By on June 3, 2010

GM has announced pricing on its next small thing, the Cobalt-replacing Cruze compact, and the new price of entry is $16,995. That’s about a $2,000 premium over the base Cobalt (which starts at $14,990), a price hike that is justified by Chevy’s high expectations for the Cruze. As Chevy’s Jim Campbell puts it

For the price of a compact car, Cruze offers the styling, safety features, roominess, amenities, and refinement of a much more expensive car.

Base prices for the Cruze’s main competitors are $16,200 for a Corolla, $16,415 for a Civic, $16,095 for a Mazda3, $16,170 for a Sentra, $17,040 for a Focus, $178,485 for a Jetta, $14,865 for an Elantra, and $14,390 for a Forte (including typical destination fees).

Chevy is highlighting the base Cruze’s value proposition, with the following comparison between the Cruze LS and the Honda Civic DX

But given the poor reviews that the base Cruze’s 1.8 liter engine has garnered abroad, the 1.4 liter turbocharged version is the one to get. That engine is available starting at $18,895, which is the entry point for both the LT trim level, and the high-efficiency “Eco” version. From there, the prices just keep going up. With LTZ models starting at an eye-popping $22,695, there will be some nice-looking Cruze models on dealer lots, but it begs the question: with loaded Chevy compacts headed into $25k (aka mid-sized sedan) territory, how much is Buick planning on charging for its forthcoming “premium” compact sedan? And will buyers overcome Chevy’s “perception gap” to pay a premium over competing Honda and Toyota models? Given that GM has essentially staked its entire compact car legacy (such as it is) on the Cruze, these issues simply can not be ignored…

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61 Comments on “Chevy Prices Cruze: $16,995 for Base 1.8, $22,695 for LTZ...”

  • avatar

    Hatred of Gov’t Motors aside, I really can’t see customers paying Civic prices for a Chevy. Even if the Cruze is a better value “by the numbers.”

    Civic DX customers don’t care about power locks or XM radio. They do care about what badge is on the grille, and for them the bowtie is still a sad joke.

    Factor in that higher price tag with lukewarm response globally to this Daewoo-designed “new Chevy,” and well…

  • avatar

    The only way someone would pay more for a Chevy than a Honda — Brain damage.

  • avatar

    On the chart supplied, the Chevy even being more expensive than the Honda, offer a LOT more for similar money.

    And I can’t believe the Honda doesn’t have power door locks as standard equipment.

    And where are you leaving all the cash in the hood nee incentives? I guess you will be able to get a Cruze like that for 14K.

    • 0 avatar

      Then why don’t they just price it at $14K instead of playing the discount games?

      I still won’t buy, won’t even shop GM, due to previous experience unless and until GM has proven to put out a good, quality, right-priced vehicle. Ain’t seen it yet.

    • 0 avatar

      Yep, the chart shows the Civic DX base price – which I know for a fact does not include air conditioning. That luxury item is just one of the add-on costs that increases the sticker price.

      GM on the other hand has a sticker price which I imagine in this case will have to be discounted by $1,000 during good times and maybe a couple of thousand dollars – when inventories pile up.

      An added cost to the Cruze versus the Civic will be when resale values are compared in a year or two after purchase.

    • 0 avatar

      Old and Slow:

      Resale value after a year or two is a bunch of crap. Unless you plan to sell/trade the car at that point its like the paper capital gains you had on your house up to 2009…meaningless. It means something to short term buyers like rental agencies and other fleet buyers but is irrelevant to a consumer. For anybody who drives a car until it’s junk the true measure of depreciation is its replacement cost.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      No one should care about depreciation, except those people who skipped the gap insurance and then get in a wreck before their payments catch up.

    • 0 avatar

      “And I can’t believe the Honda doesn’t have power door locks as standard equipment.”

      If it allows for a less expensive car then I’m all for it. I bought a new Mazda 3 two years ago with no power locks, power windows, or cruise and it saved me a lot of money. Resale isn’t a problem because a lot of people who are looking for something to run for a long time don’t want all of those power and electronic options because they start failing over time.

      The one thing that bothers me though is when the low end models (such as the Civic DX-VP) don’t have painted door handles or side mirrors. How much money does that really save? I think that they just do it to make the cheaper models look like crap so that they can upsell you on more expensive model.

      And as someone else commented, the chart that they issued is a flat out lie; AC is standard on the model that they are getting the MSRP from.

