By on September 3, 2013
Picture lifted from GM's website

Picture lifted from GM’s website

In addition to my wife’s car, during my recent visit to Omaha, I got the chance to sample my Father in Law’s 2013 Chevy Cruz LT. Contrary to our perceived anti-GM Bias, I have to say it’s really good.

How good? Let’s open with; if you are looking at a Hyundai, Kia and especially the Civic or Corolla, you should reconsider, that good. TTAC liked it in 2010, and TTAC liked it 2011, and 2012. I did not receive a press car or a tank of gas, and like the website promises; the truth is, I like it now.

I will admit I do not like American small cars; partially because my step-Dad owned three Pintos in a row, but mostly because my experience since. After the Pintos, I drove every version of the Chevy Cavalier when they were new, including the Z24s. They were born awful and aged worse. The Escort was marginally better but suffered the same fate. Dodge had the Colt, but they were built by Mitsubishi. That perception stayed with me the better part of 20 years.

It was still with me when I slipped behind the wheel of the Cruz. It was 4 months old with barely had 1,500 miles on it. My Father in Law got it after his 3rd PT Cruiser lease. Knowing he is a man who voluntarily drove three of them added to my negative outlook.

The first impression was the instrumentation. Simple, uncluttered, centered in the pod and illuminated in soft blue light. A big attraction for FIL who doesn’t care about “all that other crap”. The seat is adjustable in all of the same ways as my BMW, albeit manually. Once settled and adjusted I fired up the engine.

The Ecotech surprised me. The Cruz is on par with anything I have driven in the last 5 years. No buzzing, vibration or drama, even by modern standards. You don’t expect neck snapping power, but the Ecotech 1.4 turbo makes easy work of entrance ramps, traffic merges or left turns from secondary roads. This is not my thoughts in comparison to old Cavaliers; this is my perception straight out of my wife’s BMW X1.

The interior is plain, as you would expect, but the standard appointments a younger demographic would expect car are all there; satellite radio, MP3 with USB, steering wheel controls, A/C, power doors windows and locks, etc.

The chassis is solid but not punishing, the brakes are the same. Shifts are smooth and don’t jar the car. It tracks straight, offers great visibility and is a genuinely pleasant place to be. Of course all of these things can be said of the Cruz’s competition, but what has impressed me was this car has the same and in many cases, a cheaper entry threshold.

This particular Cruz was $21K and change on the window before my wife got to haggling. GM’s website lists the Cruz starting at $17 and the LS Auto starting at $18.2. A quick search of the Omaha area Honda, Toyota and other import dealers put the right under the competition. Less money for a car that is easily as good and I would argue better than the established players in this price segment.

More so with the lease options; GM has a Cruz lease of $156 an month. Even a Hyundai Accent will set you back $18.5. A stripper Corolla stickers at $19.2 (new 2013s are on sale at $18.3). The Civic starts at $21.

Electing to forgo any down payment, my FIL has this one in his garage for $199 a month; just under the cost of his last PT Cruiser. He is getting well over 30 MPG with almost exclusive city/suburban driving.

I promise you, Reuss hasn’t gotten to me. If you have read my other meager offerings you know I am not a “lifestyle” blogger or a sellout. No, you know me; I am a 42 year old A-type with a heavy left foot and a penchant for bad ideas.

It’s just the Cruz is actually a really good car. That was news to me; I didn’t think GM could make a good small car. It may not be the best value out there, but if you’re looking for a new car and browsing the usual suspects, give the Cruz a look. I’ll bet you’ll be surprised.

Disclaimer: The prices for the vehicle mentioned were done using the internet searches from Omaha area new car dealers. You could most certainly get a better deal using all the tricks you have learned here and elsewhere. But I have driven most of the offerings discussed above; I still think it’s the better car and the better deal. Your mileage may vary.

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97 Comments on “Capsule Review: 2013 Chevy Cruze...”


  • avatar

    My friend has a new 2013 Cruz, she does some long trips from her home in Guelph to Thunder Bay, a two day journey with a sleep over one night, she likes it but finds the Seats very hard for such a long trip, so maybe in 2014 the Seats will be better eh?

  • avatar
    Trend-Shifter

    I drove a Cruze for a week. I was pleasantly surprised how well it handled and drove.
    The Cruze was competent in all driving situations. High speed on the highway, in the twisties, and on terrible city streets.
    The car has an amazingly large trunk.

