DETROIT -- The 2011 Chevrolet Cruze small car will start at $16,995, including shipping, several hundred dollars more than its targeted import competitors.
The Cruze hits showrooms in September, and General Motors Co. wants it to take on the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla. The 2010 Civic starts at $16,405, and the Corolla starts at $16,200. Both prices include shipping.
“While some of our competitors may have a lower starting price, Cruze wins on value once these competitors are optioned up,” Chevrolet marketing chief Jim Campbell said today in a statement.
For instance, a manual-transmission base model Civic comes with six air bags and lacks standard air conditioning, power locks and keyless entry. The base Cruze LS with a six-speed manual transmission comes with those features, along with 10 air bags.
The Cruze LS has a 1.8-liter four-cylinder Ecotec engine. For $18,895, buyers can upgrade to the LT version, with its standard 1.4-liter turbocharged Ecotec and a six-speed automatic transmission.
The same amount will buy the Eco model, which comes with the 1.4-liter Ecotec turbo, a manual transmission and lower front grille air shutters that close to improve aerodynamics.
Lightweight forged aluminum wheels from Alcoa and Goodyear's Fuel Max tires will help the Eco model achieve an expected 40 mpg, GM says. GM aims to market the Cruze Eco as a gasoline-powered car that delivers hybrid-like fuel economy without a hybrid's hefty price tag.
The Cruze LTZ starts at $22,695 and includes leather seats, Bluetooth, cruise control, a USB port for the audio system, rear-parking assist and remote vehicle start. It has the 1.4-liter Ecotec and an automatic transmission.
The 2010 Cobalt, which the Cruze is replacing, starts at $15,710 with shipping. GM has already said it will add a third shift in Lordstown, Ohio, when it changes over from the Cobalt to the Cruze.
Ford Motor Co. has yet to reveal prices for the competing redesigned Ford Focus, scheduled to arrive in showrooms early next year.