First drive reviews can be some of the most exciting moments in the launch of a new car; not just for automaker, but for journalist and consumers alike. It is the moment of truth where we find out whether the car we are intrigued by can actual cut it in the real world. True, automotive journalists can be hard to please, but in the case of the recently launched 2011 Chevrolet Cruze, it looks like GM might have gained some much-needed ground. Earlier this month Ann, an Intern in the GM Communications department, blogged about her experience on the 2011 Cruze Media Tour.

What where her main takeaways? Media tours are hard work. You have to start with a great product and Washington D.C. has a lot of insect life. The second one is really where the story is today. We all know it has been a long time since the small car at GM has gotten rave reviews. Caviler’s used to have some terrible crash ratings and the Cobalt was perceived as kinda blah compared to other entry-level cars of the same price range on the market. This is really a car category where the Honda Civic as really ruled the tarmac. That may be changing and according to Ann, there is a lot of passion within GM for the newly designed for 2011, Chevrolet Cruze. Our reviews at had nice things to say (more here) and we invite you to check out Ann’s story by reading further.

Bottom line—The Cruze may just break the small car stigma yet in the U.S. The real question is: How will it stack up to the Fiesta.