There’s always a little skepticism attached to Environmental Protection Agency fuel economy estimates. Even though the agency adjusted its testing procedures in 2008 to help generate more realistic figures, buyers and experts seem to approach the mystical city/highway numbers with the general impression that figures have little bearing on what owners actually experience in day-to-day use. So it should be no surprise that when General Motors and the EPA announced that the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco would hit 42 miles per gallon on the highway, a stink of disbelief filled our newsroom.
That kind of lofty highway fuel economy is typically relegated to hybrids, clean diesels and subcompacts that require an uncanny mastership of human origami to ferry four friends along – not roomy four-door compact sedans. Fortunately, GM was kind enough to turn us loose on a long stretch of Southern California interstate to put the fuel economy of the Cruze Eco to the test.