2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco 4dr Sedan (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
Has enouph character to challenge a mid-size while dominating the B-segment. With a moderately raked side profile, swooping tail lights and corporate grill there's enouph design oomph to keep you interested either at the grocery store or in the showroom. Get inside and the quite cabin spanks you with sophistication while trying to detract you from the few hard plastics scattered about. The center consoles easy straight forward layout makes changing the channel, locking the doors or plugging in a IPOD childs play.
If anything sticks out as unexpected it would be the modest acceleration when this 1.4L Turbo is matted to the 6 speed manual. I appreciate GM didn't cheap out on six gears by only offering five like the Ford Focus. The mesh dash trim helps break up some of the harder plastics and adds a nicer touch to the cabin while the taillights and grill clearly belong a step up from this class. Call it eye trickery, but a few small touches go a long way to creating that premium feel.
One other unexpected was the engine cabin. Well laid out, easy to reach parts make this vehicle a shade tree mechanics dream. Alternator, starter and drive belts all within reach- very nice indeed should I go for 300k.
Twitchy steering. Some might mistaken this for sport like razor sharp steering- not so. In a small FWD car it just doesn't belong- atleast without the proper suspension wizardry mechanics to warrent such attention grabbing turn-in. Needs constant driver input. Inside door handles require you to pull twice to open the door. Got that? You don't get out until you pull it twice...child safety feature they say. Really? What child is in the drivers seat? Although safetly lock switches are absent on the back door. My guess, the double dipping door handles are cheaper. That might get annoying. That aside I think the powertrain overshadows all these shortcomings. Good car, doubt many regrets. 42MPG!!