L.A. Auto Show jargon alert: '20 stars' and the Chevy Cruze
In the words of "The Simpsons' " Monty Burns, steepling his fingers: "Excellent."
The 2011 Cruze -- GM's ka-jillion-unit global small car, built in Korea, China, Russia and Lordstown, Ohio, all garden spots -- is getting its North American curtain raiser at the L.A. show, and it really does make a very nice impression. Russell -- in a refreshing bit of candor -- said that management's goal was very clear and direct: "Beat the [Honda] Civic, hands down."
So it is that the Cruze's highway mpg (40 mpg) tops the Civic's by a respectable 4 mpg (the Civic Hybrid, however, gets 45 mpg on the highway). It's also interesting to note Chevy will market a special "high efficiency" model of the Cruze, much like Honda used to sell the gas-sipping FE model.
The interior of the LTZ trim-level package on the show stand was handsome and well sorted, the "twin cockpit" crafted of quality resins and fabrics. The thing's got an enormous trunk. And generally the Cruze makes an excellent argument for itself.
Except, perhaps, in the matters of exterior styling, where it just lies there like a starfish. The Cruze is "fresh, clean and modern," said Mike Simcoe, executive director for Chevy design. "An expressive design with a timeless sense of style."
Now that's jargon.
-- Dan Neil