The 2011 Chevrolet Cruze is the first fully competitive compact sedan Chevy has ever fielded, and in some areas it outshines the perennial class leaders, the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla.
For one, the model with the highest gas mileage—the Cruze Eco with six-speed manual transmission—is rated at 28 mpg city, 42 mpg highway, for a combined EPA rating of 33 mpg. In real-world driving, the manual Cruze Eco proved to equal or exceed that combined number, which is as good or better than the competition.
Note, though, that ratings for the automatic Cruze Eco fall to 26 mpg city, 37 mpg highway, producing a lower combined rating of 30 mpg.
The base powertrain is a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine, but most Cruze models (including the high-mileage Eco) will be fitted with a smaller, turbocharged 1.4-liter four that produces equal power on less fuel. Transmission choices are a six-speed automatic, which works flawlessly, or a six-speed manual for those (few) customers who like to...
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