Track Tested w/ Video - 2011 Chevrolet Cruze LTZ Long-Term Road Test

2011 Chevrolet Cruze Long Term Road Test

2011 Chevy Cruze LTZ: Track Tested w/ Video

November 20, 2010


We jumped the gun with the 2011 Chevy Cruze LTZ. We could'e waited for the Long Term introduction and for it to go live on the LT blogs, but it's an important car and virtually as soon as we had the numbers, we wanted them out. So, in case you're not a frequent Straightline reader (You are, right? ) here are the track numbers and impressions of testing a 2011 Chevy Cruze LTZ, powered by a 1.4-liter turbocharged I-4.

Vehicle: 2011 Chevrolet Cruze LTZ
Odometer: 1,482
Date: 11/09/10
Driver: Chris Walton
Price: $26,085

Drive Type: Front-wheel drive
Transmission Type: Six-speed automatic
Engine Type: Turbocharged, port-injected, inline-4 with variable intake and exhaust-valve timing
Displacement (cc/cu-in): 1,364 / 83.2
Redline (rpm): 6,500
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 138 @ 4,900
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 148 @ 1,850
Brake Type (front): 11.8-inch ventilated disc with single-piston sliding caliper
Brake Type (rear): 11.5-inch ventilated disc with single-piston sliding caliper
Steering System: Electric-assist rack-and-pinion power steering
Suspension Type (front): Independent, MacPherson struts, coil springs, stabilizer bar
Suspension Type (rear): Torsion beam, control arm
Tire Size (front): P225/45R 18 91W M+S
Tire Size (rear): P225/45R 18 91W M+S
Tire Brand: Michelin
Tire Model: Pilot HX MXM4
Tire Type: All-season
As Tested Curb Weight (lb): 3,236 (60.6% front)

Test Results:

0-30 (sec): 3.3
0-45 (sec): 6.1
0-60 (sec): 9.6
0-75 (sec): 14.9
1/4-Mile (sec @ mph): 17.1 @ 80.4
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 9.3

30-0 (ft): 31
60-0 (ft): 122

Slalom (mph): 66.6
Skid Pad Lateral acceleration (g): 0.83

Db @ Idle: 35.3
Db @ Full Throttle: 67.4
Db @ 70 mph Cruise: 67.1

Acceleration Comments: Rewards pedal overlap, yet it still cannot scratch the tires with traction control off. Acceleration is characterized by surging turbo and wonky torque converter behavior. There are multiple dead spots on the way to the finish line. Upshifts are pretty lazy and gear spacing is fine (3rd is taller than the rest, though). Absolutely punishing rev limiter that produces shockingly harsh driveline lash. Also, manual shifting is too slow to be of any use for accel runs.

Braking Comments: Some squirm and a light rear end with good fade resistance. Pedal effort is good with aggressive jump-in that became more so with heat in the system.

Handling Comments: Surprising grip and poise that's muddied only a little by spring like steering that offers good buildup but little feel. With ESC on, the throttle breathes off just as the rear gets light and begins to rotate. Light but precise steering, narrow car with plenty of grip and a propensity to rotate predictably off throttle all add up to a spirited and exhilarating slalom. Classic well-sorted FWD behavior like a Mazda 3 and far more capable than a Fiesta or Mazda 2 with ESC off. Well-sorted ESC matches my best efforts.

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