2011 Chevrolet Cruze Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2011 Chevrolet Cruze Sedan

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Chevrolet Cruze Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 1.4 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 138 hp @ 4900 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 24/36 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze

  • After decades of toiling in the minor leagues, Chevrolet makes it to the show with its much-improved compact sedan entry, the 2011 Cruze.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Upscale interior design; peppy yet efficient turbocharged engine; Eco model's top fuel economy; secure handling; top safety scores; big trunk.

  • Cons

    Low rear seat cushion.

  • What's New for 2011

    The 2011 Chevrolet Cruze is an all-new small sedan that replaces the aged Cobalt.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (43 total reviews)  |  Write a Review

Great little car

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Vehicle: 2011 Chevrolet Cruze 1LT 4dr Sedan (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A)

I bought my Cruze new in August 2011 and have driven it 53,000 miles. So far there have been no maintenance issues. I've only had to change the oil every 7000 miles or so, and replace the tires, which are inexpensive. In addition to costing me very little, the car's performance meets my needs. On the highway, I get 32-37 MPG, but my overall average is 27.5. It has performed admirably in all weather conditions (including heavy snow with a set of winter tires) and even on an autocross course. The car's tiny turbo is a must for me; it's not terrifying to accelerate onto the highway in a Cruze like it has been in other small cars I've driven. Overall, I love this little car.

My third & final review

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Vehicle: 2011 Chevrolet Cruze 1LT 4dr Sedan (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A)

I now am looking forward to selling my Cruze. Tomorrow I will be back in the garage for a third transmission leak issue. In addition to a water pump recall and an additional leak, and a radiator leak, and a recall on brakes, and a loose motor mount, I am officially done with this car. I remain satisfied with the interior, but feel that the exterior is looking 'dated' with new car styles coming out. It does still get 40 mpg, when I drive on cruise, within the speed limit, on flat hwys and without cargo or passengers. Otherwise, expect 27-32 mpg. As a former Civic owner of 10 years without even one single issue, the car does not impress.

2011 1lt cruze is a

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Vehicle: 2011 Chevrolet Cruze 1LT 4dr Sedan (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A)

I have now had this car for just over two years and almost 21K miles. I have never had a car that I enjoyed as much. When I first purchased it, there were lots of little "back to the dealer" fixes, but they were all corrected. I am pleased with the mpg, though I know foreign cars of similar size typically get better. I drive a combination of city and highway and typically get about 29 to 29 mpg. I do not feel like I am driving a small car. Recently, I had a rear-ender in which the other driver slammed into me at a pretty good clip. The trunk lid was damaged and the bumper was, but it wasn't very obvious. I was able to drive away, while the other driver was not.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

More than meets mediocre expectations

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Vehicle: 2011 Chevrolet Cruze 1LT 4dr Sedan (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A)

The most common complaint everybody has is that there is a problem with the transmission. After test driving dozens of cars in this class and finally buying this one I can say the computer operated transmission is STRANGE but youll have the same problems on all other cars with the ctv transmission. That being said I so far love the car. It is very comfortable in the front seats, and for the price crams alot more technology into it than any other car ive seen in its class. Very quite ride, very smooth ride, and while it's not "Fun" to drive, (I do miss my truck with it's RWD and tire smoking fun) its VERY plesent, very quiet, very very smooth, great on gas if you aren't driving like an idiot

1 of 8 people found this review helpful

Bad experience

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Vehicle: 2011 Chevrolet Cruze 1LT 4dr Sedan (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A)

I traded my Honda Accord for 2011 Chevy Cruze 1LT with 17000 Mileage, convising my self that buying American brand would be the best decision! but i guess i was wrong. the problems with this care started 2nd week: noise in dash board, transmission shift very hard, I took the car to 4 GM dealer they all said it s normal " the transmission learning how you drive" really? I Drove to Detroit twice i meet with the head of customer service, and complain Dep but they did not do anything! this car is a trash and the new transmission that GM Praise is a joke! when the temperature drop below 30 you are screwed. after owning the car for 8 months (waisting money, time..) i traded to better quality.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Chevy cruze - after 2

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Vehicle: 2011 Chevrolet Cruze 1LT 4dr Sedan (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A)

Up-dating my original review (written 3 mo. into ownership). My car is now 2 years old/28K miles. How do I feel now? Still pleased with performance. Turbo has gumption making me happy with its 4 cyl. Gas mileage is what sticker says if you are on cruise control, highway, no mts, and riding alone. I avg. 25-28 mpg, which is disappointing for small car. The arm rest console is horrible! Too small to rest forearm on. It bugs me all the time, even when armrest is pulled forward. The fan to the heating & a/c is loud, annoying, and sounds "cheap". Buttons for heating/cooling controls are too low for easy viewing. My first American-made car that I have been pleased with.

Full 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Review

What's New for 2011

The 2011 Chevrolet Cruze is an all-new small sedan that replaces the aged Cobalt.


In the small car big leagues, Chevrolet has never had a competitive player. The mediocre Cobalt (SS version excepted) and the generally terrible Cavalier that preceded it were doomed to dwell in the minors as rivals consistently outperformed them in key areas such as overall build quality and performance. But unlike those farm team disappointments, the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze is ready for the show.

Breaking with the Chevy tradition of offering a larger-than-average engine in a small car, the Cruze offers a pair of fuel-efficient yet peppy small power plants. Whether you get the 1.8-liter non-turbocharged inline-4 or the 1.4-liter turbo mill, you'll get class-competitive performance along with the promise of high fuel economy.

