By on June 28, 2014

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Across the vast and majestic gulf of time and space, the jimmies rustled softly when I had the nerve to review a rented FIAT 500L with four thousand miles under its affordable alloy wheels.

“OMG,” I was told, “after that monstrous amount of vicious rental abuse, which probably included everything from ‘sparking’ to ‘mudding’, there is no way any car would be anything but a floor-pissing mess.”

Imagine my terror, therefore, when I arrived at Louisville’s airport three days ago and saw this:

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With nearly fourteen times the mileage of that poor abused FIAT, surely this Cruze would be a complete fright show, right?

A few years ago, I attended the Cruze preview and wrote this:

The 2011 Chevrolet Cruze is a good car, although at least part of its goodness comes from the fact that it isn’t really that small. It’s well-positioned against the Civic and Corolla. I believe that it beats both of those cars in significant, measurable ways. This is what it is: a good car, a bold car, a car for which no purchaser need make an excuse or feel any concern. This is what it might be: great. That’s for the buyer to decide. This is what it is not: American.

How right was I? Only the most dedicated of GM PR people and Source Interlink publications continue to maintain the facade that the Cruze is anything other than a warmed-over Daewoo. Nor it is a small car: it weighs within seventy pounds of a Honda Accord and feels more solid than its fellow Ohio-assembled sedan on the roll. The question that I had at the time was how well the materials and assembly would hold up.

So here’s a gallery of detail photos I took. Remember, this car has fifty-five thousand miles of uncaring rental abuse on it:

What do you see? I’ll you you what I see: materials that last. From the cloth on the airbag cover to the touch points where the steering-wheel leather wraps around the spoke, this car is just flat holding up. The seats have no cracks: I can’t say that about the pampered 46,000-mile examples on my Porsche Boxster Anniversary Edition, which has been Lexoled and garaged its entire life. The cloth, vinyl, and leather are staying colorfast. The shiny plastic hasn’t faded, cracked, or indulged itself in that weird sparkly delamination that a lot of modern aluminum-alike plastic seems to get after a few years.

How did it drive? Well, my initial judgment might have been clouded by the fact that I was getting out of a 1981 Impala, but the next day I drove the newest and most premium-aspirational midsizer on the market and when I returned to the Cruze my opinion hadn’t changed. It drives like a new car. I’m pretty sure the tires were replaced at some point, since the tread was deep and even across the surface of all four, but there weren’t any wrench marks on the suspension under the vehicle so I’m guessing it’s never even been properly aligned.

Smooth, silent, and heavy, just like you always get with a Cruze. Half a lifetime’s worth of hard riding hadn’t changed its fundamental qualities. I never heard a rattle and I never heard a squeak. As always, the gutless normally-aspirated four had to reach for fifth and fourth on even moderate hills in Kentucky and there was a concomitant thrashing from deep beneath the Daewoo-sculpted bonnet, but the transmission was sure and strong in the shifts, never slipping or lurching or betraying any signs of abuse.

As I drove the big little Chevy from Lousiville to Montgomery, AL and back, the usual virtues and faults declared themselves. The audio and Bluetooth system in the 2012 LT model left a lot to be desired. The seats aren’t really that comfortable, even if they are hard-wearing. And a few traffic incidents that called for heavy braking reminded me that I’ve never liked the way this car stops. But it remains a competent highway companion. The difference in noise and fatigue between the Cruze and a Civic, Focus, or Elantra is significant. No wonder the Buick people thought this would make a great Buick; it’s a great Buick even when it wears a Chevrolet emblem.

At the end of the trip, I checked the self-reported economy:

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That’s just a bit better than what I’d expect from my V-6 Accord on a route like this, but the hills really hurt this car on economy because it’s underpowered. What the Cruze needs is sort of a P-51 Mustang thing. That plane needed the Merlin engine to shine; this sedan would truly shine with the Honda 2.4 under the hood. Economy, performance, and enjoyment would all soar.

I have to admit it: when I saw what I’d drawn from the rental fleet, I was excited because I’ve been waiting to see how the Cruze would do with some mileage on it. Would it fall apart, J-car style, or would it retain its construction and quality? It’s reassuring to see that the latter is the case.