    • 0 avatar

      Demetri: totally agree with you. I am one of those people you describe, but prefer the unpainted door handles and trim because A: it’s been done to death, B: the black trim won’t ship or scratch and is therefore [marginally] more durable,C:the whole painted trim thing means something different to me: people I knew painting their 60 Dodge Dart and Ford Econolines. With a brush. Trim, dirt and all.
      D: it breaks up the monotony of the monochromatic blobs we’ve been treated to since AMG painted the first Mercedes this way.

  • avatar

    Maybe it was wise of Honda to delay the update of the civic by a year. Per that chart, they have a bit of catching up to do either content- or price-wise.

  • avatar

    The comparison is to the Civic DX, which is the stripper model. Every dealer keeps one of these on hand so they can advertise a low price and then upsell folks to the LX, which is the mainstream model or the EX, which is more upscale, typically entailing nicer rims, a sunroof, upgraded trim and the option of leather.

    The more appropriate comparison would be to the LX, which is a bit more cash. But then resale value will remain even higher for the Honda, given its reliability. I’m not saying the Cruze is a bad vehicle, but given Chevy’s track record in this class of car,…

    • 0 avatar

      That comparison chart is a lie. The price shown is for the Civic DX-VP, which does include air and a few other things. The base DX sedan is $15,655, quite a bit less than $16,995.

      Of course street price is what really matters. Foci and Corollas are $14k in the Sunday paper. Civic DX-VP’s are over $15K at the same time.

  • avatar

    I would have a hard time justifing paying $25,000 for a Malibu. And Chevy is going to have a compact priced at $22,000? WTF!

  • avatar

    Cruze price includes destination, the prices listed in the story do not. TTAC, I thought Robert had left the building along with the number manipulation aimed at making GM look bad. They don’t need your help in doing so, and it only takes the “Truth” out of TTAC…

    • 0 avatar

      hey wait a minute…Cammie might get on you for slamming Robert, plus I miss his wit.

    • 0 avatar

      Hey, we messed up on that and now we’ve fixed it. Imagine that!
      Notice I didn’t call the Cruze overpriced… GM’s compact-segment rep is on the line, and they’re clearly trying to sell on value rather than price. And though that’s great for Chevy, it gives Buick less room to play. Anyone feel like guessing at a Buick Astra sedan’s price range?
      On the other hand, none of the Cruze’s competitors are all that fresh at the moment… point Chevy for charging commensurately (pending a test drive). But notice that the newest competitor (Forte) is also the cheapest… and it comes from a brand that’s in the midst of a fairly successful image overhaul. Keeping the MSRP up isn’t necessarily the only way to improve a brand’s perception. And there’s going to be plenty of product churn in this segment over the next several years, so the price strategy picture will be changing as well.

  • avatar

    They have alot of catching up to do, GM is going to be able to sell cars with more standard equipment/features for less money. The japanese had currency manipulation, GM…quasi bankruptcy (were the cards were stacked in favor of the company not the creditors). I don’t really care all that much for GM, but am going to enjoy watching some automakers have to play the game with the short squad for once (and see if they find a different solution than shorting the cars and living off reputation, while hoping for the best).

  • avatar

    OMG…the Spark and new Aveo MUST be great cars since this Cruse will not sell at those OUTRAGEOUS prices. It looks like it’s time for RIP GM.

  • avatar

    Let’s see, the base Sonata GLS is $19,195 and the SE is $22,595, and the Cruze LTZ is 22,695. What does the 138 hp Cruze have that would keep someone from buying a 200 hp mid-level trim Sonata for $100 less? Oh wait, I think I just realized the answer to my question! The Cruze will of course offer a $5k rebate.

    • 0 avatar

      Let’s keep it real. The BASE price of a 2011 Sonata SE is $22,595. You will find that with destination and some small options, they really sticker for $23,750++. GLS automatics really sticker for at least $21,050.

    • 0 avatar

      You will find that with destination and some small options, they really sticker for $23,750++

      That’s true, but there will be destination and small option charges on the LTZ as well so the stickers will probably still be the same.

      I’m going by the prices on the web sites that someone shopping for a vehicle would look like. Based on that comparison, I wouldn’t even bother going to the Chevy dealer and would never see the destination charges.

  • avatar

    Cavalier – Cobalt – Cruze….
    We are on to you GM….
    You keep changing the name so we will forget the disaster that was previous car.

    • 0 avatar


      And one thing in common: all the praises come before the release of the car. Now thinking about it, they may be paid.

    • 0 avatar

      +1 wsn.

      Anyone recall the tremendous praise for the upcoming Cobalt in late 2004? How about for the revamped Cavalier 10 years before that?

      Anyone recall the actual reviews shortly after those POSs hit the lots?

