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Chevy Finally Has Competitive Compact With Cruze

Great fuel mileage, snazzy interior, sharp exterior highlight small sedan.

by on Sep.30, 2011

The 2012 Chevrolet Cruze is setting sales records for General Motors, a far cry from the unloved Cobalt it replaced.

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.

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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.


GM Recalls 150,000 Chevy Cruze Sedans

Focus is potential steering problem.

by on May.05, 2011

Chevy recalls the new Cruze.

General Motors, which is hoping to crack the long Japanese stranglehold on the small car market, has suffered a potentially setback, the maker announcing it will recall 150,000 of its Chevrolet Cruze sedans.

The maker says it needs to inspect the vehicles to ensure their intermediate steering shaft covers were properly installed.

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Meanwhile, about 120,000 of the vehicles will also be inspected due to the possibility of a problem with the installation of their automatic transmission linkage.

The vehicles, all from the 2011 model-year, were produced at the GM assembly plant in Lordstown, Ohio.

GM says it has no reports of any accidents or injuries connected with the problems and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has no reports or consumer complaints on file.

Nonetheless, the news is a setback for GM, which has been hoping to use the Cruze as part of its campaign to regain a presence in the passenger car market, especially in smaller, more fuel-efficient segments.


First Look: 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco

Hybrid mileage without the hybrid?

by on Mar.28, 2010

Chevrolet claims the 2011 Cruze Eco will deliver 40 mpg on the highway.

There’s a downside to buying a hybrid.  Sure, you get significantly better fuel economy, but that’s offset by the premium you pay for a hybrid powertrain.

But Chevrolet claims you can get the added mileage without that penalty from the 2011 Chevy Cruze Eco.

Set to debut at the upcoming New York International Auto Show, the Cruze Eco delivers an estimaed 40 mpg on the highway, making it best-in-class among gasoline-powered compact offerings.

The 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco is powered by a turbocharged version of Chevy’s 1.4-liter Ecotec inline-four and mated to a six-speed manual transmission.  (The automatic is expected to get slightly less than 40 mpg.)

Of course, highway mileage is only part of the picture, but Chevy won’t be releasing fuel economy figures for the City cycle, or for the Eco with an automatic gearbox, until closer to the car’s launch, later this year.

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To achieve what is still a significant highway mileage milestone, Chevrolet engineers put a premium on aerdynamics. Among other things, the 2011 Cruze Eco features: A lower front grille shutter that closes at higher speeds; A lower front air dam extension, underbody panels and a rear spoiler; Lower ride height; Special tires designed to minimize rolling resistance.   (more…)