At that launch event nearly four years ago, I heard Scott Burgess “interviewing” a few of the GM engineers. “Why don’t you guys take more credit for what you do on these cars?” he asked. At the time, I chuckled loud and long because anybody could see the the contributions of the American team were pretty much limited to the bumpers and the placement of bowtie emblems. But after a few years, I’m inclined to wind that cynicism back a bit. The American team did have responsibility for supplier selection and assembly design here in Ohio. The design may have come from their Korean small-car overlords, but at some point in the process somebody had to look at everything from the piston rings to the shift lever and give it the imperial thumbs up or down.

When they had to, our guys delivered. Years and miles after that delivery and its own delivery, some of them no doubt beneath the whip of the callous or deliberately hateful, the Cruze keeps on keeping on. Would I recommend one as a used car now? Absolutely. Get the ignition fixed; the rest of it’s ready for prime time.

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136 Comments on “This Is A Rental Chevrolet Cruze With 55,000 Miles On The Clock...”


  • avatar
    gearhead77

    Wow, that’s impressive in many ways. Wonder why they’ve let this one live so long as a rental? When I worked for Enterprise in the late 90′s, they went through a period of keeping cars longer, but never this long. The most I remember was about 40-45k across all types.

    I had an “RS” Cruze for a rental once and a lesser LS or whatever. The RS was definitely the Cruze I’d pick and not only for those badges. And it is a solid, heavy car. But the gutless engine, odd shifting transmission and too-light steering put me at odds with the Cruze.

    For years, to me at least, GM didn’t have much problem with powertrain. The rest of the car might fall apart around it, but the powertrains were solid and strong enough compared to other domestic offerings. (mostly). While not completely reversing the situation, it seems less the case now.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      Well, “RS” *is* just an appearance package, consisting of revised and lowered front and rear bumpers, lowered side-skirts, the RS badges, and chrome rings around the instrument cluster. I think it looks much better with the RS package too, especially in a clean color like white…or Crystal Red Tintcoat.

      • 0 avatar
        gearhead77

        Oh, I agree it looked better. And the one I had was in Crystal Red, which is not my thing, but it did look good. Just stating that it’s only an appearance package. It had less than 5k on the clock too.

        It was quiet and solid, but it drove like my ’10 Altima. Soft, smooth and quiet, but no real “fun” to be had. People beat on Honda for bland products, but there always seems to be an undercurrent of “push me harder” in their products. A bit of refinement traded for involvement. It always seems to be a good mix in Honda products, something I haven’t found in any other manufacturer. My Mazda 5 and other Mazdas I’ve experienced has the fun, but not the refinement. Maybe VW before the “Americanization”

        We went with the 06 Accord SE( it was also just an appearance package over a standard LX) over a 2006 Camry for that very reason. We went with a ’14 Odyssey over a Sienna or Town and Country for that reason.

        If I could have taken the steering of the Chrysler, with the powertrain and suspension of the Honda, the NVH control of the Toyota and the interior quality of the uplevel Quest, I’d have the perfect people hauler.

      • 0 avatar
        kjb911

        The RS also adds a z-link rear suspension

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          I thought the Z-link was on everything but the Diesel model. Something about the diesel’s tank mounting or something making the z link impractical.

          • 0 avatar
            Jeff Weimer

            Eco doesn’t have it, either. Weight savings.

            I think it’s an LT/LTZ thing, not RS – you can’t get the RS on the LS or Eco anyway.

            BTW, 42K on mine (2012 Eco 6M) and it still looks and drives like new.

            The 1.8 is sorely underpowered in this car, the 1.4T is a bit better. But a more powerful engine would transform it.

          • 0 avatar
            kjb911

            I work for Chevy. The standard Cruze has a compound crank rear suspension. When the LT and LTZ are equipped with the RS package the Watts Z-Link is used. This suspension is standard on the diesel and not available on the ECO for weight reasons

          • 0 avatar
            NormSV650

            Z-link on the Delta ll also. I can rotate the rear end just like l could be found on my friends 2006 Cobalt SS back in the day on Nelson Ledges carousel.