    If I did not need something to pull my boat I would buy one for the wife. Yes, she liked it too!

  • avatar
    ehaase

    I recently rented a Cruze and liked it but wish the wagon and/or hatchback were also offered in the U.S.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      In brown, with a manual transmission, AWD, turbo diesel, for less than $20K. :P

      • 0 avatar

        in this case ehaase is actually right. I don’t if they have a wagon Cruze, but the hatch Cruze on offer in Brazil is easily one of the most attractive cars in the market today.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          Here in the metro Detroit tri-county area, a Cruze LS, which is probably the trim with the best ride quality, can be had for around 15k plus TTL, and even less with an employee or supplier discount.

          I even know someone who got into a 2013 Eco 1.4 turbo for $15.6 (supplier discount).

          These are THE compact sedan to buy if ride quality, solidity & quietness/serenity are your thing, and that they can be had new at such aggressive prices make them even more compelling.

          I’d take a Cruze over a Corolla, Civic, Forte, Jetta, Sentra, Focus or Dart any day of the week.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    I liked your review because you include some real cost to own data, information that is often overlooked in other reviews, but more often then not the deciding factor on what we buy. I laughed at your econo-car background and thought that you certainly know your way around crap-cars. It took GM too long to understand this market, I’m glad to hear they’ve come around

  • avatar
    mkirk

    For all of the Pinto hate, my grandfather swore his was the best car he ever owned. It was sky blue, garage kept, and meticulously maintained. He had it for over a decade. It outlasted my parent’s 77 Corolla wagon but it was barely maintained at all and quite rusty by the end…unlike said Pinto.

    Back on topic…I had a Cruze as a rental to go from Richmond to Louisville followed by a Focus the next weekend. In the twisty portion of West Virginia the Focus was more fun, power shift be damned (which I had no issues with), but for the other 80 percent of the drive the Cruze was the place to be. I remember feeling that it was more Buick than Chevy.

    • 0 avatar

      In my profession, we call them “Significant Emotional Events.”

      (Step)Dad had three of those things; the first was a 74 baby-poop green truck model with a chrome roof rack, and matching green interior. The second was a white 74 with dark green deck stripes, staggered Crager SS knock-offs and raised white letter tires (Fat in the back little up front) and a dark green vinyl interior. Three was a dark blue 79 with dark blue vinyl interior. I remember a waffle shaped burn from sitting on those seats in a pair of shorts during a SC summer.

      It wasn’t that they were unreliable, they were just so damm awful. I learned to drive the 79. It had the typical Ford 700lb clutch pedal, vauge yet stiff manual steering awful instrumentation (speedo, fuel and idiot lights).

      My (Bio) Dad was a Nissan/Datsun employee from before I was born until my senior year of HS. So I would had back to back impressions of the imports vs. these Pintos from kindergarten until I was a junior. In the sense we rebel against our parents, I tell my (Step) Dad it’s his fault I am a gearhead.

      Stop here;
      Insert tongue into cheek
      Continue Reading

      But if I was a Dr, I am sure I could diagnose some of my deep seated hatred of Pinto from being driven and dropped off in various forms of them from when I started school until I drove myself. It was the 80’s and if you didn’t have an alligator or a horse on your shirt, you didn’t matter. When I slid to the mullet/Iron Maiden shirt side of the fashion scale, it was worse, because it wasn’t a Camaro.

      I have moved somewhat past this, and I would actually take a Pinto over any Cavalier ever made. At least now, a Pinto identifies you as an oddball in the coolest sense. But a Cavalier says “I was a hairdresser in the 90’s. I have given up.”

    • 0 avatar
      threeer

      Son had a rental Cruze a few months back..LTZ, so yeah, it was fully loaded. But I rather liked the car. Of course, I like my mother’s new Verano, so liking a loaded Cruze shouldn’t be much of a surprise. Given that I haul dogs around when I’m stateside, I do also pine for the wagon that Europe gets. Doesn’t need to be brown…hehe…

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    Great review! Since when are Civics $21k though? And Corolla LEs go for $15k new all day long here.

    I really like the Cruze, I test drove an Eco 6spd when car shopping last year. The car is quiet as a tomb, rides like something German, and I think is the best looking compact of the current crop.

    I didn’t like the cramped interior, both rear legroom, and the front ‘cockpit’ feel. High beltline and black interior add up to a very claustrophobic environment. I also am I bit scared by a 1.4L turbo hauling around 3200lbs of weight, as far as engine longevity is concerned. Perhaps that is unfounded.

