Are Chevy Cruze Good Cars?

Making the decision to get a car is one of the big ones, but what is more important is choosing the right car to get. It is at this point that one finds themselves asking, are Chevy Cruzes good cars? If you’re in this situation, here is what current owners say about its longevity and reliability.

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The Chevy Cruze is a good car. It is well-regarded for its combination of affordability, efficiency, and features. Its continuous improvements across its two generations enhance its overall quality and driving experience.

The reliability of the Chevy Cruze varies by model year, but it has a competitive rating overall. Its best models are those from 2015 to 2019, while various issues such as transmission failures and engine problems make the 2011 to 2015 model years less desirable.

Regular maintenance and proper care are essential for prolonging the lifespan of a Chevy Cruze.

Are Chevy Cruze Cars Reliable?

In terms of reliability, the Chevrolet Cruze competes well with its counterparts. It has:

  • 4 out of 5 stars reliability rating from
  • J.D. Power Quality & Reliability rating of 84 out of 100 for specific recent models like the 2019 Chevrolet Cruze
  • RepairPal reliability rating of 4.0 out of 5.0

However, not all Cruze car models are created equal. The 2015 Chevrolet Cruze saw a marked improvement with an 82/100 J.D. Power reliability score, and the 2016 and 2017 redesigns further increased to an 88/100 score. Earlier versions, like the 2011–2014 models, received lower FIXD reliability scores ranging from 3 to 5 out of 10.

What Is Chevy Cruze Mileage? 

The Chevy Cruze vehicle can last up to 250,000 miles with proper maintenance, with an expected annual drive of around 15,000 miles. However, Cruze car owners’ opinions on longevity are divided, with 19% believing their vehicles will reach 200,000 miles, whereas 33% disagree. 

In terms of reliability, the Chevy Cruze has shown improvement over the years, but certain model years fall behind when compared to cars like the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla.

What Is Chevy Cruze Fuel Efficiency?

The fuel efficiency of the Chevy Cruze depends on the model year, engine type, driving conditions, and transmission. The 2019 Chevrolet Cruze, with its 1.4-liter turbocharged engine and six-speed automatic transmission, has an EPA-estimated fuel economy of 32 mpg, with 28 miles per gallon in the city and 32 miles per gallon on the highway. 

The 2020 Chevy Cruze also has the same engine and transmission features as the 2019 model, but it has better fuel efficiency ratings. It can achieve 32 mpg, with 28 miles per gallon in the city and 38 miles per gallon on the highway. 

These fuel efficiency estimates are based on factors such as driving habits, vehicle maintenance, and road conditions.

What Is Chevy Cruze Maintenance Cost?

The average annual repair and maintenance cost for the Chevy Cruze is generally estimated at $545. However, this figure can vary depending on the model year. Maintenance costs, both scheduled and unscheduled, can significantly affect the overall cost of ownership. 

For instance, the maintenance cost of the 2015 Chevrolet Cruze model rises to an average of $839 annually. On average, the annual costs for the 2011–2014 Chevrolet Cruze models range from $652 to $1,094.

The frequency of unscheduled repairs also factors into the cost of ownership. The Chevy Cruze typically requires unscheduled repairs about 0.4 times per year, which is less frequent compared to the average for compact cars. However, certain models exhibit higher frequencies of significant repairs. 

For example, the 2011–2014 Chevrolet Cruze models have a 66%–68% likelihood of requiring a $500+ repair, while the newer 2017–2019 models face a 71%–100% chance of such costly repairs.

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Concerns for 2011-2014 Chevrolet Cruze models include high annual repair expenses, elevated chances of engine issues requiring significant outlays, and an increased likelihood of costly transmission repairs.

What Are Chevy Cruze’s Best Years?

The best model years for the Chevrolet Cruze in terms of reliability are 2015 to 2019. The 2015 Chevy Cruze has fewer owner complaints and recalls, offers excellent fuel economy, and has no major issues reported. It is notably recommended for its good fuel economy and significantly fewer complaints and recalls compared to other years. 

The FIXD Reliability Scores, which provide a quantifiable measure of reliability, are 7 for the 2017 Chevy Cruze, 8 for the 2018 model, and 9 for the 2019 model, indicating an upward trend in reliability across these years. The 2018 Chevy Cruze is a solid pick with a 4.44 rating, earning a 7.5/10 expert rating from Edmunds and an 84/100 consumer score from J.D. Power for reliability

For those interested in newer tech and safety features, the 2017 and 2018 models offer a solid blend. The 2017 model has some minor issues, while the 2018 model year shines in reliability. The 2019 Chevy Cruze is an excellent choice as a used compact car due to its modern infotainment, spacious seating, and a high 87/100 reliability score from J.D. Power.

What Are Chevy Cruze Model Years To Avoid?

The Chevy Cruze model years to avoid are 2011 through 2015, with each of these models having prevalent transmission failure and engine problems. 

The following are the worst Chevy Cruze years according to reviews; 

  • 2011 through 2015, with each of these models having prevalent transmission failures and engine problems.
  • The 2012 Chevy Cruze, in particular, is regarded as the worst model year. It is afflicted with transmission failure, coolant leaks, and faulty fuel tank welds.
  • The 2014 Cruze has key issues that include transmission complications, water pump failure, and overheating problems.
  • The 2016 Cruze has a low-reliability rating due to engine, cooling system, and electrical troubles.

