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John Brown
John Brown MegaDork
11/14/12 9:08 p.m.

Let me start this by saying, yes... I'm an idiot.

I am currently going through a MAJOR life change. One which requires a new domicile as well as extreme expenditure reduction. I like my job, I make decent-ish money, it has allowed me to releive a majority of REALLY bad debt from our past and has brought me to where I was Friday. Last year after a major flood I was forced to replace my (lovely) MKIV Jetta GLI and Leanns Dodge Caravan, but even with insurance money it required vehicle loans. Fast forward to earlier this year a family emergency caused the need for a truck to be purchased for Leanns father, again with a loan. As the year went on it became apparent that my MAJOR life change was imminent, I looked at the values of these belongings and decided that $450/mo in car payment PLUS insurance was more than I could handle. I sold the Impaler and traded in Clifford the big red truck and got me a near mid life crisis vehicle... A 2012 Chevrolet Cruze! all for a little more than half of my old payments.

With it's thunderous 1.4L turbocharged engine hooked to the 6 speed automatic transmission you would expect near Z06 performance, but it is even better than that! Well, no, not really... but after 5 hours of ownership I have driven it a little more than 50 miles in combined city and (mostly) highway driving averaging 55 MPH and 36 MPG. It puts my daily fuel consumption down to just over 2 gallons per day which makes me very happy. It honestly feels like an updated MKIV Jetta, It's even the same color as my old GLI.

Crappy cellphone pic via Facebook

Anyone else have any experience with these rather awesome little mount?

Jaynen
Jaynen HalfDork
11/14/12 9:36 p.m.

Its funny because the wheels do remind me of stock mk4 jetta offerings as well.

My current commuter is a mk4 jetta TDI

Ranger50
Ranger50 UltraDork
11/14/12 9:38 p.m.

ZZP Performance in GR/Wyoming, MI.

Iusedtobefast
Iusedtobefast New Reader
11/14/12 9:41 p.m.

If you come up with a couple bucks, you could do a BTCC clone, that would be pretty cool. Don't know what will give them a charge under the hood, but every time I see one on the street, I picture those pretty blue cars with the white rims and wings. I could rock that :)

Ashyukun
Ashyukun Reader
11/14/12 9:52 p.m.

I had one as a rental earlier this year. Not bad, but the seat was HORRID for the 700 mile drive I had to make in it. Seriously, who in this day and age doesn't put a lumbar adjust on the driver's seat?

fasted58
fasted58 UberDork
11/14/12 10:37 p.m.
Iusedtobefast wrote: ... pretty blue cars with the white rims and wings. I could rock that :)

yup

Dashpot
Dashpot Reader
11/15/12 6:28 a.m.

Got one as a rental and was impressed. Tight ride, nice seats, pretty well screwed together & efficient power - All you need as a commuter. Nice car!

4cylndrfury
4cylndrfury UltimaDork
11/15/12 8:01 a.m.

A Cruze Eco with 3 pedals is on my want list...hell, its likely a lock for my next car in the next few years.

Bonus points if you can get the dealer to throw in the RS wheels and body kit...which Ive heard is very plausible...

pinchvalve
pinchvalve UltimaDork
11/15/12 8:11 a.m.

The Cruze, especially the Eco, is pretty impressive for it's size/efficiency. And you share a bloodline with the Z06 and ZR1, something that you can't get from Ferrari or Porsche.

patgizz
patgizz UltraDork
11/15/12 8:56 a.m.

how do you fit between the seat and steering wheel getting in? i know you're not a small guy, nor am i, and i have a hell of a time getting in and out of the in-laws car.

i dunno, i honestly liked the 02 cavalier my sister has better than the cruze. the tilt doesn't tilt up enough, and the 1-2 dropoff in gears is huuuugggeeeee. but it's a good commuter/mpg car.

Joe Gearin
Joe Gearin Associate Publisher
11/15/12 9:13 a.m.

Congrats! I frequently am issued Cruze's as rentals, and they are impressive little cars. IMHO they offer a better driving experience than a new Corolla, Civic, Sentra, Versa, or Fiesta.

That's saying a lot for GM --- they haven't had a truly competitive car in this market segment for a long time----- if ever.

Ranger50
Ranger50 UltraDork
11/15/12 10:24 a.m.

My friend bought one, a RS manual, for his 90 mile one way commute to work. Even around here with all the mountains, above the limit driving, and less then straight sections of pavement, he pulls 34mpg's. Outside of one problem, a wonky radio/antenna, he has done NOTHING besides gas and oil.