    The one I drove was being offered for $19k plus tax and title, and I think it is worth that, but I ended up cheaping out and getting my Civic LX 5spd instead for $15k very lightly used.

    • 0 avatar
      tuffjuff

      I wonder where you got your numbers from; Toyota’s website lists the 2014 Corolla LE for over $19k after destination, and while that’s a much nicer car than the 2013 model, the 2013 isn’t competitive with any new compact on sale today, so it’s a more appropriate comparison.

      Most compacts, in their mid-range models, will run over $20k easily, assuming no incentives. That’s the price to pay for an actually good car, I’m afraid.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        I should have clarified, those prices were for what I personally saw in the end of 2012, beginning of 2013, for new 2012 Corolla LEs. Our local dealer has a ‘best price upfront’ setup. I was shopping for a sub $15k compact, I simply cannot stomach the thought of a $20k compact car. At that price point I would definitely get an Accord LX 6spd manual for $21k, or an Altima for even less! And end up with a much roomier, better vehicle.

        I agree, those pre-2014 Corollas (2009-2013) are just not pleasant places to spend time. The a pillar is strangely close to your head, the seats aren’t very comfy, and there is a general air of cheapness and cost-cutting. An econobox in the traditional sense. Despite that, I was almost tempted. A new Toyota for $15k, with air, cruise control and automatic. I also tried out a bare bones Jetta, with a 5spd and the ancient 8 valve 2.0. A better car in all regards besides power (a total slug, even with the stick shift), lack of cruise control, and (probably) worse reliability.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          gtemnykh-

          Read my post above.

          LS versions of these, which are actually well equipped for a “base” model, can be had for around 15k in my neck of the woods, plus the corollary TTL.

          So, one is looking at an OTD price of around 16k if your sales tax is close to ours (6%).

          And as mentioned, I have a friend who purchased a ’13 Eco 1.4 liter for 15.6k with a supplier discount.

  • avatar
    NormSV650

    Welcome to 2009!

    I just picked up a Buick Encore with the same engine and am quite surprised with the torque it makes from 1,900-4,900 rpms. Even with the automatic, which is the first auto I never dispised – it is that good, I am able to 39 mph on a full tank. I put the Encore through it’s paces on the hills of southeastern PA, cell phones and sunglasses flying it would let go of the road! I was impressed as a road course instructor. Phenominal brake feel that never gave up, even making a turn on another at the bottom of a hill.

  • avatar
    Truckducken

    I don’t know how this was designed by the same company that engineered the Aveo.
    I don’t know how this is manufactured by the same company that made the Cavbalt.
    All I know is, I like it, and want to see more such efforts. Well done, GM.

    • 0 avatar
      jz78817

      “I don’t know how this was designed by the same company that engineered the Aveo.
      I don’t know how this is manufactured by the same company that made the Cavbalt.”

      GM management (mostly) stopped being stupid and found the plot again. The older products were mediocre because “Building Cars & Trucks” was only one entry off to the side of a huge matrix that was GM’s “mission statement.” I’m not kidding; Bob Lutz railed on that extensively.

      GM’s problems by and large weren’t due to engineering incompetence.

    • 0 avatar
      snakebit

      At the risk of stepping on the paw of the one-man Vega Fan Club member Robert Spinello, yea, Cruze – brought to you by the same folks who gave you Vega, Aveo, Geo Sprint,and Cavalier. Who knew?

      My neighbor, who gets a new car every 14 years whether he needs to or not, just traded his 1999 Escort for a new Cruze. Actually in this segment, it’s so hard to go wrong. If you just limited yourself to ‘American’ cars, you’d still want to visit Dodge, Ford, and Chevrolet, and don’t get me started on Mazda3, Impreza, Civic, and Corolla. Boring maybe, but hard to choose otherwise. The only other class with few wrong choices is CamCord, and Chevrolet/Malibu is in that catfight as well.

  • avatar
    MWebbRambler

    I really like the Cruze, but there are two problems with it:

    1. It’s got somes sort of wierd fabric on the dashboard. Almost like GM couldn’t find any “soft touch” plastics, so they sent someone to the JoAnn fabric store for a bolt of cloth.

    2. Jack Baruth’s comparison with the W body Impala makes a fairly convincing argument in favor of said Impala.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      Re: #2.

