Even with almost two dozen models in the compact car segment, the Chevrolet Cruze stands out.
This funky compact car offers comfortable driving, an expansive cargo hold, and a slew of high-tech features.
Let’s find out if durability is part of the Chevrolet Cruze’s many qualities.
Here is the short answer to how long Chevrolet Cruzes last:
The Chevrolet Cruze can reportedly last up to 150,000 to 200,000 miles before major parts will require replacement. Going by the average mileage driven by Americans annually (15,000 miles), the new Chevrolet Cruzes should be good for another 10 to 13 years.
How Many Miles Can You Expect from a Chevrolet Cruze?
The Chevrolet Cruze has features that make it a great compact car—comfort, utility, sporty handling, and so on. And it has enough reliability to ensure you enjoy the qualities on your car for as long as possible.
From what owners say, the average Chevrolet Cruze will last anywhere between 150,000 miles to 200,000 miles. So, it is perfectly reasonable to expect around 200,000 miles from your Chevrolet Cruze.
In fact, you can actually get your Cruze to go past the 200,000-mile mark with preventive maintenance. We know this is possible because we’ve seen reports of high-mileage Cruzes with over 250,000 miles on them.
Most Cruze owners will tell you preventive maintenance is key if you plan to get 200,000 miles out of your Cruze. Regular servicing and inspection will prevent certain problems from snowballing into bigger ones.
This is important, as it is common for minor problems to pop up here and there as your car approaches high miles.
With constant checks and service, such problems will be found and solved quickly before they affect the vehicle’s operation.
How Soon Should You Expect Rust on a Chevrolet Cruze?
No vehicle, irrespective of its engineering, is free from rust. At some point, you will surely get rust on your Chevrolet Cruz; the question is when.
To answer that, we searched for rust-related complaints on various Chevrolet Cruze forums. What we found was that rust can appear on a new Cruze within one to six years of use.
From the complaints we found, the door area on Chevy Cruzes are susceptible to rusting. This seems to result from a design defect that causes the door to trap water, especially in rain.
As water is corrosive to metal, corrosion will set in eventually and you’ll start noticing rust spots in the area.
Owners also report getting rust on other parts of their vehicles, including:
- Rear fenders
- Rocker panels
- Wheel wells
- Nuts and bolts
The consensus among owners is that rustproofing your Cruze’s components will reduce or prevent rusting.
Particularly, spraying the rust-prone areas with oil-based anti-corrosion fluids will slow down rusting.
If you live in a seaside area or a cold region where road salt is used, rustproofing is your only insurance against rust on your Cruze.
Please also read our article about driving the Chevrolet Cruze in snow and winter.
How Long Do Chevrolet Cruze Last Compared to Similar Car Models?
In this section, we compare the Chevrolet Cruze’s longevity to that of similar compact cars:
Chevrolet Cruze vs. Toyota Corolla
Toyota has more of a reputation for reliability than Chevrolet does. Thus, it is not surprising that the Toyota-made Corolla lasts longer than the Chevrolet Cruze.
The best most people get from a new Chevrolet Cruze is 200,000 miles. In contrast, a new Toyota Corolla, serviced consistently, will get about 300,000 miles before breaking down.
Chevrolet Cruze vs. Hyundai Elantra
While the Chevrolet Cruze is a durable model in its own right, its lifespan is shorter than that of the Hyundai Elantra.
With frequent maintenance, a new Hyundai Elantra should get 250,000 miles before it needs major repairs. On the Chevrolet Cruze, the highest stress-free mileage you can get is 200,000 miles.
Chevrolet Cruze vs. Honda Civic
Another model from an automaker noted for reliability, the Honda Civic is as durable as they come.
A new Honda Civic can go for another 300,000 miles with minimal repairs and maintenance. This is an increase of 100,000 miles on the lifespan of the Chevrolet Cruze, which is 200,000 miles.
Chevrolet Cruze vs. Ford Focus
Based on reports from owners, the Ford Focus can last up to 250,000 miles. This is about 50,000 miles more than what you will get on a new Chevrolet Cruze (200k miles).
How Reliable Is a Chevrolet Cruze?
As far as we can tell, the Chevrolet Cruze performs well regarding reliability.
Sure, Chevrolet is rarely the first brand that comes to mind when reliability is mentioned. But the Cruze has proved it is as reliable as models from even automakers noted for reliability.
The 2019 Chevrolet Cruze gets a coveted four out of five rating for reliability from J.D. Power.
Additionally, the Cruze ranked among the top three most reliable cars on J.D. Power’s Vehicle Dependability Study, both in 2019 and 2020.