            You just need turbo-4 torque and it sounds like match made in heaven.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      Hertz is keeping cars waaaay longer these days. I got a Taurus Limited (very) in Atlanta a few months ago with IIRC *67K* on it. And it was not much different than a new one. Of course, I consider 67K not broken in yet, get back to me at the 212K I bought my last Volvo 945 with.

    • 0 avatar
      Robbie

      This is a sample of size 1. This car may have been driven as a company car by a Chinese fashion designer with rupophobia (fear of dirt) who for two years lived in New York and only used it to drive back and forth to his boyfriend in Philadelphia.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        While it is certainly an outlier, I rent about 40 cars a year from Hertz. And have for many years. The average age of their fleet is going up and up and up. Which only makes sense, cars last a LOT longer. Not unusual at all to get a rental with 35K+ on it these days. Contrast to back in the ’90s- early ’00s when I rented from Avis a similar amount and I NEVER got a rental with much more than 15K on it. And they were nearly 100% piles of steaming excrement at that point. Today the rentals with 35K just have more dings and scratches than the ones with 10K.

    • 0 avatar

      I remember years ago that car manufacturers were trying to get rental car companies to keep cars longer, because all those low-milage ex-rental “program cars” for sale were cutting into retail sales (and resale value) of their new car line. Maybe they are at it again, and that’s why rental car companies are hanging onto cars longer.

      • 0 avatar
        TheyBeRollin

        Reliability and resale value of modern cars is probably to blame. In the past cars with 20-30k miles had distinctly higher resale value than higher-mileage cars. 50k was practically toxic. I’ve seen a few rental cars in the 50-60k mile range in the last few years and only one looked seriously worn while the rest still would have possessed pretty high resale value. Accountants almost certainly run the show at rental companies, so a simple number of miles or years on the road is not enough to force them to remove a vehicle from the fleet.

        • 0 avatar

          Wow Thats a lot on a rental, I switched from Hertz and Enterprise because I used to always get beaters with high mileage and no options I’ve been going with National and Avis haven’t had a car with more then 7k on the clock in a few years now, most have only 1 to 2k on them.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            I rent from National every time because I can choose my own car from among the available selection without having to negotiate with a counter droid. I’ve never seen a car with over 40k on the clock, but 30k+ is common, although I’ve also gotten a Malibu with 15 miles on it.

          • 0 avatar
            ATLOffroad

            Like you I rented a car with just 20 miles on it. I was going on a family trip to Montana and reserved a Suburban for two weeks. I called about a week before my trip and asked the Avis employee in Bozeman if the Suburban had a bench or two buckets in the second row. We needed a bench since there were seven adults. She promised me the Suburban would have a bench seat.

            When I picked it up the truck was brand new with 20 miles. I have always wondered if they bought it just for my request. It was sweet having a new vehicle. I just hated getting it muddy on our way to Fairy Lake for a day of hiking.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    What I see is a car that nobody can call “fun”. It’s a car that says, “I’m driven by a family or low-to-mid-level management.” It’s a car that is transportation–and nothing else. It’s a car I wouldn’t own if you GAVE it to me! Such cars simply don’t get the kinds of abuse a sub-compact ‘toy’ car receives. The Cruze you drove is like the Panthers of 30 years ago–staid, stolid and BORING. Your detail photos pretty well prove it. Yes, I’ll grant that the rental agency takes good car of the car as shown by the almost immaculately clean interior–but none of it shows that it’s been USED. Almost no wear on any of the controls that I could see. True, that may be a sign of quality materials, but it also shows they haven’t been used. At 50,000 miles my Jeep shows more wear than that, but not by much.

    Before I argue any farther, I’ll just say that the Fiat 500, for being a sub compact car, is advertised actively as a Fun vehicle and as such is more likely to get abused. For myself, while I’m interested in the Fiat 500, I’m far more interested in the new Renegade–interested enough to maybe even trade my ’08 Wrangler in on one.