      And again, keep in mind response overseas to the Cruze hasn’t been stellar.

  • avatar

    Where’s True Delta to clean up these price comparisons???

    • 0 avatar

      I’ll try to get Cruze pricing into my database tonight–though this will depend on whether I can get option pricing as well as base prices.

      It’ll be interesting to see how it really compares to the others. The one I’m most interested in: the next Focus. But no pricing for it yet.

  • avatar

    These comparisons don’t really mean anything, because it is the price of base models being compared rather than the volume-selling models. It’s difficult to do a real-world comparison on paper, because some cars use the base trim as their volume selling model, while most use the mid-level trim.

    For instance, there is absolutely no such thing as a new Honda Civic DX in the real world. No one buys a car without air conditioning and a radio anymore. The lowest trim you’re going to find on dealer lots is the DX-VP (which has a radio and A/C), but even those are hard to come by. The vast majority of Civics are sold in LX trim, which stickers well over $18,000 once you add auto trans (which they all have). Likewise for the Corolla. My local Toyota dealer has about 45 of them, only two are base models. The rest are all mid-level LE, which also sticker for over $18,000.

    Chevy on the other hand, does actually stock and sell Cobalts in base “LS” trim, which makes the idea of getting the Chevrolet for a much lower price far more realistic. You also must take into account the loads of incentives they offer on those compared the Toyondas, or pretty much any other competitor save Ford Focus.

    Pricing-wise, in this class, it’s really apples to oranges.

  • avatar
    John R

    Hmmm…that’s dangerously close to Civic Si money ($23k~).

    Also, for the consumer who will consider a pre-owned low mileage Camcordtima the high side of $22k opens up a whole gallery of better options…

  • avatar

    have yet to sit in one but price sounds reasonable. it is a good looking car.

  • avatar

    For 17 grand, I rather buy a Subaru Impreza with 165hp, AWD and from a company with 5-star safety ratings across the entire lineup.

    The Cobalt was poor in crash tests, the Cavalier was an all out deathtrap. Don’t hold out much hope for this POS Daewoo.

    • 0 avatar

      I love it when someone make a hard and clear pronouncement on a car that they most likely haven’t seen in the metal yet, almost certainly haven’t gotten a chance to sit in one, and definitely haven’t had a chance to drive one. Makes me wonder what your reaction will be if the car actually turns out to be good. (I know, I know – it can’t possibly turn out to be good.)

      All one needs to know is who makes it. Opinion set and sealed.

      I’m actually going to hold my opinion until I have a chance to drive one. At least then, if I dislike it, it’ll be for a real reason.

    • 0 avatar

      Syke, it’s called “track record.”

    • 0 avatar

      +1 Syke

      We will be replacing our Focus within the next 18 months, hopefully with the new Fiesta, but I haven’t made any decision yet. The Cruze is on our shopping list, and I won’t dismiss it outright until we have test driven it at least two or three times.

      While GM still has much work to do to change the car-buying public’s perception, if this is a really good car (and it won’t have to be great quite yet; it will just have to prove that GM can actually build a good small car) it will force a lot of people to at least consider shopping a GM vehicle. GM cannot possibly repair it’s tarnished image in one fell swoop; it will be incrementally achieved, and the Cruze, if it’s good enough, will most likely continue defining the improvements that GM has been slowly building on over the past few quarters.

  • avatar

    And who’s paying $178,485 for a Jetta???

  • avatar

    Don’t worry Buickman, Buick is getting its own version of the Cruze — with extra chrome of course — soon enough.

  • avatar

    Seriously, the only way that people will walk out of Toyonda dealerships is if the Cruze is priced lower than them. Even if the Cruze is a better value, people won’t look at that initially.

    • 0 avatar

      Not True –

      My Brother and SnL just bought a fusion, thier first non-japanese car since the mid-80’s. My mom just bought one as well, Hyundai was a close second, she hated the accord and the camry wasn’t even considered (crazy thing is, if saturn still existed she probably would have bought another one of those). If you build it (and price it comp.), they will come (now GM will have a harder time then Ford, Ford had good cars from the mid 80’s-mid 90’s, while GM was still selling crap. that’s still in recent enough history for the people who can afford to buy new cars to remember)

  • avatar

    Those Cruze prices will be a failure. Hyundai will have a field day with them in their ads.

  • avatar
    The Walking Eye

    A Cobalt similarly equipped runs you $17,190 with destination. The most expensive I could make the Cobalt was just over $20,000.