      That’s exactly it for every small car, even the only sort of small ones like the Cruze. The rising bar of mandatory content has pushed small cars into the same price bracket as regular sized ones and left them as terrible values. The Impala’s sweet V6 makes for an even more one sided comparison than usual but even a $19K Sonata makes the Cruze a total sucker’s buy.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        Depends on the market you are shopping in. If you just want a sedan and you are trying to shop by the pound – then the Cruze has some stiff competition. If you have to have a small car and you want the BEST SMALL CAR you can find then the Cruze is in a sweet spot.

      • 0 avatar
        snakebit

        This is just my opinion, and related to the buying habits of the typical European, but to me the size of the car doesn’t relate to the luxury quotient. I buy 3-Series BMW’s because I get all of the content of the 5 and 7-Series in the smaller package that I want. I never feel that I’m choosing BMW Lite by doing this. I don’t fault folks that are more comfortable shopping the Malibu or Impala, I’m even glad they’re considering them in their shopping experience. But, almost all of the cars I’ve bought have been the size of the 3-Series coupe or smaller, and those are what I’m most comfortable driving. I also fully understand that Chevrolet is not going to outfit a Cruze like a fully optioned Impala until many more American buyers indicate they want a small car with content like that.

      • 0 avatar
        tuffjuff

        Maybe I’m in the minority, but interior content (and TSC/ESC) matter to me a great deal. When I went to the local Chevy stealership in January and mentioned I was “looking for something larger” (in this case, an Equinox… after I told the guy I specifically wanted an Equinox) he said “why don’t we check out the Chevy Impala” to which I mentioned I wanted a car from this decade.

        • 0 avatar
          dolorean

          Then I must be in the other minority with snakebit, because I loathe any CUV/SUV, prefering a wagon/combi uber Alles. This desire turns into the near impossible on the level of Odysseus’ journey home to Ithaca when searching for a wagon/hatchback with nice, leather seats, TDI preferred, a 6spd manual (as God intended), and a sunroof in the States. True, you can ‘find’ these rare gems on line, but nearly never on a dealer’s lot and you have a better chance of twerking Jay-Z while Janet Jackson has another wardrobe malfunction than find an American car on the lot with these items.

          • 0 avatar
            NormSV650

            Go test drive an Encore. If you are coming from manual transmissioned sports cars putting the Encore through some twisties will change your thought of small CUV. In the luxury segment Buick is the only one like it.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        Every time I am stuck in an (w-body) Impala I want to off myself within minutes. They suck the life out of you with their complete and utter dreariness. The 300hp ones just do it faster. Bigger does not equal better. The Cruze is a REALLY good car, and well worth the asking price. The Impala is an ancient dried up turd at 1/2 off list. Jack Baruth is just weird at times.

        I too see no need for anything larger in a sedan. And I am quite a bit bigger than Jack. If you need to carry more people, get a van.

  • avatar
    PCP

    If wikipedia can be trusted…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GM_Delta_platform#Delta_II

  • avatar
    afflo

    Standard rule for Detroit – wait until a car goes through a major redesign and keeps the same model name.

    Cavalier – Cobalt – Cruze.

    I’ve driven one, but it was a rental unit from BWI, and I believe it had a hard, short life. The first impression was the seat-height ratcheting handle coming off in my hand. That said, it was a slushbox, and it’s hard to built much of an impression of a car in a short time period when the computer does half the driving, and you’re distracted by Baltimore kamikazes!

    It’s certainly a pretty car. It looks very German to me – I can see more than a hint of Audi in the side profile.

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    Are there any editors here? The name of the car is “Cruze”, not “Cruz”.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX (formerly gslippy)

      Beat me to it.

      Penelope is “Cruz”; Chevy is “Cruze”, and is the only one you can have.

      • 0 avatar
        Signal11

        The entire time I was reading this article, I thought to myself, “Did this guy write this on his iPhone or something?

        And I never thought I’d read such ebullient praise for a Daewoo Lacetti, which is what this thing was called before Chevy rebranded Daewoo.

  • avatar
    darex

    My company rented one for two weeks recently, and I rode in it quite a bit. Despite a general lack of like for GM, I was rather optimistic for this car, as it’s generally rated very highly across the Auto Press. My positive feelings for it and GM were dashed, however, when I happened to notice how terribly misaligned the dash was. The right-hand vent “panel” was higher than the central panel, which was in turn higher than the left-hand panel. No Hyundai, Honda or Toyota would exhibit such sloppy assembly! This was a brand new car!

