With gas prices top of mind for many drivers, the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco model seems perfectly timed.

The model with a six-speed manual gearbox is EPA-rated at 28 mpg city, 42 mpg highway, for a combined 33 mpg.

On our recent road test over a long weekend, we beat that slightly, getting 34.2 mpg over a mix of highway and local routes, though our miles were skewed more toward highway travel.

OTHER VIDEO: 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco, Two-Minute Drive Review

So how does the Cruze Eco get mileage higher than the regular Chevy Cruze, which is rated at 26 mpg city, 36 mpg highway, for a combined 30 mpg?

2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco Quick Drive and Live Photos

2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco Quick Drive and Live Photos

The video below goes through several of the features unique to the Eco model of the 2011 Chevy Cruze.

Among several fuel-economy features are special lighter-weight alloy wheels, a downsized 1.4-liter turbocharged engine, and an active grille shutter that closes off airflow when it's not needed. That cuts aerodynamic drag, requiring less energy to push the car through the air.

One note on the final video: While discussing the active shutters, we show a shot of the front of the car and a closeup of the upper grille. Please note, the active shutters are behind the lower portion of the grille, below the front bumper, not in the upper part. Oops. Our bad.

VIDEO: 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco, Our Real-World Gas Mileage

This is the last of three videos from our road test of the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco. And even GM itself has posted a video explaining a number of the Cruze Eco's gas-saving technologies.

Coming up: Videos from a five-day, 750-mile test of the Chevy Volt range-extended electric car, the Cruze's more glamorous but much pricier half-brother.

Meanwhile, let us know what you think of our videos in the Comments section below.


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