Interior / Exterior » 8
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STYLING | 8 out of 10
Up front, the car wears the same handsome split grille found elsewhere in the Chevy line.
This car is the missionary position of compact-sedan styling.
Wall Street Journal
looks good from any angle
Road & Track
intentionally conservative but handsome and well proportioned
Kelley Blue Book
The Cruze has been criticized as too conservatively styled, an understandable complaint, especially because the upcoming 2012 Ford Focus compact has been lauded for its design.
While the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze is a fresh take for GM and better in many ways than its forebears, the Cobalt and Cavalier, it doesn't look particularly striking on the outside. Its exterior is a little conservative, almost homely, and looks more like a blunted Malibu (Chevrolet's mid-size sedan) than it probably should. "Traditional" is a good way to sum it up, with a clear three-box sedan layout. The arched roofline provides some contemporary pop, and GM hasn't gone overboard with the high-shouldered appearance, affording, refreshingly, a bit more greenhouse.
The interior, thankfully, bears very little semblance to that of the Cobalt; its wrap-around, multitiered instrument panel appears stylish from a distance, and Chevy has used a lot of fine detailing and carefully coordinated trims so that it looks and feels great up close, too. In the design of the center stack, you can even see a little influence from the much-acclaimed Cadillac CTS interior.
Fit and finish, at least from the pre-production, higher-trim-level cars we'd seen at the time of writing, included nice padded dash materials, as well as grippy rubber-nubbed climate control and audio knobs. The standard and optional leather upholstery (with fashionable exposed stitching) felt every bit as good as what we'd see in a more expensive mid-size car.
The new 2011 Chevrolet Cruze is conservative on the outside but more than makes up for it on the inside with a contemporary, high-quality look.