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8.3

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.9
Performance: 8.3
Interior: 8.4
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.2
Safety: 9.2
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2013 Chevrolet Cruze Review

The 2013 Chevy Cruze ranks in the top half of its class. It’s enjoyable to drive, sports a posh interior, and rates highly for crash safety. However, an unrefined automatic transmission keeps it from ranking higher.

Pros & Cons

  • High-quality interior
  • Refined engine options
  • Enjoyable ride and handling
  • Automatic transmission slow to downshift

2013 Chevrolet Cruze Overview

Is the 2013 Chevrolet Cruze a Good Used Car?

The 2013 Cruze is a fine option among used compact cars. It impresses with a cushioned ride and nimble handling. Its engines are refined, especially the efficient four-cylinder turbo. The sedan boasts quality materials and a fairly comfy interior. The Cruze also rates well for crash safety and offers helpful features like available blind spot monitoring. The Cruze’s mix of space, family-friendly features, and positive automotive reviews made it the winner of our 2013 Best Compact Car for Families award.

Why You Can Trust Us

We’ve analyzed 66 Chevy Cruze reviews, as well as hard data points like reliability scores and cost of ownership estimates, to help you make the best car-buying decision possible.

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking and reviewing vehicles since 2007, and our team has decades of experience in the auto industry. Though we’re passionate about cars, we’re even more committed to providing helpful consumer advice. To maintain objectivity, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies.

How Much Is the 2013 Chevrolet Cruze?

You can expect to pay between $7,000 and $12,600 for a used 2013 Cruze. These figures are based on listings for the 2013 Chevy Cruze on our site. The average price is $9,500. Prices vary depending on the vehicle's condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2013 Chevrolet Cruze Cost to Own?

The Cruze’s five-year costs for gas, insurance, repairs, and maintenance are projected to be $24,800 – or about $4,950 per year. That’s slightly higher than average for a compact car.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Cruze?

The 2013 Cruze is a pleasant sedan and its low price point makes it an attractive buy. Starting at $17,995, the 2019 Chevy Cruze is an even better car, but you’ll have to weigh its added features and refinement against its higher price. Chevrolet offers the 2019 Cruze in both sedan and hatchback body styles, whereas the 2013 Cruze is available only as a sedan. The new Cruze supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and it offers more safety features like forward collision warning. Its interior has a more upscale look and feel, and it’s available with a highly fuel-efficient diesel engine that nets up to 31 mpg in the city and 48 mpg on the highway.

Read about the new Chevrolet Cruze »

You aren’t likely to find many new cars that cost less than a used 2013 Cruze. There are a few good options if you can have a little room in your budget. Starting at just $13,900, the 2018 Kia Rio is fun to drive, and its interior looks fantastic. The 2018 Chevy Sonic starts at $15,295 and it packs a ton of great standard features.

See the Best New Car Deals »

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Which Model Year of the Chevrolet Cruze Is Best?

The first-generation of the Chevy Cruze spans the 2011 through 2015 model years. The best used-car options from this generation are the later 2013 to 2015 models. These vehicles have a better track record of reliability, and they offer more advanced features like blind spot monitoring. Notably, a diesel engine was available for the 2014 and 2015 models, but this variant doesn’t provide significant fuel savings compared to the more common Cruze Eco from this generation. Consider skipping the diesel.

Compare the 2012, 2013, and 2014 Cruze »

How Reliable Is the 2013 Chevrolet Cruze?

J.D. Power gives the 2013 Cruze a reliability rating of three out of five, which is about average.

Read more about Cruze reliability »

2013 Chevrolet Cruze Recalls

The 2013 Cruze is affected by four recalls. Chevrolet is recalling models due to defects with the car’s ignition switch, driver-side airbag inflator, and right axle shaft. Models equipped with an engine block heater – a dealer add-on feature – are also being recalled. Make sure these recalls have been addressed before buying a used Chevy Cruze.

See more information on Chevrolet Cruze safety recalls »

Which Used Chevrolet Cruze Model Is Right for Me?

The 2013 Cruze is available in five trim levels: LS, 1LT, Eco, 2LT, and LTZ. The base model Cruze LS packs a lot of standard features, so it’s a great place to start if you’re looking to save money without skimping on technology. It comes equipped with Bluetooth connectivity, a USB port, OnStar telematics, satellite radio, a CD player, six speakers, remote keyless entry, power windows and doors, air conditioning, and cloth seats.

The Cruze 1LT trim adds a punchier turbocharged engine, cruise control, alloy wheels, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. The Cruze Eco trim adds a 7-inch touch screen, and it yields higher fuel economy. The 2LT trim adds a sport-tuned suspension, leather seats, and heated front seats. Lastly, the high-end Cruze LTZ trim adds a rearview camera, proximity keyless entry, push-button start, remote start, and automatic climate control.

Available features include parking sensors, blind spot monitoring, a navigation system, a sunroof, and a nine-speaker stereo.

See 2013 Chevrolet Cruze trims and specs »

Certified Pre-Owned Chevrolet Cruze Warranty

Chevy offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles that are less than six model years old. For its certified pre-owned vehicles, Chevy extends the original new-car powertrain warranty to six years or 100,000 miles and provides a one-year/12,000-mile bumper-to-bumper limited warranty. Chevrolet CPO vehicles must pass a 172-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing and roadside assistance may be available, so read Chevy’s warranty page carefully. This is one of the more comprehensive certified pre-owned programs among non-luxury automakers, according to our analysis.