    • 0 avatar
      carguy

      “The Cruze you drove is like the Panthers of 30 years ago”

      That may be an indication that you have never actually driven a Cruze.

      “It’s a car I wouldn’t own if you GAVE it to me!”

      This may be an indication that you have an irrationally negative view of this car.

      “It’s a car that says, “I’m driven by a family or low-to-mid-level management.””

      This may be an indication that your knowledge of the Cruze target demographic is limited.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        “That may be an indication that you have never actually driven a Cruze.” — True

        “This may be an indication that you have an irrationally negative view of this car.” — Perhaps

        “This may be an indication that your knowledge of the Cruze target demographic is limited.” — My knowledge of the demographic isn’t at question; my impression of the car by its looks and ‘typical’ ownership in my area says otherwise.

        Let’s start with the fact that it comes in only one body style–4 doors (I don’t count a rear hatch as a door, even if it had a ’5-door- version). It’s a sedan. No more, no less.
        Let’s look at available colors — white, white, white, light blue, dark blue and red. If you’re willing to pay more you get a VERY dark green, black and a different shade of red. How about some real variety? Why ignore fully half the color wheel?
        How about engine choices? Umm… as far as I could tell, the top-end model with manual transmission available gives you a… 1.4L turbo–a small engine for a car at the cruze’s weight, but at least with the stick you realize more of its capability. Still, my Saturn Vue at 3400 pounds was pretty peppy with a 2.4L non-turbo engine and gave me over 31mpg back in ’02. Yes, I do know what the turbo can do and it is appreciated when acceleration is needed, but it gets hard to stay out of that turbo on the highway if the gearing isn’t ideal. Still, a good driver can exceed almost any current EPA rating if they try.

        My point is that the Cruze and its siblings simply aren’t what I look for in a car. The Cruze to me says, “I’m your average, modestly-comfortable Joe.” It doesn’t say, “Hey, I’m ME, not everybody else.” It has no style. It has no sense of individuality and it has no sense of “fun”, even if it is capable of such. The Cruze is bland.

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          @Vulpine

          That is true of ever single boring 4dr on the market in the $18-30K price range. What’s your point?

          There is a reason not a single one of the four vehicles in my garage is a 4dr sedan – I think they are kind of useless and dull. But people do seem to live the things.

          I will say, I really like the Cruze as a rental car. When you get off a plane at 10pm in a strange city, it is a calm and quiet place to be. Does the job with minimal fuss and no bother. the 1.4T is about perfect for the car, even with the automatic. I too would never buy one in a million years though.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “That is true of ever single boring 4dr on the market in the $18-30K price range. What’s your point?”
            That is exactly my point; I have never purchased a sedan in my life–and I’m entering my fifth decade of driving. I’m not about to start now. While I have owned a grand total of two sedans, I did not purchase either one of them and had no choice in that purchase; I had parents who thought they knew what I needed/wanted better than I. To them, a coupe was a “status symbol”–a false ego boost that would not find me a girl. To them, a car is nothing more than transportation–and nothing less.

            Will I ever drive a Cruze? Maybe. If I rent one. Will I ever own one? Not if I can help it. Nor will I own any other sedan. It’s just that simple. If all a brand puts out is sedans, they won’t see me as a customer.

        • 0 avatar
          Hemi

          Lol @ Vue guy shitting on the Cruze….

          “My point is that the Cruze and its siblings simply aren’t what I look for in a car. The Cruze to me says, “I’m your average, modestly-comfortable Joe.” It doesn’t say, “Hey, I’m ME, not everybody else.”

          Just wondering what individualistic vehicle do you currently drive?

          Btw if you haven’t noticed, boring, bland and average is what sells…. See Honda and Toyota. Cars like the Vehicross, Juke and Fiat 500 don’t fare as well.

          I drove the Cruze and loved it, hated the adaptive trans. Once it was broken in and “adapted” it rode well and got ok city mpg and great highway mpg. Small displacement turbos are horrible otherwise as I had to constantly go WOT to pass and accelerate. It had a quieter interior than the 14 Accord and Civic

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Well, Hemi, it seems you’re one of the few who don’t know what I drive. Right now my primary vehicle is a Jeep Wrangler. Ok?

