1 2
Sultan HalfDork
2/16/13 5:04 p.m.

Step one - No Chevy hatin'

Step two - I am looking today at a Chevy Cruze. Do any of you smarter than I people have input on which engine we should get? 1.8 or the 1.4 turbo.

Step three - feel good for help us out.


fanfoy Reader
2/16/13 5:15 p.m.

1.4 turbo all the way.

The 1.8 is an old ruff anchor of an engine. It gets very average MPG's for the displacement and the price difference is too small not to go for the 1.4 turbo.

Plus, being a turbo, I am sure there will be some good upgrades in the future for those engines.

I have to say it: the Cruze left me very cold when I test-drove it. I would really suggest something else unless it as to be a chevy

Sultan HalfDork
2/16/13 5:35 p.m.

Thanks Fanboy. I rented one this last summer and we drove about 1000 miles and we really liked it. I have looked at Kia yet the current Forte isn't great. The Elantra is a no go for my wife. The Focus doesn't do it for us. Honestly I have thought about this for months.

Zomby Woof
Zomby Woof UberDork
2/16/13 5:41 p.m.

I agree. More upside with the turbo motor. Tuners are already making good power with them, and being a GM, I wouldn't be surprised if they offer a power upgrade that doesn't affect warranty.

nepa03focus New Reader
2/16/13 5:56 p.m.

Isn't there also a diesel option coming?

belteshazzar UberDork
2/16/13 6:04 p.m.

this is a dumb question

mazdeuce Dork
2/16/13 6:11 p.m.
belteshazzar wrote: this is a dumb question

Quoted because this man speaks god's honest truth. Turbo or not turbo? Always turbo. I also concur with the second hand rumors that tuners are doing very good things with this engine.

JeffHarbert Reader
2/16/13 7:33 p.m.

I ran across a website a while back for a company that does chip tuning for the Sonic and Cruze turbos. The slick part is that you end up with two maps in the ECU. You choose between the maps with the cruise control on/off switch. Cruise off = more power, cruise on (though not necessarily engaged) = stock map. I can't find the site again but if I do I'll link it here.

Gearheadotaku UltraDork
2/16/13 9:03 p.m.

I'd vote turbo. Basicly same HP, but more torque. Future upgrades, etc. The ECO version uses the turbo, so that must be the better MPG choice.

Schmidlap HalfDork
2/16/13 11:00 p.m.

Jalopnik recently did a review of the 1.4L turbo in a Sonic and had some criticisms about the engine. Granted, they didn'r compare it to the 1.8L and this guy may have just finished a week testing a new Audi S7 or something, so take it with a grain of salt. Drive both and see which one you like better. My completely uninformed advice: the turbo gets better fuel economy and has similar power, so go for the turbo.

Here's what Jalopnik said: "The Sonic RS has 138 horsepower and 148 pound feet of torque. That gets the 2,810 pound RS to 60 in eight seconds. Honestly, that's not bad at all. I did find the power to be slightly anemic, as I found the power band to be fairly narrow and peaky. When you're in the sweet spot the RS is responsive and fun, I just wanted a broader power band. Compared to a Fiat 500 Abarth (which does cost a good bit more), there just isn't enough meat across the rev range. Peak torque in the RS is at 2,500, peak horsepower at 4,900, so a motor that you'd think would love to rev really doesn't. Once you're above 4,900, you're out of thrust."

Sultan HalfDork
2/17/13 12:13 a.m.

Thanks everyone. We got the Cruze Eco with the 1.4 turbo. First new car in about 10 years. Currently I am driving an 86 Bronco 2 so for me the Cruze feels amazing.

dj06482 Dork
2/17/13 6:23 a.m.

Please post your impressions of the Cruze Eco when you get a chance...


wbjones UberDork
2/17/13 7:45 a.m.

the TT director for NASA-SE recently bought a Cruze Eco ... says 40 mpg all the time and as much as 50 on trips

Ranger50 UberDork
2/17/13 9:27 a.m.

Once you put a downpipe, cat back, and a tune on/in, the stock clutch will die.

My only complaints about the Cruze are E36 M3ty tires, they are equivalent to 4 round concrete blocks bathed in oil trying to maintain traction on ice, maybe a lack of oomph, but the above fixes that, and dull steering feel, way overboosted with no on center feedback.

Zomby Woof
Zomby Woof UberDork
2/17/13 9:33 a.m.
peak horsepower at 4,900, so a motor that you'd think would love to rev really doesn't.

Nominated for stupidest thing I've read on the interwebs today.

blithe285 New Reader
9/5/18 7:44 p.m.
mazdeuce said:
belteshazzar wrote: this is a dumb question

Quoted because this man speaks god's honest truth. Turbo or not turbo? Always turbo. I also concur with the second hand rumors that tuners are doing very good things with this engine.

