2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco 4dr Sedan (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
I bought this car three weeks ago, used with 17,500 miles. I have since logged over 500 miles of mixed driving and so far my experience has been extremely positive. With mixed driving of 70% highway and doing one autocross event, the car still managed 35 mpg. Color me impressed! Handling is crisp and firm, reminding me of cars I've driven while in Europe. Even at 6'4", I find this compact car to be comfortable to drive, but rear seat space is lacking... it is a compact car after all. I find the 7-8 mpg gain over the typical midsize was worth sacrificing a little comfort for what few passengers I carry.
Long story short, it's an economical car without the economy feeling.
Crisp and firm handling without being harsh. Adequate power for what the car is for. Good sounding audio system with iPod compatibility. A nice open engine bay that should be easy to work around when the time comes to perform my own repairs. Spacious trunk. Crisp feeling manual transmission. Zero backlash steering that makes the car respond instantly to inputs. I took the car autocrossing and was extremely impressed with how well it did.
I feel that the throttle response is too slow for a manual car. There is typically around 1/4 to 1/2 second of lag between stabbing the throttle and the engine responding that makes it difficult to upshift and downshift smoothly. I suspect it'd be barely perceptible in an automatic car. I also find the lack of a spare tire to be a bit ridiculous. I'd rather sacrifice a couple mpg in the city than have to rely on a tow to get home if my luck runs out and I rupture a tire. The B pillar sits too far forward for me and makes it difficult to reach out with my left arm to grab some fast food. The under tray recall is a hack job. I prefer to just power wash my engine bay to clean up any spilt oil.