2015 Chevrolet Cruze LT1 1.4 liter turbo

Summary:

Not "the" car I wanted, but still think I got a pretty good deal considering...

Faults:

Nothing...

General Comments:

Quickly looked at purchasing a new car when my 2001 Grand Am GT finally gave it up with a failing camshaft. Just one more expensive repair that considering the KBB value finally pushed me to purchase a new vehicle.

I had intentions of looking at a 2015 Chevy Cruze RS that was used with 7200+ miles and also a 2013 Hyundai Elantra with 27000+ miles. While I liked the Elantra, the vehicle was only being sold with the remaining warranty, rode a bit too low for me, and I like a car that looks like a car (the Elantra looks nice, but at times looks like an elf with those head lamps and tail lamps). The gentleman I saw at the Chevy dealership steered me to a new Cruze LT1 model, I never did see the RS model I wanted to look at and have mixed feelings about it.

The Cruze LT1 I felt was a more comfortable ride, and that's something I was interested in coming off a Grand Am GT with a stiff sports suspension. Obviously I don't go looking for bumps and pot holes, but the Cruze LT1 soaks up the bumps, providing for a comfortable ride.

I wish the rear seats had more legroom. It's not something that's a deal breaker for me, as I'm single and don't cart around a car load of people, but anyone sitting in the back seat is either going to be cramped or we'll be moving the front seats up. Considering how big the trunk is, near cavernous, you'd think they'd make the trunk a bit smaller for the benefit of the back seat leg room.

The inside of the car is too plastic for my taste. The dash is hard plastic, which looks good with the graining and coloring, so you tend to forget that it's plastic unless you go knocking on it. Should be good in hot TX weather that caused the vinyl on my Grand Am to come loose from the adhesive and curl. Would've been nice however to see a thin amount of vinyl on the dash as an option. The side door panels are hard plastic, so you have to find the sweet spot if you drive with an elbow on the door. If not the dash, then the side door panels should've definitely been a soft touch area.

The center console is a little too cramped for my taste and the gear shift comes too close to it. Had the car been longer, they could've put more space between the two. Would've been an excellent opportunity to go with a rotary shift knob like I've seen in some Chrysler/Dodge products... Don't feel one way or the other about the multitude of buttons, but for the HVAC system I would've gone with the traditional three knob set up, and for the stereo would've gone with a shift button or buried additional settings into the on screen display, as seemingly every option on the stereo has a button to either set something or get something started for setting.

My Grand Am GT had a 175hp V6, it would put you in your seat even with the A/C on if you accelerated hard. I wasn't sure how much spunk a 138hp engine would have, but opted for the turbo and this engine will haul itself and the Cruze LT1 down the highway at speed with everyone else no problem. I work overnight so I can drive the highways a little fast (know where the cops hang out) and I've darn near hit 85mph with the Cruze LT1 running smooth and compliant. I wasn't necessarily looking for the fastest engine, as there's always someone with a faster engine than you, and you're buying a commuter car not a racer. But I wanted some heft for getting on the highway, getting out the odd jam and not being that car with a line of other vehicles stacked up behind you because you're slow.

Don't feel like you have to opt for the infotainment system. It doesn't do anything that the monochrome display won't do. It also more or less mirrors the buttons you push and the knobs you turn, which themselves are often lit. The infotainment system display will mirror what fan speed you turn to for example, like I know what I turned the knob to cause it's got a lit pointer on it and I just turned the darn knob. The temp control will mirror to the degree, like I've ever thought I want it at 76, not 74, not 75 and not 77. The stereo has to pop up and show what station button you just pressed; I know what the station is because I programed the button darn it! Seems like a waste of resources and money; my dealer said it was a $1500.00 option that in hindsight I don't really see the point to and am glad I didn't get.

Would've liked to have gotten a spoiler; plan on getting an aftermarket spoiler and have the dealership install it at some point. My Cruze LT1 doesn't have fog lamps, and from a video on YouTube, it's fairly involved to install them after the fact, so I probably just won't do it. However I do have LED daytime running lights that are just above the customary fog lamp placements, so they give the impression of fog lamps as they're always on.

About the only things I don't like... No cargo net hooks. Stole my net from my Grand Am GT before donating it to charity, only to find out that the Cruze LT1 didn't have any hooks. Will have to get them off Ebay or the dealership. Wasn't sold on Siren Red, would've liked a black or silver with black and chrome trim, however Siren Red is growing on me. At low revs, like when you're slowly crawling across a parking lot, it seems to slightly resonate either through the turbo or a plastic panel. I'm not sure, but it's just something you have a tendency to notice on occasion.

I would've liked to have waited until the Cruze was redesigned for the 2016/2017 model year, but my Grand Am GT gave it up sooner than I would've liked. My Cruze LT1 has everything except the aforementioned infotainment system, leather and seat warmers, and as a show car for events, the dealership was trying to off load it so I got it for less than $18K before TTL. I drove into the dealership a few weeks later to get my plates and spied a fully loaded Cruze LTZ with everything including those three options and it was upwards of $27K. So while not the exact car I wanted, I still think I got a pretty good deal...

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th November, 2015

30th Nov 2015, 23:05

Hey! Stop worrying about the options that you don't have and start enjoying the things that you have.

You got a new car with good engine, good safety kit and decent fuel economy!

I recently bought a 2nd hand GM product (Opel Astra H Estate) with only 90 HP and I am extremely happy for upgrading from my previous 75 HP car.

I would have been in ecstasy if I would afford a turbocharged engine like your car has...

