I have maintained all along that if people would simply modify their driving habits, they'd save enough in gas to offset the cost of trading for a more economical car. I have found that dropping my speed on the interstate by 20 mph (from 80 to 60) increases my fuel mileage by 8 miles per gallon. Not using the A/C adds another 4 miles per gallon. I get between 38 and 41 mpg on the highway with a 4-cylinder Fusion that is only rated 29 highway. I have gotten as high as 25 mpg highway in our large GM SUV using the same techniques. Good gas mileage does not require buying another car. It requires learning how to drive the car you have.
You can buy a remanufactured battery for a Prius these days for about $1,600. So far a very tiny percentage of the batteries in these cars has failed. We own a 2002 Prius, and it is still doing just fine almost 10 years later on the original battery pack. They most definitely last way, way longer than "a couple of years". The "Toxic" chemicals in them are no different than those in the batteries found in cordless drills, toothbrushes, cellphone batteries, and other common household appliances basically because they are the exact same type of battery - Nickel Cadmium. It's not like just because you stick them in cars that suddenly they become this mysterious and horrendous thing to be feared.
Lastly, the Cruze and Prius are not in the same class. The Cruze is an econo-car and thus it carries an econo-car price. The Prius is a medium sized sedan, and thus costs the same as other medium priced sedans. They start at $23,000. Comparing these 2 is not comparing apples to apples.
The batteries in cell phones and toothbrushes don't weigh hundreds of pounds and take up a space the size of a double bed. The amount of dangerous toxins in any hybrid battery pack is millions of times greater than cell phone batteries.
As for the Cruze and Prius being different types of cars, they certainly are. The Prius is a bizarre egg-shaped thing with very tiny wheels and an incredibly complex and expensive drive-train (look up "Prius repair costs" if you want a real shock), while the Cruze is a conventional car with a normal gas engine and far less complicated.
The Prius is not much (if any) more economical to operate than a Cruze Eco. You can get the same mileage from a non-hybrid Eco as you can a more complicated and expensive Prius. A battery pack may be available in a cheap rebuilt form for $1600 for the Prius, but that is still a far cry from the $80 a battery for the Cruze Eco costs.
Can you update us on your overall driving experience with the Cruze Eco for the past 5 months? Have you had any issues in regards to hesitation when accelerating? I've read about this, and would be interested in your impressions to date. Thank you for updating us on your experience of owning the car.
I test drove an LS with the 1.8. Major hesitation on acceleration and a lack of power. It's a nice car overall, but that fault made me not buy one. If they are serious about wanting to take top spot over from the Civic, they need a bigger engine and a coupe version ASAP...
My Cruze has 46,000 miles on it, so I have extensive experience with the car. There is a slight "hesitation" when you want to accelerate hard and the car is in high gear. I believe this is due to the transmission being reluctant to downshift, rather than the fault of the engine. I personally do not find this annoying. The hesitation lasts for about a half second. Then the car pulls strongly after the transmission has downshifted. Overall, I have found the car to be excellent!
The Cruze long ago passed the Civic in sales. It is second only to the Toyota Corolla, and is on the way to passing it soon in overall sales.
The Chevy Cruze I test drove exhibited just a tad of hesitation at full throttle, but otherwise was a really great car. The people buying these cars are basically like those buying the Corolla or Civic, so they don't really care about performance. The Cruze is outselling all small cars in our area, and is becoming popular with companies using them as service and delivery vehicles. GM predicts that the Cruze will surpass Corolla soon in sales, as more people discover what a great car it really is. I personally love the styling of the Cruze, but there again, people buying these types of cars generally don't care about styling either. I do, and it would be my only choice in a small car based on just the styling alone.
When it is on it's second decade of dominance, then it will be a great vehicle. Something tells me it won't even be produced by then though. Remember how great the Cobalt was when it came out? Cobalt, what Cobalt? There has not been a consistent domestic car domination in decades, and there won't be any time soon. And by consistent, I mean years of domination, not a quick shot of good sales in the first year of production amidst Toyota and Honda turmoils and recalls. Watch what happens to this supposed great car within 5 years, then come back and tell me how good it is selling.
Not all cars are the same. My Jeep sucks up 25% more fuel at 75 mph, but my Jetta, Cadillac and Ford Crown Vic only used 4% more fuel at 75 mph compared to 60. My Buick used around 10% more. It depends on the gearing, weight and horsepower.
For example, a Toyota 4-runner with a 4 cylinder would only get 14 MPG because it was so underpowered that the engine had to work much harder to keep highway speeds. An 8 cylinder domestic could get better MPG, because the RPM could run lower.
I'm now at 19,000 miles, averaging 43 mpg - still love it. Have had two deer hit my car (maybe it's so quiet/aerodynamic that the deer don't hear me coming??)... anyways, repaired, no issues. Still drives like a charm. No issues with ANYTHING... couple oil changes, that's it.
Just wish the gas tank was bigger so that I could go even farther on a tank of gas - but I can deal with approx 550 miles per tank :) Love it!
If the Cruze proves to be reliable, I would consider it. However, so far Consumer Reports has reported the reliability of the Cruze to not be good. Hopefully this will improve. But without the reliability improving, I don't see the Cruze as a viable alternative to the Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic, or even the Hyundai Elantra.