It’s unlikely the Cruze will ever unseat the full-size Silverado as General Motors’ best-selling model, but it does come fairly close. In fact, thus far in 2012, the Cruze is GM’s second-best-selling model, falling behind the Silverado but coming in ahead of both the GMC Sierra and the Chevrolet Equinox.
It doesn’t hurt its popularity that virtually every Cruze variant achieves an EPA highway rating that’s well over the 30-mpg mark. The base 1.8-liter I-4 is the thirstiest of the Cruze’s three basic forms – with a six-speed manual, it returns a 25/36 mpg rating; with a six-speed automatic, those figures drop slightly to 22/35 mpg. Pair the optional 1.4-liter turbocharged I-4 with either transmission, and the Cruze is rated at 26/38 mpg.
For the ultimate fuel economy bump, the Cruze Eco pairs the 1.4-liter with a number of subtle aero tweaks, weight reductions, and tire compound changes – all designed to squeeze every last possible mile from a gallon of gasoline. As such, manual Cruze Ecos are rated at 28/42 mpg city/highway, while automatic cars are rated at 26/39.