2011 Chevrolet Cruze Live From The L.A. Show Floor

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The 2011 Chevrolet Cruze compact car promises to redefine fuel efficiency for the small-car segment, and its 1.4-liter four-cylinder range of engines could herald a new era of fun-to-drive cars for Americans, even if the SS version of the Cruze never materializes.

Europeans are, of course, neck-deep in such cars, but American buyers have only recently come to appreciate the virtues of such vehicles--and U.S. fuel economy regulations have only recently come to incentivize their production and sales.

But beyond the efficiency of the car, Chevrolet hopes to make the Cruze something of an enthsuiast car, seeking "excellent fuel efficiency and durability--while also being fun to drive." That bodes well for the Cruze-based Buick sedan also expected to be coming soon. That car will take its place below the recently revealed Regal in the new Buick lineup.

Leveraging Chevrolet’s design and engineering talent in Asia, Europe and North America, the Cruze brings to market a globally engineered and designed car with strong levels of quietness, quality and attention to detail.

There will be three different time levels, LS, LT and LTZ trims. The engine lineup includes both naturally aspirated and turbocharged engines, including a 1.4-liter turbo and a 1.8-liter naturally aspirated mill. Six-speed automatic and manual transmissions are available.

The turbo is standard on LT and LTZ models, with power ratings estimated at 138 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque. The 1.8-liter naturally aspirated mill, meanwhile, will be rated at 136 horsepower and 123 pound-feet of torque.

North American versions of the Cruze will be built at GM’s plant in Lordstown, Ohio.

[General Motors]

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Comments (10)
  1. Looking at the interior photo, it appears Chevy had second thoughts and did away with the contrived, retro, Camaro-style square dial surrounds seen on earlier U.S.-market prototypes in favor of something much cleaner and simpler.

  2. Enthusiast cars don't come with giant black plastic triangles mounted in the C-Pillar behind the rear doors where a window or some plain ol' painted sheetmetal ought to be...

  3. Details matter. The Civic has a window where the black plastic on the Cruze is located.

  4. That's the very same interior to all the other Cruze's being sold all around the world. Maybe pre-bankruptcy, Chevy could have fitted it themselves but it's so much easier to just keep the very good interior that this car has as it is. The back window is a shame, but it's such a cheap car (at least it is here is Australia) that it doesn't matter. If you want attention to details like that then get a BMW or a Merc or something...

  5. This is a Chevrolet people mover that's well engineered and likely tops in fuel efficiency. We'll see the blacked out corner hurts the car how. Im more concerned with the ride quality finish quality and feel of the car and finally safety! Well done GM!

  6. You cannot put the words "fun to drive" in a description of a car, then give us those details. Props to Chevy for getting their ish straight, but the Cruze is way more "practical", than "fun to drive". Hopefully they have something cool hiden in the decks because the Cruze reminds me of why I want to be Ecoboostin' so badly. Fiesta anyone?

  7. Exterior looks dated even by current offerings but the interior looks nice. I guess the Cruze will have to sell based off price yet again.

  8. I'm pretty sure Opel had a hand on this Korean built car.. and although while Opel/Vauxhall Insignia/new Buick Regal seems similar in size with Chevy/Holden Cruze this car will be their start-up budget model while the former's going to carry the sporty up-market badge.
    It's not too bad really, only that the Korean "nametag" will does stick for awhile and connotes cheap and not always cheery to the public, which is now quite wrong really.. ( Korean cars have greatly and quickly improved ).

  9. Great car. Seems GM is indeed taking safety seriously with the Cruze. Ten airbags as standard is surprising. Not even luxury marques like Mercedes offer than many crammed in one car. The Cruze’s stellar EuroNCAP performance is encouraging also.

  10. Sweet looking ride and at a good price. GM is doing a great job as of late, hopefully they can keep pumping out winners.

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