        • 0 avatar
          Jeff Weimer

          It was exactly what I was looking for in a car at the time I bought it – a car that got fantastic fuel mileage, was quiet and comfortable for a 650-mile per week commute, had a 6-speed manual, could hold my 5-person family when necessary comfortably, and had USB integration and bluetooth phone. For less than $18K.

          And when you’re talking style, that’s on a curve. It looked better (and still does) than anything else in its price range.

        • 0 avatar
          lukemo2

          My Cruze is silver

    • 0 avatar
      mkirk

      I know it is shocking but some people actually buy a car not for fun, but because they need ti do things like drive it to work and take kids to school in it.

      As for not owning it if someone gave it to you you must be better off than most folks. I’d drive a pink Vega if someone gave it to me free and clear.

      • 0 avatar

        I drove a Cruze Eco from LA to San Diego and am hard pressed to think of a more “fun” car that also returns 42 mpg. Without a Trifecta Tune.

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          The instant-MPG calculator helps to make the drive more entertaining, in my opinion.

        • 0 avatar
          seth1065

          A golf TDI would be more fun and get over 42 but to be fair I think at a higher cost of entry

          • 0 avatar
            Krivka

            It wold also cost at least twice as much to maintain to 55k. I have driven a Cruze, my nephew actually (don’t laugh) traded in his 3 Series for one because of cost of maintenance and he haul his DJ gear in it without worrying about damaging a door liner (BMW repair cost …1500 bucks) So I guess it suits a LOT of people’s needs) I do think it needs a bigger engine and an SS version to compete with the Focus ST. BTW, my 2008 Malibu is a heavy beast, and barely gets 27MPG, but it has 93k on it and my daughter beats the hell out of it. Only problem has been a bad brake switch and an out of round wheel. Not bad for any car IMO. I think GM is not on the same design path as other makers though, They need to step up their game or the Death Watch will be ticking down again.

        • 0 avatar
          redav

          People in the 2.0 Mazda3 are getting that efficiency & better on highway. The best mpg snapshot I’ve seen had 60 mpg average over several hundred miles. (Check out the Mazda3 Revolution forums.)

          • 0 avatar
            05lgt

            downhill from the mountains? I’ve done that, it makes a pretty picture but doesn’t mean much.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        “I know it is shocking but some people actually buy a car not for fun, but because they need ti do things like drive it to work and take kids to school in it.”
        I know it’s shocking, but some people simply aren’t “average Joes”, they buy a car for more than ‘just transportation”, they don’t have to drive to work and take kids to school in it.

        “As for not owning it if someone gave it to you you must be better off than most folks. I’d drive a pink Vega if someone gave it to me free and clear.”
        I’d trade you the Cruze for the pink Vega in a heartbeat–then stick a modern 3.2 Pentastar under the hood. At least the Vega isn’t blasé.

        • 0 avatar
          30-mile fetch

          “I know it’s shocking, but some people simply aren’t “average Joes”…they don’t have to drive to work and take kids to school in it.”

          Well, that would explain why a brand-new Fiat with starting troubles doesn’t bother you.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        Thing is, there are plenty of choices that will get you to work, and get the kids to school, and still be fun. If you care. Which of course, the majority of people do not.

        • 0 avatar
          30-mile fetch

          This is a true point. But consider how impossible it is for most people to extract any fun out of a fun car on the commutes and roads most of us have to contend with.

