Solid, well-connected ride; spirited turbo; 40-mpg highway fuel economy; refined interior; abundant cargo space; good list of features
Bland styling compared with that of some foreign competitors; poor seat positioning; relatively pricey at the top end
The Cruze is mostly unchanged for 2014, with one major exception. The 2014 model year sees the addition of an all-new Cruze Diesel, which uses a 151-horsepower 2-liter turbodiesel engine. Fuel economy is rated at 27 miles per gallon in the city and a whopping 46 mpg on the highway.
We think the best Chevrolet Cruze for cruising is the Eco model with a manual transmission to manage its 1.4-liter turbo. This combination makes the Cruze truly fun to drive while offering exceptional highway fuel economy, as well. And while the Eco's gas mileage isn't quite as strong as the Cruze Diesel's, the Eco is less expensive to buy. In other words, the Cruze Eco is smooth, quick-footed, well equipped and efficient. With credentials like those, it's no wonder its competitors are starting to feel a little uneasy.
The 2014 Chevrolet Cruze is available in five trim levels: LS, LT, Eco, LTZ and Diesel.
Base-level Cruze LS models ($18,500) offer a surprisingly long list of standard equipment. Such items include air conditioning, Bluetooth, a USB port, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls and satellite radio.
Shoppers who step up to the Cruze LT ($19,500) find two versions: the 1LT and the 2LT. The 1LT adds alloy wheels, cruise control and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. Fuel-saving Cruze Eco models ($20,500) are equipped like the 1LT.
Drivers who step up to the 2LT ($22,000) add a power driver's seat, leather upholstery with heated front seats and Chevrolet's MyLink 7-inch center-mounted touchscreen. The Cruze Diesel ($25,500) is equipped like the 2LT.
The range-topping Cruze LTZ ($24,500) brings automatic climate control, push-button start and a rearview camera. Key options include a sunroof and a premium audio system.
|Basic||3 Years/36,000 Miles|
|Drivetrain||5 Years/100,000 Miles|
|Corrosion||3 Years/36,000 Miles|
|Rust-Through||6 Years/100,000 Miles|
|Roadside Assistance||5 Years/100,000 Miles|
|Maintenance||2 Years/24,000 Miles|
Ford Focus -- The Focus is the Cruze's most direct competitor. Both vehicles represent a turnaround for their respective carmakers. The Focus has slightly better handling and offers more youthful styling.
Hyundai Elantra -- The Elantra beats the Cruze with a more stylish exterior and a richer equipment list, but the Cruze is more fun to drive.
Honda Civic -- The Civic and the Cruze are comparable in fuel economy and road manners, but the Cruze actually feels more solid inside and out. Believe it or not, the Chevy beats the Honda in the refinement test.