2 of 8
Chevrolet Cruze vs. Honda Civic
Chevrolet Cruze vs. Honda Civic

General Motors earned a reputation as a manufacturer of mediocre small cars with the Chevrolet Cavalier and Cobalt, while Honda's Civic hasn't been a best-seller for a couple of decades without reason.

The new Cruze could help GM live down its reputation. Cruze comes with a 1.4 liter turbo and in its least expensive version -- a manual transmission. The car is handsome, handles nicely, with good fit and finish. Starting at $18,000, it's a value, at least initially, compared with Civic. With 94.6 cubic feet of interior space, Cruze compares nicely with Civic's 90.9 cubic feet.

Finally GM is showing respect for the segment of its customers that wants a small car and doesn't want to be treated as small time.

NEXT: Chrysler 300C vs. Audi A8
Last updated February 24 2011: 12:00 PM ET
General Motors, BMW, and other automakers are giving venture capital a try after a long history of being late to the game. More
With its years of rapid sales gain maybe behind it, Toyota has had to turn its attention to cost cutting -- just like the Detroit automakers GM, Ford and Chrysler learned to do. More
General Motors pulled the plug on its first electric car, but supplier AeroVironment used some of that experience to build a very different kind of vehicle for the U.S. military. More
Find Your Next Car