By on March 7, 2012

This is the Chevrolet Cruze Manual Diesel Wagon. This is what all of us North Americans should be driving. Everyone in Europe drives a manual, diesel wagon, and if we brought them to North America, everyone would drive them. Because they’re more efficient than a hybrid, and more practical than a wasteful, ugly, boring CUV. Just one problem; if everyone drove them,wagon lovers would no longer be able to lord their supposed superiority over the masses – maybe they’d start buying Honda CR-V’s, since they can only define their worth via consumption of consumer goods.

In all seriousness, the Cruze Wagon does look like a nice car, and I’d like to see it come over to North America. In addition to Our Lord Christ The 1.7L And 2.0L Diesel Engines, there’s also a few gasoline options, among them the 1.4T found in the Cruze sedan. The diesel versions do get a start-stop system, a neat addition to an already efficient powerplant. Interestingly, the wagon is only 3.1 inches longer than the sedan.

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84 Comments on “Geneva 2012: Chevrolet Cruze Manual Diesel Station Wagon, What Everyone SHOULD Be Driving...”


  • avatar
    Mark MacInnis

    DeeKay….we know you kid because you care.

    Signed

    North American Diesel Station Wagon Love Association

    • 0 avatar

      I’m glad someone gets it

      • 0 avatar
        Mark MacInnis

        Glad that someone gets that we get that….judging by the commentariat, sarcasm is lost on some of us….

      • 0 avatar
        Vance Torino

        No. We become weary of sarcasm.

        Basically… this Cruze Wagon is the first GM product I’d consider owning in my ENTIRE LIFE (35 years).

        But, nah… No soup for you!

        So, it’s OK… don’t give us an efficient, spacious global compact.

        Mitt, Rick, ‘n Rush would have called it a slutty whore, anyway.

        Americans only care about freedom, blaming Obama for gas prices, Hummers, guns, and co-eds on taxpayer birth-control posting sex tapes online, anyway…

        You know, GM, those nice people who foresaw the future so well, they wanted to murder you with a financial pillow…

        When is that Prius C going on sale, again?… :(

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      Bloody hell!

      It’s the TTAC Holy Grail, mates!

      A compact-ish station wagon offered with row your own gears and an efficient, torque happy & carbon dioxides nullifying diesel mill!

      Hallelujah! Bloody good show!

      Pip, pip, Cheerio!

      • 0 avatar
        psarhjinian

        Nope, we’re not quite at Holy Grail stage because it’s, and I quote, fail-wheel-drive.

        It’s manual/diesel/rear-wheel-drive wagon. Oh, we’ll take rear-biased AWD in a pinch. And it has to be trimmed in whaleskin leather, with real tortoise-shell inlays and actual brushed titanium trim. And it has to be quiet and yet let you hear just the perfect engine note, and come with exactly the right number of convieniences and nannies. And it must not be made by unionized labour, nor by a company that has anything to do with any government anywhere (so, in other words, Somali-assembled)

        And it has to cost less than $15K, otherwise you may as well buy a 1997 530i.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        Not to quibble about small details, but I thought the leather had to be sourced only from the phallus of said dead whale, specifically the foreskin?

      • 0 avatar
        psarhjinian

        Ah, yeas, right. Whale *foreskin*. My bad.

      • 0 avatar
        tankinbeans

        Isn’t one of the requirements for the ultimate conveyance that it be a V8 and rated in GPM?

        Now I’m all confused.

      • 0 avatar
        srogers

        It doesn’t have double wish-bone front suspension. Anything without that is absolute trash.

      • 0 avatar
        K5ING

        The holy grail is already here, and has been for quite a while now. The Jetta TDI wagon. Don’t give me the reliability issues with VW either. Many of us who maintain the cars and don’t drive like asshats have over 400,000 miles on our cars…including me.

      • 0 avatar

        No, it’s the web forum Holy Grail. TTAC readers, hopefully, aren’t so deluded.

      • 0 avatar
        B.C.

        @K5ING – still leery of the fuel pump issues with the VW TDIs. Have they fixed this with the 2011+ models?

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        psarhjinian said:

        “Nope, we’re not quite at Holy Grail stage because it’s, and I quote, fail-wheel-drive.”

        One of the funniest comments ever.

