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First Drive: 2011 Chevrolet Cruze sails into new era of small cardom

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NewsFeeder    9

Filed under: Budget, Sedan, Chevrolet, First Drive

cruzefd---03opt.jpg
2011 Chevrolet Cruze - Click above for high-res image gallery

Until now, General Motors hasn't exactly taken the small-car market seriously. While Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Hyundai and Kia have built their empires on the hoods of pint-sized, fuel-efficient transportation, history has shown the captains of Detroit tend to offer up parts-bin afterthoughts. Cars like the Chevrolet Cavalier and Cobalt have left a sour taste in the mouths of buyers thanks to noisy and de-contented cabins, rough engines and build quality that would make a Yugo blush. As a result, Americans have developed a sort of Pavolovian retch when we hear the term "compact car."

But a new dawn may be approaching - one heralded by a rash of new straw-weight fighters that aim to bring a global small car philosophy to the U.S. GM intends to be part of that party with the introduction of the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze, a sedan that, for all intents and purposes, is more of a landmark model for the company than the endlessly-hyped Chevrolet Volt. To get our meaning, you'll need to throw all of your heinous memories about American-built small cars out the window beginning... now.



Photos by Zach Bowman / Copyright ©2010 AOL

Continue reading First Drive: 2011 Chevrolet Cruze sails into new era of small cardom

First Drive: 2011 Chevrolet Cruze sails into new era of small cardom originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 31 Jul 2010 00:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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regfootball    250

in M/T's article, it says the Cruze has better ride and refinement than the new Jetta.

It also says the Cruze has a better interior.

THey also say the turbo takes 2 seconds longer to 60 than the 5 cylinder Jetta, and that the Cruze CAN weigh as much as 3400 pounds.

And yet, 1.4 litres is enough? I hardly think 200 or 400 extra cc would have killed them.

Hyundai SOnata is like 3200 pounds on up. Mazda6 is like 3300 pounds. Why is the Cruze so derned heavy?

Autoguide says you need to pony up 21,395 for a 2LT Cruze in order to get Cruise control......

Edited by regfootball

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pow    106

Hyundai SOnata is like 3200 pounds on up. Mazda6 is like 3300 pounds. Why is the Cruze so derned heavy?

Cos it earned the highest score ever from Euro NCAP. 10 airbags don't hurt.

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regfootball    250

the article HAS to be wrong. NFW the cruze comes in at 3400 pounds (loaded to the gills).

the websites sometimes put together their info quick and botch some things.

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daves87rs    349

$21K sticker is really $18K if your are not stupid at the dealer cutting the deal.

I sure hope so...I'm not paying much over 16 myself.

I like to do some of my own work...happy.gif

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hyperv6    774

I sure hope so...I'm not paying much over 16 myself.

I like to do some of my own work...happy.gif

Chevy will have a base LS that will be optioned for a base price. They all have one and Chevy will not give this one up.

Also we have the Aveo and Spark to pick up the low enders. The average price of a car will not be going down but the MFG will build more basic smaller cars. Kind of like a Quart of Ice Cream is still the same price but the size really is not a quart anymore.

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Nick    31

It is sad how incredibly dated it looks, and it isn't even being sold to us yet. At least the interior seems nice.

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FAPTurbo    1,090

I'm not sure where this 'dated' opinion is coming from. That's probably an opinion only shared by enthusiasts who've been looking at this car for a couple years; Joe Average won't know. The car is pleasing to the eye, clean, and the only thing I don't like at all is that black plastic thing behind the rear window.

None of the entrants in this category are terribly forward-looking anyways, save for perhaps the Mazda3, which makes you want to look the other way.

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Cory Wolfe    263

I will say, one positive attribute to giving us a 2-year wait time is that it's let the design grow on me a bit. Especially in RS guise, it's not as horrible looking as I originally thought.

In certain areas, however, it's still a mess, with little details not being completely cohesive. It's not as clean-cut or original as some of the other, older designs out there. It's still reasonably attractive, but you wouldn't call it a break-through design. A slight tweak of the front and rear fascias, along with the greenhouse, would go a long way in improving the looks.

The interior, however, does seem to be fairly nice. Certainly a step up from the now down-graded Jetta.

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Nick    31

I'm not sure where this 'dated' opinion is coming from. That's probably an opinion only shared by enthusiasts who've been looking at this car for a couple years; Joe Average won't know. The car is pleasing to the eye, clean, and the only thing I don't like at all is that black plastic thing behind the rear window.

None of the entrants in this category are terribly forward-looking anyways, save for perhaps the Mazda3, which makes you want to look the other way.

My 'dated' opinion is just that...an opinion. Bland will also work. Yes, it is hard to call the front bland, at least in RS trim, but the side profile is bad, the plastic window fillers are bad, the taillights are awful, especially when considering the headlights (which I'm also not crazy about), there is nothing really all that inspiring or interesting about the design. A wire frame rendering of this car would resemble something a kid would draw. And the wheels....why is it that GM can't design a decent looking wheel? The ones on the RS are ok, but the lower option wheels are incredibly bland.

I will say from some angles, and in darker colors, this car does look pretty good. LeftLaneNews has some nice shots of it in their review.

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frogger    115

I guess it is a Korean compact design thing because the new Elantra has that black plastic bit on its side as well

183619_770.jpg

hyundai-elantra-rear.JPG

Edited by frogger

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hyperv6    774

Here are some key points.

I have seen the lesser Cruze in person and it looks cheap. But from what I see of the LTZ in photo's it does give the car a much more expensive look.

