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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.

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

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2011 Chevrolet Cruze Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.4
Out of 10

Based on 485 Ratings for the 2011 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.4/10
    Quality
    8.5/10
  • Reliability
    8.9/10
    Performance
    8.5/10
  • Comfort
    8.5/10
    Styling
    8.8/10

Due to our ages it is getting difficult to get

By on Tuesday, July 21, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 12,200

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
Not Rated
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
Not Rated
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Made me feel younger."

Cons: "No cons except for being low for getting in and of"

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

"in and out of the car. I love this car and it makes me sad to sell it but we need an SUV for easier getting in and out."

Very Nice car

By on Friday, July 17, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 19,480

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "The price was great, fun to drive on highway."

Cons: "Seats are to low."

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

"Overall, I love this car, but when stopping and starting it's not a smooth transition. It jerks and jumps during gear change which is very annoying. Once you are moving its smooth riding but as soon as you stop and start to excelerate it jerk into motion. Gas tank is to small. Makes being in traffic much worse."

3 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Just alright

By on Friday, July 17, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 67,000

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Pretty car."

Cons: "Too many problems under the hood."

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

"I've had my car for 1 1/2 years. My car has been in the shop 4 times now for misc things. My very first week of purchasing this car it died. One of the many computers it has was dead. It's a pretty car, but today the engine light went on, and it felt like it was slipping, and felt like it needed to go into another gear. It wouldn't go over 50 mph. I personally know somebody that works at the chevy dealership and works on these cars everyday. He's been saying get rid of it since day 1. My uncle has this car too and is getting rid of it because it keeps breaking down. I wouldn't recommend somebody buying a cruze in the future. It's a lovely looking car, but not made too well."

1 person out of 3 found this review helpful

Great car if you use it mostly by yourself.

By on Friday, July 17, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 66,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Handles well and is good on gas."

Cons: "AC not large enough. Too small for baby seats"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"The 2011 Chevy Cruze is a great car if it is being mostly used for one or two people. It is too small for baby seats. It is comfortable and handles well on highway curves without slowing down. Over 3000 miles, I have averaged 25 miles to a gallon but have gotten as high as almost 36 mpg on the highway. A power seat is needed for the passenger side. The four cylinder, turbo charged, accelerates quick enough to get to 75 mph by the end of the entrance ramp to a highway. It has great passing power – but not when you are traveling over 75 mph. The automatic speed control will slow down about one mph on an incline. AC could be larger."

3 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Nice car a lot of buts!!!!!!

By on Friday, July 10, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,000

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fun to drive"

Cons: "Lot of lacks way to expensive for the Ltz in this"

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

"Car lacks a lot in storage tilt is a joke extremely difficult to get in and out of definitely not made for a very large person and I'm not a large person nice car fun to drive but chevy could do a lot better in the ease of access and storage."

16 people out of 26 found this review helpful

Good, but not great

By on Wednesday, July 01, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 70,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6

"Pros: 6 speed manual, doesn't lunge and sometimes feels more like an auto in how it shifts. Easy standard car to drive. It's pretty the systems screen is handy, monitors all the vitals and other useful stuff. USB connection is handy, has hands free and SyriusXM Spacious interior and trunk Great on fuel economy, best I have gotten is 50 mpg driving at 50-55 mph. Average is closer to 40 with city/hwy combined. Cons: Keep hitting the onstar by accident when I move the mirror. It's annoying. The hands free button on the steering wheel is annoying. I try to change the station and activate hands free because it's touchy. Small fuel tank. Even though you get good fuel economy, it doesn't feel like it having to stop to fill up so often. It was designed this way to save weight, and thus, get better fuel mileage. Small con, but it bugs me. If the A/C is on, you have to really rev the engine up to get up and go. It's even worse with people in the car. The downside to a car that relies on a turbo for any real movement. A/C off and single driver, it's just enough to accelerate into a high speed lane. Poor aerodynamics on the front end. Too much turbulence on the windshield and it causes rocks from trucks to hit hard. Went through 2 windshields already. Do not stay near large trucks AT ALL, especially their rear 3/4 area. I had an eclipse that I would literally see the rocks ride the air current over my windshield. Definitely not the case here. Overall a good car, you won't regret buying it (assuming you have the 6-speed, I heard the auto has issues). Hope it lasts me a long time because I'm going back to buying, fixing, and driving old cars. There's no replacement for displacement."

22 people out of 40 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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