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2011 Chevrolet Cruze

Overview
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2011 Chevrolet Cruze Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 6.7

The 2011 Chevrolet Cruze is just the kind of vehicle that GM - a company in the midst of a turnaround - needs to have on the market to prove that they're making major strides forward. Replacing the aging and lackluster Cobalt, the Cruze is a fresh entry into the increasingly competitive compact segment, offering a fuel-efficient turbocharged engine, a refined and quiet interior, and plenty of driver-pleasing techno-features. Whether the Cruze can continue to stand out with an all-new Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra and Ford Focus on the horizon remains to be seen, but this Chevy compact is certainly a step in the right direction.

You'll Like This Car If...

The 2011 Chevrolet Cruze is a well-executed blend of fuel-efficiency, design, refinement and performance wrapped in an affordable, compact sedan package.

You May Not Like This Car If...

The Chevrolet Cruze doesn't have the time-tested records of the Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla and therefore doesn't have as high a resale value.

What's Significant About This Car?

With an available turbocharged engine, 36 mpg highway fuel economy, more overall interior room than the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla and design that sets it apart from the rest, the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze is a formidable entry in the compact segment.

Driving the Cruze

Driving Impressions The 2011 Chevy Cruze is available with a 1.8-liter or 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. While the naturally-aspirated base 1.8-liter would suit most commuters just fine, it's the 1.4-liter turbo that...

gets our vote for most fun to drive. It's quiet, produces more torque, and, overall, gets better mileage. Our only complaint was there was a bit of lag when it came to power delivery, but that's a small price to pay for a much more enjoyable driving experience. As for ride, the Cruze proved to be a comfortable and quiet but still dynamic vehicle: It was soft enough that we didn't feel like we were bouncing over broken pavement, with just enough feedback to feel sporty but not overly buffeted. The Cruze's steering was reasonably direct for an electric power system, with a lighter feel that would be appreciated on the highway.
Favorite Features

1.4L Ecotec Turbo
The Chevrolet Cruze's four-cylinder turbocharged engine not only delivers ample torque for a fun drive, its also quiet and fuel efficient.

RS Trim
The Chevy Cruze RS features bold rocker panels, fascia, lamp treatments and a spoiler on the outside, while inside chrome accents, ice-blue backlighting and an uplevel instrument cluster complete the sporty look.

2011 Chevrolet Cruze Details
2011 Chevrolet Cruze photo Interior

The 2011 Chevy Cruze really shines on the inside. With soft-touch materials throughout and the availability of a leather interior, this compact sedan looks and feels like a car from a higher price point. The seats are very comfortable, with ample thigh and lower-back support, and there's plenty of head and legroom in the Cruze as well. All of the gauges and center stack controls are intuitive and easy to reach, and the optional RS package brings an upgraded gauge cluster with chrome surrounds and cool blue back-light to the dash.

Exterior
2011 Chevrolet Cruze photo

The 2011 Chevrolet Cruze vehicle features a bold split grille that leads back into an aggressively molded hood, framed by strong shoulder lines that give the Cruze a muscular and athletic look. The optional RS Appearance Package adds Euro-like flair to the vehicle, with rocker moldings, a rear spoiler and foglamps. While the base trims get 16-inch wheels in the wheel wells, 17- and 18- inch wheels are available.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The base Chevrolet Cruze LS comes equipped with a 1.8-liter Ecotec four-cylinder engine, a six-speed manual transmission, 10 airbags, Bluetooth connectivity, and OnStar with turn-by-turn navigation. Opting for the 1LT model brings a six-speed automatic transmission paired to a 1.4-liter turbocharged engine and power mirrors into the mix, while the 2LT adds standard cruise control and leather seating surfaces. The top-of-the-line LTZ trim further enhances the Cruze with rear park assist, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and dual-zone climate control.

Optional Equipment

Options on the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze vary by trim and include a Connectivity Package with Bluetooth, a USB Port for portable music devices and steering-wheel mounted stereo controls. A sporty RS Package is also available, offering front fog lamps, rocker panel moldings and a rear spoiler. Stand-alone options include a power moonroof, a GPS navigation system and a Pioneer premium audio system.

Under the Hood

Two engines are offered on the 2011 Chevy Cruze: A naturally-aspirated 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 136 horsepower and 123 pound-feet of torque (standard on base LS models) and a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that produces 138 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque. If you're hoping to outfit a Cruze with a six-speed manual and the turbo engine, unfortunately you're out of luck. Although a six-speed manual is available, it is only found on the base LS trim, which comes standard with the 1.8-liter. All other trims get a Hydra-Matic six-speed automatic transmission.

1.8-liter in-line 4
136 horsepower @ 6300 rpm
123 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/35 (automatic, manual TBD)

1.4-liter in-line 4 Turbocharged
138 horsepower @ 4900 rpm
148 lb.-ft. of torque @ 1850 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 24/36

Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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2011 Chevrolet Cruze Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.5
Out of 10

Based on 373 Ratings for the 2011 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.6/10
    Quality
    8.7/10
  • Reliability
    9.0/10
    Performance
    8.6/10
  • Comfort
    8.7/10
    Styling
    8.9/10

Best car ever

By on Wednesday, April 16, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 9,700

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Excellent gas mileage. Looks good"

Cons: "Price was a bit high, but worth it."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I have been driving for 50+ years now, and usually purchase a new car every 2-3 years. I have to admit this 2012 Cruze (purchased new) is the best one yet. I get close to 38mpg on the highway (LTZ), and around town it's always above 30mpg. It has all the option anyone could ever need. An excellent car all around."

2 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Great little car, with 40+ MPG on the highway!

By on Monday, April 07, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 21,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Price, mpg, dash layout, comfort all good."

Cons: "No rear cupholders, slow accel., front elbow room"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"Quality car. A little slow in accelerating, but it's a Cruze "Eco," so that's not at all unexpected. May be a bit small for some - looks like a Malibu "mini-me" inside! Over 40 mpg on the highway, and over 30 mpg in town."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

45 mpg highway, measured in 10K increments

By on Saturday, April 05, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 101,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "45mpg"

Cons: "cheap floor mats"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"bought used with 49K miles, last 52K miles, average 45mpg highway, measured via the fuel consumed gauge in 10K increments. range has been 44-46. Tank measurements vary from 42 to 49. Comfortable to drive, lots of seat adjustments, very roomy, large trunk with lay-down seats, fun to shift 6 speed, durable interior. Mine is a 2011, identical to new ones i believe. Very good quality sound on phone link, sending and receiving."

First Chevrolet Ever!

By on Wednesday, April 02, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,065

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Love My Link and Onstar"

Cons: "Needs a trunk release on the dash."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I have owned this car since 8/29/2013, with 6065 miles as of today. So far I have had no issues with the car. Very reliable, and enjoyable to drive. Goes great in snow and bad weather. Mileage is better than advertised in town and as advertised on the highway."

7 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Very good road performance.

By on Saturday, March 29, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 21,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "secure road handling."

Cons: "GPM not half as good as advertised."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"Good acceleration for size of engine. Very stable on highways. Disappointed with gas mileage, highway and city average nowhere near advertised."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

bitter and sweet

By on Saturday, March 15, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 58,000

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
4/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "sharp inside and out, pulls well in snow"

Cons: "not enough bang for my buck. lots of roadnoise"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5

"Very loud in cockpit. You can hear every road noise and the sound of the car cutting through the air. I paid 27k but feel I should not have paid more than 22 for the brand new LTZ w/ RS package. Good looking car, handles surprisingly well in snow. They told me I'd get 36 MPGs but that's only if I go 64 on the highway... generally get 28 running 75 mph."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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