    I am left thinking that GM still must stand for “Generally Misaligned.”

  • avatar
    22_RE_Speedwagon

    Such an unfortunate name, no matter how you spell it.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX (formerly gslippy)

    My friend has put over 60k miles on his 2012 Cruze RS with the 1.4T – what a nice car – economical, reliable, and smooth.

  • avatar
    thornmark

    Did anyone ever find out the real story behind the man responsible for the Cruze design – Dave Lyon – apparently being forced out of GM in an unprecedented fashion?

    http://blog.caranddriver.com/gm-design-lyon-out-at-opel-buick-and-cadillac-boss-adams-to-assume-duties-temporarily/

    http://rumors.automobilemag.com/gm-dismisses-ad-chief-joel-ewanick-opelvauxhall-designer-dave-lyon-159699.html#axzz2dpqvEcix

  • avatar
    vvk

    Having driven the Cruze, I have a few observations:

    – terrific driver seat (cloth)
    – artificial steering feel
    – good brakes/clutch/shifter
    – extremely quiet at 85+ in 6th

    Overall, a very pleasant car. Civic/Corolla/Mazda3 are much worse.

    • 0 avatar
      snakebit

      All very good reasons to check out Civic-class cars before settling on one. I like our Golf for the four hour trips to VT, but a little amazed at the amount of moderate road noise I get for lack of sufficient sealing and sound deadening, and the hardest thing to check out when you’re doing a quick road test around the metro area dealer, which usually includes a lot of ambient noise.

  • avatar
    MWebbRambler

    Overall, I think the Cruze is a very good car. But I have two problems with it:

    1. The interior looks like GM ran out of soft plastics and made a run to JoAnn’s fabric store.

    2. You can still get a W-Body Impala, which as Jack Baruth pointed out is roomier, about the same weight, and has twice the horsepower with the 3.6 motor.

    Still, if you are shopping for a small car the Cruze should be near the top of your list.

  • avatar
    mfgreen40

    When a car has misaligned panels is it the fault of the person doing the assembly or are there other reasons, like alignment pins not being engineered properly, ect. Mikey?

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    I’ve had a couple of Cruze rentals (both 2LT models), and I found them to be excellent cars that feel more expensive than they actually are. Another thing I like about the Cruze is that it has clean, mature styling. The Elantra, the Focus, the Civic, the Imprezza, the 2014 Corolla…they all look like they were designed for college students, and even though I am a college student, I don’t want my car to advertise it. The only other car with such clean lines is the Jetta, but it has disposable-grade materials on the interior.

    My ideal Cruze would be an LT or LTZ in Crystal Red Tintcoat, and with the RS Appearance Package.

  • avatar
    TonyJZX

    the cruze i want doesnt exist as yet…

    1.6 turbo 6 spd manual wagon

    175hp, 170lb/ft and boostable

    but as it stands, for $22.5k where I am it has the most power and torque in its class (also the most weight but the engine overcomes it)

    still hate the sedan but the hatch looks ok

  • avatar
    Jimal

    I had one of these as a rental a couple years back for a run up to Road America from Milwaukee, right after the 1.4 Turbo came out. I was impressed. One thing I noticed is that it shares many design cues with the Hyundai Sonata, but does so in a much less cartoonish way that should stand the test of time. Then the Sonata seemed more stylish, but today I see it as more dated. Meanwhile the Cruze has grown on me.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      I kind of agree. The straightforward lines, the front-fascia, and that black triangle in the C-pillar are all very reminiscent of the fifth-generation “NF” Sonata, and that was the first thing that I noticed upon seeing the Cruze.

  • avatar
    tonycd

    What I’ve always suspected about the Cruze is the—let’s put it charitably—unproven reliability of a car designed by Daewoo.

    So far, it’s not disastrous. CR says it’s pretty bad, but Michael Karesh’s True Delta rates the first two model years as pretty average with few disastrous examples. I’m still watching with a jaundiced eye, though.

  • avatar
    rolladan

    Not to be negative because I actually like most newer gm products but this is a korean car in and out. Gm would never be able to make a small car this good without help.

