2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco 1.4 turbo from North America
Affordable, efficient and reliable
Nothing, the Cruze has been flawless.
I've put 14000kms on this car in less than 6 months, and I really enjoy it.
My previous 04 Grand Prix started falling apart on me at 250k, and I needed a fuel efficient replacement. The Cruze fit the bill perfectly.
Things I like about the car:
- If I drive very conservatively, I can get 45+mpg.
- It handles really well (the Eco has tuned suspension) without giving up too much road noise or rough ride.
- It has a decent amount of interior and cargo space.
- The engine is quiet, sometimes so quiet I can't even tell if it's running.
- Again, the fuel efficiency is amazing. Especially if you run 89 octane gas.
Things I don't like about the car:
- My biggest complaint is that I just can't seem to find a comfortable position for my legs while driving. I'm 6' 2", and no matter where I put the seat, my right knee is always hitting the inside of the center console or the underside of the dash. If I push back too far, I can hardly reach the wheel, and that hurts my back.
- The low rolling resistance tires are terrible for traction. I haven't really experienced snow with them yet either, but they are awful in the rain. Even on dry pavement, I tend to get tossed around quite a bit by the wind. They also seem to be wearing very quickly, and I will be changing them out to something with much better durability and traction.
- The Cruze Eco that I test drove before ordering mine was equipped with a tire pressure monitor. This gave it the advanced driver information display that showed instant and average MPG, kms to empty, tire pressure etc. The dealer did not inform me that not adding this option to my order would remove these things and I would be stuck with a basic odometer, average speed and kms to empty. They also wouldn't upgrade it after the fact. I was a little put off by this, the Cruze Eco is all about fuel economy, how am I going to know what my fuel economy is without that advanced display. I don't even know why they would sell them without it. I bought a $20 scan tool that tells me my instant mpg and that seems to work "okay".
Things you should know about the Cruze:
- The dealer never mentioned to me that the 1.4T Cruze's all use only full synthetic oil, so my first oil change was a bit of a surprise on the wallet. They also never mentioned that I should use 89+ octane gas only. 87 will run fine, but you will notice some lost power and fuel economy. This isn't a big deal, but it would have been nice to know.
- One of the "fuel saving" measures of the Eco is that it has a smaller gas tank. It actually does not, the tank is 15 gallons just like all other Cruze's, but the filler neck is designed to stop you at 12. If you feel like standing there and pumping the gas lever for 5 or 10 minutes you can get your tank completely filled. This allowed me to get 700kms out of one tank of gas.
All in all, the car has been great. I've had no problems other than the confusion from the dealership. If anything, the dealers should be more informed about their cars, but that's not any fault of the Cruze.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 11th January, 2012
I enjoyed this review. It is well written. However a couple of points are worthy of comment.
First of all, everyone should use full synthetic oil. It does not sludge or degrade, and it produces less friction, allowing for slightly better fuel economy (which is why the Eco uses it; you can use cheap oil if you choose, but your mileage will drop).
In addition, using higher octane fuel in any car will boost both your mileage and horsepower, as well as making your car run smoother. Car manufacturers use every trick they can to get optimum mileage and power out of high-MPG models like the Eco.
Of course you can use cheaper gas and oil, but you will sacrifice power, smoothness and fuel mileage.
I have a 2012 Cruze LTZ with the RS options, and I love it. It is incredibly comfortable and handles like a race car; the power is great and the transmission is smooth as silk. We have made several 1500 mile trips with it, and really enjoy the comfort of the ride and the smoothness of the suspension. The LTZ has upgraded Michelin tires that are great.
I always use the lowest octane gas without any problem. We get around 38 MPG in town, and have recorded 41.6 MPG on three road trips.
We are delighted with the Cruze. Over 15K miles and NO PROBLEMS. The oil changes, requiring full synthetic oil, are slightly more expensive, but they are less frequent. Oil changes actually calculate to a saving of dollars.
How else would you know your fuel economy you ask? Miles per tank, divided by tank capacity, and bingo! Not to mention the MPG on the cluster display is going to be less accurate than your own calculations.
Miles per tank won't be very accurate, as there will be an error due to the reserve amount once the fuel light is on or the gauge is on empty. Better use the displacement method. Fill the tank only to the point that the nozzle shuts off by itself, zero the odometer, drive however long (say, a week or the next time you fill up), then fill it again until the nozzle kicks the pump off. Note how many litres/gallons were used between fill-ups, and divide the mileage by the amount of gas used (yielding MPG or km/L). I find that my trip computer is a tad optimistic.