2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco Manual - Short Take Road Test
Car and Driver
by Jon Yanca
Unlike fuel-economy specials of yesteryear, the new crop of misers—like the Hyundai Elantra and Ford Focus SFE—doesn’t require you to serve a penalty for not paying at the pump. Instead of forcing buyers into the most basic, stripped-out model to obtain those extra mpg, the Cruze Eco is a normal conveyance with all the customary amenities of a modern small car.
In fact, if you’re in the market for a Cruze, we’d strongly suggest you consider the Eco. For starters, it’s a fine-looking ride, with the aforementioned lowered stance and showy 17-inch wheels. It looks more sporty than frugal, and we’d even spring for the $195 Black Granite Metallic paint of our test car to add a dash of elegance. Its interior, like those in costlier Cruze trims, is quiet and stylish, with excellent fit and finish. Some of the interior plastics could stand to be a grade or two higher, but the fabric trim panels on the dash are a first-rate focal distraction.
Aiding the Eco’s case is the fact that it is the quickest Cruze we’ve tested. Chevy acknowledges the fact that the manual’s first- and second-gear ratios are “aggressive,” which helps this miserly compact hit 60 mph in 7.8 seconds.
The compact-car class is rich with great choices. Although the 2012 Ford Focus is the current champ, the value offered by the Cruze Eco is at least a good way to beat the heat at the pump.
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