2011 Chevrolet Cruze (Courtesy: GM)Enlarge Photo
2011 Chevrolet Cruze -- 6 days of inventory
Quick, what's the most important car in Chevrolet's attempted renaissance? If you said "the Chevy Volt," you've been watching too many commercials. They won't build enough of those for them to actually have much of an impact. There's a lot more riding on the success of the Chevy Cruze, though you'll never hear a GM executive admit to it. If Chevy's new compact car can build a reputation for Honda Civic-like reliability and driving fun, together with its handsome exterior (trust us, it's better looking up close than anything else in its class) and surprisingly upscale cabin, it could re-make the General's reputation. But don't rush out to buy one just yet. The Cruze is so new that there are few on the market, and as a result, prices are too high at the moment. In a few months, it'll be a more realistic buy.
2011 Toyota HighlanderEnlarge Photo
2011 Toyota Highlander -- 6 days of inventory
Toyota's most popular SUV is a well-built, jack-of-all-trades family car. It's easy to drive, seats seven (though we don't recommend it if you'll routinely be carrying adults in the third row), and available in a hybrid model that uses Toyota's proven hybrid synergy drive system. It was due for a styling update for the 2011 model year, and TrueCar.com tells us that a handful of 2011 highlanders are now on sale -- but just a handful. And though they boast sharp exterior styling, they're mechanically identical to the 2010 models they'll replace. If a dealer tries to point you toward the all-new Highlander, consider sticking with the 2010 model and saving money.