Can a Chevy Cruze pull a pop up camper?

In this article, we will discuss: Can a Chevy Cruze pull a pop up camper? We will talk about how it is to tow with a Chevy Cruze and how it performs in matters of engine, speed, reliability and maintenance. 

Can a Chevy Cruze pull a pop up camper?

Yes, a Chevy Cruze could pull a pop-up camper, light trailer or a small boat. This car has a towing capacity of 1000 lbs. (450 kg), thus wouldn’t have an issue with towing such a small vehicle as the pop-up camper. 

Chevrolet Cruze was born from the decision of GM who wanted to create new cars, derived from Opel models, but with lower costs and implemented under the Chevrolet brand. Cruze uses the same platform as the Astra J and Ampera, but also many other components from the Opel compact. Initially, the Cruze was available for sale in a sedan version (2008), and in 2010, Chevrolet also introduced a five-door hatchback body.

Chevrolet Cruze Technical Sheet:

  • Traction: Lead
  • Engine block: 4 cylinders
  • Tank capacity: 51.7 lts
  • Maximum power (hp @ rpm): 153 hp @ 5600 rpm
  • Consumption on the road: 16.5 km / l
  • Maximum torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 177 lb-ft @ 2000-4000 rpm
  • Urban consumption: 12 km/l
  • Mixed consumption: 14 km/l
  • Maximum speed: 210 km/h
  • Acceleration 0-100 km/h: 7.6 sec
  • Trunk capacity: 393.6 lts
  • Transmission: Automatic 6 vels.
  • Price: $368,900

How comfortable is it to tow with a Chevy Cruze?

We can say honestly that it is easy to tow with a Chevy Cruze. This is a compact class model, with a length of 4.60 meters (for the sedan), and this proposes it as a very good choice for a family model. 

The interior is spacious, although there are compact models that offer more in terms of knee space on the back seat. The trunk has a maximum volume of 524 litres, but the loading mouth is quite narrow. 

The undercarriage is quite elastic, but it transmits quite a lot of noise and vibration in the passenger compartment when crossing the asphalt bumps. The interior offers a pleasant ambience, although the plastics used are of rather poor quality.

Chevrolet Cruze – range of engines

In 2008, at the time of launch, Cruze was available with: 1.6i (113 hp), 1.8i (140 hp) and 2.0 VCDI (150 hp). In 2010, the 140 hp 1.4 Turbo petrol engine became available. In 2011 was offered the 2-litre diesel, 2.0 VCDI, with a power of 163 hp, and in 2012, the 1.7-litre diesel with a power of 130 hp. 

The latter is quite rare on the second-hand market in the US, but for the 2 litre, there are numerous offers. It has good consumption and quite sporty performance. Gasoline engines have fairly high consumption, especially in the city.

Chevrolet Cruze – reliability and maintenance

Cruze is a model that has quite low maintenance costs, the revisions being cheap. Spare parts also have lower prices than the class average. Instead, Cruze had many reliability issues. In general, these are not the most expensive, but they are repeated quite often. 

They range from problems with the electrical system to those with the running gear or steering. Over time there have been several recalls in service, it is important to check with a branded dealer to see if they have been made.

The past generation Chevrolet Cruze always felt a bit sluggish when outfitting the 138-horsepower 1.8-liter engine. It seemed that the passing was difficult for him and you had to opt for the version with the turbo engine to find a car with a slightly more cheerful character and that it would not take so much trouble to reach enough speed to overtake other cars.

Fortunately, for this generation, the engine was unified in all versions and now only uses a 1.4-litre turbo with 153 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque. Unfortunately – for those of us who are fans of the three pedals – only the base version can be equipped with a six-speed manual transmission, in all others, it is accompanied by a six-speed automatic.

Power delivery from the new engine is even throughout most of the rev range and the turbo starts to do its job from low tach, eliminating turbo lag as much as possible. Programming the automatic box helps you a lot to accomplish this and the shifts feel fast enough for the type of car the Chevrolet Cruze is. 

It has an option for manual changes, but the truth is that we believe that it is better to let the computer do its work, so the general operation of the engine will be more efficient.

Safety is covered thanks to the four-wheel disc brakes with ABS and the six airbags that the Cruze Premier equips; all other versions have only four airbags. It also has an electronic traction control system and is equipped with OnStar, which will help us in case of any kind of mishap.

The Chevrolet Cruze’s handling is quite comfortable. Engine recoveries are good without being harsh and despite having electronically assisted steering, feedback from what happens on the road is acceptable. 

Like the vast majority of compact sedans, its natural behaviour is to understeer, but you will have to enter a curve very quickly for the car to do something strange or for the safety systems to activate. It actually feels pretty neutral and under normal highway speed, it feels poised around corners.

The new generation of the Cruze is better 

The Chevrolet Cruze grew in every way for this generation, from a better engine, better finishes, and more cabin space. We can say that this time the car does belong to the segment it says.

Thanks to its various versions, the price range stretches quite a bit, from $ 280,000 for the base version to $ 364,400 for the Premier. The price of the more equipped version may sound a bit high, but taking into account everything it offers, added to the turbo engine and the OnStar system, it seems adequate.

Final thoughts

While it is entirely possible to pull a pop-up camper with a Chevy Cruze, keep in mind that the car doesn’t come with a towing system installed. You will thus have to get it to an authorized mechanic and have the towing bar and hitch installed.

However, before doing that, we recommend you check the terms and conditions of the manufacturer as it is quite possible that you will lose your insurance if towing with a Chevy Cruze. 

Should you have more questions or comments about the content, please let us know!

FAQ on Can a Chevy Cruze pull a pop-up camper?

Can you tow with a Chevy Cruze?

Yes, you can tow with a Chevy Cruze. You must install a towing system, however, as they don’t come with one from the fabric. Also, keep in mind the towing capacity of the car of only 1000 lbs. 

Can a small car pull a pop-up camper?

Yes, a small car could pull a pop-up camper. These are among the lightest and smallest campers, weighing only about 250-300 lbs. 

Can you put a hitch on a Chevy Cruze?

Yes, you could put a hitch on a Chevy Cruze. We recommend you take it to an authorised dealership in order to preserve your insurance. 

What percentage of max towing capacity is safe?

A percentage of 80% or 75% of max towing capacity would be safe and recommendable. 


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