it's fairly quiet. Steering is on the light side, but it's effortless to drive, particularly around town. The body rigidity probably helps with making the ride so good.
Interior is thoughtfully laid out; go for the reversing camera option as the infotainment screen is way better than the basic one, and the reversing camera is actually quite handy.
Only downsides for me are the closeness of the dash and centre console to your knees, the small legroom in the rear (just about OK for big kids), and the tightness of the front seats. I'm slim-ish, but find that the seat bolsters squish my butt on a long drive. Chevrolet should have made the interior slightly longer and the engine bay slightly smaller - there's quite some room around the engine.
Not quite as good on fuel as I was hoping (average 7.5 litres/100km) but I guess not bad either for 50/50 city/highway driving.
If you are considering a new car, the Cruze may surprise you.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 13th March, 2014
14th Mar 2014, 22:14
I would like to commend you for your very well written and descriptive review. Your summary makes a good point in that many people won't think a Chevrolet can be high quality, until as in your case, they spend some time with one.
6th Apr 2014, 09:36
Many thanks for your comments. I was unsure whether to write an article, but as the Cruze had exceeded my expectations, I felt I should pass this on to others. I forgot to mention that I also test drove the Cruze diesel; if you can afford the extra, this is the one to get, way faster than the 1.4. Very quiet and no diesel smell, it's a very impressive engine indeed. We couldn't quite stretch to a new car, and don't do the miles to justify the extra cost.
21st Aug 2014, 09:36
Just rented a 2014 LTZ model during a one week vacation and was pleasantly surprised. Looking to trade in my Camry and get one of these. Only had the car for a week and don't think that entitles me to write a full review, but your review covers most of it anyway, thank you.
30th Oct 2014, 13:53
I am the original poster of this review.
Update: One of the coil packs failed at around 46,000 km, which resulted in reduced power. Got home OK, called the dealership. They arranged for it to be towed in the next morning and provided a rental vehicle while being repaired that day. All covered under warranty and no cost to me. I was very happy with the customer care and the prompt and quick repair. No other faults at all with the car, it's done 53,000 km now and is still in excellent condition; still very happy with it.
31st Oct 2014, 21:39
Ask how much the coil usually costs. Most cars now have an individual coil over each cylinder, and they fail at different times. I've got a 2001 BMW 316TI whose coil failed four years ago, and the second one just a few months ago. Loss of power, engine sounded like an old VW Beetle with vibration to boot. I decided to replace the other two, for peace of mind.
4th Feb 2015, 20:37
I am the original owner. At 58,000km the infotainment system failed, so the radio, rear camera and Bluetooth also stopped working. Dealership replaced one of the ECUs for the infotainment system under warranty.
Just had 60,000km service. Nothing wrong with the car, it still looks and drives like new. Starts first time without hesitation even in -25 deg Celsius. Still very pleased with my purchase.