2013 Cruze or 2013 Camry?
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Thread: 2013 Cruze or 2013 Camry?

  1. #1
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    2013 Cruze or 2013 Camry?

    Hello all,

    I've been researching a new car for a few months. I currently have a 2002 Explorer V8, and it's just burning a hole in my pocket with a 25-mile commute one-way, and it's getting a bit long in the tooth at 210,000 miles. Great car, but I do not like the new Ford Focus, and although I like the Fusion, I don't like the 1.6 and it would cost me around $30,000 to get the 2.0T.

    So, after driving the Ford Focus, Fusion, and Escape, Hyundai Elantra and Sonata, 2013 Accord, and 2013 Camry and Cruze, I've narrowed my choices down to the Camry and Cruze. I know they are in a different segment, but they are similarly priced. The 2013 Cruze 1LT automatic with a sunroof and RS package, as well as a few other options comes out to around $23,000, and the Camry SE comes out to around $23,500 (24.5 with a sunroof).

    So, based on your ownership experience (any of those of you that have owned a Toyota before?), what would you recommend? I have read about a lot of reliability issues - coolant smell, transmission issues, etc. with the Cruze, but I really like the way it drives. I have also read about transmission concerns with the Camry. So neither is perfect from an internet forum perspective, and I am the first to realize that forums are where people come to vent about car troubles. I just want to make an educated decision here.

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  3. #2
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    Jim Frye's Avatar
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    My Toyota experience may be old.
    '77 Corolla SR5 Liftback. Had it 10 years, 100K+ miles. Clutch slave cylinder replaced. It lasted all of 15 minutes on the dealer's lot when I traded it in.
    '80 Celica GT Liftback. Had it 10 years, 98K miles. No mechanical failures.
    Having said that, I've bought Hondas and Mazdas since.
    I'm still looking for that new car to buy. Local auto show will be here a week after the Detroit one, so we'll go look and sit there.
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    I went out to find myself. If I return before I get back, have me wait for me.

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  4. #3
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    I own one of both (both 2012 models), and I was between the same two in making a decision. I love both cars for different reasons. The Cruze is a sexy beast and fun to drive, and the Toyota isn't too bad looking either.



    I would absolutely buy the Camry over the Cruze. Why? Reliability. I've owned the Cruze since April; my girlfriend has owned the Toyota since July (10,700 and 8000 miles, respectively).
    In that time, the Cruze has been into the shop for:
    1. Defective struts knocking inside of 1,000 miles.
    2. AC expansion valve malfunctioned; no AC on hot days.
    3. Recirculate flap in the climate control was not working.
    4. AC not cold - compressor replaced. Still ain't cold, unless I've been on the highway for a while. I gave up caring.
    5. Brake rotors warped within 5,000 miles - replaced under warranty. Clutch spring "twanging" when released; also fixed.
    6. Speedometer needle jumped up to 120 when at a stop. Dash module reprogrammed.
    7. Steering "sticking" at highway speeds. Steering rack (!) replaced under warranty.
    8. Developing coolant smell with heat on. Not even gonna bother taking it to the dealer yet.

    The Camry is going in this weekend for a transmission software update that makes the downshifts a little softer. We have had ZERO problems with it so far - only a tire rotation and oil change.

    She's owned a 2002 Camry V6 since I met her 3 years ago, and we beat the crap out of both of our cars at the time travelling back and forth 4 hours on weekends to see each other for about a year. Took its toll a bit on the old Volvo, but the Camry has needed nothing in all 10 years her family has owned it but a timing belt and valve cover gasket besides oil changes, tires, and brakes. Boring car, but very reliable.

    All in all, I've been to the dealer about 9 times so far - WAY, WAY too much for a brand-new car. My 14-year old Volvo with over 200K was more reliable. I would not buy another Cruze. I love the car, but it's pissing me off. I don't pay $300+ a month to be constantly inconvenienced by a brand-new car. This is stupid stuff that shouldn't break yet. Makes me worry about the future once the warranty is up. Many people on this forum have had similar problems, and while I know that a forum is a place for people to vent (which I have mostly refrained from), it's good to see that at least I'm not the ONLY one having bad luck with this thing. The car is built very, very well - especially for a GM, and I know that the engine will last a long time. It's just all of the small things.

    It's not *as* fun to drive, but the handling on the SE model is great (especially for a Toyota), the transmission is well-designed, and the 2.5 I4 engine is plenty peppy. The AC is amazing, the stereo is amazing, the interior is very nice; it gets good gas mileage, and rides pretty well. Look for a model with the Michelin tires - the Bridgestones are atrocious and noisy.

