Mike924 Reader
March 5, 2014 9:23 a.m.

A couple of years ago I went and test drove a new 2011 Cruze. Base LS model with the 6 speed manual transmission. I liked it. I was surprised that I liked it. Being a German car snob I felt the build quality, power and handling was pretty good. Especially for a regular commuter car, for fun I have the Porsche.

I just searched again for 2011 Chevy Cruze's and they are now under 10,000 CDN dollars. So How do these cars hold up? Where are the weak points?

Cheers;

wbjones UltimaDork
March 5, 2014 9:35 a.m.

the Cruze is VERY high on my "look at" list this summer …

our TT director here in the SE is a high hp car racer … he definitely isn't a hypermiler …

he bought the Eco asp … he's EXTREMELY happy with it … he says he and his wife routinely get 40+ in combined driving, and often 50+ on trips …

sat in a LTZ of a friend at the Rolex … the economics seem perfect for me … I'll go looking in a couple of months

Lesley PowerDork
March 5, 2014 9:39 a.m.

I drove the Eco a couple of years ago, and liked it a lot:

http://www.auto-venus.com/en/2012-chevrolet-cruze-eco-review/409/

nedc New Reader
March 5, 2014 10:16 a.m.

I recently rented a 2014 (I think) LT for a couple of days and was impressed. The 1.4 Ecotec turbo surprised me with it's power and fuel economy. Thought it was a 2.4 NA motor until I got home and checked the specs.

Derick Freese UltraDork
March 5, 2014 10:21 a.m.

Spring for the 1.4 turbo motor. I have the 1.8 in my Astra, and it's gutless. Test drove a Cruze with the 1.8, feels a little better, but the 1.4 feels more at home in that car.

belteshazzar UberDork
March 5, 2014 10:49 a.m.

if the option packaging for the ECO was a little more flexible I would have considered it before buying my Skyactiv 3. At the time there weren't a a lot of options if you go the ECO. By comparison my Mazda could be pretty loaded up, not to mention having an extra door.

belteshazzar UberDork
March 5, 2014 10:58 a.m.

It also bugs the $hit out of me that they have a smaller gas tank. Why?!?! Why the Berk?!?! And if you ever get passed the "why?", there's still the "how", which is at least as infuriating.

Then at one point their marketing guys were touting "3 overdrive gears!", which sounds badass if you don't know anything about cars. Then I looked into it further, and 4th gear is like .96 or something like that. Really?

Knurled PowerDork
March 5, 2014 11:49 a.m.
Derick Freese wrote: Spring for the 1.4 turbo motor. I have the 1.8 in my Astra, and it's gutless. Test drove a Cruze with the 1.8, feels a little better, but the 1.4 feels more at home in that car.

From what little I have seen, increasing power in that little bugger is definitely not silly easy. I'm not SAYING that people are installing water injection and then turning the engine's maximum torque up until boost hits the ~22psi range resulting in about 200-210 crank HP, without having to change much else in the computer. It would be unethical to describe how easy it is to tune the cars up because they are still under warranty.

4cylndrfury MegaDork
March 5, 2014 12:07 p.m.
Knurled wrote:
Derick Freese wrote: Spring for the 1.4 turbo motor. I have the 1.8 in my Astra, and it's gutless. Test drove a Cruze with the 1.8, feels a little better, but the 1.4 feels more at home in that car.

From what little I have seen, increasing power in that little bugger is definitely not silly easy. I'm not SAYING that people are installing water injection and then turning the engine's maximum torque up until boost hits the ~22psi range resulting in about 200-210 crank HP, without having to change much else in the computer. It would be unethical to describe how easy it is to tune the cars up because they are still under warranty.

I would like to subscribe to your newsletter...a 1.4t/6sp Cruze is on my short list for new cars when the G20 takes a crap.

Mike924 Reader
March 5, 2014 12:20 p.m.

For a regular little cruiser with the odd ice race/autocross i think I will need to keep this on the short list as well.

Thanks for all the input guys. Keep it coming.

mistanfo
mistanfo UltraDork
March 5, 2014 1:21 p.m.

Seat was uncomfortable for me, though I am longer in the torso than the regular Joe. Still, I was able to drive it to Daytona, and Mr WB Jones was able to sit in it :)

wbjones UltimaDork
March 5, 2014 2:13 p.m.

that's who's car I sat in … the seat to steering wheel ergonomics really felt good … I need to drive one for a weekend to really see

RossD PowerDork
March 5, 2014 2:37 p.m.

I have nothing productive to add, other than if Chevy Chase married Tom Cruise, his name then could be Chevy Cruise.

