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2011 Chevrolet Cruze

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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 New for 2011

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 527 Ratings for the 2011 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.4/10
    Quality
    8.5/10
  • Reliability
    8.8/10
    Performance
    8.4/10
  • Comfort
    8.5/10
    Styling
    8.7/10

WORST CAR EVER

By on Friday, July 15, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 147,000

10 2.0
overall rating 2 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
2/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
1/10
Styling
1/10
Comfort
1/10

Pros: "Gas mileage"

Cons: "Everything"

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

"This vehicle is nothing but junk. I have put thousands of dollars into my vehicle since I bought it. I have owned it for about 3 years, slightly used and I have had it towed 4 times within the first year of owning. It continues to have problems. My friends have owned cruze's and they have less miles and are newer vehicles that too ended up having to put thousands of dollers into this vehicle. Stay away. Don't even bother. They are junk, don't let them fool you."

Excellent vehicle.

By on Wednesday, June 22, 2016

I don't own this car

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"This car has exceeded all my expectations. It is and has been a very reliable vehicle. It has low mileage. Constantly babied as to servicing and factory recall specs. I could not envision a better car at such a good price. Choice is provided to use sun roof or not."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

no one smoked in my car.

By on Tuesday, June 21, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 7,500

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: "love my car still is new spouse does all maintain"

Cons: "has wheel covers instead of fancy wheels"

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

"bought car around Christmas 2011.i was disable in 6-12.car was drove 6 months. now car is drove once a week, if that much"

Will not buy again

By on Monday, June 13, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 74,000

10 2.0
overall rating 2 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
2/10
Value
4/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
1/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
3/10

Pros: "gas mileage"

Cons: "transmission, gear assembly, and thermstat"

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

"I purchased this vehicle new. I had no problems with the vehicle initially (good gas mileage, steering ease, interior for the most part) and I did all the maintenance as required. The transmission, if you want to call that, leaves a lot to be desired. Even after components of the transmission was replaced by the dealership at 70K, I am still having problems. It has left me stranded more than once owing to transmission and gear shifting issues (a recall repaired the gear assembly as well after 2 years of ownership). Despite any good features with this vehicle, the poor quality of the Cruze in regards to internal parts makes this vehicle a nightmare waiting to happen. There is thermostat issue that should be recalled as well. My previous vehicle, a Nissan X-terra, I had to over 14 years, with parts going bad after 10-11 years, not 4.5. Here a suggestion for a new name that will fit it better: Chevy Loose."

7 people out of 8 found this review helpful

bought in 2011 wish someone would have warned me

By on Saturday, June 11, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 96,000

10 3.0
overall rating 3 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
3/10
Value
2/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
4/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
4/10

Pros: "6 speed manual with turbo fun to drive"

Cons: "no rear cupholders or child locks"

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

"I bought my chevy cruze in 2011 brand new 2012 cruze eco it had 4 miles on it when i bought it. I really wish someone had told me not to buy the first year model chevy came out with the cruzes. my car spent more time in the shop getting the bugs worked out in the first two years than i had it . Long story short i really wish i waited a couple years to buy my cruze.I bought it thinking it would be a nice,dependable car and it's fun to drive if you like driving a stick but not very dependable it has left me setting on the side of the interstate more than once."

Standard Chevy Quality

By on Monday, June 6, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 116,000

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
3/10
Reliability
2/10
Quality
2/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "Good gas mileage"

Cons: "It leaks from every pore"

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

"Normally I will not buy a GM car. However, I needed a car with good gas mileage. The Cruze does deliver on gas mileage. However, this car has had every leak and malfunction that can be viewed on various Cruze forums. Valve cover, AC condenser, water pump, turbo oil feed, oil pan and coolant leaks. The car is a virtual sieve of leakage. The oil pan drain plug is designed to have the bolt head strip, and it does, regularly. It's only an 8mm head and easily rounds off. I keep a spare just in case. The oil pan is sealed with RTV instead of a gasket. The coolant hoses are sealed with pins and plastic snap connectors that break and leak. The AC condenser is prone to stone damage and the valve cover will just start sucking air out of the blue. The brake rotors are machined so thin they can't be turned, only replaced. They may have fixed many of these flaws in later models, but the 2012 should have been recalled."

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