It has been a little while since we have actually reported on the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze here at AllSmallCars.com. That might be because the Volt has been taking the spotlight with the flood of news and excitement prior to its launch later this fall. That or it could be the shock at its entry-level price. None of that is a problem with the new for 2011 Chevrolet Cruze and what’s more is that it has impressed our Frist Drive experts over at The CarConnection.com. When is the last time you have heard that about a small, economy, American-made car?
2011 Chevrolet Cruze

2011 Chevrolet Cruze

Truly, GM seems to be getting their act together from the “German engineered” Buick Regal, electrified Volt and global c-segment Cruze. Our college, Bengt Halvorson, recently drove the Cruze through the traffic congested highways and streets of Washington D.C. The general impression coming out of that experience is that Toyota better watch out because the Cruze is night and day from the previous Cobalt or Cavalier models. Halvorson gives high praise to the front interior legroom (being 6’ 6” we can see why) and says that the noise levels and control layout makes you feel like you are in higher-end sedan. Other high points include the feel of the 1.4-liter Turbocharged engine in the LT2 and LTZ trim levels, 15.4 cubic inches of trunk space and steering feel. Round that out with a starting price of $16,995 and you have yourself a very competitive small car from GM.

Okay, okay, so there are some negatives about the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze as well. Most notable is probably the “conservative” exterior design. Now, I tend to agree that the design doesn’t jump out and grab you like that of say the 2010 Nissan 370Z, but for a small, entry-level sedan I think it is still miles above the Cobalt. Other negatives that were mention included a little more body lean in corners than one might like if they were driving in a spirited fashion and awkwardly low placement of the climate control. All in all, our expert reviewer was impressed…but will you be impressed as a consumer? We will just have to wait until the comments start rolling in.

Be sure to check out the in-depth First Drive Review of the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze over at TheCarConnection.com