The more I drive our new Camry, the more I find things some things about it that are better than the Cruze. They were both basically the same price. The Toyotas AC and stereo sound/touch screen interface/Bluetooth are top notch.
But the Cruze rides better, has a better driving position, is quieter, and it's much smaller so its more fun to drive. And the stick shift fits my personality. Just wish it had the 180 hp the other does, but it also seems that I get 7-10 MPG better now that mines broken in.
Each of them have their own cool features, and as they're the two cars I was deciding between in the first place, I'm glad I get to have the choice of driving either!
I've been back into the dealer 3 times for several pretty annoying small issues though. AC, Recirculate motor, knocking from struts, and the clutch spring snapping (they couldn't find that one as it only does it intermittently).
I don't think it's a bad car by any means though. I know the Toyota will be more reliable, but I'm still happy with my purchase.
I've had my Cruze for 2 months ( I know not a year ) and love it so far. The only other car I really considered buying was a used 09-10 Civic Si but they were only 1-2K cheaper with 20-30K miles on them compared to the cruze so it made sense to get the brand new car. I would have to drive an si for a few months to really give an opinion but so far I feel I made the right choice. The car does exactly what it was designed to do. I've been getting low 30s for MPG but that's probably 70%city/30%hwy. The only thing the car needs is about 30-40hp which someday I might consider getting the tune.
Didn't vote because I bought my ECO MT in January of this year. After reading about the problems with earlier clutches and all the issues with the 2011 Cruzen, I'm glad I didn't purchase any sooner. My car was assembled in Oct 2011, apparently right after the clutch issue had been corrected.
As for my "vote" - I already did by purchasing a second Cruze for my son. No regrets.
I've had mine for just over 1 year and 28k miles. I'd get another Eco MT pretty quickly. For the price, the combination of good driving dynamics, great fuel economy, and a quiet, comfortable interior are a hard thing to match. I've had a few niggles that either I've taken care of or have been resolved under warranty.
This car isn't a supermodel, and it isn't one to kick to the curb, either.
I get asked a lot about my car. When I had the tires rotated, the guy at Discount asked me if I liked it. "Nope. LOVE it," I said. He laughed and said his girlfriend feels exactly the same about her '12 Eco, as do all the Cruze owners who come in for service.
Of course the Cruze isn't perfect. I see it as the Cessna Skyhawk of the road: it doesn't do any one thing perfectly, but it does everything reasonably well in a classic package for an excellent price. Like sciphi said, it's no supermodel, but I'd much rather be with an average-looking woman with a good brain than a high-maintenance twit who happens to look good.