When he first got it, I was able to get a short test drive. My only complaints are the hard, no grip, craptastic All-Season tires, shifter that is a knife in warm butter, and a clutch that is way, way too light, can't feel the engagement, you have to watch the tach drop.

accordionfolder
accordionfolder Reader
11/15/12 10:29 a.m.

I have the eco trim + 6spd manual.

If you want a bit more punch for not many monies:

http://www.vtunerperformance.com/?p=54

This is the forum I frequent, it's a pretty good source for general knowledge. Since the car's new they are still discovering it's tolerances for performance modifications, etc.

http://www.cruzetalk.com/forum/

SilverFleet
SilverFleet Dork
11/15/12 11:07 a.m.

I'm going to keep an eye on these. As these proliferate the used market and get cheap, a slightly used one might be a steal in a few years to serve as a fuel efficient daily driver. I've seen a lot of these out there with the 6MT/Turbo Ecotec combination.

Lesley
Lesley PowerDork
11/15/12 11:29 a.m.

Absolutely nothing wrong with those cars, and I've driven 'em all. Really liked the Cruze Eco with three pedals, but any one of them would make a great daily driver.

kreb
kreb SuperDork
11/15/12 11:29 a.m.

Isn't the Cruze the kissing cousin to the Volt? A friend has a Volt and said that the thing feels positively German in terms of build quality.

Joe Gearin
Joe Gearin Associate Publisher
11/15/12 1:43 p.m.

While the Volt and Cruze may share parts, they are completely different animals. The Volt's powertrain and electronic wizardry dominate the driving experience. The Cruze is a conventional car.....a good car.

They both go down the road with a very "all of one piece" feel. Come to think of it, so does the new Malibu.

4cylndrfury
4cylndrfury UltimaDork
11/15/12 3:12 p.m.
accordionfolder wrote: I have the eco trim + 6spd manual. If you want a bit more punch for not many monies: http://www.vtunerperformance.com/?p=54 This is the forum I frequent, it's a pretty good source for general knowledge. Since the car's new they are still discovering it's tolerances for performance modifications, etc. http://www.cruzetalk.com/forum/

hmmm...color me intrigued...so, for $500, they send you a gizmo that plugs in a new tune? that sounds pretty reasonable actually.

From the link

We have finished the Cruze 1.4T Stage 0 tuning package and we are getting impressive results. 170hp/177lb-ft (stock is 138hp/148lb-ft) has been achieved. Please review the Dyno and statistics below. We are setting the Stage 0 package price at $465

So $14 per horse...I think thats very reasonable for 23% HP gain.

wbjones
wbjones UltraDork
11/15/12 3:14 p.m.

the cruze in it's many forms .... what say the herd about the 1.8 DOHC vs the 1.4 T ?

Joshua
Joshua HalfDork
11/15/12 3:22 p.m.

I'm sure you had this in mind when you bought it!

amg_rx7
amg_rx7 Dork
11/15/12 3:52 p.m.
4cylndrfury wrote:
We have finished the Cruze 1.4T Stage 0 tuning package and we are getting impressive results. 170hp/177lb-ft (stock is 138hp/148lb-ft) has been achieved. Please review the Dyno and statistics below. We are setting the Stage 0 package price at $465

That Air : Fuel ratio looks way too lean.

Zomby Woof
Zomby Woof PowerDork
11/15/12 4:06 p.m.

You guys are saying way too many good things about a GM. I must be in some upside down GRM world.

accordionfolder
accordionfolder Reader
11/15/12 4:17 p.m.

That tune has been used on manyyyy forum members cars with no negative results, the guy at Vermont Tuning knows his stuff. Plus, you can send him the logs and he will "maintain" your tune for free; adjusting it to better suit your particular cruze. There is another competing tuner, but I can't remember their company name off the top of my head. Similar numbers, similar price.

He actually has a stage2 upgrade that includes a ported intake and turbo change, I don't remember the performance boost, but it was substantial.

Raze
Raze SuperDork
11/15/12 4:37 p.m.
accordionfolder wrote: That tune has been used on manyyyy forum members cars with no negative results,

for now...

It is lean by traditional turbo tune standards but not impossible, AFR doesn't mean much without knowing what the timing looks like...

with how much of a change in the left of the curve, makes me wonder if there's an electronic waste gate actuator or something, the tune is leaner, maybe they added a bunch of timing too?

ultraclyde
ultraclyde Dork
11/15/12 4:39 p.m.

How's that tune affect the mileage?

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