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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