  • avatar

    Worth it just for the far more attractive rear quarter view. But for me to buy one it would also have to handle better than the sedan.

    (Owner of two wagons, a Protege5 and the slightly larger Taurus X. If the latter were actually a crossover it would have sold better!)

  • avatar
    VanillaDude

    Square off that back end and put in some damn windows. Why are we building cars with huge blind spots in them? You like to sit in the dark?

    The need to look different shouldn’t trump functionality. This is not an optimal wagon design anymore than the 1959 Buick Invicta Estate Wagon.

    • 0 avatar
      Philosophil

      I suspect that much of that is for aerodynamics as much as looks (to cut down on drag and such, but the local engineers here would be better able to speak to that). If so, then it is actually functional, but simply not the specific function that some might desire.

      • 0 avatar
        Franz K

        Fashion , plain and simple . No other explanation needed . No genuine reason to do so ( incorporate all those Blind Spots ) Just plain old Form over Function . You’re kidding yourself if you think otherwise .

        As far as Manual Diesel Wagons in the US ? Great idea , except when they are available , nobody buys them

        As far as the ‘ everybody in the EU drives one ? ‘ quote ? Well no one I know living there does . Hmmmn . Let me think ( friends @ CAR …. Brit buddies …. family in three countries …. wife’s family in another two ….. several business associates in Germany and the Benelux ……. )

        Nope ! Not a one ;-)

    • 0 avatar

      Ford tried this with the 2005 Five Hundred and Freestyle. The 2010 Taurus and 2011 Explorer sell much better and for much higher prices. Lesson learned.

    • 0 avatar
      FuzzyPlushroom

      You can call me ‘the choir\': http://i.imgur.com/sFz4I.jpg

      That said, I don’t need the size/utility of the 850 in a daily driver, but I do often need more than a compact sedan can offer. A small wagon – Cruze, Focus – would be perfect; the right compact hatch could suffice.

      I think I’d have the 1.4T, actually, provided it was initially discounted comparably to VW’s 2.5 relative to the TDI, but the six-speed stick is mandatory in a small car, even if the manual gearbox isn’t perfect. Snows on the factory rims after one season and summers on something inoffensive and equally light, possible suspension upgrades in a few years, my requirements are fulfilled.

      In other words, Vanilla, I completely agree with you on the functionality of wagons – if I needed a larger, capable but presentable, hauler the Flex would easily be on my short list.

      However, even my 35-mile round-trip commute got old when I was regularly managing <24 MPG – honestly, something that could return 30 or so on our hilly two-lane rural highways could be worthwhile, especially given the number of other trips I take and that unless I relocate, I can't move up in the job market without travelling equally far. If automakers won't release a perfect wagon – in other words, a Volvo 240 with four airbags and a modern powertrain – then I'm willing to praise their closest efforts, and though I'm unlikely to see this wagon 'in the metal' for some time – perhaps in June, if it's released in the United Kingdom by then – it looks to be one of those efforts.

      Oh, and DeadWeight: I can’t say I’ve noticed more than a handful of new Tauruses. The Five Hundred/Taurus sold like microwave-reheatedcakes to older folks, and it’s now a used-car bargain; the Freestyle/X always played second fiddle to the smaller, more efficient Escape and to its Japanese competition, at least here in New Hampshire. The new Explorer seems to be doing okay, but the Taurus? I can’t say whether to blame its price point or its interior design, but I just haven’t seen many at all… and when you can’t sell a full-size Ford sedan in New Hampshire, something is clearly wrong.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      At least this one has the rear side windows slanting the correct direction, as opposed to the popular trend seen on the Nissan Rogue & Mazda3.

      (The edge of the window should run parallel to the edge of the car creating a thin pillar instead of a triangular sheet of metal.)

  • avatar

    Wagons are ok, but not everyone likes diesels. Myself included.

  • avatar
    Secret Hi5

    Any pics of the interior? I hope it’s improved. The current one is so-so.

    • 0 avatar

      Which interior in the segment do you find better? For me, the Cruze and Focus are much better than most of the others.

      • 0 avatar
        michal1980

        Agreed. Went to the chicago auto show a few weeks ago. Since my sister is looking at buying in this segment, we sat in nearly everyone of these ‘compact’ sedans.