    An Impreza comes with a ton of stuff standard, just like the Cruze is proposed to and starts at $18,190 with destination. A comparable Civic is $18,355. A comparable Corolla is $17,850 (I think, Toyota’s configurator sucks). A Mazda3 is $17,005 but lacking some of the features the Cruze will.

    To me, the base price that’s being reported with so much standard seems right in line. Factor in the likely bigger incentives than the above, and we’re talking possibly $3000 less for the same level of content. Sounds about right to me.

    How about we drop the histrionics about the pricing here.

    While Farago is gone, his spirit lives on in many commenters.

    Disclosure: I owned a 2008 Cobalt (it was a POS). I now own a 2009 Impreza.

    • 0 avatar

      Enough with the Farago bashing already. With GM market share down from historic 50+% to maybe 20% (with an anchor), we’re not just talking about a few posters on this site. Most of America evidently shares Robert’s fully justified attitude toward the General. Tell ya what, go ask your neighbors about GM products (assuming you’re not in a company town). Or better still, look in their driveways. My whole block (>30 houses): 2 Silverados, one full-size van. Hope fleet sales are a sustainable part of the Cruze business plan.

  • avatar

    i will preface with i am biased i own a 2005 civic vp. i would never spend my own money on this car then not buy a honda civic or the new focus(depending on price). I don’t care i don’t have a 18s a 7 speaker stereo sat nav or whatever. my 05 civic is worth as much as a 2007 cobalt. never had a problem and or spent money other then basic maintenance. I just can’t see how this will generate a substantial increase in total sales. in five year the interior will be ruined or broken. little stuff will start to wear out and you’ll throw the car away. in five years your civic will still feel new, the interior will be in one piece no annoying noises from the dash and most importantly it will be worth money.

  • avatar

    The Cruze is not competitive with any small Hyundai model. What do you expect when GM commissions a second tier Korean company like Daewoo to engineer a small car for them? If GM does not think its North American operations is even capable of producing a car like the Cruze maybe they should not be in the car business at all. Actually, they wouldn’t be if it weren’t for the government bailout.

    Cruze = Cobalt II

    In five years GM executives will be slamming the Cruze and promising its replacement will be superior. GM is so predictable.

  • avatar

    I’m driving the Cruze LS right now in Israel, my vacation rental car, 1.6 liter, 6 speed AT.
    I’m so disappointed; this car is bad, the engine is so weak that staying on 6th gear can happened only if you go downhill.
    I took a trip up north that involved many up hills, it was extremely difficult to keep up with traffic, and passing was out of the question, I came back with a headache, it’s hard to hear a screaming 1.6 liter at 5000 rpm all day long.
    The seats are terrible, hard and uncomfortable, this is my 8th day with the car and I’m still playing with the adjustments,
    Audio system is confusing to the point where I just leave the radio off.
    I can’t believe that this is the best they (GM) can do, any car in the segment is better, even the old Mazda 3 and the Civic, both are “old” in car years.
    What a shame!

  • avatar

    $178,485 for a Jetta? Also, that’s too expensive for a car that’s replacing the Cobalt. It should be at least a grand cheaper.

  • avatar

    Every Gm car we had has been a very sad disapointment, the cruze started selling here in mexico about 6 months ago. How could it compete with the civic focus with the antique torsion beam suspension and ancient 1.8 liter engine?

    • 0 avatar

      Again, the Corolla/Sentra have the same rear suspension setup and nobody complains.

      And the Corolla or Civic engines are what, ultra modern? meh.

  • avatar

    Am I the only one who finds “LTZ” to be a wildly unappealing trim designation? I’m not sure why, but it carries connotations of polyester leisure suits and Kools brand menthol cigarets. And “Cruze LTZ” evokes images of Bob Lutz slumming it down in the red light district, or something. Oh well, I guess it’s better than the mishmash of MK[insert random letter here] favored by Lincoln, or the generic letter and number combinations featured by countless other manufacturers.

  • avatar

    yeah this car hasn’t been a hit for GM outside of the US and it will prove to be unpopular on its home territory unless it hits a few miracles

    that is, the price has to fall AND the 1.4 turbo Ecotec proves to transform the car which is of course, desperately unlikely…

    it has a massive 134hp and 150 odd lb/ft so it won’t turn it into a sparkling rocket

    they are hoping perhaps city MPG will be good but alas not even Audi/VW/VAG can manage super city MPG with their turbo fours so what hope does GM have

    i want to be optimistic but like Samuel Jackson says… i’m trying’ but it’s hard

  • avatar

    It’s painfully obvious of the government’s influence in this crap festival.
    Not only will I pass, but I’ll gainfully encourage others to pass as well.
    17K for an econo-crapbox, no thanks.

