It looks like GM has made a decision to produce a smaller version of the Malibu--a competitive, competent cruizer, but not a sexy vehicle. In other words, a Korean-American Corolla (the Cruze was developed primarily by GM's Korean division, Daewoo). This is a different strategy than much of the competition. Ford, for example, is bringing European handling in the upcoming 2012 Focus, so there will be a definite focus on the fun-to-drive aspect. Honda is due for a redesign of its Civic, which is a sharp handling car, though noisy.
I think WSJ is too hard on the Cruze's styling, I like it personally. It is clean and athletic without being over-busy. But the bland handling worries me. Is this going to work for GM? Will they beat Corolla at the no-drama small sedan game? Or will they, like Cobalt before it, wind up selling a lot of rental cars?