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How Many Miles Can A Chevy Cruze Last? (+Reliability Scores)

How many miles can a Chevy Cruze last? When you’re in the market for a new or second-hand Cruze, that’s a very reasonable question. After all, you’re probably looking to get the most bang for your buck. In this blog, we’ll look at this question in great detail but first, let’s start with a quick answer:

On average, a Chevy Cruze lasts between 200.000 – 220.000 miles. A Cruze needs to go to the garage for unscheduled repairs about 0.41 times per year, with a 12% chance of the problem being severe. Furthermore, Chevy Cruze owners spend an average of $545 per year on repair costs.

Having said that, we’re certainly not done. Below, we’ll explain in more detail how many miles a Chevy Cruze can last. After that, we’ll also show you how much a Cruze costs per year and which production years are the most and least expensive. Furthermore, we also discuss the common problems that the car can have. Read on!

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Also read: How Well Does The Chevy Cruze Drive In The Snow?

How Many Miles Can A Chevy Cruze Last?

To know this, we had to do some research. First, we went to autotrader.com and searched how many Chevy Cruze were on sale in the US. In total, we found 9.631 Cruzes. Then, we divided these Cruzes into groups based on the miles they had driven.

highest mileage chevrolet cruze on autotrader.com
At the time of updating, this is the highest mileage Cruze we could find on Autotrader.com

In doing so, we get a first understanding of how many vehicles have passed the 150,000 miles mark. In the case of the Cruze, we learned that 3.51% of the sample size, or 338 individual cars, had a mileage of 150,000 or higher. This is a decent number, given that, after analyzing more than 100+ models on this blog, we expect a percentage between 3 – 5%. The Malibu ends up on the lower-middle end of this range.

Amount Of MilesPercentage Of Cars
Cars With 150.000+3.51%
Cars With 100.000 – 149.99916.74%
Cars With 45.000 – 99.99946.74%
Cars With 0 – 44.99930.96%

Furthermore, it’s interesting to note that a large percentage of our sample size has mileage between 100.000 – 149.999 miles. This indicates that there’s currently a large group that will be considered higher mileage and that most Cruzes don’t give up before this range. It also suggests that there’s a large group of higher-mileage Cruzes that will last another five years and that can be picked up for a lower price.

Also read: Types Of Gas A Chevy Cruze Uses (All Generations)

How Reliable Is A Chevy Cruze Compared To Its Competitors?

Secondly, we must compare the Chevy Cruze to other cars within its segment. In the table below, we’ve gathered the necessary data that gives us an understanding of the expected mileage of each model, as well as the highest recorded mileage that we found on Autotrader.com.

Furthermore, it’s valuable to know that we’ve written these kinds of articles for each model mentioned. Therefore, we do have a clear understanding of the potential mileage of each model since we examined them individually.

What we found is that the Cruze has a decent expected mileage when it comes to its competitors. However, it isn’t a top-performing model when we look at the expected lifespan. This is because the Cruze has to compete with models like the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, and Hyundai Elantra; all of them are known for being great commuter cars.

ModelSample SizeExpected MileageHighest Mileage
Chevy Cruze9.631210.000258.000
Honda Civic24.354275.000290.000
Toyota Corolla16.401265.000310.000
Hyundai Elantra11.950260.000280.000
Volkswagen Jetta249170.000185.000
Mazda 34.606215.000230.000

Only the Mazda 3 is expected to last the same number of miles as the Chevy Cruze, whereas the Volkswagen Jetta is an underperformer in this category. All in all, the Cruze is a reliable car based on our research, but it certainly isn’t as good as its main competitors, which is something to consider in the buying process.

Do you want to know more about how this car compares to other cars regarding the expected miles it can last? Read more about that in this article: How Many Miles Can A Car Last? (156 Models Analyzed!)

How Reliable Is A Chevy Cruze Compared To Other Chevys?

After discussing Chevy Cruze’s performance in terms of reliability when compared to its competitors, it’s also necessary to look up its reliability when compared to other Chevy models, as this will give a clearer understanding of the car’s potential and also give us an insight into the quality standards of Chevys.

To do this, we researched the other Chevys and compared them with Chevy Cruze. The following explains the potential mileage of several different Chevy models. We found that Chevy overall seems to build reliable cars; however, the Cruze does end up at the lower end of the spectrum.

