2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco, an AutoWeek Drivers Log Car Review
Published on 7/11/2011
EXECUTIVE EDITOR--AUTOWEEK.COM BOB GRITZINGER: Between this and the Hyundai Elantra, the small-sedan class has two new leaders in my estimation. I recently complained about the newest Honda Civic's lack of nimble, small-car feel and attention to detail, and now I know where it went: to the Cruze. In this setup with the six-speed stick and the turbo four, this car feels light on its feet and responsive while still being reasonably quiet and solid. With the stick, you can get the most out of the high-revving turbo engine when you need or want some responsiveness, but you also get highway fuel-economy gearing at the other end. The shifter is precise and clean, and the clutch takeup is light and smooth. No wonder this was the car of choice in the past two weeks for some of our staffers working on their clutch-driving skills.
Potential buyers need to know that even though this is called the Eco model, that's strictly about fuel economy--it's not a stripper, value-priced, low-contented car. It's still a well-trimmed car, with the little niceties like rubberized flooring in the cubbies to prevent items from sliding around or rattling, and softly upholstered door armrests.
As to fuel economy, I suspect our enthusiastic driving along with the aforementioned clutch-training work likely hurt the Cruze's mpg numbers.