        Standouts were:
        Ford Focus – Modern, and looked good
        Curze – Conservative, and looked good
        Chrysler 200- Somewhere in between the modern & conservative, and looked good.

        2nd tier

        Hyundai

        3rd
        Mazda3
        Imperza (some tirms moved this up, but the base)
        Civic
        Sentra

        4th
        Corrola – so old and dated feeling. bla.

      • 0 avatar
        Secret Hi5

        @MK,
        Fair enough. Perhaps I’m expecting too much from this segment. What bugs me about the Cruze is the painted silver pieces–Very mid-2000s. I wish GM had gone with a different color.

        Perhaps an aftermarket solution?

  • avatar
    truenorth

    I don’t get the joke about conspicuous consumption by wagon or Honda CR-V owners. I’ll just go back to studying thetruthaboutcars article on the new 911 with leather side mirrors :-)

  • avatar
    tankinbeans

    The hatch does look a pork of a lot better than the trunk on the sedan, which to my eyes looks like a melted mess. Perhaps I’m wrong, but this doesn’t look like a wagon as much as a slightly larger hatchback. When I think of wagon I usually think of a more or less vertical back end and less “roof melting off”.

    That being said, I wouldn’t dismiss this out of hand.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      I’ve seen plenty of people try to define the difference between hatches & wagons with hard, fixed rules. IMO, they aren’t as clear-cut as those guys would like to think because there aren’t many ‘pure’ wagons & hatches on the market.

      If we consider a pure wagon as one that’s as long as the sedan & has a vertical back window, and a pure hatch is shorter than the sedan and has no window behind the C-pillar, then we could identify these cars by how much of each they resemble. For example, I might say this Cruze is 70% wagon, or the Focus 5-door is 85% hatch. My Protege5 is about 50-50.

  • avatar
    Nostrathomas

    I guess it’s easy to hide behind a JK, but what’s with this misguided need to push the argument that people only like wagons to be different and feel superior? I didn’t buy it the first time you brought it up, and I’m not buying it now. There are way too many practical reasons to buy a wagon over other options that are completely legitimate and have nothing to do with societal positioning. I drive a wagon (v50) because it provides me with efficiency, driving dynamics, and in my opinion, aesthetics that were better for me than other options. Honestly, I really don’t give a crap how it makes me look to others. And living in Canada, there way too many hatches/wagons on the road for me to feel like I’m standing out anyway.

    • 0 avatar
      rocketrodeo

      Welcome to TTAC. You may not be aware that Derek is riffing on the longest-running inside joke on this blog. The diesel-awd-wagon-with-a-stick meme dates back well into the era when TTAC was much more farrago than focus.

  • avatar
    icemilkcoffee

    Interesting that they would put a start-stop on the diesel but not on the gas engine. The diesel engine, due to not having a throttle plate, is actually very efficient at idle.

    Whereas something like a rotary engine, is generally very inefficient at idle because of combustion chamber heat loss. A rotary engine would actually be a pretty good match for a hybrid due to the poor low end torque and poor idling efficiency.

    • 0 avatar
      ott

      I wonder if having a turbo on the gas engine would stop them from putting a stop/start function on it? Would stopping and starting a car repeatedly harm a turbo?

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        You raise a great question that I don’t have the answer to, but that brings me to another question that I have thought about, which is whether we’re going to see a fantastic wave of turbo-related mechanical failures in the U.S., now that more volume models have them, and they’re attached to fairly small displacement motors towing around quite porky cars, thus leading to a bitchfest of historic proportions.

        And for all those who say “turbos are perfected now, and there’s no need to worry based on their widespread use in Europe,” given the weight of the vehicles, miles traveled and use of application of said vehicles in the U.S. vs Europe, this may be a faulty comparison by which to claim premature success.

      • 0 avatar
        BobAsh

        It wouldn’t, altough it would.

        For example, Mini Cooper S switches its engine off even after backroad blast, when everything is hot and even the brakes and tires smell. And AFAIK, there’s no secondary cooling for the turbo when engine is off…

  • avatar
    MrWhopee

    A Chevrolet that is desirable, actually existed (not a concept or prototype or otherwise unavailable) and that people in the U.S. can’t buy… How ironic. And the company is busy slapping cash incentives (or halting productions) on products people don’t want. Presumably because it doesn’t fit into what they thought Chevrolet-buying public in the U.S. should not be buying. Something is seriously wrong in GM HQ.

