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Is the Chevrolet Cruze the Best Option in the Used Compact Car Market?

If you’re looking for a used compact car in Kitchener, Waterloo or Cambridge, you may have already researched the Chevrolet Cruze. The latest Chevrolet Cruze generation is still quite fresh, the older generation, even if barely used, can be bought with a nice discount. As the Cruze is quite well-acclaimed, it is a great option for intrigued used compact car buyers in Canada.
Throughout the first iteration, the Cruze received a few facelifts, but most are styling refresh, so the car remained largely identical throughout its life. Midlife 2012 Chevrolet Cruze LTs can be found for around $9,000, while the last of the first-generation batch (2016 used Cruze models) in LT trim should command around $15,000.
The Chevrolet Cruze had been commended for its handsome, dynamic styling direction that’ll still blend in well among the crowd of the best used compact cars in Canada. Open the door, and you’ll find a similar design language to the exterior, down-to-earth sensibility. Deft utilization of a two-tone design lifts up the look, but it’s not really pretending to be premium with hard plastics being the prominent choice of material here.
While the mid-range trim is technically the LT, it’s actually segregated into two different tiers, the 1LT and 2LT. The 1LT could opt for the Technology Package which includes the 7″ Chevrolet MyLink infotainment touchscreen system. The higher end 2LT trim gets it as standard. It’s intuitive to navigate, with a simple, user-friendly interface. It also packs Bluetooth and voice command.
The Cruze does feature some rather narrow, quite heavily bolstered seats that aren’t too welcoming for portly drivers and passengers. It is comfortable and very supportive though with generous adjustability and solid leg and headroom. You’ll find the small item storage to be decent, with 2 front cup holders, modest door pockets with bottle holders, and a suitably sized glovebox. The centre console is quite slender to improve front passenger room.
Rear passenger space is quite average, although the seats have a pretty short cushion. You can pull the middle armrest down to find two cup holders. The rear trunk is actually impressive at 425-litres. While the diesel variant forfeits more cargo room, it’s still cavernous at 376-litres. Particularly praiseworthy is the low load lip. The rear seats can be folded to trade for even more room.
You’ll find the driving experience of the used Cruze to be positive. It had a rather eclectic range of powertrain options available, with the 1.4-litre Ecotec inline-4 being one of the more prevalent choices. It’s plenty adequate for town driving, and it’ll hold up on the highways, although it won’t startle you with brute firepower, it can return solid economy. The other intriguing choice would be the 2.0-litre turbodiesel inline-4. It’s very torquey and surprisingly quick in a used compact car like the Chevy Cruze while boasting excellent efficiency, if less refined.
You can either find a 5-speed manual, 6-speed manual, or 6-speed automatic transmissions. The manuals aren’t particularly noteworthy, but it’s easy to work with. The automatics are tuned for economy, thus they shift smooth and gradual, but not too responsive. Regardless, the Cruze is an assertive driver, it’s well composed around corners and generally comfortable throughout. On the highways, a used Chevy Cruze is quite refined with a quiet cabin, and the transmissions do a good job at keeping the engines hushed.
Standard equipment is quite good, although you’ll want the LT trims at least to be comparable to the latest generation’s standard kit. It comes with the 1.4-litre turbocharged engine, 16″ alloys, cruise control, 6-speaker sound system and Bluetooth. The Technology Pack or 2LT may be worth the cost for Chevrolet’s 7″ MyLink touchscreen infotainment system. The 2LT will also include 17″ alloys, sport-tuned suspension, leather upholstery heated front seats and the Driver Convenience Package that comprises of a 6-way power adjustable driver seat, heated mirrors and auto-dimming rearview mirror.
If you frequently travel long journeys, the diesel variant actually comes as a higher-end trim comparable to the 2LT, but with low-resistance tyres, aerodynamic enhancements and lightweight 17″ alloys. The range-topping LTZ comes with everything on the 2LT, but with additional standard keyless ignition and entry, better interior trim, 18″ alloys and automatic climate control.
There’s a lot of choice in terms of compact nowadays, but the older used Chevrolet Cruze stands as an excellent deal, being generally well-behaved throughout with a big trunk, likeable styling, and a pragmatic cabin. If you’re interested in one, feel free to come on down to Garston Motors, where we have quite a few variants lined up.

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