2011 Chevy Cruze-The Caddy of small cars (Sac-gas 4.16)


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While the mid size (Honda Accord, Ford Fusion and Toyota Camry) is far and away the popular segment in the United States, the activity this year is the compact segment with 6 new models.

This year the american manufactures has taken the lead.   For many years with the exception of the Ford Focus, the offerings from domestic automakers has been sub par.   This year the they have taken the lead, the materials and fit and finish is very good .  Gone are the hard surfaces and misaligned panels. 

GLOBAL CAR

While the Cruze is new to the United States, the car has been on the road for more that two years in  Australia  it called the “Holden Cruise” and in South Korea its called the  Daewoo Lacetti  Premiere, the car has been on the roads of  Mexico  for more that a  year.    This may be a trend for General Motors , the Pontiac GTO and the Pontiac G8 orginated from GM’s  Australian subsidiary Holden and the new  Buick Regal has been on Europe’s road for more than three years as the Opel  Insignia .

A few days ago I took an extended test drive in the new Chevy Cruze.   The Cruze replaces the Chevy Cobalt.

The exterior is pleasant, but what impressed was the interior….  There was color, gone are was the all black or gray plastic, the materials used was soft to the touch.     I drove the LTZ model.

The Chevy had all the amenities one would expect from a modern car, bluetooth, I pod connections and USB and two power connections for your PC and a large trunk.

The car was Lexus quiet, the sounds from the doors was much like a much larger car (are you listening Honda,Toyota and Mitsubishi ) unlike the older small cars, nothing seemed cheap on the Cruze.

On the road, the turbocharged 1.4 liter seemed slow, it was fine in the city but didn’ t seem to have much passing power on the highway.  The car was very responsive.  The car had very low sound levels  this is a chevy?    So I took the car to one of the worst sections of  area freeway in Sacramento, I-80 between Norwood and West El Camino,  the cracks and patches in the right lane has wounded quite of few cars over the years.

This patch of  road  highlighted a few of the cars shortcomings, the suspension is a bit floaty and the steering kicked back but the car was controllable.   However, unlike the last C-Class I drove there was not one squeak in the car.

There was good leg room for my 6.4 legs however, the seats are narrow for my widebody and a bit firm.           The Cruze’s gas mileage wasn’t great for this class the EPA sticker says 22/35 , thats actually less than the mid size Hyundai Sonata and about the same as the midsize Ford Fusion.

There is a 42 mpg version of the Cruze, however it only comes with a six speed manual.

The Chevrolet Cruze is the perfect transitional car for someone who currently drives a much larger car, its ride,  build, quietness  and trunk size is impressive.  However, the fuel economy,(with the exception of the Eco model) isn’t very competitive for the class.  If you have a wide frame, you may not feel comfortable in this car.  Rear seat room is fair. The Cruze has 10 air bags.    It has a well advertised I-phone applications that will allow users to open the doors,start the car and blow the horn via the I-phone.

The Chevy Cruze is a major leap for GM, if your considering  buying a small car, the Cruze should be on your list.

CITYFELLA

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Published by CityFella

Big city fella, Born and Raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. Lived in New York (a part time New Yorker) for three years . I have lived in the Sacramento area since 1993. When I first moved here, I hated it. Initially found the city too conservative for my tastes. A great place to raise children however too few options for adults . The city has grown up, there is much to do here. The city suffers from low self esteem in my opinion, locals have few positive words to say about their hometown. visitors and transplants are amazed at what they find here. From, the grand old homes in Alkali Flats, and the huge trees in midtown, there are many surprises in Sacramento. Theater is alive is this area . And finally ,there is a nightlife... In.downtown midtown, for the young and not so young. My Criticism is with local government. There is a shortage of visionaries in city hall. Sacramento has long relied on the state, feds and real estate for revenue. Like many cities in America,Downtown Sacramento was the hub of activity in the area. as the population moved to the suburbs and retail followed. The city has spent millions to revive downtown. Today less than ten thousand people live downtown. No one at city hall could connect the dots. Population-Retail. Business says Sacramento is challenging and many corporations have chosen to set up operations outside the cities limits. There is vision in the burbs. Sacramento has bones, there are many good pieces here, leaders seem unable or unwilling to put those pieces together into. Rant aside, I love it here. From the trees to the rivers. But its the people here that move me. Sacramento is one of the most integrated cities in America. I find I'm welcome everywhere. The spices work in this city of nearly 500,000 and for the most part these spices blend well together. From Ukrainians to Hispanics and a sizable gay community, all the spices seem to work well here. I frequently travel and occasionally I will venture into a city with huge racial borders, where its unsafe to visit after certain hours. I haven't found it here. I cant imagine living in a community where there is one hue or one spice. I love the big trees, Temple Coffee House, the Alhambra Safeway, Zelda's Pizza, Bicyclist in Midtown, The Mother Lode Saloon, Crest Theater, and the Rivers. I could go on and I might. Sacramento is home.

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