2012 Chevrolet Cruze LT 1.8 petrol from South Africa


A truly dreadful car


Nothing, but too soon to say. Though probably too simple for much to go wrong.

General Comments:

This is just a rotten car. I am currently on a three week driving holiday in South Africa, and I am stuck with the Chevrolet (Holden) Cruze.

I paid more for the 1.8 so that I would have a car with decent power (I normally drive a V6 Camry at home), but gutless doesn't begin to describe this POS. Honestly, the Hyundai Accent I hired in the US a couple of years ago had more power and was more comfortable into the bargain. This thing screams at the slightest incline, yet nothing much seems to happen, forward-propulsion-wise.

The driver's seat has NO lumbar support - the seat back is absolutely flat and I have to have a cushion behind my back, or else I am in serious pain after an hour.

The air conditioning is useless - you still need to have the windows down, even with the climate control down as low as it goes and the fan turned up to 5.

The steering is dangerously light - one slight twitch and your headed in a completely different direction. It's really tiring driving this car for hours on end, trying to keep it on a smooth course.

The centre stack has far too many buttons - you need to take your eyes off the road just to make sure you hit the correct function.

Take my word for it - save yourself the trouble of trying out this car and head straight to the Hyundai dealer instead. When I hired the Accent in the US, I swapped it after a couple of days for an Elantra (wanted more power). The Elantra has its faults, but honestly it runs rings around the Cruze - it was comfortable, felt secure at high speed and actually sped up when you put your foot down. Oh and the air con worked too - bear in mind that was during an American summer. This Cruze's air con can't cope with a South African winter!

I love South Africa, but I can't wait to get home to Australia and drive my Camry again! Given that the Camry is the most boring car in the world, I think that's a pretty strong statement about the Cruze!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 11th July, 2013

12th Jul 2013, 17:30

I think the 1.8 actually has some nice power. It's a small car to propel, so it's actually pretty quick off the line and through the first few gears. Uphill will be rough on any car.

12th Jul 2013, 19:43

I've hired a few 1.8L petrol auto Cruzes in Queensland for work; not by choice, but because that's what they gave me. Truly dreadful cars, the most gutless buckets I've ever driven. The build quality was pretty bad too. Put me off anything with a Cruze badge on it, even though the newer turbo engines are meant to be better, but I haven't driven any of those. I have no desire to either.

My '07 2.0L TDCi Focus is a far, far better car to drive than any Cruze I've personally driven.

2012 Chevrolet Cruze LT 1.4 turbo from North America


Classy and sporty compact


No reliability issues.

General Comments:

This review is about a 5 day rental on a 2012 Cruze.

I'd recently rented a 2013 Toyota Corolla, and the Cruze outclassed it 10 to 1. In drivability, interior quality, fuel economy, ride, and looks.

The Cruze had 42,000 miles on it when I turned it in, and there was not a squeak or rattle anywhere that I could hear. I loved the 1.4 liter turbo engine, which had lots of torque when it revved, and scored 38 MPG on the highway averaging 70+ miles per hour. The interior was classy, sporty and well laid out. The standard radio had a nice sound, and the dash readout had lots of information like MPG, average speed, etc.

One of the most impressive aspects of the Cruze was the quiet and smooth ride. Amazing for a compact car. I drive a mid-size daily, and would not feel penalized switching to this Cruze based on ride and quietness. It felt solid and composed on the highway.

Corollas have stellar reliability, so if this Chevy holds up, then GM has really scored with this little car. Consumer Reports shows that since its launch, it's improving.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th May, 2013