2011 Chevrolet Cruze: A Most Appropriate Moniker
May 31, 2011
I spent a lot of time on the freeway with the Cruze this past weekend and was thankful a) that I had the little Chevy and b) that the freeways were actually moving freely, a rarity in greater L.A.. Here are a few random observations.
Once you realize you have to really lean into the throttle it to get the Cruze's transmission to downshift, there's perfectly adequate merging/passing performance here. And the tranny swaps gears smoothly whether dealing with city traffic or when grabbing that downshift to get up to freeway speed. As we've stated before, the nav system's interface is a bit clunky (looks like a touchscreen but isn't and selecting letters/numbers is done via up/down/left/right arrow buttons or by the radio's tuning knob). But it's easy to understand and no big deal after you've used it a few times.
The aptly-named Cruze settles in nicely at higher cruising speeds (70-75) where it provides a hushed cabin that allowed me to enjoy the (admittedly just average) audio system and use the Bluetooth phone feature. The Cruze's front seats were very comfortable during the long-weekend's various couple-hour driving stints -- no complaints from my sometimes finicky lower back -- and of course having them heated is a bonus. Just an easy car to live with in the real world of city traffic and long highway stints.
John DiPietro, Automotive Editor @ 10, 591 miles.