It’s called “ECO” and it's coming Friday.
Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG
- Mar. 2, 2011
2011 Chevrolet Cruze ECO – $18,895 to start while rated at 42 mpgUS highway… And 28/33 mpgUS city/combined but who’s counting
The 2011 Chevrolet Cruze ECO’s highway numbers are not only proving that GM is back but that they are now solidly in control of the non-hybrid, C-Segment fuel economy ranks including the current sales leading Corolla (42 mpg vs. 35 mpg) by 20%! Even when compared to the mighty diesel from the likes of Audi and their A3 TDI or VW and their Jetta and Golf TDI, the Cruze Eco is in a dead heat at 42 mpg highway. A gasoline fueled non-hybrid willing to go head to head with the mighty diesel and according to the EPA, they are in a dead heat? A stunning revelation if I do say so myself!
And when in the past 40-years have we heard of GM leading the compact class fuel economy charts? I can tell you when. NEVER
. It’s the dawning of a new age and GM is back with a vengeance.
How “it’s” done
GM’s best aerodynamicists were tasked with improving the aerodynamic performance of the Volt and since the Cruze is derived from the same platform, it was a 2fer.
GM’s best structural engineers were tasked with removing excess weight from the standard Cruze and 214 pounds later, job complete.
GM’s best powertrain engineers were tasked to make enhancements to the standard Cruze’s drivetrain. The Cruze ECO’s 5th gear is the same as 6th in the standard MT, the ECO’s 6th is a full 17.6% taller than the base 6th in the standard MT and the final is 2.8% taller than the standard Cruze with the MT. Yes indeed, they fixed that alright!
And finally, GM’s best fuel economy calibrators were tasked to take what was left and bury the standard Cruze’s 36 mpgUS highway rating and do so with bravado. And they did that too.
So we know where the superb fuel economy ratings came from, what about the car itself?
A pleasant looking compact the likes we have not seen from GM in forever. Thinking back, when was the last time a compact from GM had you do a double take? The Cobalt? Not exactly? The Cavalier? Yeah, that one was outdated the day it was released. All in, the Cruze while not the class leader in interior/exterior appearance, at least is competitive with higher quality plastics on the inside then all of its competitors and the non-ECO Cruze with the 18’s looks aggressive enough to take on all comers. That is the beauty pictured to the right. -->
And the ECO? While it is not quite what I would call homely, it will not win any beauty contests in the C-Segment either. Simply chiseled to make a point while not getting in your face.
Regarding the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze’s safety characteristics which are so near and dear to my heart, the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze earned a big accolade when it achieved a first for the segment, 5-star crash test rating
for front, side and overall on the new 2011 NHTSA crash tests. These are the toughest crash test ratings in the world and 5-star places you in as safe a C-Segment car as there is available anywhere!
In addition, the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze earned a Top Safety Pick from the IIHS
with Good Ratings for frontal offset, side, roof crush, rear crash protection and even head restraints. Few vehicles no matter their size, cost, engineered or perceived safety, or reputation score at the top of the IIHS’ safety ratings in every single category yet the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze did.
Both the 2011 NHTSA and IIHS confirm that in terms of safety, the Cruze is in rare air and will give up its life for yours without a question or thought. I am actually quite proud of the fact that GM has earned this accolade for all our sakes.
The ECO’s Real World Fuel Economy, Ride and Handling and what can it hold… You know, the driving impressions
Well boys and girls, we have one on its way and it is scheduled to arrive in < 40-hours.
We’ll see how this no-hold barred fuel miser from the revamped General takes on Chicago over the next week and a half and with weather conditions from yuck to worse, who knows what the Cruze ECO will provide?
No matter the outcome, it will certainly be an experience as we have been waiting for this particular fuel miser for quite some time…
2011 Chevrolet Cruze ECO Interior
The working end... And boy is it nice to see that 6-speed stick in the lower section of the center stack.
The latest IIHS Crash Test ratings and Small Overlap Crash Test video for the 2013 and 2014 Chevrolet Cruze. While it earned the Top Safety Pick moniker, it did not perform quite good enough in the small overlap to earn the coveted Top Safety Pick + rating.
The Cruze is built from a strong, unitized body structure that incorporates high-strength steel (HSS) in key areas. Underbody main rails extend from the front of the structure all the way to the rear, further enhancing the body’s strength and stiffness. A cross-structure beam behind the instrument panel supports the body in the event of a side-impact crash.
On the passive safety front, the Cruze is the first in the C-segment to incorporate 10 standard air bags, including frontal driver and passenger, side, side curtain, rear outward seating positions and front knee air bags. Other safety features include:
- Front passenger seat occupant sensing system and rollover sensing and protection system
- Collapsible pedal assembly to help protect against lower-extremity injuries
- Three-point safety belts in all five seating positions, safety belt retractor pretensioners and lap pretensioners in the driver and front-passenger positions, and safety belt load limiters (with pretensioners) in the front safety belt retractors.
- LATCH child seat latching system in the rear seat
- Tire pressure monitoring system , daytime running lamps and automatic headlamps
On the active front, the Cruze includes 4-wheel ABS, Brake Assist, Electronic Stability Control and Traction Control.
GM and G. Schmitz, thanks for placing me at the top of the list for the chance to see what your best and brightest have provided to us mere mortals