*2011 is proving to be a very good year for cars. Whether they’re big or small, expensive and economical – there is something exceptional out there for everyone. To see what I mean, test drive one, two or all of the following cars and see for yourself.

THE CAR: CHEVY CRUZE

The Cruze may not be fancy, but it doesn’t suffer from low self-esteem either. This is a very cool car. It handles well, hugs curves and can kick it into gear.  The official car info says: The Cruze changes the rules for compact cars. The car offers the spaciousness and amenities of a midsize car with the fuel economy and price of a compact. The Cruze’s key competitors (Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla and Ford Focus) should all watch their backs!!!

VEHICLE AT A GLANCE: Engine, 1.4L Ecotec VVT DOHC, Transmission, 6 Speed Automatic, 4-wheel antilock brakes, remote vehicle start, Stabilitrak-Stability control system w/traction control.

MSRP: $16,995-$22,695
FUEL ECONOMY: 24/36
THE DRIVE: Smooth!

THE CAR: 2011 CHEVROLET TRAVERSE

There are lots of family vehicles on the market today. And, some look just like family vehicles. Not that there’s anything wrong with looking like a family vehicle. But, sometimes Aunt Susie wants to do a little stylin’ and profilin’ herself. So, for those head of households looking to kick it in gear, here’s something for you.  If you want a family vehicle that looks good, handles well, is roomy and stylish, look no further than the Chevrolet Traverse. In this car, eight is enough as it’s an easy-going 8-passenger crossover.  Although it’s a big automobile, it doesn’t ride like one. In fact, it’s remarkably agile for its size.

VEHICLE AT A GLANCE: 3.6L V-6 direct inject engine; horsepower: LS, LT: 281/[email protected] rpm; LTZ: 288/215 @6300; Hydra-Matic 6T75 – 6-speed automatic; 17-inch wheel; XM Radio,

MSRP: $39,975-$42,665
FUEL ECONOMY: 16/23
THE DRIVE: Pretty good!

THE CAR: 2011 CAMARO 2SS COUPE

Who doesn’t like a Camaro? This one, in particular, is not only a head-turner, it’s fierce!  When you drive a Camaro, you automatically up your game!  It not only looks good and sporty, it drives like it has all the confidence in the world. It’s low to the ground, but high on quality and maneuverability.

VEHICLE AT A GLANCE: LS,LT: 3.6L direct-injected V6 (LS, LT) SS: 6.2L V8; Transmission: LS, LT: Hydra-Matic 6L50 six-speed automatic w/TAPshift; Aisin Warner AY6 six-speed manual;

SS: Hydra-Matic 6L80 six-speeed automatic /TAPshift; TR6060 six-speed manual (LS3, L99)

Horsepower: LS, LT: 304/227 @6400 rpm; SS: 426/318 @ 5900 (LS3); 400/299 @ 5900 (L99)

MSRP:  $34,295-$39, 370
FUEL ECONOMY: 16/25
THE DRIVE: Whaddaya think? It’s a Camaro!

Darlene Donloe is a writer living in Los Angeles. She also writes about entertainment and travel. She can be reached at [email protected].