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First Look: 2010 Chevy Cruze

A year late, GM small car debuting in LA.

by on Nov.17, 2009

Two high-mileage vehicles to appear at the Los Angeles Auto Show, the Chevrolet Volt and the Chevrolet Cruze.

Two high-mileage cars to appear at the Los Angeles Auto Show, the Chevrolet Volt and Cruze.

You’ll be hearing a lot about the Chevrolet Volt in the months to come – as if you hadn’t already – but for most buyers looking for a small, fuel-efficient vehicle, the real news to come out of next month’s Los Angeles Auto Show will focus on the long-awaited Chevy Cruze.

VERY long-awaited, for the replacement for the long-in-the-tooth Cobalt is more than a year behind schedule, reflecting the various problems, financial and otherwise, that drove the giant maker into bankruptcy earlier this year.

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Cruze, had it shown up for the 2009 model-year, as originally planned, might have given some real momentum to Chevrolet at a time the bottom was falling out.  It certainly should have helped the automaker do better in this past summer’s Cash-for-Clunkers program, which emphasized small, fuel-efficient products and ultimately turned into a real plus for Asian makers like Toyota and Hyundai.