          My commute is 5 miles long with no good curves and a 40 mph speed limit that is never reached because of the catatonic imbeciles in front of me. My previous commute was 40 miles of dull interstate. We have some good driving roads around here but they are full of SUVs and pickups slowing to 25 mph for the curves. Ask me why I don’t care so much about steering feel and 0-60 times. The palpable handling difference between a marshmallow Camry LE and a Mazda6 under these conditions? Zilch. I’ve considered a more engaging car but realized it would all be wasted potential.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @30-mile: You would have loved the commute I had about 10 years ago. It started with a 15-mile run from the suburbs into the city to drop off my wife, then back out of the city and off into farm country another 20 miles with some sweet hills and curves to get to my own job as an engineering technician. In the evening, I mirrored the route, cruising all the way into the city when most traffic was outbound and heading back out about an hour after rush hour. Problem was, that worked out to 700 miles per week. Nice part was… in a Camaro. In 6 years I’d put over 160,000 miles on that car. Highway mileage? 32mpg.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            I can find fun sitting in traffic on Rt 128 around Boston. It becomes a game of how smoothly I can get through it with as few shifts as possible. But realistically, if I had a commute like that every day I would move.

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            krhodes,
            “I’d move”
            That’s about as much of a hyperbolic oversimplification as “I’d walk before owning a Corolla”.

            Regardless, I can understand wanting to move to avoid a congested freeway commute (mine always moved at 60mph+) but my 5-mile 10-minute commute is a creampuff. I spend about zero percent of my life commuting to and from work. It’s awesome. It just doesn’t provide a lot of driving kicks.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            @30-mile-stretch

            Not hyperbolic at all. There is simply no way that I would spend two hours plus a day out of my life sitting in traffic commuting. I spend too much time working as it is. I would move, or find a different job. Life is too short. Note that I am single and highly employable, which makes either option quite feasible. My current commute is either 8 minutes to the airport or rolling over and turning my laptop on. Neither provides much in the way of driving kicks either, which makes it all the better when I do get to drive my cars. All of which are highly entertaining. I drive plenty of dull as dishwater rental cars, which makes driving my own cars that much sweeter.

            Similarly, for me life is too short to drive something as banal as a Corolla or Camry every day. There are more interesting options for less money, for whatever amount of money that may be. I really would rather walk than drive one every day – I certainly could use the exercise. Ultimately, I am a pretty straightforward person, I live my life exactly as I portray on here.

      • 0 avatar
        SatelliteView

        I’ll give you a FREE glass of vinegar. Ok?

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      Fun is a pretty small part of wearing a car out, outside of consumable brakes and tires.

      Boring cars have to make short trips on cold engines too. They aren’t driven in any less road salt. Potholes and heaves beat on their bushings and alignment just as hard. Their buttons and switches are pressed just as hard.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        “Boring cars have to make short trips on cold engines too.”
        Tell that to my neighbors, who tend even after all these years to let their cars sit with the engine running for 15 minutes or more during the winter outside my front window.

        “They aren’t driven in any less road salt.”
        And probably more, as they’re driven more frequently.

        “Potholes and heaves beat on their bushings and alignment just as hard.”
        Unless they’re driven more slowly so that their suspensions aren’t run to the limits as much.

        “Their buttons and switches are pressed just as hard.”
        Or not, as the case may be.

    • 0 avatar

      “It’s a car I wouldn’t own if you GAVE it to me!”

      Somewhere in America, someone who needs a reliable car to get to work just read what you wrote and sighed.

      I don’t care if it’s a rainbow striped New Beetle with one of those nonsensical COEXIST bumper stickers, if I need transportation I’ll drive anything.

      Oddly, one of the things that getting access to press cars has done is made me care less about the image projected by what I drive. It’s hard to feel puffed up about driving a Jaguar or Audi worth $80K when you’re driving a Kia the next week, or back to my daily driver Saturn. A car’s a car.

      After hearing Matt Farah’s story about a guy at a gas station expecting him to pay for the guy’s gasoline just because Matt was driving a Lamborghini Aventador, I’ve been thinking of making a magnetic license plate frame that says, “It’s Not Mine”.

    • 0 avatar
      tuffjuff

      @Vulpine

      Around here, the Cruze seems mostly occupied by folks getting their first new car, with all the qualities that come with that statement. “I have a new car, surely the speed limit/laws of physics don’t apply to ME!!!”

    • 0 avatar
      hgrunt

      It sounds more like you’re not the target audience for the Cruze.

