2012 Chevrolet Cruze

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2011 Chevrolet Cruze: Test Drive

This 2011 review is representative of model years 2011 to 2014.
By Staff of MSN Autos

While it doesn't look very good, the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze is a really great car. Shocking, I know; I expected to hate it. The steering is just about perfect. The materials are attractive, sturdy and comfortable. The seating is "just right." The whole car is wonderful. About the worst thing I can say is that the engine could be a little more powerful. The Cruze is better than all but a handful of cars I've driven — ever. You gotta try one. –Paul Hagger

The Cruze is Chevrolet's new entry in the ultracompetitive compact segment, and it is a surprisingly good vehicle. It's not a sports sedan, but offers a conservatively sporty design; it's appealing, but probably won't turn any heads. It has a solid, stable platform with good steering response and a well-tuned suspension. And the new Ecotec 1.4-liter turbocharged engine delivers impressive power for its size and good overall drivability. The new 6-speed automatic at first seemed a little slow to upshift at less than full throttle, but the transmission makes maximum use of the power from the smaller engine while still delivering 24 mpg city/36 mpg highway fuel economy. –Mike Meredith

Chevrolet has made several attempts at building quality small cars, none of which were very impressive. But with the Cruze, it appears Chevy has got it right. The exterior looks sharp, with crisp, clean lines. The interior isn't anything fancy, but it isn't cheap looking either. And power and handling are good. However, the rear seat is a bit cramped, and the cabin feels small. In addition, the transmission doesn't shift very smoothly. With a mid-30s fuel-economy rating and a price starting around $16K, the Cruze is a seriously competitive small-car offering. –Perry Stern

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BB02 - 7/26/2014 6:35:03 AM