2011 Chevrolet Cruze: Auto Trader New Car Review


Host: Carmakers take notice; Chevy has changed the game with an all-new small car. Hi, I’m Andrew Smith

Co-host: And I’m Vanessa Leigh

Host:  You’re watching AutoTrader’s New Car review of the all-new 2011 Chevrolet Cruze. 

Co-host:  For a long time, GM’s small cars used low quality materials, were noisy and had an uncomfortable ride. The all-new Chevrolet Cruze changes all that with sharp styling, a nicely detailed, comfortable interior and competitive performance.   With the Cruze, Chevrolet is shooting for the top spot when it comes to compact sedans.

Host:  And it’s pretty evident when looking at the outside of this car… I’ve never seen a small Chevy with these kind of crisp, chiseled good looks … but the heart of the Cruze is under the hood…

Co-host: That’s right.  The Cruze is available with a choice of two engines. The base LS trim comes with a 1.8-liter inline-4 that puts out 136 horsepower. The real story though, is the turbocharged 1.4-liter inline-4. That engine makes 138 horsepower and GM expects it to get close to 40 miles per gallon on the highway.

Host: …Even though you can get a turbocharged version of the Cruze, don’t expect high performance. The Cruze is best for those shoppers who are looking for an attractive, well-built, fuel efficient small car.

Host:  GM has aimed the Cruze squarely at the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla and the Cruze is better in many ways. Inside, the Chevy is much nicer plus, the Corolla’s suspension gives the car a soggy, imprecise feel.

Co-Host… and although the Civic has a modern look, its handling is not all that great either due to a  lack of steering feedback… If you’re wondering what feedback means…

Co-host: To have control of your car, you want to feel in touch with the road.  The Cruze’s steering response is firm and accurate when driving…and the faster you go….the better it feels!

Host:  OK, I get it!  And your test-driving reminds me that the Cruze earned the highest crash safety scores EVER in Europe.

Co-host: Now, while the Civic and Corolla are popular, the Volkswagen Jetta and Mazda3 are popular too. But the Cruze is aiming to lead the pack in performance AND value.  a Jetta can easily top  $20,000 with options, while $18,000 is middle of the road for a Mazda3. The Cruze starts at just $16,275, and the range-topping LTZ starts at $21,975.

Host:  And while the Jetta and Mazda3 are known for being nimble and agile, the Cruze also handles well… as you so aptly demonstrated,…but also has a smooth highway ride with the solid feel of a larger car.

Co-host:   All-in-all, the 2011 Cruze is an ambitious step into the small car market for Chevy. With great fuel economy, a comfortable ride, responsive handling, and a price that’s very competitive, GM has a compact winner with the all-new 2011 Chevrolet Cruze. …    I’m Vanessa Leigh.

Host:  And I’m Andrew Smith.  Thanks for shopping for your next car right here on AutoTrader, the ultimate automotive marketplace.

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