While the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze went on sale in Europe some time ago, GM didn’t release much information on the U.S-spec car until this year’s Los Angeles auto show.
The 2011 Chevrolet Cruze replaces the Chevrolet Cobalt and dramatically improves Chevy’s small car offerings. The exterior of the car is characterized by the two-tier Chevrolet family grille with a highly styled arching roofline, giving the car a coupe-like profile with a usable sedan body.
Inside the car, Chevrolet designed a Corvette-inspired twin-cockpit creating a separate space for the driver and passenger. GM also upgraded the materials used in the interior over the outgoing Cobalt. High-quality, soft touch materials are seen around the cabin. The instrument panel uses LED backlighting to eliminate dark spots for better readability. The instrument panel blends into the center stack, which houses a standard driver infotainment center, climate control, and audio buttons.
A standard 1.8-liter four-cylinder produces 136 hp and 123 lb-ft of torque, and the optional 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder produces 138 hp and 148 lb-ft of torque. Unlike many turbocharged engines, this new GM mill runs on standard fuel. Buyers can choose an automatic or manual transmission, and receive six ratios with either box. GM estimates the car will get 40 mpg highway with the 1.4-liter engine, but does not specify with which transmission.
GM has not released pricing for the Cruze yet, but it should be close to the Cobalt’s price. The Cruze will hit dealerships in the third quarter of next year.