2011 Chevrolet Cruze: Closing the Gap
January 20, 2011
One thing that strikes the single person driving around town in a 2011 Chevrolet Cruze is the right-size feel of this sedan. It has ample room for the long of leg and assorted passengers, and it's easy to street-park without feeling like a subcompact rugrat.
From the driver seat, the Cruze feels similar in mass to other "right-size" sedans I've driven and enjoyed -- the 1998-2005 Volkswagen Passat, the 2005-2009 Subaru Legacy. And it turns out that it actually is close dimensionally. It's 181.1 inches long and 70.7 inches wide, and stretched over a 105.7-inch wheelbase and 60.7/61.3-inch track. Compare that to a 2009 Legacy, which was 185 inches long, 68.1 inches wide with a 105.1-inch wheelbase and 58.9/58.5-inch track.
I've given up on hoping that nameplates the Legacy, Passat and Accord will shrink back to reasonable proportions anytime soon. Instead, I'll just wait for compacts like the Cruze and and Mazda 3 to size up to small-family proportions. And the Chevrolet is pretty much already there.
Erin Riches, Senior Editor @ 5,161 miles