    On the other hand this goes both ways. If someone in GM decided to bring this to the U.S. after all, people who were supposedly clamoring for it better buy one, and encourage everyone they know to buy one as well.

    • 0 avatar
      jz78817

      “A Chevrolet that is desirable, actually existed (not a concept or prototype or otherwise unavailable) and that people in the U.S. can’t buy… How ironic. ”

      How is it “ironic?” look, fact is that even into the ’90s wagons were common here (Taurus, Escort, Focus, Camry, Accord, blah blah blah.”

      PEOPLE STOPPED BUYING THEM. THAT’S WHY THEY’RE ALL GONE.

      “On the other hand this goes both ways. If someone in GM decided to bring this to the U.S. after all, people who were supposedly clamoring for it better buy one, and encourage everyone they know to buy one as well.”

      and that’s a huge problem. What people say they’d buy and what they actually buy are frequently very different things.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        People stopped buying them because the car makers stopped making and marketing them. The reality from the makers point of view is that SUV/CUV/other truck-like things have MANY advantages over proper station wagons. They don’t really cost any more to build, and in many cases less, yet sell for more money. They are often classed as trucks for CAFE purposes. So the marketing muscle was put behind the SUV and now CUV, and station wagons allowed to die. Now we are in a classic chicken and egg situation – people don’t buy many wagons because there are hardly any wagons to buy.

      • 0 avatar
        jz78817

        “People stopped buying them because the car makers stopped making and marketing them.”

        this is stupid. If they were selling well, they wouldn’t have been dropped.

        “They are often classed as trucks for CAFE purposes.”

        The Dodge Magnum and PT Cruiser were classed as trucks. FAIL again.

  • avatar
    TrailerTrash

    We are very soon looking to replace my fav little cat, our 2005 Mazda3 S hatch.
    It is going to a kid in college.
    I keep showing wagons to my wife just to see if I might be making any headway.
    Even cool looking ones with fast back looks and even sort of look hatch(ish) get groans and “Ya, but its a wagon…!”!
    I seem to be getting nowhere!

    This looks again like I could enjoy it, however driving still needs to be FUN.

    I just do not know how to beat this anti-wagon thinking in my house!

    Whatever we get…no more of the big spending. The wagon/hatch/CUV will need to be fun yet able to go to the beach and such without fear of dirtying(is this a word?).
    Hoping the CX5 is fun.
    Or maybe the new Escape.

  • avatar
    bunkie

    “If everyone drove them,wagon lovers would no longer be able to lord their supposed superiority over the masses – maybe they’d start buying Honda CR-V’s, since they can only define their worth via consumption of consumer goods.”

    And they say irony is dead…

  • avatar
    ajla

    It seems that people on the internet quite often transport a large number of clean, light-weight objects in their vehicles.

    • 0 avatar
      MrIncognito

      More like 2 adults, a child seat, a dog, and whatever stuff we need to keep everyone fed, changed, and comfortable for a day outside.

      As a member of the manual diesel society, I want a vehicle that accomplishes the above with minimum penalty in driving enjoyment and gas mileage. My wife’s Escape Hybrid has great utility, but we both hate driving it due to it’s slow acceleration, poor handling, and squishy brakes that have poor stopping power.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      Yes, in fact I do. I had roughly a half-million dollars of SAN equipment in the back of my car a couple weeks ago. Back seats folded down. No way would it have fit in the trunk of anything up to and including a Lincoln ClownCar (a black-on-black version of which Hertz stuck me with this week). And yet I can do this and have a car that drives and handles just like a 3-series sedan. Why do I need AWD, an extra 500-1000lbs of wieght and a jacked up ride height? I don’t drive off-road and am quite secure in my own masculinity. My RWD car with snow tires had no problem at all getting out of my unplowed driveway after 8″ of snow last week too. And I get 30+ mpg on the highway. Sedans are pointless, and CUVs are just wagons that don’t handle properly and get lousy gas mileage.

  • avatar
    BobAsh

    “The diesel versions do get a start-stop system, a neat addition to an already efficient powerplant. Interestingly, the wagon is only 3.1 inches longer than the sedan.”

    Two things.

