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The 2012 Chevy Cruze gets more features, more mpg

The Chevrolet Cruze has quickly become one of General Motors’ bestselling models but when the 2012 Cruze models start hitting showrooms, they will offer more standard features and improved fuel economy over the current (2011) models.


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.

Other standard and new equipment for the 2012 Chevrolet Cruze:
Standard Equipment:
Remote keyless entry
Air conditioning
Audio system with AM/FM/CD and MP3 playback
SiriusXM Satellite Radio with three-month trial service
Driver information center with average and instant fuel economy feedback, tire pressure readout, oil life remaining and more
Rear defogger
Power windows
Fuel-saving rack mounted electric power steering.

New additions to the 2012 Cruze:
Keyless entry and keyless start available on 2LT and standard on LTZ
Touch screen navigation system with 7" color display available on Eco, 2LT and LTZ
16-inch five-spoke machined-face alloy wheels are standard on 1LT
17-inch five-spoke alloy wheels with four-wheel disc brakes are standard on 2LT
Compact spare tire and wheel standard on all models except Eco with manual transmission and 1FL (fleet)
Fog lamps are standard on LTZ
Exterior colors: Blue Granite Metallic, Blue Topaz Metallic and Victory Red (with RS appearance package only)

Click here for a review of the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze 1LT.

Other GM News:
The 2012 Corvette to see price increases
The 2012 ZR1 smashes the Viper ACR’s ‘Ring record – with video
Information on the 2012 Chevrolet Corvette leaked online
Introducing the 2012 Chevrolet Centennial Edition Corvette
Corvette Z06 and ZR1 get performance upgrades for 2012, 'Vette fans get first look this weekend
Win a 2012 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Convertible from GM


Anonymous (not verified)    August 5, 2011 - 7:12AM

In reply to by Author Frank (not verified)

This is an excellent and well priced car. I test drove it and found the chasis exceptional but wish they would add the 2.4 L engine for a reasonable price. For my 6'1" frame I found with the seats all the way back the legroom was the best I have seen in almost all cars but then I had to reach way to far for the steering wheel. I fould when I moved the seats foreward to make my arms comfortable their was not enough legroom. A much longer telescoping wheel would taken care of this for me and I could have lived with a long reach for other controls. I also thought the seats should be wider for my 220 lbs. If I did not have these issues this car would be at the top of my list. I am hoping the new sonic will have enough legroom without having to stretch for the steering wheel.

Dan (not verified)    June 29, 2011 - 11:49AM

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Typical comment made by someone ignorant of the details... the steering wheel was an isolated incident caused by human error. This only affected one automobile and there was a very responsible national recall performed.

Chevrolet has made a decent car and so many people will not even give them a chance. I test drove the car and found it to be much better quality than the competition. I will be waiting until the 2012 models to purchase one due to the availability of the manual transmission.

All I can say is drive before you belittle something.


Anonymous (not verified)    June 29, 2011 - 6:30PM

In reply to by Dan (not verified)

ignorant of details first it was the steering wheels then the steering column then the shift linkage. i guess next it will be the ford copied ecoboost or something else they copy from some other manufacturer.and its my tax dollars i can belittle if i want.

Anonymous (not verified)    July 14, 2011 - 2:13PM

I just ordered one yesterday. The Eco doesnt have the keyless entry and push start does it? from what I have read its only the LTZ. Can anyone clarify?

Anonymous (not verified)    July 16, 2011 - 9:35AM

maybe they can take some of your money and pay back some bailout money since you are supporting the tax payer robbing rich gm boneheads.

B (not verified)    August 1, 2011 - 2:10PM

None of the cars with manual transmissions will have remote start. Good idea since you are supposed to park it in 1st gear with the parking brake on!

Anonymous (not verified)    August 9, 2011 - 4:31PM

I always thought it was slightly odd that the Cruze didn't come standard with cruise control. For a car that was marketed as having many standard features, the one standard feature it left out was the most iconic to its name.

Anonymous (not verified)    August 23, 2011 - 3:40PM

I just bought my 2012 Chevry Cruze Saturday 8-20-11 love it so far, its a zippy little car. plenty of features. I only got the LS, but its pretty loaded with options.

Anonymous (not verified)    August 26, 2011 - 3:12AM

Thought i was a forever toyota fan... never cared for chevys but i bought the 2012 cruze LT today... you simply cant beat it for price and value :)

Anonymous (not verified)    September 2, 2011 - 10:33PM

2012's do not have cruise control as standard, at least on the LS and 1LT models. You have to add an optional package to get it.

Anonymous (not verified)    September 19, 2011 - 8:59PM

got a 2012 eco on saturday,great power and ride drove it 130 miles at 71 MPH and got 45.2 MPG,love it

Anonymous (not verified)    October 4, 2011 - 8:17PM

Just bought my wife the 2012house chevy cruze. Love the car great mpgs got the ls model so does not have cruise but it makes up for it in other places. Best car we have ever had and can't beat the price either. And if you don't like chevy then stay off this Damn page its that simple.

Bill - New York (not verified)    October 24, 2011 - 6:01PM

Just bought a 2012 Chevy Cruze LS with Connectivity Package and Fog Lights. This car has standard features that I have never had on any car I've owned. But it doesn't have cruise control and according to my dealer and everything I read on the web is not available from the factory or as a dealer installed option. I called Chevrolet and after four attempts got to someone who basically told me "that's that way it is" and the only way to get cruise control, an option normally priced at around $250.00, is to but a higher trim level like a 1LT which adds $1,755 to the base price of the car as priced with a 6-speed automatic transmission in both. I love this car, but Chevrolet definitely made a huge mistake in not offering even as an option it at the LS trim level and thinking that all buyers would just pay an extra $1,755 to be able to add cruise control to the connectivity package for $250.00. So I guess even after bankrupsey and a goverment bail-out, GM still doesn't completely "Get it" I will definitely caution others I talk with about the Chevy Cruze and make them aware of this "Fo-pa" that GM made.

If anyone can correct my assertions and/or tell me a way to add "Factory" cruise control to my 2012 Chevy Cruise, I am all ears.

Anonymous (not verified)    March 10, 2012 - 11:34AM

In reply to by Bill - New York (not verified)

you are right i am looking to buy a 2012 cruze ls but no cruise control dealer said it can be installed, but they can't cause GM blocked it. 2011 all you had to do was switch steering wheels if you had the connectivity package. I guess GM didn't like that

Liz (not verified)    April 14, 2012 - 2:38PM

In reply to by Bill - New York (not verified)

I just bought a 2012 LS Chevy Cruze. The main thing I wanted and said to my salesperson over and over and over, was that it HAD to have cruise control. They went over the knobs, bells and whistles with me and they told me the SET/CLR button was the cruise control. All I can find that button does is to reset the timer (times your drive from destination A to B). I have told them I'm bringing the car back and they can show me where the cruise is ~ since I can't find it. The more I am reading, the more I know I've been hosed. Otherwise, I love my car but I truly need a cruise control as I drive highway (an hour each way) to work.