2011 Chevy Cruze Compact Quality, Made in USA>

For most women, owning a car is one of life’s necessities. So the more you can save on gasoline and repairs, the more you’ll keep for the good stuff, like entertainment, dining, and those weekly escapes to Bloomingdales, Barneys or even Big Lots. If you’re in the market for stylish, sporty, gas saving car that’s made in the USA, we think you might adore the 2011 Chevy Cruze. Its five-year, 100,000-mile power train warranty provides big peace of mind.

When engineering the Cruze, General Motors made fuel economy a high priority from the get go. They made a cute 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine with one wicked little turbocharger. The model we tested kicks out 138 horsepower, while averaging 26 miles per gallon in the city and 36 mpg on the highway. If that’s not efficient enough, check out the Cruze Eco model. It packs in a bevy of advanced fuel-saving features to rack up an amazing EPA estimated 42 mpg on the highway!

Not long ago, in order to save this much on gas, you had to drive a flimsy little econo-box. But thanks to the contemporary styling and general good looks of the Cruze, you’ll feel good (and safe) being seen around town, whether you’re heading to Sears check out appliances, or cruising the drive-thru at In ‘n Out.

We were also impressed with how the Cruze drove and handled. The peppy powertrain effortlessly accelerates this comfortable compact. The optional 18-inch wheels add a racy look to the Cruze’s sporty stance. Since the Cruze is a bit on the husky side for its class (e.g. Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra, Ford Focus, Toyota Corolla), its interior is bigger, too. That’s especially good for your burly back seat passengers. Even the trunk is impressively spacious, offering up 15.6 cubic feet — enough for his tools and toys, and your yoga mat, shopping bags and shoeboxes.

Technology standards in the Cruze include an Mp3 player and satellite radio. You’ll pay extra for a Bluetooth connection and navigation system, but that’s typical for most compact sedans. When it comes to safety, the Cruze doesn’t skimp. With its 10 airbags, this zippy sedan garnered the Top Safety Pick label by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety. The Cruze also features standard stability control and traction control, further elevating the Cruze’s safety street cred.

We’re convinced. The 2011 Chevy Cruze represents a giant leap of progress and improvement compared many of GMs earlier compact car choices. To get the full skinny on pricing, trim levels and local availability, click here.