The 2012 Chevy Cruze gets more features, more mpg
The 2012 Chevrolet Cruze models that are powered by the 1.4L turbocharged engine mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission will benefit from a revised gear ratio setup, which allows for a 5% in highway fuel economy. This means that for the 2012 Chevy Cruze 1LT, 2LT, and LTZ there will be roughly a 2 miles per gallon gain across the lineup. This increase allows these Cruze models to reach 38 mpg and with their 15.6 gallon fuel tank – these models are capable of going almost 600 miles on a single tank of gas.
The range topping 2012 Cruze Eco equipped with the automatic transmission also receives the 2mph increase, climbing from 37 to 39mpg. The 2012 Cruze Eco models fitted with the manual transmission option do not receive an increase in fuel economy but with 42mpg, it is still the most fuel efficient non-hybrid vehicle in the class – 7mpg better than the Toyota Corolla, 8mpg better than the Nissan Sentra, 2mpg better than the Hyundai Elantra, 2mpg better than the new Ford Focus, and 1mpg better than the Honda Civic. The 2012 Chevy Cruze is also less expensive than some of those less efficient models (like the 2012 Honda Civic HF).
The only trimline in the 2012 Chevy Cruze lineup that does not get an improvement in fuel economy is the entry-level Cruze LS which is powered by the 1.8L 4-cylinder and a 6-speed manual transmission; but those models still yield 36mpg on the highway and 26 around town.
While 2012 Chevy Cruze sedans powered by the 1.4L turbocharged engine and 6-speed automatic transmission receive a jump in fuel economy, GM has made the 6-speed manual transmission standard equipment on 1LT and 2LT models. For the 2011 model year, the manual transmission was standard on the 1.8L-powered LS models but it was not available on the 1LT, 2LT or LTZ models. GM doesn’t mention whether the stick-shift transmission will be available on the LTZ but it will still come standard on the 2012 Cruze Eco. The 6-speed manual transmission in the Cruze Eco offers an increase of 5mpg over the 2011 models equipped with the automatic transmission so it will be interested to see what kind of fuel economy improvements the 1LT and 2LT see with the new standard manual transmission.
Finally, in addition to the improvement in fuel economy, the 2012 Chevy Cruze 1LT and Eco models will receive some new standard goodies, including Bluetooth phone connectivity, a USB port, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, cruise control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and a leather-wrapped shift knob. These features were offered for the 2011 Cruze 1LT and Eco models but they were a part of the $525 Connectivity Plus Cruise package. After seeing that this package was ordered by 90% of 2011 Cruze buyers, GM has opted to make those popular features standard for 2012.