Turbo vs. w/o turbo - 2011 Chevy Cruze

Will a 2011 Chevy Cruze 1.4L turbo engine wear out / break down / fail sooner than a 2011 Chevy Cruze 1.8L engine ( w/o the turbo ) ? Both being automatic transmissions. Driven by the same person.

Also, does anyone know the gas mileage difference between the same two ?

Thanks for the responses.

When purchasing a turbo vehicle, look at the octane level of gasoline required, and the maintenace/oil that’s required.


The turbo engine in the Cruze only requires 87 octane fuel. The mileage between the 1.8L and 1.4L Turbo is not much, With the automatic the 1.4T gets 1 more MPG city and 2 more MPG on the highway. With the stick shift the 1.8L gets 2 MPG better than the 1.4LT and is rated the same on the highway. However there’s an Eco-model 1.4LT that has different gear ratios that’s good for over 40 MPG on the highway.

As far a durability goes. Hard to say, the turbo is a small light pressure unit, it’s not really meant for high performance, it’s there to help boost low-mid range power. But it’s still one more thing to go wrong.

A little info I found http://green.autoblog.com/2008/09/26/tech-analysis-of-gms-new-1-4l-four-cylinder-engine/

The Cruze is too new a model to give specific answers to your question. If you get the turbo model just be sure to follow the maintenance schedule for oil changes. Turbo’s run hot (that’s the nature of the beast) and they need good oil to survive. I’d consider a full synthetic oil in a motor with a turbo.

What surprised me is the relatively slow performance of the 1.4l turbo. I’d prefer the 1.8l w/o turbo. Less to go wrong.

Drive them both, see which you like.

I find it hard to believe that it requires only 87 octane, then again, my car recommends 91+, but can run on 87.

Either way, since it’ll be spooling low in the RPM band, that means it’ll be working a lot more often than a larger unit would. This will most likely cause you to idle for 30 seconds or more after you’ve been on the highway, or been running the car hard, before you shut the engine off; this allows oil to flow through the turbo and cool it down some so you won’t coke it.

It is a complete unknown whether either engine is better. There is no history. I think it is a flip of the coin. Buy what you prefer.

I own a Subaru wrx with 2.0L turbo. It is far more reliable than the 2.5L non turbo motor that is not only weaker but the non turbo blows head gaskets to the tune of $1500-$3000 repairs.

I have a feeling back in 2002 everyone would say the non turbo was more reliable. They are all wrong given Subaru’s problems.

This will most likely cause you to idle for 30 seconds or more after you’ve been on the highway, or been running the car hard, before you shut the engine off; this allows oil to flow through the turbo and cool it down some so you won’t coke it.

That is the old school thinking 80’s & 90’s when some turbo’s did not even have coolant for them. Modern turbos keep coolant flowing around after the engine shuts down.

The 1.4L+turbo gets city/highway of 24/36. The 1.8L gets 22/35. Both run on 87 octane (regular). The 1.8L is only offered in the LS trim, the lowest level. All others use the 1.4L+turbo. I’d choose the car based on the equipment I want and just take whatever engine is in it.

Subaru engines are UNIQUE, both in design and the range of problems we encounter on this forum.

I would generally go with conventional wisdom that, in most cars, non-turbo engines last longer and are cheaper to keep running than turbo units.

Turbocharger Information?
The turbocharger greatly enhances engine power. Its advanced design provides improved
operation and requires minimum additional maintenance. To get maximum performance
from your turbocharged engine, take note of the following tips:
l The turbocharged engine is designed for optimal operation with premium unleaded
gasoline (page 4-2). Extra fuel additives are NOT recommended.
l Change the engine oil and filter using the turbo engine interval outlined in the
maintenance schedule (for your driving condition).
l Use only the recommended engine oil (page 8-19). Extra oil additives are NOT
l After driving at freeway speeds or up a long hill, idle the engine at least 30 seconds to
cool the turbo before turning off the engine. Avoid simply shutting the engine off
abruptly after a hard or long drive. Damage to the turbocharger may result.

l Do not race or over-rev the engine when starting. This should not be done with ANY
engine, especially not with one that’s turbocharged.
l Do not add any aftermarket devices to alter the engine’s ignition timing, fuel delivery, or
turbo boost pressure. This may lead to serious engine damage and may void your

Quote from my owner’s manual for my CX-7. Even if it’s true I don’t need to idle my car after I’ve driven it hard or on the highway for a period of time, I still say 30 seconds of my time is worth it if I don’t have to replace the turbo due to oil problems

The better choice is the obvious one. Why not save a little more money and buy a real car? Hope the car isn’t as sub-par as the Cobalt. There are certainly better choices.


I rented one and was quite impressed and I am not a small car fan.

I thought it was superior to my 2010 Corolla I rented with lawn chair front seats that broke down and they thankfully gave me a Cruze recently.

I actually was curious and found this article:

Subaru’s stance way back 9 years ago:

FHI’s posistion regarding this is that it is not necessary to perform a “cool down/idling” procedure, as was recommended with past turbo models. Our current 2.0L turbo engine has a far greater cooling capacity and, coupled with technology advances, makes this practice no longer necessary. This explains why information about cool down is not included in the 2002MY Impreza Owner’s Manual.

The heat contained in the turbo charger will begin to vaporize the coolant at the turbo charger after the engine is stopped. This hot vapor will then enter the coolant reservoir tank which is the highest point of the coolant system. At the same time the vapor exits the turbo charger, coolant supplied from the right bank cylinder head flows into the turbo. This action cools the turbo charger down. This process will continue until the vaporizing action in the turbo charger has stopped or cooled down."

“There are certainly better choices.”

No fooling? The Cruze is one the the top 10 cars of 2011 according to Motor Trend and was an honorable mention at Car and Driver. All the reviews that I read said the Cruze can compete with any compact car.

Mazda is either using older technology(I’m told that the turbo is a K04 unit), or their lawyers are trying to cover all their bases.

You know what they say; time will tell. It could be a good car too.