Nashco
Nashco UberDork
March 5, 2014 3:50 p.m.
belteshazzar wrote: It also bugs the $hit out of me that they have a smaller gas tank. Why?!?! Why the Berk?!?! And if you ever get passed the "why?", there's still the "how", which is at least as infuriating. Then at one point their marketing guys were touting "3 overdrive gears!", which sounds badass if you don't know anything about cars. Then I looked into it further, and 4th gear is like .96 or something like that. Really?

Just to be clear, if this really was the only thing preventing you from getting one, it's easy to fix by swapping part of the fuel pump module assembly:

http://www.cruzetalk.com/forum/27-fuel-economy/21785-my-project-extending-range-per-tank-12-eco-m6.html

http://www.cruzetalk.com/forum/129-engine-transmission/12035-how-15-6-gallons-into-eco-mt-tank.html

If you're handy and don't mind junkyard parts, less than $100 and a couple hours time would "fix" this. I know if I had an Eco, I'd definitely be doing this job!

Bryce

accordionfolder HalfDork
March 5, 2014 5:12 p.m.

I owned an eco and loved the thing. One of my favorite shifting transmissions ever. It wasn't short, but it was precise and slick. Locking collar reverse felt like it was synchronized. The torque comes on low and hard, and they are easy to tune like all turbo motors. Dead nuts reliable, and easy to take care of. Interior is nothing special, but not prone to rattles. Really really safe. I autoX'd mine and shocked many a person, and they retain 0% of their new value even though they are great cars. Makes the cheap to buy used, as you noticed.

I never once noticed the gas tank, I could get 50+mpg paying attention, realistically you'll get an easy 40mpg. The eco is so slippery that top speed is faster than you should go, but I dealt with a really annoying v6 mustang that didn't want me to pass it that way.

Any specific questions? Eco/6spd only, otherwise you're wasting your time.

accordionfolder HalfDork
March 5, 2014 5:16 p.m.

How about this: If I needed to commute any distance regularly in a car, I would have one again in a heartbeat and owned mine for a bit over 2 years.

In black I think they look fantastic.

Sultan Dork
March 5, 2014 5:22 p.m.

I have a 2013 ECO for over a year and love it. Best MPG we have gotten was 55! So far no issues!

nepa03focus Reader
March 5, 2014 5:22 p.m.

I drove a base one with the base engine and liked and bought a focus better. Now I'm wondering if I might have liked the cruise better if I'd tried the turbo motor. I did think the cruise was more upscale feeling and classier lolking but thought the focus more fun, plus hatchback

t25torx Reader
March 5, 2014 5:23 p.m.

They look good with flairs! If the hatchback was available over here I probably would have gotten it over our Mazda3 with Skyactive.

OldGray320i Reader
March 5, 2014 5:29 p.m.

I almost bought one before getting the Focus. I thought the ergonomics were generally better, but the Focus had more hp stock, and the seats were a little more comfortable.

I made my choice based on those two things because at the time I had a 200mi a day commute 95% highway. I figured seats and the extra hp was better for that. Turns out not long after I got the Focus, reports came out about fires involving the Eco car's turbo, but I suspect that's long solved.

Had I known I was going to pick up a job in town two months later, I think I'd have picked the Cruze. Actually, scratch that, if I'd known I was going to pick up a job in town, I'd still be driving my e30 everyday and I'd have picked up a Miata....

HiTempguy UltraDork
March 5, 2014 5:43 p.m.
Lesley wrote: I drove the Eco a couple of years ago, and liked it a lot: http://www.auto-venus.com/en/2012-chevrolet-cruze-eco-review/409/

22% of Canadian car purchases?

It always surprises me how different various areas of this big ol' country of ours is... Cruzes are rare out here in oil country.

Mike HalfDork
March 5, 2014 6:23 p.m.

I'm driving the 5 door hatchback variant, aka Volt, and like it. I've had a Cruze as a warranty loaner, but it was an abused slushbox, so I'll refrain. The Cruze lets you enjoy a superior feeling when you're at a stoplight with an ELR.

Knurled PowerDork
March 5, 2014 8:06 p.m.

In reply to 4cylndrfury:

I have no newsletter and certainly would not suggest reading the 4-cylinder engine tuning section of the HPTuners forum.

Ranger50 PowerDork
March 5, 2014 8:42 p.m.
Knurled wrote: In reply to 4cylndrfury: I have no newsletter and certainly would not suggest reading the 4-cylinder engine tuning section of the HPTuners forum.

Or visit websites like www.zzperformance.com either....

HiTempguy UltraDork
March 5, 2014 8:54 p.m.

Also, gawd dayum, 2011 turbo cruises are only $10k around here with 30,000kms... that is absurd value for the money. I'm pumped for when they come off warranty! Or the Sonic...

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