    First. Start-stop is not neat addition to anything, just stupid. A friend of mine measured how much fuel it saves on Skoda Superb 1,6 TDI. It was something under one litre… per five THOUSAND kilometers.

    Second. Generally, wagons are not much longer than sedans, in many cases they are even SHORTER (B5 Passat). The 3,1 inches of difference is A LOT.

    • 0 avatar
      MrIncognito

      Everything I’ve read suggests that such systems decrease fuel consuption by ~15% in urban driving conditions. That’s a huge improvement for anyone who ever sits at a stoplight. Like hybrids, the benefits don’t apply to those who stick to roads with freely flowing traffic.

      • 0 avatar
        BobAsh

        In European Mileage-measuring cycle maybe…

      • 0 avatar
        K5ING

        It won’t save that much on diesels. My Golf TDI, according to my ScangaugeII, only uses 0.1 gal/hr during idle with the A/C off. Do the math.

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        MrIncognito, you are correct. I have real data from shutting down a gas engine at lights, and I know it can save 10% or more. Diesels will be less since they use much less fuel to idle.

        So, I don’t know why they’d put the start-stop system in the diesel but not the gas. They probably just don’t have their story straight is all.

        IMO, start-stop is a great thing. We have over a decade of data on hybrids with such systems and none of them have problems with premature engine problems. Many other countries have start-stop systems, and they don’t have problems either. The engine restarts fast enough that no one would even know when they are stopped behind them at a light.

      • 0 avatar
        BobAsh

        Well, how to put it down nicely… bullshit.

        In what kind of traffic do you use 10% of gas stationary, with engine idling? And using 10% fuel does not, by any means, mean 10% time on idle. It means spending MUCH MORE than 10% of the time idling.

        Some start-stop equipped cars have “off-time” counter on the trip computer. And I rarely made it into minutes, even in city driving. Remember that many s-s systems tend to start the car again after some time, so if you spend 5 minutes, maybe 10 minutes in really heavy traffic, from the hour long drive with the engine off, it’s a success. And 10 minutes of running on idle may represent something like 0,1-0,2 litre (that’s like 0,2-0,4 pint) of fuel. On a car that uses maybe 8-10 litres per 100km in such trafic. So we’re somewhere at 1-5% at best. In real life, you’ll probably save something UNDER ONE PERCENT.

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        BobAsh, the funny thing about reality – it doesn’t care whether you think it’s bullshit.

        I’ve compared the same car with start-stop & without. I saw ~10% savings for my driving conditions. Maybe your system just sucks.

        You say you don’t spend much time idling. Maybe that’s true where you live (since you use comma notation, I suspect that’s Europe where they love their roundabouts), but that doesn’t matter since I don’t live there.

        A typical light may allow 30 sec for each direction, plus time for yellow & all-direction red. Also, there is time spent for left turns. Now, if the light is at the intersection of a thoroughfare & a less important road, the cycle may be biased 2:1 or 3:1 in favor of the busier road. All said and done, it’s common to have red for 3x as long as green, which means cars spend plenty of time idling.

        Now, if you have a traffic circle or stop sign, it’s totally different. The constant slow-and-move-and-stop-and-move-and-slow won’t trigger start-stop systems.

        But let’s forget about common sense and look at some math.

        Here’s a scenario:
        – Drive for 2 min at 2100 rpm & sit idle at 700 rpm for 30 sec. (Again, 2 full minutes of uninterrupted urban driving in my area is optimistic. Being stopped at a light for 30 sec is quite common. YMMV.)

        If we assume that each rev uses the same amount of fuel (gross assumption, but it is for order of magnitude estimates), you would save 7.7%. If you only manage 1.5 min of continuous driving, that number goes up to 10%. If you are stuck in a jam behind one of the aforementioned lights, you could actually drive for 30 sec & sit for 1.5 min (that’s 50%).

        Thus, I conclude that automakers’ claims that drivers save 10% in real-world city driving are perfectly reasonable.

  • avatar

    wasteful, ugly, boring CUV

    Stop that.

  • avatar
    kurtamaxxguy

    Chevrolet’s most recent mini-wagon/hatch, the Malibu Maxx, was a mystery to their marketing department. Resulting poor sales gave Chevrolet a mission from (your deity here) to mainly sell sedans (recently confirmed by an Automotive news article statement). IMHO They’ll avoid wagons for the USA for a long, long time.

