First Look: 2011 Chevy Cruze

By Editors on January 6, 2009 9:12 AM

The first of an all-new generation of fuel-efficient General Motors small cars, this slick four-door goes on sale in Europe next March and joins Chevy's U.S. lineup in mid-2010 as a 2011 model. Built on GM's new global compact car architecture, the Cruze is slightly larger than the current Cobalt, which it will ultimately replace. While the Euro Cruze will offer a choice of 1.6- and 1.8-liter gasoline engines as well as a 2.0-liter turbodiesel, its U.S. counterpart will likely be fitted with a turbocharged version of the same 1.4-liter direct-injected four-cylinder engine to be used in the Chevy Volt. Paired with either a five-speed manual transmission or a new six-speed automatic option, GM promises both spritely performance and fuel economy that will "significantly exceed the Cobalt XFE's numbers." That high-mileage Cobalt variant currently sets its class benchmarks with 25/36-mpg city/highway stats.