Wednesday, June 29, 2011

2011 chevy cruze

With the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze, General Motors finally has a world-class compact car that can compete with the likes of the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla--even beating them on key features such as fuel economy and safety scores.

We're awarding the Cruze a score of 8 here at FamilyCarGuide. It's a compact car, and rear-seat space isn't spectacular, but the Cruze's exemplary performance in crash tests and its 40-mpg fuel economy rating in some versions makes it a great choice for smaller families.

Chevy's done well by families that need more front-seat room. There, legroom is phenomenal, with a couple extra inches of seat travel than you might find in other compacts. The steering wheel tilts and telescopes, too, for a good driving position. Only the new VW Jetta comes close to the Cruze's front-seat space. In back, however, the Cruze reveals its compact nature. It's not wide enough for three adults to sit in back; two will fit, but barely, and head room is tight for taller passengers. The rear doors are short, too, so getting in or mounting a bigger car seat could be a challenge. The trunk, though, is 15.4 cubic feet, large by even mid-size-car standards.

The 2011 Cruze absolutely aces crash tests not only here in America, but around the world, since it's a global car. The IIHS and the NHTSA both give the Cruze their top awards, and features such as ten airbags and stability control are standard, while a rearview camera is an option.

The Cruze's base 1.8-liter four-cylinder is fine for many buyers, but we recommend the available turbocharged 1.4-liter four. Not only is it a better performer, it's also more fuel-efficient. In a special Eco version, it earns the Cruze a 40-mpg EPA highway gas mileage rating. It's offered with manual and automatic transmission options. The Cruze isn't our idea of a truly nimble car, but it has a nicely absorbent ride that works well with its well-sorted steering feel. It drives like a larger car than it is, which could be comforting to first-time compact buyers.

The Cruze also looks conservative in a handsome way, but it's a shape that breaks no new ground when compared with the newest Ford Focus or Hyundai Elantra. It's more contemporary inside, where fit and finish are some of the best we've ever seen in a Chevrolet. Rich surfaces and high-quality materials telegraph how much progress GM has made in transforming itself.

The Cruze also has picked up its game in terms of standard and optional features. It's priced at a slight premium, but the Cruze has standard power features, air conditioning and cruise control. Bluetooth and a USB port are offered on most versions, as in the Elantra and Focus. GM also offers two flavors of navigation systems, one based on its OnStar system, the other a more expensive, car-based system.

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