See the best CPO programs »

Read about the Chevy certified pre-owned program »

How Safe Is the Cruze?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2013 Chevy Cruze a perfect five-star rating for overall, front, and side impact crash safety. The car received four out of five stars for rollover safety. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the Cruze a 2013 Top Safety Pick. The sedan received the second-lowest rating of Marginal for the small overlap front test, but a top rating of Good in all other areas tested. The Cruze is available with rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert.

See Cruze safety scores »

2013 Chevrolet Cruze Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2013 Chevrolet Cruze or 2013 Honda Civic?

The 2013 Honda Civic is a great pick. The Civic tops the Cruze with even nicer cabin materials. It’s available in sedan and coupe body styles, and its Si variant is one of the best-driving cars in this class. The Honda also has a higher reliability rating. There are two drawbacks, however. The Civic’s infotainment system is rather confusing, and used models tend to be more expensive. Test drive both of these cars to see which you prefer.

Which Is Better: 2013 Chevrolet Cruze or 2013 Toyota Corolla?

The 2013 Toyota Corolla is another popular option. The Corolla has an excellent reputation for reliability, and its soft suspension yields a very comfortable ride. It falls far short of the Cruze in most other areas though. It has a drab interior, lackluster acceleration, and below-average fuel economy. It also lacks some of the convenience features that you’ll find in the Cruze, such as a rearview camera. Both are fine used cars, but the Cruze is the better overall vehicle.

Which Is Better: 2013 Chevrolet Cruze or 2013 Ford Focus?

The 2013 Ford Focus isn’t a good option. Despite its agile handling, high fuel economy, and fun-to-drive ST variant, the Focus disappoints with an unrefined transmission and poor reliability. Stick with the Chevy.

Compare the Cruze, Civic, and Corolla »

2013 Cruze Performance

How Does the 2013 Chevrolet Cruze Drive?

The 2013 Cruze has two engine options. A 1.8-liter four-cylinder with 138 horsepower come in the LS trim only. A turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder with 138 horsepower or the LT, Eco, and LTZ trims. A six-speed manual transmission and front-wheel drive are standard; a six-speed automatic transmission is available. Both engines feel refined and hustle the Cruze around town with adequate pizazz, but the turbo engine provides better merging and passing power at highway speeds. The Cruze’s manual transmission is slick and easy to shift. The automatic transmission changes gears smoothly, though it’s occasionally slow to downshift when more power is needed.

The Cruze may be an economy car, but it drives with the confidence of a larger sedan. It feels stable and well-connected when rounding sharp turns. The suspension softens the impact of road bumps and dips with poise. The Cruze’s power steering is light and responsive, and the brakes bring the car to a stop assuredly. Notably, the Cruze 2LT and LTZ trims have larger wheels and a slightly stiffer ride, but it’s not uncomfortable.

Does the 2013 Chevrolet Cruze Get Good Gas Mileage?

The Cruze’s fuel economy varies depending on trim level. The Cruze Eco gets an efficient 28 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway when paired with its manual transmission (26/37 mpg city/highway, automatic). The LT and LTZ models return up to 26/37 mpg (26/36 mpg, automatic). The Cruze LS yields a decent 25/35 mpg, or 22/34 mpg with the automatic.

Read more about Cruze performance »

2013 Cruze Interior

How Many People Does the 2013 Cruze Seat?

The Cruze is a four-door sedan that seats five people. The front seats are quite spacious, and the driving position is relaxed. The one drawback is that the front seat cushions are skinny, which can be bothersome for some drivers and passengers on long trips. The rear seats offer generous room for kids and younger teens, but like many competitors in this segment, its legroom may not be enough for all adults. Cloth seats are standard; leather upholstery and heated front seats are available.

The Cruze’s interior has an upscale appearance and a high-quality look and feel. The cabin remains especially quiet at higher speeds.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2013 Chevrolet Cruze?

The Cruze has two full sets of LATCH connectors for securing child car seats.

2013 Chevrolet Cruze Features

The 2013 Cruze comes standard with a lot of tech features. These include Bluetooth hands-free calling, OnStar telematics (roadside assistance), a USB port, a CD player, satellite radio, and keyless entry. Available features include a 7-inch touch screen, a rearview camera, a Pioneer stereo, and a navigation system.

The Cruze’s audio and infotainment controls take some time to get used to. To manage these functions, you use a number of dashboard buttons and – if equipped – the available touch screen. The climate controls are very simple to use.

See 2013 Chevrolet Cruze specs »

Read more about Cruze interior »

2013 Chevrolet Cruze Dimensions

Chevrolet Cruze Cargo Space

The Cruze has 15.4 cubic feet of trunk space. That’s generous for a sedan, but hatchback alternatives like the 2013 Hyundai Elantra GT and 2013 Volkswagen Golf offer more than 45 cubic feet of cargo space. The Cruze’s rear seats can fold to accommodate longer items.

2013 Cruze Length and Weight

The Cruze is 15.1 feet long, and its curb weight ranges between 3,011 and 3,155 pounds.

Where Was the 2013 Chevrolet Cruze Built?

Chevrolet built the 2013 Cruze in Ohio.

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