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2011 Chevrolet Cruze

Overview
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2011 Chevrolet Cruze Review

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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
8.5
Out of 10

Based on 415 Ratings for the 2011 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.5/10
    Quality
    8.6/10
  • Reliability
    9.0/10
    Performance
    8.5/10
  • Comfort
    8.6/10
    Styling
    8.9/10

Better than expected

By on Friday, September 26, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 13,000

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
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Unrealistic economy, mid 50's hwy, 38-46 city-mix."

Cons: "No memory seat/mirror option."

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

"Quiet and comfortable. Economy exceeds the rating. Well designed ergonomics. Enjoyable to drive, even on longer trips. More powerful than it deserves to be."

Excellent Choice for looks handling and mileage

By on Wednesday, September 24, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 62,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "superior gas mileage; good handling"

Cons: "a bit rough in the sound system"

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

"I absolutely love my Cruze. The gas mileage cant be beat and the handling on and off paved highways is excellent. I put 450 to 500 miles weekly on my Cruze going to and from work and class. I really appreciate having a car that is fantastic on gas mileage. I only need to fill up every 8 days. (I do have the 6 speed so I am not sure what the automatic does). Highway mileage is also superior I can drive 540 miles on a long trip (yes that is one way)then run 5 towns over and back (40 miles round trip) and still have gas left over. I will admit that it is only .5 gallon but I wanted you to see the impact of the mileage. I also love the look of the Cruze. The lines are symmetrical and cabin design has strong design (though I would like a bit more leg room as my legs are really long)."

15K miles and almost 2 Years in - Still very happy

By on Saturday, September 13, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 15,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Gets great gas mileage. Good electronics pkg."

Cons: "Some blind spots for short driver."

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

"I was never a fan of Chevy's over the years, but when it came time to buy a new car a couple of years ago, when all of the comparisons were made, it came down to the Cruze or a Fit. I liked the Cruze better after some test drives, and so bought it. This car has gotten us through some winter weather that was so severe that even FWD vehicles were having trouble. Rain, snow, hot, cold, this car has handled them all without a single problem. In daily commute service, it gives a solid 37 MPG. It is very sensitive to driving technique. If you drive it conservatively and use some hypermiling techniques it will reward you with astounding mileage. I have had stretches of 20-30 miles where it was showing more than 50 MPG. On the other hand, if you drive like an agressive leadfoot, the mileage will drop to a very disappointing number in the low 20's. Its up to the driver. So far, at 15K miles, the only thing it has needed was oil changes and tire rotations. No other maintenance of any sort has been required. When the 2nd car in the family needed replacement a few months ago, we biought another Cruze."

17 people out of 26 found this review helpful

Excellent Vehcile

By on Friday, September 12, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 49,900

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Price"

Cons: "Rear Seat leg room"

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

"I bought the vehicle to be a commuter to and from LA. The vehicle is an excellent car. Excellent gas mileage and able to maneuver in and out of traffic with ease."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Excellent gas mileage.

By on Tuesday, September 02, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 31,000

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
9/10

Pros: "45-47mpg on highway; 30-35mpg in town"

Cons: "Poor A/C"

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

"Bought the car new in 2011. We are a single-car retired household and the Cruze has served us well--very comfortable for the two of us and very economical."

7 people out of 11 found this review helpful

nice ride

By on Tuesday, August 26, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 42,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "good gas mileage"

Cons: "not good in snow"

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

"although a comfortable car with good gas mileage in New York winters it is too light in the snow and slides a lot."

4 people out of 7 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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