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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2011 Chevrolet Cruze Interior

This interior review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

The phrase upscale affordable small car may sound like an oxymoron, but that’s what the automotive industry calls the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze. That label is justified. The Cruze has a high quality, spacious cabin that outshines a lot of its competitors. It’s also quite roomy on the inside: The cabin and trunk are some of the largest in the class. 

  • "The interior has lots of nice parts that look and feel impressive. There's attention to detail here, especially in the trim, the steering wheel and the shifter. I detected a bit of road and engine noise, but nothing too intrusive." -- AutoWeek  
  • "Cruze really shines for quietness, with best-in-class noise control.” -- Consumer Guide
  • "The 2011 Chevy Cruze really shines on the inside. With soft-touch materials throughout and the availability of a leather interior, this compact sedan looks and feels like a car from a higher price point." -- Kelley Blue Book


Most test drivers think the Cruze’s front seat is very comfortable and that tall divers won’t have any problems nestling into the front seat – even when they choose the optional sunroof. However, reviewers have varying opinions about the back row. Some say it won’t fit tall adults, which is a common complaint in this class. 

Cabin space is great for the class, but seat comfort is debatable. The seats get many high marks, but some test drivers think the back seat cushions are low and don’t offer enough thigh support.

  • "Very comfortable in front, even for large drivers. Six-footers have plenty of headroom, even with the optional sunroof. Generous fore and aft seat travel, together with the standard tilt and telescopic steering wheel, make it easy to find a comfortable driving position." -- Consumer Guide
  • "This is a compact car, and it felt like it. I had plenty of space up front, but any passengers in the back seat would be feeling a bit scrunched. I could see this being an annoyance for larger groups of people or families, but since I wasn't back there, it was out of sight, out of mind. I just enjoyed my drive home." -- AutoWeek
  • "Two adults can lodge themselves happily in the rear, where GM has finally seen fit to raise the cushion so that knees aren’t hoisted to belt-buckle height. Back-seat riders must jam their feet under the front seats, but that’s the only dimension at a premium. A fifth rider? Well, maybe a third-grader.” -- Car and Driver

Interior Features

While it is fitted with a few hard plastics, the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze has one of the nicest interiors in its class, and reviewers can’t help but be impressed. In addition, the Cruze’s center console is easy to use. If you’re looking for Bluetooth – it isn’t standard, but the Kia Forte has it.  

The 2011 Cruze comes with a trip computer, an AM/FM stereo with CD/MP3 playblack, an auxiliary input jack and satellite radio. Bluetooth is optional on the base trim via the Connectivity Package, which also includes a USB port and steering-wheel mounted audio controls. To get navigation, you’ll have to add it as an optional feature to the 2LT and LTZ trims. 

  • "Inside, the cabin is welcoming, with fit, finish and a quality of material that indicates a better class of car than one might expect. The seat stitching is perfect, the dashboard is attractive and the four-dial instrument binnacle is both easy on the eye and easy to read." -- Popular Mechanics
  • "All of the gauges and center stack controls are intuitive and easy to reach, and the optional RS package brings an upgraded gauge cluster with chrome surrounds and cool blue back-light to the dash." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Yes there was hard plastic, but for once it didn't scream hard plastic. There was a nice touch of matching fabric on the dash and the instrument panel was easy to read in all lighting conditions. Ventilation and audio controls were well marked and within easy reach." -- MarketWatch
  • "I'm less impressed with the silver-colored plastic, which is also on the center panel. There's no shortage of this stuff in cars nowadays, trying to imitate metal and often failing. It's not the worst I've seen, not even close, actually. I mention it mainly because an LTZ I drove had a variation on this trim, a patterned silver that looks much, much richer." -- Chicago Tribune 


The 2011 Chevrolet Cruze outshines its competition in terms of cargo space. There's 15.4 cubic feet in the trunk, which is great for sedans in this class and good for midsize sedans. There is, however, one complaint: the trunk-lid hinges intrude into the cargo bay, which makes it difficult to store some items.

  • "The trunk is huge and more than capable of swallowing luggage for four passengers." -- Popular Mechanics
  • "Small-item storage is adequate. It includes a small, rubberized cubby at the base of the center stack, two cupholders on the center console, a smallish center console bin and room for bottles in the door pockets." -- MSN
  • "On the downside, sickle-style trunk lid hinges intrude into the cargo space. Interior small-item storage is good, but not exceptional.”  -- Consumer Guide

Next Steps: 2011 Chevrolet Cruze

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