When Chevrolet replaced its long-running Cavalier compact with the Cobalt, some pundits wondered if we just would have been better with yet another update of its ancient predecessor.
There are no such thoughts about the Cobalt’s replacement, the Cruze. The Cruze is so much better that in a few years when its successor is introduced, it is likely that it won’t have sullied its name so much that General Motors needs to come up with yet another moniker for its compact offering.
Fuel mileage has become a major point of emphasis for automakers everywhere and GM is crowing loudly that the Cruze can be ordered in Eco trim, which is rated at 42 mpg highway, the highest such rating for any gasoline-powered, nonhybrid sold in this country.
The Cruze tested here doesn’t carry that 42-mpg label, but it’s still impressive, scoring 26 city and 38 highway on the EPA tests. We saw 32 in a combination of freeway and rural two-lanes.