    • 0 avatar
      el scotto

      The “help” is called Daewoo and is owned by GM. GM being a global corporation tasked their South Korean branch (Daewoo)to design a small car. Here in North America we got the results and it’s call a Cruz. Or GM Korea, my bad. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GM_Korea

      • 0 avatar
        afflo

        Is the Korean thing supposed to be bad? GM, and the rest of Detroit has long been at a disadvantage in small cars because of the size translation from Europe and Asia. Build a car suitable to be a mass market family car there, and it’s engineered to the level we’d expect in a midsize. Build a car suitable to be a compact there, and in the US it’s a subcompact engineered to the level we’d expect in a compact (Honda Fit much?). Build a car suitable to be an Executive Saloon, and in the US, it becomes a midsize and blows holes in the domestically grown competition.

        Using foreign branches to design a world class (literally!) chassis is the key to competing.

  • avatar
    pharmer

    They are a nice car soiled ever so slightly by a really stupid name. The Cruze is by far my favorite Hertz intermediate car penalty box.

    In motion they remind me very much of my crazy ex-girlfriend’s 4th generation Jetta 1.8T. Peppy, solidly built, sprightly handling, and comfortable seats. They are a great city car, and I especially enjoy them in Boston because they fit into just about any parking space.

  • avatar
    chiefmonkey

    Black plastic triangles: What are they good for? Absolutely NOTHING!

  • avatar
    dont.fit.in.cars

    for a tall guy its horrible. No support under the thighs, bowed center stack banging into the knee. Seat all the way back & down, you have to lean forward to look left due to door pillar position. If car manufactures could make a removable center stack that would be most helpful.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    This is the smallest car I’ve been attracted to in decades, which makes sense since the stats on the Cruze are close to my old A-body Celebrity. I loved the interior room, fuel economy, and trunk space on my old A-body but hated the Iron Duke. Now I could get all that I loved in that old car with an engine that is actually worthy of my right foot (either the 1.4T or the 2.0 turbo diesel.)

  • avatar
    carguy

    I would have to concur with the Cruze love-fest here. I got a few days in an Eco trim model and came away impressed. It rides like a much bigger car (probably because of its weight) and has an understated elegance missing from some of its competitors. It also had well padded front seats (unlike the Elantra), no noticeable assembly defects and, judging by the stone impacts on the front, more than one coat of paint (unlike most Hondas).

  • avatar
    NormSV650

    With Cruze well above the outdated Corolla and probably considered well abolve the Civic even after refresh, how does it compare to the new Focus? I’m over two hours away from Lordstown where they are assembled in a two dealership town, Ford and GM, but all the neighbors have Fords, new ones.

  • avatar
    VoltOwner

    I only drove a Cruze once, and despite several posters saying how quiet they found it, I thought it was a rattly gas hog of an ICE powered car. My trip home from the dealer and back the next day (30 miles) cost me $4 in gas, and left me with the impression that all those internet posts about how a Volt was just a Cruze with a battery were so wrong.

    “Quiet as a tomb”, I don’t think so, not compared to my Volt.

    “Smooth shifting”, not as smooth as NOT shifting at all.

    “Good cornering”, not as good as a car with a properly low CoG, like my Volt.

    “Lots of Torque from 1900 RPM”, I get that from zero RPM…

    That said, I took a cruise down the coast highway last weekend and was pleasantly surprised at how many GM cars were on the road. Seemed like literally hundreds of Cruze’s and Camaro’s, Malibu’s and even more of the big boxy sorts all sporting their bow ties. The occasional GM logo of course, and Caddies too.

    • 0 avatar
      White Shadow

      You’re kidding about the Volt, right? I mean, surely you can’t think that it’s a performance car in any respect. Sure, electric motors make torque from anything over zero RPM, but that means very little in the real world. The Volt isn’t a fast car by any measure. And as for handling, all I can say is: “really?” It may be quiet and it may be smooth, which is good if you’re into driving an appliance. Personally, I like a little sound and a little feel when I shift, not an electric toaster on wheels.

      • 0 avatar
        VoltOwner

        Go drive one on a twisty road and tell me what you think. If you have not driven a car with the low center of gravity the Volt has you won’t understand. It reminds a lot of my old Porsche 914 the way it has so little body lean. The stock tires are the limiting factor in the handling, IMO.

        You get over the “sound and feel” fixation pretty quickly, I’ve found.