    The Cruze is much quieter road-noise wise, but the engine in the Camry is quieter. Cruze is a better highway car, hands down. Camry is a better in-town car. Stock radio in the Camry is very nice, with a touch-screen infotainment system. The MyLink system on the 2013 Cruze is an option, but it is very nice and well-worth the upgrade...the stock radio leaves a lot to be desired. As to be expected with the class difference, there's a TON more room in the back of the Toyota. Cruze's interior is better, and the seats are more comfortable. It feels more "solid". The Cruze has a lot more "character", if you believe in such a thing.

    Gas mileage from the Camry so far matches pretty much what the window sticker says - 25 in around-town driving (26 for the automatic Cruze); 35 highway (38 for the Cruze). It got 40 @ 70 mph on one trip where the Cruze got 43.
    Last edited by jblackburn; 01-17-2013 at 11:18 AM.
    2012 Cruze 1LT 6M


  5. #4
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    to make a recommendation, we need to know what exactly it is you are looking for. If it's just economy- the Cruze ECO can get you 50+ mpg (but no sunroof/ leather, I think). From the 1st post it looks like you are mainly interested in economy.

    I got the 2013 2LT and it has the mylink system standard (option on the 1LT) & am satisfied with the functionality. It drives well- better than the camry. Can't comment on the cruze transmission, as mine is a MT. I get 30 mpg with 85% city driving.

    The only things about the cruze I need to get used to is the fact I can't secure stuff in the trunk. There is no way to lock the seatbacks and trunk to prevent them from opening. And the only way to open the trunk with the engine running is to have it in park & use the trunk button on the trunk (this is difficult to communicate with someone trying to load the trunk for you- basically forcing you to get out & open the trunk yourself)

    As you can see from my petty complaints, the car is overall pretty good. If you can provide more details on your requirements, we can provide more helpful feedback ...
    2013 Cyber Gray/ black 2LT 6M RS. stage 0 tune for 91 octane- vtuner

  6. #5
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    I'd say get the Camry too, Cruzes seem to have way too many issues with them, especially for a car that's been out for 3 years. I don't think I will ever buy another GM car, going to try my luck with Honda. I hear they can actually build a car right.

  7. #6
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    Wow, thanks for the detailed response JBlackburn!

    Quote Originally Posted by 20131pz69 View Post
    to make a recommendation, we need to know what exactly it is you are looking for. If it's just economy- the Cruze ECO can get you 50+ mpg (but no sunroof/ leather, I think). From the 1st post it looks like you are mainly interested in economy.
    A nice, reliable car. The Explorer has been very reliable, but only gets 14-18 mpg. I don't care which gets better fuel economy - anything's better than that.

    I want an AT as I drive in-town a lot, and I want a sunroof. Eco is out. Don't really want leather - gets too hot in the summer.

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackcruzelt View Post
    I'd say get the Camry too, Cruzes seem to have way too many issues with them, especially for a car that's been out for 3 years. I don't think I will ever buy another GM car, going to try my luck with Honda. I hear they can actually build a car right.
    What issues have you had with your Cruze?

  9. #8
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    Have a 2012 Cruze LT. In over 1 year and 13,500 miles I have had zero problems. Before the cruze I had a Cavalier for 12 years and 160,000 miles with no major problems. Buy the Cruze and treat it like a compact economy car.......not a sports car. I wonder how many people blame the car when they are just tuning them and beating the **** out of them because they have a turbo. Also, anybody that thinks foreign cars have no major problems live in fantasy land.

  10. #9
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    My dad has a 2012 Camry as a rental this week as we speak!!! He likes it, but having driven that and my Cruze, he says my Cruze is way nicer. It handles better, is better on the highway, and is just better looking.
    Last edited by ErikBEggs; 01-17-2013 at 01:50 AM.
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  11. #10
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    Same old story here. You'll get responses from the few who have big problems, and then you'll find those like me, who have 18,000 miles, or about what jblackburn's Camry and Cruze have put together. My car has been to the dealer twice; once to replace a windshield wiper nozzle that started leaking, and once to replace the front struts due to a bad batch from a vendor. Both times were painless and happened over 10k miles ago. No problems to speak of here, and there are more people on this board who share the same experience. My brakes are not warped, and my A/C works fine. I'd hardly say the Camry is guaranteed to have no problems whatsoever.

    Always remember that forums attract those who have any issues and that they are not representative of the general population. That said, I don't see the two comparisons as valid. A Cruze 1LT will cost you ~$18k, while a Camry LE will be $4k more than that. If you wanted to compare the Camry to something, you'd compare it to a 2013 Malibu.

    That said, my review of the Cruze may be of some help to you. I have a review of the Malibu in progress.
    Behind the Wheel of the Chevy Cruze - The Xtreme Revolution
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