    Pity. The Maxx is actually popular in Portland OR (I see quite a few of them here) and in Texas.

  • avatar
    brettc

    Look at that, a proper small wagon with the proper transmission/number of pedals, the proper engine choice, and hopefully the proper amber coloured turn signals. If fuel prices keep creeping up, maybe there’s a slim chance it’ll show up. It would probably sell better than the Volt.

  • avatar
    replica

    It doesn’t look great. It doesn’t look bad. It’s certainly a GM product in that regard.

    Does this diesel engine run on the same grade of diesel we get in the US?

  • avatar
    cleek

    @DeadWeight
    March 7th, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    Not to quibble about small details, but I thought the leather had to be sourced only from the phallus of said dead whale, specifically the foreskin?


    Such leather might have a nice grain but I’ll bet it feels pretty stiff in the morning.

  • avatar
    Da Coyote

    Sarcasm or not, I have nothing against a good diesel machine…and a wagon is most definitely an agreeable thing…now that I’m past puberty.

    However, having owned a good number of German vehicles…and American vehicles…and Japanese vehicles…(non-diesel, of course)I’ll wait for a good Japanese diesel, thank you very much.

  • avatar
    slance66

    Just give me the damned Jaguar XF Wagon with the diesel from yesterday. Providing at at a Cruze price would be nice. I’m in no mood to teach my wife how to drive a stick in this lifetime, so an Auto it must be.

  • avatar
    mjz

    It’s simply maddening that GM doesn’t sell either the Cruze hatch and/or the wagon here. It just doesn’t make sense. Someone please stop the madness!

    • 0 avatar
      Franz K

      You want GM to do something that actually makes sense ?

      Shame on you :)

    • 0 avatar
      jz78817

      then explain to me why the Accord wagon, Camry wagon, Taurus/Sable wagon, Focus wagon, and so on are all gone. They all existed up until the mid-late ’90s (and into the 2000s with the Focus.)

      people don’t want wagons. A few complainers on blogs/message boards doesn’t change that.

  • avatar
    Franz K

    On the ;

    ” Wasteful , Ugly Boring CUV ” comment

    Here’s whats coming , or already here from the Germans alone ;

    BMW X1-X2-X3-X4-X5 -X5L-X6 and perhaps an X7

    Audi Q1-Q3-Q4-Q5-Q7 -Q7L and again a Q8 in the works as well

    Mercedes Benz GLS-GLK-ML-MLxl -GL-G

    Along with all the corresponding VW x3 , Porsche x2 ( Audi) MINI x1 ( BMW ) models as well

    ( info from CAR & Autocar )

    e.g. To all SUV/CUV haters – DEAL with it . They’re here to stay

    Amazing how the folks that don’t own one continue to put down the genre while in fact never having so much as driven , never mind considered owning one . Pure unadulterated Envy if you ask me.

    BTW when did 0-60 … 6.5 seconds … top speed 155 … out handles 75% of the so called Sport coupes and sedans on the R&T suddenly become … boring ? ;-)

  • avatar
    vvk

    New make it RWD with 50/50 weight distribution and it will be the perfect car.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    The worst thing about the internet wagon brigade is the most vocal folks are the ones least likely to actually buy these cars.

    • 0 avatar
      Mathias

      Tell it to Subaru. Their buyers choose wagons over sedans by something like 3;1. I’ve seen figures for this, but then it’s always which model, which trim, and then it changes over the years. But with Subies, wagons outsell sedans, hands down.

      In the broader market, it’s a little complicated. The yahoos who want wagons are the practical, skin-flint types. So they don’t buy them new a lot. OTOH, just TRY and buy an old Accord or Camry wagon. Even Focus wagons are, I believe, more expensive than the sedans on the used side.

      What all of this means is that there is plenty of “demand” for wagons, new or used, but that doesn’t mean a lot of money can be made by engineering and building a new one.

      It’s hard to make money off of people who don’t like to spend it…

      And my Vibe “Corolla wagon” is significantly shorter than the sedan. It’d be perfect if it were 6″ longer.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “What all of this means is that there is plenty of “demand” for wagons”

        If there was plenty of demand, then more wagons would be made.

