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2012 Chevrolet Cruze to get More MPG

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author photo by Autotrader May 2011

With gas prices on the rise again, car buyers are looking to get into more fuel-efficient vehicles in order to keep their running costs down. Understanding that, it's easy to see why Chevrolet is doing everything it can to eek out a little extra fuel economy for its compact Cruze sedan.

Chevy announced that 2012 Cruzes equipped with an automatic transmission will get a two miles per gallon boost. The increased fuel efficiency means that the Cruze will get better fuel economy than its rival Ford Focus, but will still fall short of the new 2012 Honda Civic.

According to Chevrolet, the bump in fuel efficiency is due to a slightly taller final drive gear in the car. This allows the Cruze's engine to run at lower RPMs at cruising speed, which should save fuel.

Gearing is not a cure-all fix, however. Just like on a bicycle gear, switching to a taller gear will likely mean that the car will accelerate a little more slowly.

Also on the fuel-efficiency front, Chevy will be offering a six-speed manual transmission on the mid-range 1LT and 2LT Cruze models. This transmission is already available in the fuel sipping Eco trim level, and should give the other models better fuel economy.

Automatic transmissions are generally less efficient than manuals, which is why hypermilers often opt for a stick shift in their mission to make every drop of fuel count. Chevy hasn't said what the exact mpg numbers will be for new models with the manual, but the Eco version currently gets 42 mpg on the highway.

Beyond fuel economy, there will be some other changes for the 2012 model year Cruze. The top-of-the-line Cruze LTZ will get a keyless access and start system.

Buyers choosing the 2LT, 1LZ and Eco models will be able to opt for a redesigned navigation system with a seven-inch display.

Two new colors will also be available on the 2012 Cruze: Blue Topaz Metallic and Victory Red.

Finally, the 2012 Cruze will feature an optional smokers package with a lighter and ashtray that were not available on the car when it launched.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2012 Chevrolet Cruze to get More MPG - Autotrader