This was something the Cobalt could not really do. The base Cobalt and top line both looked cheap.

An RS package for America would give the car an added boost.

The Elantra while new is almost cartoonish. They have taken a car to what I believe is one step too far in styling. While I wish the Cruze was a little more I would rather have just a little less than too much styling. Small cars do not take too many body lines well. Too much in a small space leves a car cluttered looking.

Hyundai plays on price and warranty. GM needs to counter this with price and features. The Cruze will be more reliant on marketing than anything. People do not buy cars for HP, Track Handling or top speed in this class. They buy for reliability, safety, affordability and MPG.

GM is injecting comfort and features to the mix. Now they just need to convince people this is not the second coming of the Cobalt and to spend the little extra for the added features that provide extra value.

Too many people have told me they have a Elantra because for the price of a used car they have a new car with a warranty. Note a warrant they have had to use.

Latest from my buddy at the dealer. Problems with push rods on brake boosters and in some of the clutch pedal assembly. He told me brakes are the last place he would want to see plastic. I am unsure if GM is doing the same but Hyundai has had some issues with these parts.

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Drew Dowdell    5,159

Remember also that go too much higher and Cruze will be entering Buick territory. For those of you wanting more from the Cruze, the Buick dealer is down the street on the left.

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intrigued    9

I think this will sell relativley well, it will have a better retail to rental mix then the cobalt, but I don't think it's going to be a homerun for GM.

All of the car companies have enlarged their c-segment cars a bit expecting to capture some of the d-segment with their new designs.

I thinks this will deffinelty work to an extent but d-segment buyers are going to expect more power from (even those used to inline 4s) then what either version of the cruze has to offer.

i think the c segment will shake out like this for at least a year or two.

The cars to have-

Focus and ellantre

Middle of the road- Jetta, Cruze

Fallen from grace - Civic, Corrola

In terms of sales I still expect the Corrola to have a shot at topping the charts but it will not be profitable as huge incentives will be placed on it to meet the sales numbers they want.

The civic will still sell well but will also have more incentives though not nearly as bad as the toyota.

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aaaantoine    4

Remember also that go too much higher and Cruze will be entering Buick territory. For those of you wanting more from the Cruze, the Buick dealer is down the street on the left.

Or in the case of my local dealer, just across the showroom floor.

I don't much like the tone of the article as I happened to really enjoy my Cobalt. That said, the Cruze looks all right. If only I could still do compacts...

Edited by aaaantoine

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regfootball    250

$21K sticker is really $18K if your are not stupid at the dealer cutting the deal.

true, but 19k right now will buy a new Altima with zero percent money, which after the cheaper insurance and lower finance costs are figured out, the Cruze may still be more expensive, enough that any gas savings is a wash. TCO for the Cruze is still too close to the midsizers, which is another reason why a bit more horsepower would bring enough added value to the car to avoid later purchase remorse and customer dissatisfaction.

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regfootball    250

I'm not sure where this 'dated' opinion is coming from. That's probably an opinion only shared by enthusiasts who've been looking at this car for a couple years; Joe Average won't know. The car is pleasing to the eye, clean, and the only thing I don't like at all is that black plastic thing behind the rear window.

None of the entrants in this category are terribly forward-looking anyways, save for perhaps the Mazda3, which makes you want to look the other way.

Cruze was stunning in the flesh at the auto show and if the interior is nice it has both going for it

which only again serves to highlight the flaws of need of some additional power and ambitious price.

My guess is Chevy will wait two years on the engine power and will not hesitate to add rebates once its market exclusivity is gone and the new focus, jetta and elantra steamroll out.

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regfootball    250

Here are some key points.

I have seen the lesser Cruze in person and it looks cheap. But from what I see of the LTZ in photo's it does give the car a much more expensive look.

This was something the Cobalt could not really do. The base Cobalt and top line both looked cheap.

An RS package for America would give the car an added boost.

The Elantra while new is almost cartoonish. They have taken a car to what I believe is one step too far in styling. While I wish the Cruze was a little more I would rather have just a little less than too much styling. Small cars do not take too many body lines well. Too much in a small space leves a car cluttered looking.

Hyundai plays on price and warranty. GM needs to counter this with price and features. The Cruze will be more reliant on marketing than anything. People do not buy cars for HP, Track Handling or top speed in this class. They buy for reliability, safety, affordability and MPG.

GM is injecting comfort and features to the mix. Now they just need to convince people this is not the second coming of the Cobalt and to spend the little extra for the added features that provide extra value.

Too many people have told me they have a Elantra because for the price of a used car they have a new car with a warranty. Note a warrant they have had to use.

Latest from my buddy at the dealer. Problems with push rods on brake boosters and in some of the clutch pedal assembly. He told me brakes are the last place he would want to see plastic. I am unsure if GM is doing the same but Hyundai has had some issues with these parts.

funny, i spent all saturday driving around in my new cobalt. went to visit me sister, we rode around in her almost 6-7-8 year old elantra GT with 115k which she has never put much money into, and i swear i enjoyed being in that elantra more than my cobalt.

I really don't think the new elantra is overstyled at all. its gonna bust the doors open in the segment, along with the cruze. focus i am feeling will prob be overpriced even more since the fiestas i have already seen on the lot are 18 and 19 grand. hyundai and kia have deep pockets and cheap labor and can whore these things out buy or lease to steal all the market share they can. this is why chevy has to be price sensitive. i wonder if cruze maxxes out demand of the US plant if they will build them in Korean and ship em over too. They may need to do that to keep cost competitive.

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