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#4

in 2011 Affordable Small Cars

Avg. Price Paid: $11,717 - $13,853
Original MSRP: $16,525 - $22,225
MPG: 26 City / 36 Hwy
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Used Car: 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Review

Review Last Updated: 3/24/14

The 2011 Chevrolet Cruze has impressive fuel economy, great safety scores and a spacious cabin that can be equipped to near-luxury levels.

The 2011 Chevrolet Cruze is ranked:

In 2011, the Chevrolet Cruze was an all-new model that replaced the 2010 Chevrolet Cobalt. The Cruze quickly became a reviewer favorite for its excellent safety scores, good fuel economy and one the largest, best-made interiors in the class. Reviewers were impressed with the Cruze’s large cabin that’s comfortable enough for five adults and huge trunk that rivaled some 2011 midsize cars' trunks. 

Though the Cruze has a large cabin, some features, like Bluetooth and a USB port, aren’t standard, even though they are standard on some competing models. Reviewers mentioned that the base LS model had some hard plastics, but when properly equipped with features like leather-appointed seats or navigation, they said the cabin had a luxury look and feel that reminded them of upscale small cars. Car reviewers were also impressed with the Cruze’s standard driver’s knee air bag, which was an uncommon safety feature among small cars. The Cruze’s available rear park assist was also an unusual feature.

The Cruze comes standard with a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine, though a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine is available. Reviewers say the 1.4-liter engine had better acceleration, but the 1.8-liter engine gets better fuel economy. For the best fuel economy, go for the Cruze Eco model. It has fuel economy ratings of up to 28/42 mpg city/highway with a manual transmission, which is one of the highest ratings in the class. Across the board, all Cruze models were praised for their sharp handling and strong brakes that made the Cruze seem more refined than its classmates, but reviewers agreed the performance wasn’t exciting.

See the full 2011 Chevrolet Cruze specs »

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Other Cars to Consider

The 2011 Honda Civic was the U.S. News 2011 Best Compact Car for the Money and 2011 Best Compact Car for Families. The Civic has fewer standard features and less cargo space than the Cruze, and its second row is tight for adults.

Like the 2011 Cruze, reviewers praised the redesigned 2011 Hyundai Elantra for its outstanding safety scores, capable engine, upscale cabin, spacious seats and huge trunk. What distinguishes the 2011 Elantra are its outstanding fuel economy ratings of 29/40 mpg city/highway on the base model. To get similar fuel economy ratings, you’d have to choose the Cruze Eco model.

Compare the Cruze to the Civic and Elantra »

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