Expected mileage of several different chevrolet models

The Cruze underperforms compared to the larger Chevy Impala (even though this is still a sedan); however, it performs better than the much older Cobalt and the Volt. The Cruze is the best option if you’re set on getting a compact sedan, and it has to be a Chevy.

How Much Does Maintenance Cost Per Year?

When you are in the market looking for a used or new Cruze, it’s a must to know how much it will cost you on repairs and maintenance per annum. The data we have collected shows that the latest models are doing quite well, and their maintenance cost is very low compared to the earlier models.

It’s a general rule of thumb that the latest models will have most problems sorted out, and the assembly line will be making fewer mistakes. So, if you are considering buying one of these, you should prefer the newer models with fewer miles on the clock; furthermore, it should have been well maintained.

Model YearAnnual Maintenance Cost
2012$575
2013$532
2014$523
2015$468
2016$441
2017$524
2018$403
2019$425

Also read: The Complete Cost Of Maintaining A Chevy

Owners’ Reviews Of The Cruze’s Reliability

Besides knowing all the data, it’s, of course, also essential to see how owners experience the Cruze. For this, we went to Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds, and Truecar.com. All three platforms have gathered hundreds of reviews from actual car owners. We summarized our findings in the image below.

Chevy cruze owners rating on kelley blue book, edmunds and truecar

Overall, we found that a decent percentage of owners considered the car to be reliable and, overall, pleasant to drive. One of the most complained about features of the Cruze (and Chevys in general) is its annoying start-stop system that makes the car jerk when re-starting.

Furthermore, we found that some owners consider the car a lemon; they’ve experienced complete engine, transmission, or EGR failure before the 100,000 miles mark. Finally, we found that the early models (pre-2014) are typically rated lower than models made after 2016.

I think the car is a reliable, economical, decent commuter car. (…) I have a few negatives though: 1) When accelerating from a stop, it takes a second or two to get moving, like there’s a hesitation. My understanding is that it’s turbocharged and if it is, it’s gutless. 2) (…) I’m only 5’6” and have to have the driver seat all the way back to make it easier to get in and out of. (…) 3) The ac is noisy when on high

Source

Chevy Cruze Common Problems

NOTE: Before buying a used car, I always like to make sure the car isn’t having any problems that I should be aware of. The easiest way to do this is by buying an OBD2 scanner. These scanners can easily be plugged into any car you’re interested in, and they’ll give you a rundown of potential problems.

Personally, I like this one on Amazon because it has a lot more functions than basic OBD2 scanners. This particular one also runs tests on your emission system and tests if you’re fuel mix is optimal (or if your engine is misfiring), so you have a complete understanding of how the car’s performing.

Loss Of Braking Power

This was primarily a problem for the 2018 – 2019 model year of the Cruze. The rear brake caliper pistons had an insufficient coating, causing gas pockets to form, potentially reducing the rear brake performance. Chevy did issue a recall for this under recall number 18V576000.

Chevy also issued a recall for 2011 – 2012 models of the Cruze (13V360000) that were equipped with 1.4L DOHC gasoline turbo engines and 6T40 front-wheel-drive automatic transmissions and equipped with an electric vacuum pump to provide supplemental vacuum for brake assist.

In these models, the vacuum pump may not activate, which then results in a loss of braking power or less braking power than expected.

A Host Of Transmission Problems

Transmission Oil Leaks

Chevy issued a recall for the 2018 – 2019 model years of the Chevy Cruze under recall number 20V668000. This was a manufacturing problem which meant bolts were missing on the start-stop accumulator endcap. This allowed oil to leak from the transmission, resulting in a loss of propulsion and a fire hazard.

Hard Shifting

This is a common issue you would have to face when the vehicle has crossed about 70k miles. Especially the 2011 – 2016 model years have had problems with this. This problem occurs when the transmission gets hot, and the system fails to adjust to this higher temperature. This results in slippage and hard shifting.

A software update or system might solve this problem and if the problem doesn’t go away after that and the fluid/sensors are fine, you might have to replace or rebuild the whole transmission. You could also try transmission fix liquids that are available in the market.

Transmission Failure

Furthermore, it’s good to know that the 2011 models also experienced complete transmission failure in some units. Symptoms of this failure were the car being stuck in drive or accelerating and slowing down by itself. Complete transmission failure was caused by a bad torque converter, faulty clutch, low transmission fluid, and a defective transmission solenoid.

