2011 Chevrolet Cruze: Love/Hate


If you’re in the market for a roomy and safe entry-level sedan, the new Chevrolet Cruze should meet your needs. The Cruze does so many things right that it’s a shame there’s only one really big thing it does wrong.


Love: Everything about the interior

From the front seat, the Cruze feels much bigger than its compact-car designation would lead you to believe.  The two-tone cloth seats in our 1.8-liter LS base model are comfortable and stylish. The controls are all large and easy to find, and the modest display screen is the perfect size to give you all the radio or climate control information you’d need without overwhelming the center stack. If you have to spend a lot of commuting time staring at the inside of a sub-$20,000 car, the Cruze should be on your short list.


Hate: Exterior styling

There’s no way to put this gently. The Chevy Cruze is one boring-looking car. At a time when Ford and even Buick are making really eye-catching sedans, there’s just nothing modern, fresh or interesting about the Cruze’s silhouette.  The Cruze is a great addition to GM’s compact-car lineup and a massive step up from the cheaper Chevy Aveo, as long as you don’t look at it once you get out of the car.


Doug G

Is this the same car that cars.com declared one of the top five or six cars of 2010?


really? the only thing about the exterior styling i don't like is the black plastic triangle behind the rear doors. they should have put another window there or made it sheet metal. the hatch version of the cruze doesn't have the plastic, so maybe it's something they'll change.


To each their own.


I like the styling. I don't see what all the fuss is about really. Its conservative, bit attractive and sporty looking.


It's just too bad that an "entry level" sedan has to cost $18,000 to $20,000. The exterior is a bit boring but so are about 75% of the cars out there.


Yeah, it's really getting tired how people keep calling these cars, especially the Elantra cheap entry level cars. Even with this economy, are people doing so well that 18k is now the new 10k entry level car?


They are definitely not entry-level. They are as big as midsize cars used to be and have the same amenities and features and safety equipment as luxury cars.


People have to take inflation into account. This car starts at 17k but how much would a 10k car from 1990 be in today's money? This isn't some lightweight 3rd world car and the price reflects that. It has more airbags than most luxury cars.


Entry level does not equate to car size. It is the lowest trim level available for the model. Also, why do we keep comparing them to older vehicles? Why not compare them to their contemporaries, i.e. vehicles of the same model year from other manufacturers? Most of these newer models have grown in dimension inside and out.

In terms of looks, the Cruze is stylish enough without being overly aggressive. It exudes appeal and sophistication while maintaining a sporty stance.


The very firm seats in this car are horrible. It would never work for me on a long road trip.

Amuro Ray

Definitely NOT an entry level car. Those who said so need to wake up. Examples of entry level cars nowadays, and SINCE 2006/7 are

Nissan Versa (1600cc/1800cc) and Cube, Honda Fit, Toyota Yaris, Hyundai Accent and Soul, Chevy Aveo, Ford Fiesta, etc.

These start from $9900 to $$15000, without incentives.

Amuro Ray

Hahaha, I've to laugh at the digital ink waster! BE GONE, you troll.

"This isn't some lightweight 3rd world car"

As per wiki history, the vehicle was sold in 04/09 - that's b4 entering into the US market - in China, manufactured in India.

Last I check, these 2 countries are still classified as 3rd world / developing countries.


The first sentence in the article states it's an entry level sedan...thus my comment

Amuro Ray

@ Ziggy,

No, I'm not talking 'bou u. U had it in "double quote."


I agree that vehicles are less expensive than compared to the 90's. Especially the late 90's!


The styling of this car should be concern of GM. This car design is yesterday’s. Today 5yo Civic easy a better design then this car. It looks fresh because it is new but in a year it will be tiring your eyes.

As far as “stylish”… A don’t see anything stylish here. Just a Chevy workhorse. Stylish in this class would be Civic, Elantra, Mazda3 and coming Focus. All others are just mundane designs.

My concern is quality of this car. Designed by Daewoo and Opel, I don’t believe it is of high quality.


