In Depth – 2011 Chevrolet Cruze 1LT –

2011 Chevrolet Cruze

The 2011 Chevrolet Cruze has great chances of becoming a hit in terms of sales because the Honda Civic and the Toyota Corolla are at the end of their product life cycles which means that the Cruze will (probably) be more popular among customers thanks to its fresh new appearance. Another reason for a possible success is that General Motors now has the wherewithal to produce a small-sized automobile that shows they understand these types of cars. These times are very good for GM to win a couple of hundred customers from Honda or Toyota; time will tell if this is going to happen.

When you give the 2011 Cruze a closer look, you will notice that there is not much in the way of historical lineage as far as the exterior design is concerned. The car does not have anything related to a smaller Chevrolet car: you will not find a trace of the Cavalier model nor you will notice Coblat in those scowling headlamps. Regardless of tastes, the Cruze is a very good looking car, no doubt about it, at least in our humble opinion. Looking at it from the front, you will notice that the angled flying “V” language of the headlights extends to the Cruze’s interior, which is the model’s pièce de résistance.

The engineers over at Chevrolet made several updates for offering a smoother engine and used more sound deadening materials. Taking these two into consideration, it will be very hard for you to notice the engine of the sound at idle. In comparison with its main segment rivals, Chevrolet is cleverly keeping pace with the market trend if you look at the hydraulic engine mounts and the laminated windshield. Looking back five years ago, the small-sized Sentra model from Nissan was regarded as the vault of solitude, but at the moment this car (or the Corolla/Civic) is considerably noisier when put side by side with the 2011 Cruze. The situation is the same not only when the engine is idle but also when driving on the road. Another reason for this noise difference between the Cruze and the rest is because the latter are not equipped with 6-speed automatic gearboxes.

The 2011 Chevrolet Cruze 1LT will cost you $18,000 (basic price) and with a few upgrades the price reaches the $20k mark. What gives the Cruze the edge over its rivals is the fact that it offers a bundle of features even on the entry-level trim levels, like USB port or Bluetooth. In most cases, such features are present on pricier trims. The inside space and rooms for legs is very generous for a car in this class. The driver has all the space he wants for his knees and both front and back passengers can get full circulation through their extremities, even after sitting in the car for 1-2 hours. The quality of the interior components and the finish of it are good, but not great, definitely there is place for improvements. There is a contrast in quality of the interior parts because the material used for the steering wheel is great, and so is the pattern on the seats, but the plastic insert in the cell phone cubby looks and feels rather cheap. The same contrast can be seen on the plastics used on the dashboard and doors.

The 1LT trim level of the Cruze is the most affordable one that allows you to get the 1.4-liter turbo; the LS entry-level trim is equipped with a 1.8-liter naturally aspirated four. All of the trims come as standard with 6-speed gearboxes (the manual gearbox is available on the LS and ECO trims). As far as the safety features are concerned, all of the trims come with traction and stability control. The LT gets four-wheel disc brakes (optional on the 2LT). There aren’t many cars in this segment that feature four-wheel disc brakes; the only exception we can think of is the Suzuki SX4.

The era of newly developed cars has begun with the Cruze, Focus, Elantra and the Fiesta, we will have to wait and see how takes the first place in this battle.

2011 Chevrolet Cruze

The people over at, managed to drive the Cruze 1LT and consider that the strongest point of the car regarding the actual driving situation, is the low noise level. However, the Mazda 3 is quicker and lighter than the Chevy and there are other cars that have a more direct steering feel. Plus, there are a bunch of cars under the 3,000-pound mark that give more confidence when braking. A major downside of the Cruze is the fact that similar with other General Motors cars, it does not feature a direct injection power unit.

The 1.4-liter turbo is a very good engine, but not for a car that has a weight similar to the Chevrolet Colorado. Maybe later on Chevrolet will introduce other engines, more powerful, that will be able to make the car a little bit quicker and agile, because although this car wasn’t designed to be fast, it needs some power under that attractive hood.

Without any doubt, the 2011 Cruze is better than the Toyota Corolla, but this does not mean that it will sell better than the Japanese rival. The Corolla is a very popular car despite its flaws (the design would be the major one), so the Cruze will have to struggle to get customers that are very well acquainted to the Corolla, although it is at the end of its lifecycle.

All things considered, the Cruze is significantly better in comparison to the outgoing model, but there is still a lot of room for improvements. Some of the most important minuses of the car are the lack of more powerful engines, a more direct steering feel and higher quality interior components. However, it still looks great and has plenty of features even on the cheaper trim levels, making it a very attractive option.


Post tags: Tags: Chevrolet, cruze, General Motors