Chevrolet Cruze, Honda Fit becoming more popular among consumers

Article by Christian Andrei, on December 5, 2011

U.S. consumers have become more concerned about the price of gas as well as car payments. Because of this, there has been a noted shift from midsize sedans like the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord or Ford Fusion to small cars such as the Chevrolet Cruze and the Honda Fit.

Another factor that has contributed to the shift is that small cars are not as cramped as the econoboxes in the 1980s and 1990s and they have been equipped with the features that bigger cars have. Marketing information firm J.D. Power and Associates said that as early as this year, compact cars are expected to outsell midsize vehicles.

This event has never been seen in at least the past 20 years. About a handful of years ago, almost 250,000 more midsize cars than compact cars were sold in the U.S. Of course, gas was a lot cheaper and automakers didn’t have as many small models on sale. By 2015, J.D. Power believes that compact and subcompact cars will make up 20% of sales while midsize cars will only make up around 14%.

In the last 15 years, the Camry is the top-selling car in the U.S. Toyota hopes that it will be able to maintain this. In the fall, Toyota launched a new version that raises the fuel economy to 35 miles per gallon (15 kilometers per liter).

It’s even priced lower than the old model. However, there’s increasing competition from smaller cars like the Hyundai Elantra, which returns 40 mpg (17 kpl) and is priced $5,000 lower. Elantra sales increased by 46% to 161,000 through October. On the other hand, Camry sales dropped by 9% to 251,000 units.

New Chevy Cruze comes out with a bold, distinguished look that commands attention. This demanding presence is mainly due to Chevrolet’s signature look, which includes a two-tier grille that carries the brand’s widely recognizable Bowtie logo. The car also features an athletic stance and a coupe-like aesthetic, thanks to the arched roofline that bridges its steeply positioned windshield and its slanting rear pillars.

The car’s confidence and sportiness can also be seen in its headlamp housings that are prominently wrapped around its corners, sweeping up onto the fenders and the sculpted hood, and in its short rear deck, which is a typical sports coupe feature. The car’s wheels are positioned at the corners with little front and rear overhangs.

Compared to its competitors, the Chevrolet Cruze is longer and wider. It has a feel of solidity and superior quality that is brought about by its tightly drawn bodywork and conservative use of exterior trim.

Overall, the Chevrolet Cruze looks purposefully precise with its exceptional build quality and strong body structure. This is all thanks to Chevrolet’s assembly plant in Lordstown, Ohio, which is equipped with the latest body-framing and welding tools for optimum manufacturing capability. The car’s solid structure fosters minimal variance in production and minimal repeatable gap tolerances between most of the exterior panels (3 mm or less). Simply speaking, this means a better-looking brand-new vehicle that feels more solid as the years go by.

The Chevrolet Cruze’s interior also reflects the same boldness in design and the same attention to detail. Its twin cockpit motif got inspiration from the Chevrolet Corvette and it uses only the best-quality materials and assembly tolerances. The car’s refined interior features soft-touch and grained components as well as low-gloss trim panels that exude uniqueness when compared to other cars in its segment.

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