The Chevrolet Cruze is an all new compact four door that is offering a whole lot of features in a very small package. GM has never had a very successful small car and has many problems with their choices for the compact models they have offered. The Cruze hopefully proves to change Chevrolets track record and offer an award winning package to the public. This small sedan is going to be in direct competition with the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla and Ford Focus so the designers and engineers at Chevrolet knew they had their work cut out for themselves.
The Cruze comes with a 6 speed automatic transmission that is not even an option for most of the others in its class. OnStar, 4 airbags, built in navigation; XM Radio and a traction control system (StabiliTrack) all come standard on the most basic Cruze. Many of these options are not even offered little love bundled as standard feature on any of the other compacts in the Cruzes class. Not only that, but the Chevrolet Cruze is also the most fuel efficient in its class, claiming over 36 MPG on the highway this may be the car to beat in the compact class this year.
Engines: 1.8L I-4, 1.4L turbocharged I-4
Transmissions: 6-speed manual, 6-speed automatic
Models: LS, LT, LTZ, ECO
Based on GM’s global Delta platform, the large Cruze compact sedan replaces the unloved Cobalt. Suspension is MacPherson strut/coil spring front suspension and z-link torsion beam rear, and the optional turbocharged four is all-new. Cruze is designed to elevate Chevy’s small car reputation, with interior design and materials designed to be a step up from the midsize Malibu.
The efficiently packaged sedan features an arched roofline and a relatively long wheelbase with short front and rear overhangs. As if from Chevrolet’s heyday, tailored lines make the Cruze look more expensive than it is.
Like the Malibu, the high trim-level LTZ features two-tone interior and heated leather seats. Bluetooth connectivity, USB ports, XM satellite radio, OnStar, a navigation system and a nine-speaker Pioneer audio system are among the options.
The Cruz ECO model has less sound-deadening than other versions, saving about 275 pounds. Its low-rolling resistance tires squeal easily in tight corners while its taller gearing lengthens its acceleration times. The Cruze LTZ with its standard 18-inch wheels is the sport sedan version, sacrificing some ride quality for sharp handling. The LT with the base suspension nicely compromises ride and handling.
Chevy claims a class-leading 10 airbags, including front, side curtain bags, front and rear outboard seat airbags, and knee bags, first in its class. StabiliTrak with rollover sensing, traction control and anti-lock brakes is standard.
LS, LT, LTZ (1.8L): 22 mpg city/35 mpg highway (automatic)
LS, LT, LTZ (1.4L): 24 mpg city/36 mpg highway (automatic)
- Modern style
- Elegant interior
- Fuel economy
- Good dynamics
- Noise in the ECO
- Ride impact harshness in the LTZ
A Chevy compact with promise
- Ford Focus
- Honda Civic
- Toyota Corolla
- Hyundai Elantra
- Kia Forte