The new-to-America Cruze is Chevrolet's latest small car and comes powered by either a naturally aspirated 1.8-liter four-cylinder, or a 1.4-liter turbocharged Ecotec four-cylinder both with the choice of either a six-speed automatic or manual transmission.
The turbocharged engine puts out 138 horsepower and 148 lb-ft. of torque and should be capable of up to 40 mpg on the highway. The 1.8-liter puts out 136 horsepower and 123 lb-ft. of torque
The 2011 Chevrolet Cruze replaces Cobalt as the compact car from General Motors' volume division. Cruze is a 4-door sedan that comes in LS, LT, LTZ, and fuel-economy-oriented Eco trim levels. LT models are subdivided into 1LT and 2LT. The LS has a 136-horsepower 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine. The 1LT, 2LT, LTZ, and Eco use a 138-horsepower turbocharged 1.4-liter 4-cylinder engine. A 6-speed manual transmission is standard on the LS and Eco. A 6-speed automatic is optional on those models and standard on the LT and LTZ.
The Cruze Eco showed no signs of lag, and off-the-line performance was strong. The same goes for highway speeds, with the added note that the engine is very quiet. GM applied 18 distinctive acoustical treatments to ensure the Cruze rides free of most engine and road noise. Manual shifts were seamless with quick gear engagement in all shifting scenarios. The split between ride and handling was even. The Cruze is agile, but not particularly athletic—while the ride is comfortable, although not cushy.
Designed to go head-to-head with the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla and Ford Focus, when it comes to cabin and cargo space the Cruze Eco is the clear leader. Passenger volume is 95 cubic feet, besting the Honda Civic’s 91 cu. ft., the Toyota Corolla’s 92 cu. ft. and the 93 cu. ft. in the Ford Focus. Trunk volume, at 15.4 cubic feet, dwarfs the Civic’s 12.0, the Corolla’s 12.3 and the Focus at 13.8.