2014 Chevrolet Cruze LT1 1.4 turbo

Summary:

Quick little car for a single person

Faults:

1. Driver's front seat motor (need to replace the whole seat); explanation in General Comments.

2. Dashboard heater blower module.

3. For only 25,000 miles on the vehicle, there better not be a lot of things wrong, haha.

General Comments:

I bought a 2014 Chevy Cruze LT1 "RS edition" on July 31, 2014. I test drove this car because I was mad at my Nissan for having over $6,000 in repairs. It's been a good car for me, but there are some things I would like to change about it. I literally just pointed at the car and said I will buy that one.

1. I want more space for the rear passengers.

2. I hate the transmission... if it's not the transmission, then it's how the car drives. I hate driving in rush hour traffic with this car, between 5mph and 30mph. I hit the gas, the car jerks and now I'm moving. I let off the gas and coast, the car jerks into "coast mode". I hit the gas and it jerks out of coast and into 1st gear. Let off and it jerks back into coast. Try that for an hour and you too will be annoyed with it. I have driven different RS models with a turbo and they all do it.

3. I want a different spoiler off the assembly line. My model came with a OEM flush spoiler, but I hated it so I had an aftermarket Chevy spoiler installed ($700 painted and installed).

4. The seats are comfortable on short trips to the store or on long road trips. I went on a 900 mile road trip (450 each way) and I was good the whole way.

5. For being a small car, the trunk is pretty roomy. I have helped move someone and fit a bunch of crap in the car and the trunk. Actually surprised.

*** The car is pretty quick with the turbo, but when on the highway trying to pass a car, I hit the gas, the turbo kicks in, but when I let off the gas, the RPM stays with engine loud for about 1-2 secs, then drops down... you can hear the engine "whining" down. The "semi-manual" mode comes in handy when I want to shift quicker than the OEM gear ratio specs. Want to beat someone off the traffic light, hit the gas, accelerate, slap the shiftier over to the manual mode, up shift, and you're on your way. :-)

6. I have my oil change and tire rotation done every 5,000 miles at the Chevy dealership. The Chevy personnel tried to tell me that I can/should do oil changes at or under 20% oil life left or 7,500 miles. Don't care... the more miles the oil filter has... the more clogged it's getting.

7. I like the ONSTAR and XM satellite radio that came with the car, but was only good for like 3-6 months trial. I liked it so much that I renewed both the contracts; $40 a month for both.

8. I personally like the LT2 package with the 17" wheels and disk rotors all around. My LT1 has 16" wheels and drums in the rear. But the more you pay for, the more you get. I bought my car off passion... thus I didn't get to look around at what was out there to buy.

9. Fuel economy. Factory says I should get 26 MPG city and 35 highway; combined 30 MPG. I personally get what factory says. Depending on my driving style, sometimes I get 29 MPG city and 35 highway. Although on the 900 mile trip, I got 37.5 MPG.

10. The Firestone tires that came on the car are okay. I'm at 6/32nds, but will need to buy new tires after the 2015-16 winter season.

*** My car's VIN had "recalls" on it, but when I took it to the dealer for a "Coolant leak" & "Possible Cracked CV Axle", nothing was wrong with my car so I simply just left. I know someone who also owns a 2014 whose car was leaking fluid, and had been to the dealer numerous times for recall repairs. I got lucky.

*** Around the 22,000 mile marker, every time I would move my driver's seat by using the seat controls, the motor would sound like it was having a more difficult time moving forward than back. Forward = "Grrrr" sound. Backward = silence. Went to the dealer on my 25,000 mile oil change, in which the dealer told me my whole driver's seat will have to be replaced under warranty. The motor or the track seems to be binding. I have an appointment 9-28-15 for replacing it.

*** During winter with only about 12,000 miles on the car, when I would press the "windshield defrost" button, the air flow would blow 70% on the windshield and 30% through the vents onto me. I press "personal vents" to my face, which I would get all 100% airflow. I would hit windshield defrost, once again, 70% airflow to window and 30% to me. Dealer replaced the blower motor module and all is well today.

This is a nice vehicle for a single person or a young adult looking for a safe vehicle. This darn car has 12 separate air bags. Haha. If I looked further into vehicles and didn't just pick one out, I personally would choose the Chevy Malibu.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th September, 2015

27th Sep 2015, 03:32

Great review!!!

Good observations about the transmission's behavior. Powertrain efficiency is a high priority these days, and this unit's behavior might be a consequence of that goal. Please keep us updated,

Be conservative on the oil change intervals. This engine has a high specific output and a turbo to keep cool. This means lots of heat going into the oil. Use a high-quality oil (synthetic is likely a good choice) and change it (and the filter) frequently. You'll never regret it :)

24th Jan 2016, 14:19

UPDATE: I sold the Chevy Cruze in November 2015. I could not stand that transmission thing anymore, and what threw me over the edge was near the end of my review on Car Survey, I said that my dashboard heater vents were acting up. I happen to have aftermarket HID kit with an aftermarket projector headlight assembly in the car and the dealer practically blamed the problem on my lights. Well around October 2015, I put my car back to OEM stock (normal assemblies and normal light bulbs) with intentions on selling the car and drove around for a while and that heating vent issue came back. I KNOW it has something to do with an item inside the dashboard itself. I really didn't want to start spending more time at the dealer trying to figure out the problem again. (1st time around I spent a month trying to figure out the problem). It's not a bad car overall, but the reasons I sold the car... ********** too small --- inside and out, transmission is programmed badly (the Cruze and Malibu have the same tranny, but they're programmed different --- changed gears at this time at this RPM), heater control issues, too many recalls --- 6 active recalls when I sold the car. Thank you, and hope this review can help someone in the future.

1-24-2016 @ 8:19am