Now in its second year of production, the Chevrolet Cruze Eco has established itself as a genuine player among environmentally friendly small sedans. It sips fuel, it’s easy on the eyes, and it’s got an unusually solid feel on the road. Unlike yesteryear’s compacts, which were penalty boxes that you put up with till you could afford something better, this Chevy is a genuine alternative to larger cars, offering all the features you want in a much more efficient package.
Here are AutoTrader’s five reasons to buy the 2012 Chevrolet Cruze:
- Remarkable Fuel Economy: Aided by lightweight wheels, low rolling resistance tires, and novel airflow management system with automated grille flaps, the Cruze Eco gets up to 28 miles per gallon in the city and 42 mpg on the highway. That’s about as good as it gets for a non-hybrid sedan. Those numbers only apply to the smooth-shifting six-speed manual transmission, but even if you opt for the six-speed automatic, the Cruze Eco still registers a healthy 26-mpg city and 39-mpg highway.
- Lots of Features: The Cruze Eco may be a fuel miser, but it’s hardly stingy when it comes to creature comforts. Standard niceties include air conditioning, power accessories, a tilting/telescoping steering wheel, satellite radio, and GM’s OnStar telematics service. An affordable options package adds Bluetooth, a USB port, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, and cruise control.
- Low Price: The 2012 Cruze Eco starts at just over $19,000 with the manual transmission and about $20,000 with the automatic. That’s pretty reasonable for such a strong all-around package. Most cars with this kind of fuel economy don’t have the Cruze’s confidence-inspiring ride and handling, nor its pleasing design inside and out. Considering how few compromises the Cruze Eco requires, we consider it a bargain.
- Appealing Interior: It’s a new era at General Motors, and the Cruze Eco’s cabin is a great example. The dashboard has an upscale rakish slant and plentiful aluminum-look accents, while the front seats are comfortable and nicely contoured. Even the steering wheel feels like it belongs in a more upscale vehicle. It’s always a pleasant surprise when a small sedan seems more expensive inside than it really is.
- Mature Styling: Rather than adopt the “look at me!” styling favored by some small-sedan rivals, the Cruze Eco keeps it classy. There’s real substance in the way this car looks, from its clean, crisp character lines to its confident stance. It’s a sophisticated design, and also one that’s likely to age well. Just one more reason why the tidy Cruze Eco is an enticing alternative to larger, more expensive four-doors.