        The instant torque is one of those things that makes all the difference in real world driving. I have to try pretty hard to NOT be out and across the intersection before all the ICE’s have even gotten across the crosswalk when the light changes. It got to one guy in a new, whatever, Charger, Challenger, I don’t know, it was bright orange. And at the first light I caught him by surprise, I’m sure, but by the fourth light, it was pretty obvious that he was actually trying to beat me off the line. Didn’t happen, despite all the revving and tire burning. No drama, that’s what I’m into these days. You can have all the noise, and the smells of gasoline, not to mention the prices. 2 cents a mile, that’s my mantra, 2 cents a mile…

        • 0 avatar
          tuffjuff

          I can’t tell if you’re trolling, or… trolling?

        • 0 avatar
          White Shadow

          Sorry, but I have to laugh. I really can’t tell if you’re joking or not. But if you’re not, I have to say that a Volt is NOT a fast car by any measure. Just look at the specs. It’s a car that does 0-60 in 9.2 seconds (Car & Driver road test numbers, not mine) and runs the 1/4 mile in 17 seconds. That’s on par with the slower ICE economy cars at best. Hell, your basic V6 Toyota 4Runner (at more than 4000 lbs) would piss all over your Volt.

          I’d love to pull up at a light next to you in my car. It’s just a 4-cylinder, but it’s AWD and turbocharged. Trust me, there’s nothing you could do in your toaster-mobile to beat me off the line. No revving and no tire smoke (which is basically impossible with my car due to it’s wide summer tires and AWD system) necessary at all.

          And as for handling, again, are you kidding? Sure, a low center of gravity helps, but that’s where the advantages end in your Volt. It’s not a car that has a suspension built for handling. It’s basically a suspension made for comfort. Again, it pulls a whopping 0.83g on the skidpad, again according to C&D’s road test. I think you’re one of those guys who go racing around trying hard to outperform other people on the road who don’t even know that you’re trying to race them. Either way, you definitely have no clue about performance cars.

          • 0 avatar
            afflo

            You guys made me curious about the Volt, so I pulled the track test data from the Road Test from Edmunds:

            Slalom (mph): 60.2
            Skid Pad Lateral acceleration (g): 0.77

            By comparison:
            2012 Nissan Versa Sedan:
            Slalom, 6 x 100 ft. (mph) 63.8
            Skid pad, 200-ft. diameter (lateral g) 0.76

            2013 Camry LE 2.5L
            Slalom, 6 x 100 ft. (mph) 61.0 (ESC cannot be disabled above 40 mph)
            Skid pad, 200-ft. diameter (lateral g) 0.77

            A generic “good handling” small car:

            Mazda3 (2010):

            Slalom, 6 x 100 ft. (mph) 68.2
            Skid pad, 200-ft. diameter (lateral g) 0.82

            It blew the Jeep Wrangler out of the water though!

            Seriously though, if you enjoy your Volt, carry on! Sometimes you buy the right car and it just fits you, your driving style, your life. As long as it pushes the facial happiness readout meter to at least .85 smile, you’re good to go.

          • 0 avatar
            NormSV650

            Afflo,

            You are forgetting tires in your comparion. Similarly equipped tires the car with the lower CG will win if the weight is within a couple hundred pounds.

  • avatar
    99_XC600

    I purchased a 2013 Cruze ECO Auto about 6 weeks ago. After all of the cross shopping and comparison. The Cruze was hands down the winner based on content and mileage ratings.

    I solely was looking at compacts based on mileage purposes since my daily commute consists of 75 miles mostly highway. To date my avg MPG per tank has been 41 MPG and today alone I hit 46 MPG on my way to work. With almost a 16 gallon tank. I’m averaging 9 days between fill ups.

    The car is comfortable, quiet and enjoyable to drive. While getting great mileage at the same time. I love this car even though I downsized from a 2004 Pontiac Grand Prix GT. Only thing I miss from the Pontiac was the torque.

    As far as the comments about the cloth dashboard treatment. I like it and it helps to break up the endless see of plastic dashes you currently see in the present market.

    Also, the treatment is made of the same material that’s used in the seats and for the most part seats are very easy to clean with a good shop vac. Since I don’t see anyone putting their ass on my dashboard any time soon, I’m not worried about the durability or longevity of it.

    • 0 avatar
      vidsal

      What? No comments on the trip computer being wrong? Anyway, I’ve been able to get upper 40s easily on a mixed mountain hwy w a 12 Cruze Eco without the aid of the trip computer.

  • avatar
    Austin Greene

    I welcomed a 2014 Cruze Diesel into my fleet less than two weeks ago. It replaced a 1999 Tahoe.

    So far, so good – as they say. It travelled 600 miles on its first tank and returned 41 mpg.

