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Text and photos by Cor Steenstra
The 2011 Chevrolet Cruze makes an initial impression of being designed with a tremendous sense of conservatism sprinkled with the headlights of the previous Ford Focus. Admittedly, it is coming in the guise of w “world car” which yet again seems to be used as an excuse for making something bland and boring. Is it truly the case that a car that is targeted to be sold all over the globe has to please so many people that it can only be made to look bland..? Really..? Could it not also mean that all over the world people recognize it as a bland looking car, and therefore choose to go for something else?
The Chevrolet Cruz does have a good fit and finish, and the interior does feature a design theme clearly relating to what is being used on the current Cadillac design language, so from that point of view you get value for your money. However, from the Cadillac owner point of view, that might not be something to be too happy about.
We managed to do a 34 mpg on the highway at constant speed, but only 29 mpg on average during normal combined traffic, which was not as good as we had hoped for. The engine did seem a little under-powered for the weight of this car through, which might not have helped. Frequent manual gear change of the automatic did help in climbs to get the car a little more lively.
The Chevrolet Cruze is a competent offering, but clearly does not stand out in any particular area. As such it faces darn stiff competition from vehicles that do have a less bland design, have higher quality, better fuel consumption, better performance. And these don’t have to come from the Far-East either. Simply look at the current Ford Focus. Maybe it is time for the bean counters to let the car people do their job again..?