        The fact that a niche company such as Subaru is one of the primary producers of these proves that they’re just a niche. It doesn’t pay for the larger companies to bother with them. They only make sense for the marginal players that need to carve out low demand niches in order to stay in business.

        Last year, Toyota sold more Camrys than Subaru sold cars. Subaru doesn’t even have 3% market share. A player such as Subaru necessarily ends up with the scraps. If it tries to compete head on with the larger players, it will lose, which leaves Subaru with a small piece of the market that virtually nobody else wants.

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        Pch101March 7th, 2012 at 11:14 pm
        “If there was plenty of demand, then more wagons would be made.”

        No, it means that the demand is (generally) being filled, and that makers believe the demand is inelastic.

        The Focus hatch makes up around 40%-45% of Focus sales, IIRC. I expect the number for Mazda3 5-doors is comparible.

        I don’t think Americans are opposed to the fifth door, but I do think they aren’t into traditional wagons. Hatches are more their thing. But I tend to think the carmakers are correct about the demand. If the number of hatches+wagons increased, I don’t think their sales would increase much in the short term.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “it means that the demand is (generally) being filled”

        That’s pretty much what I just said. It doesn’t take many wagons to satisfy the minimal demand for wagons. The percentage of buyers who want them is low.

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    I’m still waiting for the diesel manual sedan version, it’s the only Cruze I’m seriously interested in and I don’t care about the diesel price premium the diesel model might be the performance q-ship of the line with its stats. Drove a new Impala recently and I’m tempted to buy one just for the 3.6VVT and 6-speed auto, that combo pulled like a freaking freight train. I thought I was back in a B-body Caprice (“wrong” wheel drive be damned) with the engine humming along at sub 2000 rpm at 80mph.

  • avatar
    360joules

    PIG avatar jz78817
    “people don’t want wagons”

    I do. I have more than enough income to buy most of the automobiles available sold in the USA. Look at all the Subaru wagon owners. More Volvo wagons would be sold if the prices hadn’t been pushed up. The Camry, Accord, and Taurus wagons still plying the roads of my city aren’t there because of wonky owners clinging to their old buggy whips–it’s because the market isn’t giving them what they/I want.

    I don’t claim that a vehicle like this would be the “category-killer-game-changer” that would advance someone’s career at Renn-Center/Auburn Hills/ad nauseam. But a solid, 100k volume seller on an existing platform should be made available.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    That’s one fine looking little wagon. For me? You couldn’t give me a diesel engine; the stick shift on my admittedly mostly highway commute…perhaps.

    Diesels may net you better mileage, but the cost difference between gas and diesel negates any mpg advantage.

  • avatar

    Everybody in europe drives a diesel with a manual?? Contrary to US traffic, EU traffic is extremely stressful, people drive like maniacs and their only goal is to surpass you. In EU traffic, manual is hell, you are changing gears continuously. I have found that automatics are far better in EU traffic. Besides, in some countries, like the Netherlands, where I live, diesel cars are taxed to the max. In my situation, self employed consultant, driving around 30k km per year, a gas car is actually cheaper. For me it has to be a “slush box”, if I understand the term correctly.

    • 0 avatar
      heyfred3000

      In the city where I live (summers) in Italy, 83% of cars are diesel, and 90% are manual shift – and the traffic in Palermo makes Rome or Naples look like a country lane. The diesel’s flat torque curve gives the manual a big edge in both power and mileage. The Cruze didn’t even have an automatic offered in 2009 and 2010, though it is considered quite a large car in Palermo (where the Matiz was by far Chevy’s biggest seller until it was discontinued in 2011). This is Chevy’s chance to be unique in the US, and I’m going to finally replace my 25 y/o Mercedes diesel if its offered in the US with the same 163 hp 2.0L and 6 sp manual I drove in Italy.

  • avatar
    danwat1234

    Bringing the diesel version of this to the USA would be great but it wouldn’t necessarily bring up the MPGs that much in the EPA test cycle. The reason I think is because of the emissions requirements, especially of California and so the technology and devices needed to keep emissions low would lower efficiency and increase vehicle price. For instance, the 2012 VW Passat TDI is rated at 43hwy, but the Cruze gas car is 42hwy and the Prius gen3 gas hybrid car is 50MPG hwy.

  • avatar
    danwat1234

    I hope it comes standard with auto start/stop and electrical energy recuperation.


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