The Cruze's handling is also notably sharper than the Cobalt's and its interior is light-years ahead in terms of quality and styling. In terms of features, even the base Cruze LS comes pretty well equipped, with 10 airbags being one notable standard equipment highlight. The Cruze is also quite roomy (the EPA actually classifies it as a midsize car), though rear seat comfort is only so-so for taller folks.

Even so, Chevrolet has done a lot right here. When compared to this segment's traditional leaders, the 2011 Honda Civic and 2011 Toyota Corolla, the Cruze is fully competitive (or even better) in terms of design and driving dynamics. Certainly, you'll still want to check out the few other big hitters in this group such as the all-new, upscale 2011 Ford Focus, the redesigned and very impressive 2011 Hyundai Elantra and the feisty 2011 Mazda 3. But the fact that we're saying "other big hitters" in reference to the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze speaks well of this competent new player.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2011 Chevrolet Cruze is a small sedan that comes in four main trim levels: LS, Eco, LT and LTZ.

The LS includes 16-inch steel wheels, OnStar, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, air-conditioning, an eight-way (manual) adjustable driver seat, a 60/40-split rear seat, a trip computer, full power accessories and a six-speaker stereo with a CD/MP3 player, satellite radio and an auxiliary audio jack. The Eco is equipped similarly to the LS but is optimized for maximum fuel efficiency with aerodynamic improvements, lightweight alloy wheels, low-rolling-resistance tires, a smaller fuel tank and a few minor feature deletions to further reduce weight.

The LT is actually comprised of 1LT and 2LT subsets. The 1LT comes with a turbocharged engine, chrome wheel covers, color-keyed power sideview mirrors, floor mats and a one-touch-up driver's window. The 2LT adds alloy wheels, remote vehicle start, cruise control, leather upholstery, heated front seats, a six-way power driver seat, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, a USB/iPod port for the audio system and Bluetooth.

The Cruze LTZ adds 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic climate control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, illuminated vanity mirrors, rear park assist, a sport-tuned suspension and four-wheel disc brakes.

Many of the upper trims' standard features can be had on lower trims via à la carte options or packages. A hard-drive-based navigation system, a premium sound system, a sunroof and an RS appearance package (unique front/rear fascias, foglights, rear spoiler) are all available on the upper trims.

Powertrains and Performance

The Cruze LS is powered by a 1.8-liter inline-4 that makes 136 horsepower and 123 pound-feet of torque. The Eco, LT and LTZ come with a turbocharged 1.4-liter inline-4 that generates 138 hp and 148 lb-ft of torque. The LS and Eco come with a six-speed manual transmission while the other trims come standard with a six-speed automatic (optional on the LS and Eco).

In Edmunds testing, a Cruze LTZ accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 9.6 seconds, an average time for this class. EPA fuel economy estimates stand at 22 mpg city/35 mpg highway and 27 mpg combined for the Cruze LS. The turbocharged engine (LT and LTZ) receives a similar 24/36/28.

The fuel-economy-focused Cruze Eco earns a laudable 28 mpg city/42 mpg highway and 33 mpg combined with the manual transmission and 26/37/30 with the automatic.


All 2011 Chevrolet Cruze models come with stability control, antilock brakes, full-length side curtain airbags, front knee airbags and front and rear side impact airbags as standard. All trims save the LTZ have a front-disc/rear-drum brake setup; the LTZ upgrades to four-wheel disc brakes.

In government crash testing, the Cruze earned a top five-star rating for overall safety performance, with five stars in both frontal and side-impact categories. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety testing, the Cruze received a top score of "Good" in both frontal-offset and side-impact testing. In Edmunds brake testing, a Cruze LTZ stopped from 60 mph in 122 feet, a decent distance for this class of car.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Cruze's "twin cockpit" interior design (a similar theme is found inside the Equinox SUV) and two-tone color schemes deliver an upscale ambience. Overall interior quality is pretty high, too, with soft-touch materials in the right places and very little that's shiny plastic.

The Cruze's front seats are a little narrow, but they offer plenty of adjustment and are both supportive and comfortable. A low cushion for the backseat diminishes comfort for longer-limbed riders, whose thighs will have minimal support. Actual legroom is about average for the segment.

Considerably above average, however, is the Cruze's impressively large trunk, which measures an impressive 15 cubic feet. For comparison, a Civic sedan's trunk capacity is 12 cubic feet, about what most cars in the class offer.

Driving Impressions

The most surprising characteristic of the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze is its genuinely athletic handling and comfortable, controlled ride quality. The Cruze's all-new chassis isn't particularly sophisticated as far as economy cars go, but its design ensures secure handling and an absorbent -- but not mushy -- ride. The standard suspension, dubbed "Touring," rides as well and as quietly as just about any compact car, while the sport suspension on the LTZ is firmer, but not anything approaching jolting.

Most drivers should be satisfied with either of the Cruze's engines. The upscale turbocharged engine is pretty average in terms of outright acceleration, but it's peppier around town thanks to its increased amount of torque. We've encountered some rough shifting with early versions of the six-speed automatic transmission, though this issue has since been addressed by a technical service bulletin (TSB).

Talk About The 2011 Cruze

Gas Mileage


  • 24
  • cty
  • 36
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs