DETROIT, M.I. – Michigan Chevrolet dealers may have been impressed by the fuel efficiency available with the Chevrolet Cruze. Being one of the most-fuel efficient cars in the U.S., the Chevrolet Cruze has increased in sales over the past three months and is expected to surpass 50,000 in U.S. sales during the first quarter.

Not only is the Chevrolet Cruze fuel efficient but it’s designed to be stylish, smart and trendy. In a survey conducted by Chevrolet of 500 new Chevrolet Cruze owners, the top two reasons for purchasing a Cruze were for its exterior styling and fuel efficiency.

“With the all-new Cruze, we set out to build the best compact car on the market,” said Lisa Hutchinson, Chevrolet Cruze marketing director in a GM press release. “The Cruze is priced to compete in the compact segment. But the Cruze offers the styling of a more expensive car, as well as more standard safety features than any other compact, and more miles per gallon with the Cruze Eco model. Clearly, that’s a combination many customers can appreciate.”

Michigan Chevrolet dealers are seeing not only repeat-Chevrolet owners trading in their Chevrolet models for the Cruze, but there are 48 percent new Cruze owners that traded in a different make. Only 34 percent traded in other Chevrolet models and 18 percent had no trade in, which may suggest those buyers were adding another vehicle to the household or buying the first.

There are three models of the Chevrolet Cruze that reach 36 miles per gallon highway: Cruze LS, LT and LTZ. The Chevrolet Cruze Eco reaches up to 42 miles per gallon, which is more than any other gasoline-powered car on the market, excluding hybrid and diesel models. The Chevrolet Cruze Eco stocks an efficient 1.4-liter turbocharged engine which delivers 138 horsepower.

Some safety features that all Cruze models are stocked with include StabiliTrak electronic stability control, 10 air bags and six months of OnStar with Chevrolet’s Directions and Connections package. According to Chevrolet, these features have made it possible for the Cruze to be the first compact car to earn the best-possible crash test ratings from both the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the revised New Car Assessment Program administered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and implemented for the 2011 model year.

The following shows the current ranked vehicles and their ratings:

Vehicles

Max. Highway
Fuel Economy

Standard 
Air Bags

2011 IIHS 
Top Safety Pick

2011 NHTSA 
Crash Safety Rating

2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco

42

10

Yes

5-Star

2011 Honda Civic

36

6

Yes

3-Star

2011 Toyota Corolla

35

6

Yes

NA

2012 Ford Focus

40

7

NA

NA

2012 Hyundai Elantra

40

6

NA

NA

Most of the above vehicles did not need added engine features to generate the high miles per gallon, like the Ford Focus, to get the fuel efficiency listed.

[Rewind: MI Ford Dealers to Explain 40 MPG Achievable Only in Special Edition Ford Focus]

Michigan Chevrolet dealers have heard retail sales are expected to be 370 percent higher in California, 225 percent higher in New York and 230 percent higher in Florida. It is a testament to the design of the Chevrolet Cruze as the numbers continue to grow.

MI Auto Times plans to follow the growth of the Chevrolet Cruze to see where the car will travel in the market. Check back to stay updated.

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