    Plenty-o-torque from that turbo diesel.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Hey I think Austin should do periodic updates as a Ur-turn for TTAC. How about a 10,000 mile, 20,000 mile etc. update for us? :) I’m very interested in the Cruze diesel but wonder about the long-term experience.

  • avatar
    The Heisenberg Cartel

    I test drove one and liked it. It has a solid Germanesque feel, moreso than any GM vehicle I’ve ever driven, up there with the for the HoldenPontiac GTO. Much more solid than the previous-gen Malibu, which I drove afterwards.

    W-body Impala? puh-leeze. It wins in space ONLY, and not all of us by cars by the foot.

  • avatar
    myheadhertz

    Rented a base model 2013 Cruze with 300 miles on the ODO. My mountain bike fit in the trunk with the back seats down (one pedal removed and the handle bars turned). There’s a USB port on base model. Passing on 2-lane roads was easy. Quiet. Short turning circle. Rides like a bigger car. I may buy a 2014.

  • avatar

    My best friend rented one for a Colorado vacation, and really liked it, to my great surprise.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Is that a normal car payment for about $16K with no down payment? I’ve never had a car payment before (have excellent credit) but I always thought the monthlies would be quite high without a large down.

    • 0 avatar
      afflo

      You’d pay off 16,000 at $200/month if you went 80 mos, at 0% interest. I’m betting there was positive value in a trade.

      48 mos. at 2.51% (what BankRate is advertising) would be 350.69.

      I still scratch my head at some of the status-symbol full-sized trucks – these things cost $40,000 easily, and you’ll see people in 40 grand-a-year jobs buying them.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        I see them too – I figure their wife makes another 40, and they spend most their income on truck/lawn toys. I sure as hell couldn’t afford it – but I’m all on my own with a house payment.

        Sounds like $350 a month for a 16K car is too high. It’s pretty nice not having a car payment too.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Oh it is very nice.

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          And that’s why I’m still in the used car market. I’d love to consider one of these (Cruze diesels) after someone drives it 30,000 miles and then decided “diesel is not for me”. We’ll have to see what the depreciation hit is like. I never worry about residual value because I buy used and drive vehicles until there isn’t any left.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I’m going to imagine its not as nice of a hit as you’d like. Gas Jettas used to be free (and with good reason) compared to the diesel variety, who never seemed to drop below 10K no matter the mileage or condition (this is when Jetta was 18K loaded and the diesel was in the low 20s). We’ll see but I imagine diesel Cruzes will turn out to be much like trucks and Camcords, something better off bought new as there will be no deal on used.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            My car’s 12 now, but at nearly 109K miles, I figure I can keep it quite a while longer. I don’t drive much (bought in 11/2010 at 92K miles). I wish I got better than 21mpg on 93 (all in-town), though.

            Likely to replace with 07+ GS-AWD, OR 09+ RL. I’m thinking the RL might be the better buy of the two, due to it’s second-tier status. The beak redesign is growing on me, if only because it doesn’t look Accordy any more. Plus, rare!

        • 0 avatar
          afflo

          Nice indeed.

          My paid off car is a two and a half years old, and just hit 48,000 miles. It’s had a LOT of highway time though – California to Florida, several round trips to between Texas and Florida, and I have a 50 mile round trip commute (mostly highway). Hoping that a Toyota 4-cylinder / manual transmission combo turns out to be as durable as the Top Gear Hilux.

          We really should take my wife’s car out more, as it’s a six years old with just 5000 more miles, but I can only tolerate driving a Versa with a CVT in small, infrequent doses, and she doesn’t like to drive.

  • avatar
    achevroletman

    The simple truth is that the Cruze is better not only when you talk about content and features, but head and shoulders better on safety. It was laughable when the 2011 debuted at how many GM haters were saying that Chevy would decontent the soft touch materials on the door panels and dash(which they have not), Chevy has actually added more standard features such as bluetooth and USB in the years since 2011. Oh,by the way-Cruze is a very cool name and it was the number one selling Compact Car in the United States in June and July. The Jap Crap feels decidedly cheaper in ride quality and noisier without a doubt, not to mention less safety. When your own country builds a quality product at a fair price-have a patriotic bone in your body and buy that car. USA all the way baby!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • avatar
    peon

    I’m sure its fine over the short term…but

    http://www.consumeraffairs.com/automotive/chevy-cruze.html

    Keep waving that flag…..


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