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The Chevrolet Cruze debuted in the 2011 model year as the replacement for the outgoing Cobalt, making this Chevy’s second attempt to replace the legendary Cavalier. The Cruze is actually a Daewoo Lacetti bearing a Chevy bowtie, so it has a tendency to put customers off, as Daewoo never caught on in the U.S.
For the 2013 model year, the Chevy Cruze carries over from the 2012 model year, but there was a little shuffling of standard features, a few new optional packages were added and three new colors – Cyber Gray Metallic, Champagne Silver Metallic and Atlantis Blue Metallic – were added. The 2013 Cruze comes in a dizzying nine trim levels – LS Manual, LS Auto, 1LT Manual, 1LT Auto, ECO Manual, ECO Auto, 2LT Manual, 2LT Auto and LTZ Auto – but they all had distinct additions that made them easy to distinguish from one another.
The 1LT Auto trim level eliminates the manual transmission on the 1LT Manual and replaces it with a six-speed automatic transmission. On the outside, the 1LT Manual and 1LT Auto are completely identical, as the 1LT Auto features the same 5-spoke alloy wheels, color-coded side-view mirrors and chrome beltline moldings. Inside the cabin, sans the automatic shifter, the 1LT Auto is identical to the 1LT Manual trim level, featuring the same leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, cruise control, premium cloth seating, and auxiliary glove box as the 1LT Manual trim level.
The 1LT Manual starts things off by swapping out the 1.8-liter engine for a turbocharged 1.4-liter engine that features 138 horsepower and connects to a six-speed manual transmission. This engine nets you an additional 2 mpg highway over the base 1.8-liter. On the outside, the 1LT Manual carries over the LS Manuals trimmings, but adds in body-colored side-view mirrors for added smoothness, and chrome beltline moldings and 16-inch alloy wheels for added style. On the inside, the –LT adds in a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob for added styling, cruise control, and an auxiliary glove box for some extra convenience.
Building atop the 1LT Automatic trim level is the 2LT Auto trim level. On the outside, the 2LT Auto trim level adds in 17-inch wheels for a sportier look, remote vehicle starter for preheating or precooling the car, and 225/509R17 tires for extra stability when cornering. Inside the cabin, the 2LT Auto trim level adds in Chevy’s MyLink AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system with a 7-inch LCD screen and Bluetooth audio streaming, heated Meridian leather seating for additional comfort and six-way power front seats, so it is easy to find the perfect seating position.
The 2LT Manual package takes the basics from the 1LT trim level and builds upon it with premium features. On the outside, the 2LT Manual trim level adds in four-wheel disc brakes for better stopping power and stability, 17-inch alloy wheels for extra styling and 225/50R17 tires for added performance. On the inside, the 2LT Manual trim level includes the Chevy MyLink audio system with a 7-inch LCD screen, AM/FM/CD/MP3 capabilities and Pandora radio, Meridian leather seating for added comfort and a great appearance, six-way power seats for easy adjustments, and Bluetooth audio streaming so you can stream audio from a cellphone over the stereo system.
The ECO Auto trim level takes the basic setup of the 1LT Auto and adds in a slew of fuel-economy-boosting technologies to get it to 39 mpg highway. On the outside, the ECO Auto receives 17-inch lightweight rims with low-rolling-resistance tires, an aero package, ECO Overdrive and a front grille shutter to help increase gas mileage, and a rear spoiler is added in to add a little sportiness to the sedan. Inside the cabin, the ECO Auto carries all of the 1LT’s trimmings, but adds in a Chevrolet MyLink audio system with a 7-inch LCD screen, AM/FM/CD/MP3 capabilities and Bluetooth connectivity for audio streaming.
The ECO Manual trim level carries the same engine as the 1LT Manual, but it has some other details the jump its fuel economy to 42 mpg. On the outside, the ECO Manual adds in a set of lightweight 17-inch wheels with low-rolling-resistance tires, aero panels and a lower grille shutters help increase the ECO Manual’s fuel economy, and a rear spoiler for added styling. Inside the cabin, the ECO Manual trim level adds in the Chevrolet MyLink radio with a 7-inch LCD screen, AM/FM/CD/MP3 capabilities, USB port, Bluetooth connectivity and Pandora radio, and a rear center armrest and Enhanced Acoustic Package delete to help save weight.
The LS Auto is the next step up for the 2013 Cruze and it carries the same engine as the LS Manual, but adds in a six-speed automatic transmission. On the outside, the LS Auto trim level carries all of the LS Manual’s trimmings, including daytime running lamps for additional safety, power exterior mirrors for easy adjustment, color-keyed door handles for extra style and 16-inch steel wheels with silver hubcaps for a lower cost. Inside the cabin, the LS Auto again carries over all of the trimmings found on the LS Manual, including the AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system with six speakers, three-spoke steering wheel with audio controls and premium cloth seating.
The LS Manual is the base trim level on the 2013 Cruze and it starts off with a 1.8-liter engine that produces 138 horsepower and links up to a six-speed manual transmission. On the outside, this trim level includes daytime running lights for added safety, body-colored door handles for added style, 16-inch steel wheel with silver-painted hubcaps to help save some money and intermittent wipers to help on those rainy days. Inside the cabin, the LS Manual includes a six-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system for added entertainment, single-zone A/C and premium cloth seating to keep the occupants comfortable, a three-spoke steering wheel with audio controls for added style and convenience, Bluetooth connectivity for safer calling, and power windows and door locks for convenience.
Powerful engine, excellent mpg and new aesthetics, but rather expensive, a five-speed manual and still looks boring
Relatively peppy, nice looking and very inexpensive, but lacks refinement, loud on the road and cheap interior
Relatively powerful, awesome looking, and excellent price, but tight backseat and options add up quickly
Relatively powerful, decked out as standard and stylish, but not as quick as expected and cramped cabin