2012 Chevrolet Cruze vs. 2012 Hyundai Elantra: Which One Should I Buy?

When you’re looking for a four-door sedan, you’re likely interested in a smaller family car that still offers decent styling and looks, great gas mileage, and a comfortable interior that will keep your family safe as you’re driving. While not quite a commuter car, the mid-size sedan doesn’t have the zippy handling of a sports car either.

The Chevrolet Cruze and the Hyundai Elantra are two of the better offerings in the mid-size sedan class with nice design and details, solid gas mileage and upgraded interior and trim packages. They may not provide the sheer excitement of a smaller car or the heavyweight luxury of a large sedan but they fill a niche in the market for those who need cost-effective and safe family transportation with a bit of style.

Hyundai Elantra 2012
Hyundai Elantra 2012

Ride Review

The Cruze has a firm but comfortable ride, but lacks that nimble, tossable feel that fans of a smaller class of car may appreciate. The driving excitement definitely isn’t there. The Elantra’s steering isn’t bad, but definitely isn’t the best in the class and has a relatively sluggish throttle response. Neither vehicle thrills when you consider ride alone.

Fuel Efficiency

The Elantra shines when you consider fuel efficiency with a 28 mpg city and 38 mpg highway mileage versus the less-efficient Chevrolet Cruze with only 25 mpg city and 36 mpg highway. While neither vehicle’s stats could be considered “bad”, the Elantra only suffers when you consider the paltry size of the fuel tank. At only 12.8 gallons, you’ll be hitting the gas station a lot more than you would with the larger tank capacity of the Cruze at 15.6 gallons. However, the Elantra will save you around $15 overall per month on gas, on average.

Safety Ratings

Surprisingly, the Elantra suffers on safety ratings, just slightly. With only 4 stars instead of 5 on the overall front crash test rating, the Elantra leaves something to be desired when it comes to safety. Both models have solid ratings for everything other than rollover ratings, where both models come in with only 4 stars. The Elantra does offer some extras in the form of daytime running lights and brake assist that are just not available in the Chevrolet Cruze. When you’re looking for extras such as Bluetooth, the Cruze may be the way to go. However, the Elantra is overall the safest pick of the two mid-size sedans.


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Attila

19 years of experience
906 reviews
Attila
19 years of experience
Cadillac SRX V6-3.6L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Edison, New Jersey
Attila was great! Very knowledgeable and actually detected a fault during a pre-purchase inspection that would have cost me later.
Lexus ES350 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Fords, New Jersey
He is very good—offered all the significant details we needed from the inspection. Helped us figure out what needed to be fixed.

Shawn

12 years of experience
285 reviews
Shawn
12 years of experience
Chevrolet Impala V6-3.6L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Lansdale, Pennsylvania
Shawn was prompt, professional, and delivered the promised service as expected. This was a used vehicle pre-purchase inspection. Shawn also had to drive to multiple locations to perform the inspection, as the address listed that I provided him with was not accurate, but he still made it to the correct location within his time window and completed the inspection.
Toyota Sequoia - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Akron, Pennsylvania
Shawn was very prompt in communicating with me and was good at helping me decide whether to purchase a used car. He help me avoid a car with a repaired rusted frame that could be a danger to my family's safety since we were planning on using the car to tow a travel trailer!

Luis

18 years of experience
320 reviews
Luis
18 years of experience
Honda HR-V L4-1.8L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Warren, New Jersey
Luis was great. He showed up on time, acted professionally, and gave me confidence with a pre-purchase car inspection.
Acura RDX - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - South Hackensack, New Jersey
Luis did a thorough pre-purchase inspection for me, and found several major issues that made me pass on buying the car. Had I purchased the car, I almost certainly would have ended up paying thousands in repairs down the road. Thanks Luis!

Robert

20 years of experience
1089 reviews
Robert
20 years of experience
Hyundai Elantra L4-2.0L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Englewood, Colorado
He did a pre-purchase inspection for me. He was knowledgeable and fast, and knew what he was looking for. I really appreciate all the pictures and documentation he took of the state of the car before purchase. He noted potential issues with the car that I wouldn't have been able to notice. Would recommend.
GMC Savana 1500 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Golden, Colorado
I trust Robert. He gave me a list and we will take care of it the week of June 29. I will know then that my vehicle is ready for the winter and is safe to drive. I look forward to getting things ready for another winter of careful driving.

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