$9,800 of Value? - 2011 Chevrolet Cruze LTZ Long-Term Road Test

2011 Chevrolet Cruze Long Term Road Test

2011 Chevrolet Cruze LTZ: $9,800 of Value?

January 12, 2011


The 2011 Chevrolet Cruze LTZ might be the dumbest long-term test car we've ever bought.

It's a monstrosity that costs $26,085, some $9,800 more in features and options than the base-model $16,285 Cruze LT1.

It's also the smartest thing we've ever done, a reflection of the future.

It's not like you're going to see very many $26,085 examples of the Chevy Cruze on the street this year, but as gas climbs past $4 per gallon, you might see a few next year. Soon we'll all be making smarter choices about fuel economy and suddenly the small car with an inline-4 makes sense.

And while you might be offended by the idea of a cheap and cheerful car overlaid with expensive niceties, we'll all be buying small cars outfitted to resemble the large cars of the past. Two-tone upholstery and soft-touch controls and high-output audio might seem frivolous, but when you read through the comments in our blog for long-term test cars, you find nothing but whining about such things. (If I have to read another comment about the visual quality of interior plastics, I'm going to slap somebody.)

It's true that we could have done without some of these options, but almost all of them are things that you can see and feel and experience. We all like nice cars, not stripped-down bargains.

That's why this Cruze is the car of the future.

Michael Jordan, Executive Editor, Edmunds.com @ 4,852 miles

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