    And GM? I love my Accord.

  • avatar

    Where is the corporate efforts attempting to dispel my real-world experiences with the HORRID warranty period I experienced with my 2004 Silverado?

    None that I have noticed.

    The multi-thousand dollars of expense I incurred to continuously be told, “Unable to replicate…” remains entrenched in my mind.

    Finding a technical service bulletin suggesting a fix for one of the safety defects the various dealer’s service departments refused to diagnose, dismissing with the “Unable to replicate…” mantra well after the warranty period expired merely added to my disgust and when mentioning that to a local dealer and receiving a stare but no response I walked in disgust with a stronger strength of will to shun anything GMC and to continue informing folks in real-life scenarios of the severe potential hazards of spending money on anything sold by GMC.

  • avatar

    This is a brilliant sales model – when buyer confidence is at it’s lowest, replace one of your suspicious handles with a stranger that is not only more expensive than it’s predecessor but is more expensive than it’s generally assumed superior rivals AND still doesnt have a competitive warranty. But hey! Power doors!

    I’d much rather have that than the Hyundai/Kia umbrella warranty and 2 grand in my pocket. Or, you know, a Civic.

    So glad these guys are still in business.

  • avatar

    Same old GM pricing tricks. The Cruze isn’t a bad car but it also should not be priced above, or even at, the competition (and by competition, I mean the Civic … what’s a “Sentra” anyway)!

  • avatar

    I won’t pan the pricing without trying the car, but my first read is that they’re a little too close to the Hyundai Sonata. A relative just bought the 2010 with an automatic for under $19K, out the door. The 2011 version is $2K or $3K more, but still well within the price range of this Cruze. I wonder how many people would prefer the toys of the LTZ to the superior size, powertrain, and chassis of a midsize car.

  • avatar
    John Smith

    MSRP and invoice price don’t matter anymore when my friend can negotiate a civic lx for $2700 below invoice. Also, it gives a false impression to the buyers that they are getting a good deal.

  • avatar
    Geo. Levecque

    The new Fiesta is really a very small Car as compared to the Focus, in the UK they refer to it as a Super Mini,now the Fusion is built in Mexico in almost slave worker conditions, and I for one would not even consider ever buying one,seems that Ford is making a profit on the backs of the poor Mexicans! They would be better to make them in the USA even at $14.00 per hour!

  • avatar

    I was at a customer clinic a couple of years ago that featured the Cruze. Good looking. Lots of room in the back seat.Price was targeted at that time at about the same as announced here, with the turbo and high MPG engine.

    Sitting in the Cruze was “familiar”. I at first thought it was a heavily reworked ION/Cobalt from the aspect of seat height, width, headroom and visibilty from the driver’s seat.

    It was the “hit” of the clinic for me and I liked it. I thought it was a ridiculous price, though. And that was long before the GM melt down.

    And the story is much as before: Cobalt was supposed to be GM’s “premium” compact and was priced accordingly.Too high. GM has no credibility here. The didn’t with the Cobalt. Or the Astra. And their past is littered with Citations, Chevettes, Vegas, Monzas, J Cars,etc.

    Not going there. My past experience with the Cobalt intro the dealer stocked perhaps 5 at most ; all overloaded and overpriced at 3-4 months after intro, still flogging their SUVs which were innumerable on their sales lot.

    I went and bought essentially the same car in the Saturn ION for $3-4000 less. I had a 99 Cavalier that had been perfectly reliable and I liked before it was totalled and had to be replaced.The Cobalt seemed a logical choice. The ION proved that GM’s quality had back slid since 99.

    Saturn introduced the Astra with a 1.8 that was underpowered, used a timing belt, had a fussier maintenance schedule etc etc and cost more than Saturn buyers were used to seeing for their entry level car and image. It worked out so well for them. Why not use that business model on Chevrolet and their next small car ???

    Thankfully I am not and will not be in the market for a new car for a long time to come, if ever. What a crock.The ION may not be much of a car but the engine, trans and body are bullet proof and will hold up for as long as I want to keep it.

    GM can go upscale all it wants be it will always be a low rent corner cutting mediocrity in the business. 2 or 3 years of improvement are meaningless after a legacy of pumping out garbage small cars for 40 years.

    Believe me: I cut that ION [and Cobalt] a lot of slack as the Delta is GM’s best effort to date. But my and my family’s overall experience with GM [the Cavalier seems more like an exception to the rule ] tells me that when the time comes: there’s a Ford in my future.

  • avatar

    Pretty expensive Jetta . . .

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