Similarly, RepairPal gives the Chevrolet Cruze an above average 4.0 reliability rating.
However, it doesn’t rate the model highly in terms of reliability like J.D. Power. RepairPal ranks the Cruze 26th on the 36 compact cars list for reliability.
Make sure to also read our article about how long Chevrolet Impalas last.
The Best and Worst Years for Chevrolet Cruze
While the Chevrolet Cruze is a decently reliable car, there are some models you should avoid like the plague. Of these, the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze is first and probably the only one we’ll mention.
Before we proceed, here’s a fun fact: the 2011 Chevrolet Cruzes are everything except reliable. The models faced many problems, including a tendency to leak coolant. This problem was at the center of a class-action lawsuit filed by owners in New York.
Also, the 2011 Cruze models faced multiple complaints concerning its faulty transmission.
According to owners, the transmission was prone to erratic shifting, making it difficult to drive. In worse situations, the transmission could fail, requiring owners to spend thousands to replace it.
Other problem areas on the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze include the engine, heater, and brakes.
The 2019 Chevrolet Cruze remains the best model year yet. This model has relatively few reported problems and only one recall to its name. We’d recommend this model if you are looking for a used Chevy Cruze.
Also check our article about how long the Ford Focus lasts.
What About Recalls for These Models?
At this moment, there have been 22 recalls for the Chevrolet Cruze since the model’s release nine years ago.
It’s advisable to avoid models with a high number of recalls, as they are often problematic. We’ve come up with recall numbers for each model year to aid your buying decision:
- 2019: 1 recall
- 2018: 2 recalls
- 2017: 2 recalls
- 2016: 4 recalls
- 2015: 4 recalls
- 2014: 7 recalls
- 2013: 5 recalls
- 2012: 7 recalls
- 2011: 7 recalls
- 2014: 7 recalls
Chevrolet Cruze Model Year List
Here are the model years for the Chevrolet Cruze since it started production:
- 2011 Chevrolet Cruze
- 2012 Chevrolet Cruze
- 2013 Chevrolet Cruze
- 2014 Chevrolet Cruze
- 2015 Chevrolet Cruze
- 2016 Chevrolet Cruze
- 2018 Chevrolet Cruze
- 2019 Chevrolet Cruze
- 2020 Chevrolet Cruze
Are Chevrolet Cruze Expensive to Maintain?
Compared to other compact cars, the Chevrolet Cruze has a higher cost of maintenance.
According to RepairPal, you will spend about $545 on maintenance for the Chevrolet Cruze in a year. This is higher than on most models.
For example, the Toyota Corolla’s annual price of maintenance is $362. Similarly, the Honda Civic costs just $368 to service per year.
How Long Do the Brakes Last?
From what owners say, the brakes on a Chevrolet Cruze should last up to 50,000 miles or more.
Two factors—use and maintenance—will influence the longevity of your brakes.
If you brake constantly, your brakes will need replacement earlier and vice versa. Also, if you fail to maintain the brakes properly, they will wear out faster.
How Long Do the Tires Last?
Depending on how you use them, the stock tires on your Chevrolet Cruze can last between 30,000 to 60,000 miles.
Maintenance habits will also factor into the durability of your tires. Particularly rotating your tires at intervals will see them last longer than average.
How Long Do the Transmissions Last?
The transmission on your Chevrolet Cruze can last up to 150,000 miles in superb condition. After that, it’s on borrowed time and will need to be replaced as soon as possible.
How Long Do the Spark Plugs Last?
The spark plugs on any Chevrolet Cruze can last 100,000 miles before a swap-out is necessary.
The cost of replacing spark plugs on the Chevrolet Cruze is between $122 to $140, according to RepairPal.
What About Insurance Cost?
For a compact car, the Chevrolet Cruze is a bit pricey to insure.
Estimates suggest you will spend up to $2,856 yearly on insurance fees for the car. This translates to about $238 per month.
Tips to Prolong the Life of Your Chevrolet Cruze
Here are things you can do to improve the longevity of your Chevy Cruze:
- Owners recommend using synthetic oil and premium fuel for your engine: Both will promote optimum performance and keep your engine in good shape for long.
- Avoid any performance-enhancing modifications: These will strain the components and cause them to wear earlier. And once that happens, it is only a matter of time before your vehicle breaks down.
- Avoid pushing your car to the limit: Redlining your engine will cause significant damage in the long run and may lead to total engine failure. Driving responsibly will preserve your engine and ensure your car runs flawlessly.