Aaaaaand, five years down the road and the 1.4L Turbo has been found to be fairly unreliable when compared to the 1.8L, with oil leaks, coolant leaks, blown A40 fuses (controls the coolant fan), thermostat failures, and failed PCV diaphragms (which are built in to the whole manifold lul) being common occurrences! Also, the boost leaks, luuuuul.

More isn't always better, and neither is speaking too soon with such confidence XD 

Oh yeahh, and clearly this was not a dumb question!

Vigo UltimaDork
9/5/18 8:08 p.m.

When i saw the thread title my immediate thought was "well, do you want it to be reliable and boring, or unreliable and boring?" But yes,  with the benefit of hindsight considering this is from 2013.

Greg Voth
Greg Voth Dork
9/5/18 9:12 p.m.

I know it's a zombie thread but Ive got a 160k 2014 Cruze 1.4t six speed that I've had since new. 


I had a pcv failure, thermostat housing/elbow leak, a ground cable, front wheel bearing, and just recently replaced the plugs. All the repairs have been easy ( 2 hours) and non debilitating.  I use it as a DD for work traveling to inspections and it's never let me down in four years so I give pass for reliability.


I thought about a tune but running premium at 40k miles a year doesn't make sense. It does return about 35mpg mixed driving.



Suprf1y UltimaDork
9/5/18 11:10 p.m.

I was surprised to see that I posted in this too.

We have since bought a Sonic 1.4T. So far it has been trouble free.

Vigo UltimaDork
9/6/18 9:18 a.m.

I have to wonder if a tune might not be a reliability improvement given how often one of the local GM dealers was slapping new pistons into turbo engines under warranty when GF worked there last year. 

psteav Dork
9/6/18 9:54 a.m.

3 years and ~45k miles on a 1.4t/6m Sonic.  Bought it with 48k miles, about to roll 95k now.

Thermostat housing (again, not the greatest design) replaced at 60k.

Bad bearing in the transmission, entire transmission replaced under warranty at 70k.

PCV valve (both, and what a dumb berkeleying design) replaced at 90k.  If you do it, buy the aftermarket PCV that you can replace without having to replace the entire intake manifold.

Doesn't get quite the mileage that it should, but 33mpg on 87 octane E15 piss is not bad for the power it has.

Considering what I bought it for, this car doesn't owe me anything. 

Blithe285....who pissed in your wheaties, man?

NickD UberDork
9/6/18 10:15 a.m.

Odd. I work for GM and the 1.4T is probably one of their better engines. All we typically see are valve covers (whistling PCV valve that sets a billion codes) and water pumps (which are under special coverage until Doomsday, I believe). The coolant outlet on the right side of the head can also leak and/or set a CEL, but not as common. Us techs like them because we can practically diagnose them just by looking at the RO. "Customer states CEL on", well, needs a valve cover. "Customer states vehicle leaking coolant", okay, needs a water pump, maybe a housing too. Now the new 1.5T in the Malibus, that is a hateful engine. They get about 10-15k on them and bust the tops off the pistons.

wspohn Dork
9/6/18 3:23 p.m.

First, there is no 'chip' tuning of any Cruze as they haven't used chips in the ECM since about 1990, and the add on chips are useless.

A simple tune on the Cruze 1.4 can result in up to 59 bhp and 97 Tq.  See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3rxA95etrmQ

and https://www.trifectaperformance.com/index.html/trifecta-2017-cruze-and-cruze-hatch-now-available33-r77/

Agree that the 1.4 is the only way to go, although I can't help thinking about a Cruze with a transplanted 2.0 LNF Ecotec in it.....

Vigo UltimaDork
9/6/18 3:29 p.m.

 water pumps (which are under special coverage until Doomsday, I believe).

Then don't tell my customer that i did one for because the hours it paid in the labor guide was super sweet for how easy it was. After i finished that one i added another version to my list of 'I wish i could just do this specific thing over and over all day' sayings. I'm sure it's not as good of a deal at flag pay and warranty hours but as a side job at full price it was great. 

maschinenbau Dork
9/6/18 3:30 p.m.

I have the 1.8 in my Saturn Astra (almost identical engine) and it has been pretty darn reliable and easy to service after 10 years and 100k miles. The Astra forums are pretty quiet about engine complaints, other than the fact that it is slow. The Ecotec 1.8 is a known quantity. 

1.4T and 1.8 have about the same power. Turbo has slightly more torque. I can tell you it will be a slow car no matter which you go with, so you might as well buy the one with fewer high-precision moving parts to go wrong.

1 2
Our Preferred Partners