Have you been to the pump lately? I had to go fill up today and was greeted by $3.50 gasoline prices. That is easily up a dollar from where they were in the Rocky Mountain region last year at this same time. Of course, as I watched the dollars click by I started to think maybe I should get a more fuel-efficient car…not that my current car is all that much of a gas hog, but maybe a different vehicle would save me some coin. Enter the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco. What makes the Eco special? Well, actually quite a few features you wouldn’t find on your standard Cruze. The most significant is an increase in fuel economy.

2011 Chevrolet Cruze 1.4T Ecotec engine

2011 Chevrolet Cruze 1.4T Ecotec engine

Gas mileage is really what we are concerned with here, but just for those who aren’t familiar the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze is quite the upgrade for the GM C-segment car. If you are used to the Cavalier or Cobalt, the Cruze feels like it is in another dimension. Part of that upper class feeling comes from the technology in the car—technology that allows the Eco edition to get 26 mpg in the city, 36 mpg on the highway and a 33 mpg combined rating. What features allow GM to achieve the increase? Let’s check them out.

The 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco comes equipped with polished alloy wheels that are lighter than the standard wheels available. This reduces weight and their for reduces fuel consumption. There is also a smaller 1.4-liter turbocharged engine to reduce not only weight, but utilized forced induction to return similar performance while using less fuel. Keeping the Cruze on its weight reduction program Chevrolet has also opted to radius the welds on the Cruze to reduce weight while not affecting the strength or safety. Finally, the mpg of the Cruze Eco is also increased by an active grille shutter system that reduces airflow when the engine isn’t in need of additional cooling (also a feature available on the all-new 2012 Ford Focus)

Final verdict: It isn’t hype, it is real mpg savings that might just require a trip to the dealership so you can check out the car for yourself.

Want to see a video of all this? Check out our partner site, GreenCarReports.com, and our green car guru John Voelcker as it shows you the Cruze Eco live on camera.


Until then, be sure to follow AllSmallCars.com on twitter via our handle @allsmallcars.



[Source: GreenCarReports]