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The 2014 Chevrolet Cruze is in the spotlight as a pick in U.S. News’ “Most Reliable Used Cars Under $10,000 in 2023.” This recognition is based on the Cruze’s reliability score and desirable features. But a discrepancy exists between U.S. News’ positive evaluation and other sources regarding this used Chevy car’s quality and dependability. So, is the 2014 Chevy Cruze reliable?

Overview of the 2014 Chevy Cruze

The 2014 Cruze is a cheap used Chevy with confusing reliability ratings
2014 Chevy Cruze | Jeff Kowalsky/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The 2014 Chevrolet Cruze appears in the U.S. News roundup “Most Reliable Used Cars Under $10,000 in 2023.” U.S. News shows this cheap used Chevy car has an excellent reliability score, indicating it’s dependable. Reliability is essential in a used car because vehicles with higher reliability ratings are less likely to experience mechanical issues or breakdowns.

The 2014 Chevy Cruze is also fuel-efficient. This compact sedan also offered an Eco model designed to provide excellent fuel economy, with up to 46 mpg on the highway. That’s particularly attractive to budget-conscious buyers who want to save on fuel costs. It’s also praised for its comfortable ride in most road conditions, an important consideration for those who do a lot of driving.

The 2014 Cruz was available in several trims and has a nice interior for the price point. Standard features in the base model include Bluetooth connectivity, a USB port, keyless entry, and even a CD player. 

How did this cheap used Chevy make U.S. News’ list of the most reliable used cars under $10,000?

There are several compelling reasons why the 2014 Cruze appears on the U.S. News list. First and foremost, it received a “great” J.D. Power reliability score of 84/100, indicating a solid track record of quality and dependability. 

However, MotorBiscuit previously reported that the 2014 Chevy Cruze has reliability issues and suggested shoppers steer clear of it. That’s because the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the consumer site show multiple recalls and many complaints concerning this car. 

Some reported problems include leaking water pumps, defective PCV diaphragms, oil leaks, faulty ignition coils, and electrical issues. These issues can lead to many complications, including air-conditioning failure, overheating, excessive oil consumption, misfires, transmission failure, and display/brake system problems.

Considering that data, it’s reasonable to conclude the 2014 Cruze might have legitimate reliability issues. 

Why is there a discrepancy?

J.D. Power determines reliability ratings by gathering insights and feedback from consumers who have owned their vehicles for three years. These scores focus on longer-term ownership experiences and represent the vehicles’ dependability. The insights and feedback are obtained directly from verified owners to ensure the data is credible.

To calculate reliability ratings, J.D. Power combines quality and dependability scores. Quality scores are based on the initial owner’s response and feedback regarding their new purchase, capturing their impressions of the vehicle’s build quality and performance at the beginning of ownership. On the other hand, dependability scores reflect the ownership experience over three years, taking into account any problems that may have emerged during that time.

The difference in evaluations by U.S. News and J.D. Power, which show the 2014 Cruze is reliable, and could stem from variations in criteria and methodologies. relies on owner-reported data, while U.S. News incorporates factors such as J.D. Power scores, fuel efficiency, ride quality, interior quality, and available features.

A quick check of the 2014 Cruze on shows this model year is plagued with engine problems, surfacing between 30,000 and 64,000 miles on average. It’s possible these reliability issues typically occur beyond the three-year timeframe that J.D. Power uses for its calculations.

The difference between these assessments underscores the importance of consulting multiple trusted sources when shopping for a used car. Consumers should thoroughly research and consider various resources, including customer feedback and expert evaluations, to form a well-rounded understanding of a vehicle’s reliability before buying.


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