Is it more expensive than a Cruze? Sure, but one is old technology based on over a 150 years of developement (first gas internal combustion engine built by Belgian Jean Joseph Etienne Lenoir in 1860, first actual internal combustion engine was in the 1600s, gunpowder fueled and was used to drive water pumps so the Cruze could be considered an end product of around 400 years of development) and the other is a technology that is just now being developed for the market. While certain types of hybrids do go back to the late 1800s, the current focus on hybrid use is only recent probably due to the relatively low cost of gasoline and gasoline powered cars for over a century (and most likely to a lot, and I mean a lot, of lobbing dollars). Before, there simply wasn't enough motivation to put money into developement. Like any "new" technology going to market, it is initially going to cost consumers more. As development continues, a greater variety of choices will become available and prices will go down once companies recoup research and development costs.
What is really more interesting to me though is that the government had hybrid HUMVEEs as early as 1985, where the hell is our usable hybrid pickups and SUVs after 27 years of development? The government already covered the R&D costs on that. So GM and others, fess them up!!!
(God forgive me for saying this) Be thankful for those green fanatics and automotive ignoramuses, because they are going to pay for the development of the future of automobiles.
As to seating 20% less, how many people do you commute with? In the early 1980s, GM and Toyata starting building the Pontiac Fiero and the MRII as a base commuter car. (Ok, so GM did their usual 1980s number and tried to cut costs and basically destroyed one of the best ideas and base designs for an easy to use, park and fuel efficient daily commuter they ever had, but hey, they tried.) Why did they do it? Because they found that most commuters only had one or two people commuting and so they made it a two seater. My 1985 and 1986 ones, both converted to manual 5 speeds, got around 38 mpg until I added a MSD 2A multispark unit and capacitance discharge coil, then they got up to 42 MPG. Now consider that they were a pushrod, rotary distributer, all iron motor with a single draft Throttle Body Injection system, and that is really damned good. The Cruze uses a slightly smaller, alluminum alloy, 32 valve twin overhead cam, timed sequential multiport fuel injection, distributerless ignition (with a coil for each sparkplug and no plug wires motor) motor (less weight, reduction of rotating mass and a lot less resistance for spark) and the best model of it can only match what I got from that 1985 car with a $150 upgrade and I still had a somewhat reliable daily driver for commuting. My 2010 HHR with the 2.2L and 5 speed manual only gets around 29-30 (supposed to get 32, but ethanol gas screws up gas milleage.) So personally, I am saying screw the newer cars, I am going back to the old ones (I can get a crate motor for them for under $5000 and still get a 5 year/100,000 mile warrenty on the motor) and if they ever get the hybrids bigger, affordable and reliable, then I might consider them.