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Old 01-31-2011, 08:31 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Gascort RIP - '93 Ford Escort Wagon
90 day: 43.01 mpg (US)

WifesCruze - '11 Chevrolet Cruze LT
90 day: 31.1 mpg (US)
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Got a chance to ride in and look at a Cruze

My mother in law purchased a 2011 Chevy Cruze LTZ this week.
This car has the 1.4L turbo, automatic 6speed, leather, heated seats, moonroof that recesses inside the car's ceiling rather than above, etc. Wife and I took it for a spin (she was driving).
First impressions by the wife:
comfortable
Quiet ride
easy to get into and drive; intuitive without looking for things
well-appointed gadgetry
nice big side mirrors
inside rear view mirror too small
back seat not large, but ok
Car doesn't accel. right when you let off the brake like her 3.8L Olds Intrigue does. (I had to explain that this engine was 1/3 the size as hers, and the relation of that to low RPM torque and how the turbo helps at high RPMs)
She thought she was feeling some weird shifting. I couldn't tell as the passenger, but would believe it - was watching the RPMs and it appeared to shift fast, getting us to 5th or 6th by 35-ish mph.

My impressions:
Side mirrors could be smaller and more convex (or inside haha - typical ecomodder)
Very symmetrical styling in the interior
small armrest in the center, but a large one would exclude use of the cupholder...
no vacuum / boost gauge????? What the____?
I would have thought a vac/boost gauge would be the best piece of MPG and performance instrumentation on this car.
MPG display showed current (tank?) mpg. Probably configurable to show instantaneous too, but didn't get to mess with it.
Leather wrapped steering wheel - a must for any new car in my opinion. Apparently this may be an option even with cloth seats, if you get the right colors.

I poked around the engine bay and outside;
Nicely arranged underbody - very smooth.
Still uses at least one of the older-style wipers that you can replace with inserts.
Top (tiny) grille is completely fake.
Middle grille is almost 40% blocked; each side of it is fake.
This car did not have the (eco) auto-lower grill block. From the size of things, though, the middle grille could totally be blocked and just make use of the lower one. In the Eco model, this would be really cool - the only grille would be shut off until warm.
Some notes of interest:
The underbelly pan is not as low as the front air dam. About 10cm behind the air dam, there are vents that allow air from the radiator area to fill in the void behind the air dam. Will be interesting to see how this is similar/different with the Eco since the lower grille may sometimes be blocked.
Intake air starts its life drawn from under hood (warm) air right behind the Chevrolet symbol. It goes down behind the false top grille to a duct on the passenger side. This is visible through the middle grille as a bent piece of round plastic tubing. It then somehow goes behind the bumper and fender to the large air box near the passenger strut. From there into the turbo at the exhaust manifold, and from there to the passenger front side of the radiator. Hard to see which radiator was the intercooler, but then it exits on the driver's side into hard plastic, past a couple sensors, and into the hard plastic intake (injectors mounted right into it).
Fun to follow that path. Hopefully the hard black plastic intake holds up. We had problems with my wife's 98 olds' plastic components wearing out/melting. Of course I doubt the Cruze is engineered to last 240,000 miles like that car has lasted.

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Old 02-01-2011, 07:31 PM   #2 (permalink)
...beats walking...
 
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...we have the same model Cruze, the top-of-the-line LTZ. There display shows average-MPG but not instantaneous-MPG for the US and Canadian models--but, ironically, it's there on all european models!

...the little engine works its way through the SIX gears VERY quickly, trying to keep the engine around 1800-2100 rpm where maximum torque first occurs. Floor it, and she'll "stay" in each gear longer (up to ~5K) before shifting to next gear. If you've ever driven a diesel, the shifting 'pattern' will be familiar.

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