Only goes to show that Toyota and Honda do not have the market cornered on boring designs. What the foreigners do have is demonstrated and proven reliability, resale value and quality that everything from GM lacks. Does anyone remember the Cobalt, or the Saturn, or the Chevette, The Vega or any of the other forgettable sorry GM attempts at this segment? The Cruze is no better and no worse than any of their previous failures. Want reliability, quality and value? Buy a Ford, or a Toyota, or a Honda, boring as they may be.


For the record and to correct you - for a change, AR - China would be considered a second world nation due to its communist regime. And, although India might be considered third world, this does not mean it's a poor country or otherwise incapable of producing a quality vehicle.

Amuro Ray

Thanks Bowrider. Didn't realize that China's now 2nd world. Fortunately, did put the "developing nation" part in my post :)

BTW, I hope that you don't mean it's me who is referring 3rd world countries incapable of producing a quality vehicle, or poor. It's that digital ink waster...


So no one is going to hate on this car because of the C-pillar that makes it look like a smaller Sebring? Really? Thats all I see when I look at it.


10-4, AR.


They did sell over 13,000 of them last month so someone out there finds them appealing.

It is an appealing car, I just think the looks aren't the stand out issue. The Corolla isn't good looking either and is almost always a best seller. Nothing wrong with Chevy putting together a very good base model for once with value. I'd rather have that than good exterior looks and a bad driving experience.


Bowrider ,

China and India are absolutely incapable of producing a quality vehicles. Their newest cars are Yugos or worse.


The Hyundai Elantra looks like a million bucks when compared to the Cruze. The Cruze seems to suffer from the same bland styling as the new Buick Regal. To plain and boring for my tastes.


1. The Elantra's looks are fadish and few over 40 would buy one- at least that's my guess. Its just too over the top in my view. The Cruze and focus have a more mature look.
2. Cruze was developed in Europe and S. Korea, not the 3rd world. I made the point that its not a 3rd world car and thus we shouldnt expect it to be dirt cheap. It has a lot of equipment and it's very refined- that costs money
3. Cruze is still one of the better looking cars in this class. Looks better than Corolla, 3 and Sentra hands down.
4. It was the 3rd best selling compact and sold about 1k less units than the Civic so I'm confused as to why so many folks are saying GM needs to be concerned about the styling. Sales so far don't back that up.
5. Folks who are comparing this to crappy GM compacts from 30 years ago need to see my point above about where this car was developed. It has nothing to do with its predecessors aside from the Chevy badge. Get a grip folks, its been a long time since the Vega. Time to move on.

Amuro Ray

"Time to move on."

And so should you, you digital ink wasting troll. Move on to somewhere else.

Don't waste our digital space.


Cruze looks better then Mazda3???

Well, I guess they don't say it for nothing that "taste and looks makes no friends"
In the end, some people did buy Pontiac Aztek.


A lot of cars look better than the Mazda3.


No one should associate the new Focus and the Cruze unless they are talking about where they are made. The Focus design is miles ahead of the Cruze.

Cruze looks like a toned down Sentra design for goodness sake! (I would say it looks better than the Mazda 3 though, the latest design. That is one ugly car.)

And everyone knows how long it has been since the Cobalt... or even the 2004 Cavalier...


Totally agree, Tony. Mazda3 has this beat in styling, no contest. Then again, I own one. Then again, I think you own one too.

Matter of opinion? Reckon so.


And they have to be kidding about the seats being comfortable. Yeah, they are a little better than sitting on a wooden bench. But they are just as hard as a rock!


Skankzilla ,

the fact is - my 98 Protege beats this in style.

This Cruze has no style on the exterior. It is a workhorse.


Really now. If all you have to complain about is the exterior styling, and the firmness of the seats that rival most asian cars I've ever sat in...Then I think they are doing pretty good. I don't see anyone complaining about the 10 airbags (omg how dare they put 10 airbags in there). I don't see anyone whining about the class comperable mileage, the warrenty, etc... There are so many great things about this car that I think you guys are just nitpicking, and had to look pretty hard to find anything really truely wrong with this car.

Great job!

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