Also read: Chevy Cruze Transmissions: Overview, Problems, Fluids

Fluid Leaks Causing Overheating

These fluid leaks have been reported a lot, especially in the 2011 – 2013 models; however, it has still been reported in the latest models of the Cruze. The engine might leak oil due to worn-out gaskets, or the coolant might leak due to a ruptured hose (which was a big problem in the diesel versions). This would result in complete overheating of the engine.

To keep the Cruze running strong, it’s highly suggested that you inspect it from time to time for any fluid leakage. Because if there is a leak for an extended period, the internals can seriously get damaged.

The biggest culprit in causing these leaks is the turbo that comes with the 1.4L engine. Turbos are notorious for causing leaks. If your Cruze is out of warranty, you can install some catch cans to help reduce the overall pressure that pushes the oil out of the system, thus no more oil leaks.

The older models had problems, especially the ones with the turbo, and not to mention that the turbo expires after a specific time, it has a life cycle, and they aren’t easy to maintain. A little negligence can cause a lot of damage.

Also read: The Oil Type, Weight, And Capacity Of A Chevy Cruze

Is a Chevy Cruze A Smart Buy?

Overall, the Chevy Cruze can be a smart buy, but there are some things to consider. First of all, that’s the fact that the Cruze has a decent expected mileage of 210.000 miles.

This is a respectable number overall, showing that the Cruze, in general, isn’t a lemon. However, its competition (Civic, Elantra, Corolla) has shown to achieve much higher mileage making the Cruze look much less appealing.

Furthermore, there’s the fact that owners rate the car 4/5 stars, a good number but not perfect. This is because of the common problems we just discussed. We found that some model years and some units within some model years have severe engine, transmission, and braking issues.

Overall, we found that pre-2017 models have many more complaints and recalls than the second generation of the Cruze (manufactured between 2017 – 2019). Therefore, if you’re in the market for a Cruze, we recommend going with the second generation.

Therefore, the Chevy Cruze is a smart choice if you can buy a newer model that doesn’t have any common problems. Furthermore, it has to be much more affordable than a second-hand model of either of its competitors. If you can find a competitor for a similar price, it’s most likely worth leaving the Cruze for what it is, given that competitors have an extra potential lifespan of 3-5 years.

Are you in the market for this Chevy? Don’t forget to check out our extensive list of the largest Chevy dealers per state!

Chevy Cruze Maintenance Schedule

A well-maintained car can last much longer, so you wouldn’t want to go wrong in this area. It’s essential to know about a car’s maintenance schedule to ensure that it stays healthy for a more extended period.

Usually, the manufacturers give a farfetched schedule that looks good on papers and would show low cost, but you should dump that schedule because your car won’t last that long with their schedule; you would have to replace stuff earlier to get better performance and longer life.

Before/On Every 10,000 Miles

  • Change Engine Oil
  • Replace the oil filter.

Changing these before/on 7500 miles is better for best performance and long-lasting protection.

Before/On Every 20,000 Miles

  • Replace the passenger compartment air filter
  • Inspect the tires
  • See if there’s any prevailing rust
  • Check for any fluid leaks
  • Tire replacement if necessary

Before/On Every 40,000 Miles

  • Replace the air intake filter
  • Replace the transfer case fluid
  • Inspect the evaporative control system
  • Change the automatic transmission fluid

Before/On Every 60,000 Miles

  • Inspect the spark plugs
  • Inspect the ignition coils
  • Have an engine diagnosis with a scanner tool and see for any abnormal reading.
  • Inspect the electronics system
  • Inspect the brake pads and rotors
  • Drive belt replacement
  • The manufacturers recommend changing the first coolant at 60k miles and the later ones after every 30k miles. It depends on different factors; you should check the color of the coolant to tell which one it is.

If it’s the silicated one, you would have to change it after every 30k miles, and if it’s the extended drain coolant, you can change it after 100k miles.

Before/On Every 100,000 Miles

  • This is where the suspension components start to wear out, and you might have to replace the worn-out ones.
  • Inspect the transmission fluid and replace it if necessary.

Other Maintenance Tips

  • Make sure that you keep your Cruze clean because, as a rule of thumb, you would be able to keep it maintained as well.
  • Don’t let mud stay on your Cruze; mud contains moisture, and moisture causes rust.

Also read: The Exact Bolt Pattern Of A Chevy Cruze