6 Speed Test Drives, Car Reviews

6 SPEED TEST DRIVE: 2012 Chevrolet Cruze

6 things you need to know about the 2012 Chevrolet Cruze

1. Rolling on Dubs.  Even though the Chevrolet Cruze has an entry-level sticker price, it comes with a wide variety of features usually seen in high-end luxury vehicles.  And, even better, most of them are standard.  Our faves: Heated, power-adjusting seats with leather trim and a remote start function to get your car revved before you get in.

2. Touch me, Tease me.  The Cruze offers an optional touch screen display, which comes in handy when you can’t figure out which hard button to press on the dash.  Just tap the screen to get what you need.  This optional feature should be considered mandatory.

3. You’ve Been Tagged.  The Cruze offers a pretty nifty “social media” feature. Take some pictures with your camera, pop the SD card into a card reader, plug the reader into the jack beneath the armrest and, viola, your pictures will show up on the touch screen display for everyone in the car to enjoy.

4. Have Butler, Will Travel.  Since Chevrolet is a part of General Motors, the vehicle comes with OnStar, a virtual in-car concierge that can help you with everything from directions to making reservations at a local restaurant.  Once you’ve had (and used) OnStar, it’s very hard to live without it.

5. Southern Hospitality.  This is probably not unique to the Chevrolet Cruze, but the Cruze is the first car we’ve test driven with a polite navigation system.  Whenever the voice prompts you to turn, it always says “please” first.  Course, if you’re about to miss your turn, this deferential treatment may get on your nerves, but we kind of liked having a car with manners.

6. Can You Hear Me Now?  We can’t be 100% sure if it was our phone or the system that caused the problem, but we did have consistent difficulty connecting the cell phone to the car via Bluetooth.  After pairing the two once, we still had to manually reconnect them every time we got in the car, which is unusual for a Bluetooth pairing.

Advertised MPG: 30
MPG during test drive: 26

Number of times we were forced to consult the car’s users manual: 3.  A fairly high number for an affordable car.

Base price: $20K
Price, as tested: $24K

More info: chevrolet.com/cruze 

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