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Chevy Cruz?

Just got back from a vacation trip where we rented a Chevy Cruz for a couple of weeks…Expecting a GM Econo-Box, I was surprised and impressed with this car…a 2014 model, it delivered 40+ MPG and zippy performance at the same time…It’s 1.4L engine was very impressive, delivering electric-motor quietness and smoothless with robust acceleration…I would certainly consider this car for ownership…I was wondering how other Cruz owners feel about their cars…

I’ve got a buddy who bought one for his wife. He and she both love it, 40 mpg as well. It has 30K or so at this point with no issues.

Finally, the promise of a small turbocharged engine getting great fuel economy comes to fruition.

My daughter has a 2012 Cruze LS and she likes it a lot. The LS 2012 has the 1.8L engine. It is not as zippy as the 1.4T but it works for her. I had an LT from Monday through yesterday as a rental and it was fine. Two complaints though: the radio was hard to manage. I couldn’t take the time to figure out how to change the virtual preset buttons on the screen. The XM subscription had run out and I wasn’t going to noodle with it while I was driving. The second one is the lag in acceleration when I put my foot down. It was a few seconds. This made lane changes a bit problematic. I wanted to speed up as I entered the left lane and the car took a while to respond. That seemed a bit unsafe to me. I suppose an owner could get used to it, though.

My aunt bought a 2013 Chevy Cruze LS over a year ago and she loves it. Her daughter owns a 2013 Chevy Malibu and tried to talk her in to buying one as well. My aunt said that one drive in the Cruze and she was hooked on both the looks and the driveability. I find them a little slow like @jtsanders but some people like to take things slow and that’s just fine with me.

@Insightful, Hey, small turbo motors have been giving good economy with snappy performance for years. Saabs were a great example. 5 passenger cars that get 31 mpg and will run a 1/4 mile drag in 15.3 seconds. Audi, too. Heck, Chrysler built a bunch in the 80’s and 90’s. Fast and fuel efficient.

My sister’s 4-cyl Saab turbo gets the same mpg as my brother’s 6-cyl Camry and both have about the same power. Both good performance, but no economy advantage to the turbo.

I rented one for three days and was very surprised in a good way. Now keep in mind I do not like small cars but I was impressed. Good acceleration, handling and fuel mileage.

If you open and close the doors on similar models of Toyotas and Hondas they sound very “tinny” and you can feel a slight vibration when shut, IMO. (hold on, don’t mean to start a war)

Do the same on a Cruze and the doors do not have a “tinny” sound and are quite when closed.

My only gripe is there is not much structure behind the headlamps where the radiator support is . If it gets hit high like a deer hit does a little more damage.

I didn’t even realize it was turbo-charged! No exterior badges…The 2014 model with 23K miles showing DID have a SLIGHT lag when asked to accelerate rapidly…I thought it was the transmission being just a little tardy with the down-shift not realizing it was turbocharged…The dash instruments give no indication as to the degree of force-feeding going on…I thought for sure it was a V6 until I checked the oil and the engine cover proclaimed it to be a 1.4T…

Awhile back one of my regular customers at the store switched from a Mazda3 to a new Cruze to please her kids, something to do with the size of the wheels would be better for her. Even though I could tell she loved the 3. The two main complaints from her was the radio wasn’t anywhere near as good as the Bose system in her previous car and the climate control wasn’t very intuitive at all for someone like her. I took a look and couldn’t see any a/c button like some other cars so at least without the car on it wasn’t obvious how to get the A/c going for her. Just about any Honda or Mazda i’ve seen is much more user friendly. I’m sure it’s a good car for most people.

Just having had a Focus that had major added noises within 7 months of ownership, I am more curious to know how the Cruze holds up in the longer run. My Camry is still noise free after 120K miles. I would like to see the domestics match or improve on that.

The numbers please on the various models of Cruze,I’m sorta looking for a nice smallish car.I know Hondas are very good,but the Civics are boring me to death-Kevin

I must have rented a bad Cruze, had a loud vibrating noise just off idle. Other than that, seemed like a nice car.

Lots of prior turbo 4s got no better mpgs than the V6s they replaced, and Ford’s now getting lots of complaints that the ‘Ecoboost’ engines aren’t meeting the EPA #s.

The engine choices may confuse many consumers…The “standard” engine is a 1.8L 4-cyl non-turbo rated at 138 hp…The one in my rental, a 1.4L turbocharged 4-cyl also rated at 138 hp…But costing $1000 more…Available is a 2.0L turbo-diesel, the mileage champ at 48 MPG but costing $4000 more…By the time you cough up $4K extra for the diesel, then pay extra for diesel fuel, depending on where you live, any operating cost advantage evaporates…

In some countries (but not the U.S.) a 1.6L gasoline turbocharged engine is available providing 185 HP and is the performance champ…Strange…Koreans get this car but not us…

The Cruze had poor reliability for its first year (per CR), but improved to average in subsequent years. That suggests they were either having assembly problems at first or possibly had a few really bad parts they redesigned. Still, that terrible reliability the first year worries me. The best cars don’t often have bad years. Though last year’s Accord had serious reliability issues, and I don’t doubt that it is basically a fine car. Last year was the first after a complete redesign and the first to use a CVT. Which let it get 40 mpg on the highway, but new transmissions often seem to take some time to be perfected.

@MarkM, I don’t think the Cruze has a CVT in the USA yet. They all use a 6-speed manual or automatic transmission. As for the terrible reliability, can you quantify that? Edmunds estimates 5 year repair costs going forward on a 2011 Cruze LS at $2400 while the base Corolla estimate is $2200. That doesn’t seem terrible to me.

Don’t take CR as a standard at which to measure a vehicle

I am a veteran of the phony OPEC oil shortage in 1973. When petroleum fuel is scarce or rises in price the people who are bad at math panic, and pay a premium for more fuel efficient vehicles. Such as paying a $4,000 premium for a diesel with an 8 mpg gain and more expensive fuel. Now a 100% EV with a 500 mile range might be attractive although I would still want at least a small internal combustion engine for back up.

@jtsanders the CVT mention was for the Honda Accord, The Cruze is a conventional automatic (GM used a CVT in certain Saturn’s and others which turned out to be problematic)

But the point is that just about any Make and Model of car can have a bad year or a particular feature that proves unreliable,such as touch screens for the audio system (Honda & Ford for example)

The real question is, how good will it be and how reliable will it have been 200,000 miles from now? CR could provide some insight into the probabilities.