The 2011 and 2012 Chevy Cruze models are avoided due to their significant faults, which are costly to repair and have led to a high volume of complaints and legal action. Knowing this information will save you from ending up with a lemon and help you make an informed decision when purchasing a used Chevy Cruze.

What Are Common Chevy Cruze Problems?

Similar to any vehicle, the Chevy Cruze can encounter a variety of issues. Chevy Cruze owners have reported issues ranging from the steering system to engine troubles. However, with the right knowledge and tools, many of these issues can be diagnosed and remedied.

The following are some common Chevy Cruze problems that have been reported by owners:

1. Engine and Transmission Troubles

Engine and transmission troubles are a common issue in many vehicles, and the Chevy Cruze is no exception. The 2018 Chevy Cruze model has a 28% chance of expensive engine repairs. Frequent diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) affecting the 2011–2014 Cruze models include:

  • P0171
  • P1101
  • P0420
  • P0299

These codes serve as key indicators for engine issues. Transmission issues can range from harsh shifting to complete failure. Some common transmission issues in Chevy Cruze car models between 2011 and 2016 include:

  • Harsh shifting, which could be related to transmission software issues requiring resets or updates
  • Rattling noises and unexpected gear shifts, which could indicate transmission failures
  • Problems with defective transmission solenoids or torque converters

As with any issue, early detection and repair are crucial to prevent further damage and more expensive repairs later.

2. Cooling System Challenges

The cooling system plays a crucial role in maintaining the engine’s temperature and preventing overheating. However, the Cruze vehicles have been known to encounter a few cooling system challenges. 

Water pump failure in a Chevy Cruze can lead to engine overheating and potential damage to the head gasket. It is indicated by signs such as a pool of coolant on the ground, an overheating engine, or a sudden loss of coolant without visible leaks.

3. Turbo Problems

The Chevy Cruze’s turbocharger is designed to provide additional power and improve fuel efficiency. Common issues include turbo lag. There’s a noticeable delay between the time you press the accelerator and the time the turbo provides the extra power, resulting in turbo failure. It can also result in a loss of power and increased fuel consumption.

4. Diesel Problems

Common issues with Chevy Cruze car diesel models include problems with the fuel system, such as clogged fuel filters or faulty fuel injectors, and issues with the engine’s glow plugs. Diesel engines are different from gasoline engines in many ways, and these parts are essential for starting the engine in cold weather.

Despite these common complaints or problems made by Chevy Cruze car owners, the reliability rate of the vehicle remains high. 

Tips For Maintaining Chevy Cruze Cars

Despite the Chevy Cruze’s reputation for reliability, there are measures you can take to extend its lifespan and ensure smooth operation over the years. This includes:

  • Regular oil changes
  • Tire rotations
  • Brake inspections
  • Fluid level checks

By keeping up with these basic maintenance tasks, you can help prevent small issues from turning into major problems down the line.

In addition to regular maintenance, protecting your Cruze’s exterior and interior can also help extend its lifespan. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Regular cleaning can help prevent rust and corrosion
  • Regular waxing can protect your car’s paint from the elements
  • Use appropriate cleaning products to keep the interior looking new and prevent damage to the upholstery and other surfaces

By taking these steps, you can help ensure that your Chevy Cruze continues to look and run great for many years to come.

Is A Chevy Cruze Good On Gas?

Yes, the Chevy Cruze is good on gas, with manual models rated at 28 mpg city, 39 mpg highway, and 32 mpg combined. Consumer Reports’ data also shows similar real-world efficiency.

Is A Chevy Cruze A Good Commuter Car?

Yes, the Chevy Cruze is a good commuter car due to its comfortable interior, practical transportation, and advanced safety features. It can provide a smooth and safe driving experience for daily commutes.

Are Dodge Challengers Comparable to Chevy Cruzes in Terms of Performance and Practicality?

While Dodge Challengers are renowned for their powerful engines and muscle car heritage, Chevy Cruzes are more focused on practicality and fuel efficiency. Challengers offer exhilarating performance and a classic American muscle car experience, whereas Cruzes prioritize comfort, reliability, and affordability. Drivers seeking high-performance vehicles may lean towards Challengers, while those prioritizing fuel economy and everyday usability may prefer Cruzes.

How Does the Reliability of Chevy Cruzes Compare to Dodge Challengers and Acuras?

Chevy Cruzes, Dodge Challengers, and Acuras each have their own reliability profiles. Cruzes are known for their solid reliability and affordable maintenance costs, making them popular choices among budget-conscious buyers. Dodge Challengers offer robust performance but may have higher maintenance costs and potential reliability issues compared to Cruzes. Acuras, on the other hand, are often associated with reliability and luxury but may come at a higher price point. Prospective buyers should consider factors such as maintenance history, model year, and intended use when evaluating the reliability of these vehicles.

Why Was The Chevy Cruze Discontinued?

The Chevy Cruze was discontinued due to a market shift towards SUVs and decreasing sales. As a result, General Motors decided to focus on introducing more electric models, like the Bolt EV, instead of traditional gas-powered vehicles.

Is Chevy Cruze A Reliable Car?

Yes, the 2019 Chevy Cruze is considered reliable. J.D. Power’s Quality & Reliability score of 87 out of 100 makes it their top-rated compact car for that year.

What Are Some Common Problems With The Chevy Cruze?

The Chevy Cruze commonly experiences issues such as harsh shifting, engine stalling, cracked pistons, transmission failures, coolant leaks, and electrical system failures. These are important points to consider before purchasing a Chevy Cruze.


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