      I’ve been in a few Cruzes, and other new cars that are in the same class and they’ve all been perfectly acceptable cars. I’ve been in some really bad econoboxes, but the latest generation have all been extremely surprising as far as value, feature content and comfort.

      As far as “bland,” just think of it this way: The 1999 Mercury Cougar was exciting, new and stylish. The 1999 Civic Ex coupe was kind of bleh. Now, that same Honda civic is as unassuming as it was 15 years later as it was when it was new. The 1999 Mercury Cougar now comes off like a former athlete trying to break into the TV show host circuit with a ghost written autobiography about his scandalous downfall and performance enhancing drugs.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        That’s pretty much my point, hgrunt; very few cars target my demographic. What seems funny is that vehicles supposedly aimed at first-time buyers are getting purchased by a completely different group simply because they make more sense. Sure, maybe four doors CAN be useful for an ‘empty nest’ household, but they’re no longer necessary for everyday life and economical comfort with a visible hint of playfulness can creep back into their lives. You may not remember the Chevy Nomad of the ’50s, but in essence it was an example of what an ‘empty nest’ household wanted, sporty, yet utilitarian. Fun without being staid. As I’ve said before, the new Jeep Renegade is far more interesting to me than the Cruze on many levels.

        “I’ve been in a few Cruzes, and other new cars that are in the same class and they’ve all been perfectly acceptable cars.”
        “Acceptable” is not good enough for me unless it is STRICTLY for commuter purposes–something I don’t need. Since I don’t commute (I work from home as a writer as well as some slight photography and computer consulting work) I don’t have a need for an el-cheapo, high-mpg/low comfort/low ‘pleasure’ type of car. I’ve owned two in my driving career and I pretty well hated both of them until I worked some major changes into them. And during my time of ownership of BOTH of them, I almost never carried ANYONE in the back seat–which made that totally wasted space. I would have been far happier with a flat deck in place of those seats and no side doors to mess with.

        And no, the 1999 Mercury Cougar was NOT ‘exciting’. Like the Chevy Colorado soon to hit the market, it promised a lot, but fell short on delivering. Yes, I almost bought one to replace my Camaro of the time, but it simply didn’t appeal when I actually went to try it out. At the moment, the only American 2-doors that appeal to me are the Camaro, the Mustang and the Challenger. I like the looks of the Mustang–up to a point–but its reliability is not the greatest according to several people I know who own one. The Camaro looks ok, but it’s size makes it a difficult car for the wife to ride or drive (not enough leg room). The Challenger seems a good fit and looks good too. The drawback with them all? They’re worse than my ’96 Camaro where I could actually load more bulky items onto the deck created by folding down the seats.

        So, my ideal seems to be a crossover–but almost every single crossover built has 4 doors and looks like a variant of the Pontiac Aztek. As for SUVs, most of them carry 4 doors and look like a station wagon on steroids. In fact, my Saturn Vue was officially re-rated by my insurance company from SUV to SUW–Sport Utility Wagon.

        What do I want? The equivalent of the ’57 Chevy Nomad. A 2-door Wagon. Or rather, a 2-door SUV. I don’t expect to see one of those outside of Jeep any more.

        • 0 avatar
          geeber

          Vulpine: Sure, maybe four doors CAN be useful for an ‘empty nest’ household, but they’re no longer necessary for everyday life and economical comfort with a visible hint of playfulness can creep back into their lives.

          Plenty of us carry things in the back seats, and also regularly transport family members on a regular basis, even if said family members don’t live in the same household.

          Vulpine: You may not remember the Chevy Nomad of the ’50s, but in essence it was an example of what an ‘empty nest’ household wanted, sporty, yet utilitarian. Fun without being staid.

          You might want to review the sales figures for the original Nomad. During an era when the Chevrolet brand alone claimed 20+ of the American new-car market, it sold in very low numbers.

          The Nomad sold 8,530 copies for the 1955 model year, and had declined to 6,534 sales by 1957, before it was phased out by GM. Total sales were around 25,000 units over three model years.

          If the original Nomad was what empty-nesters wanted, they somehow managed to keep their passions in check and not buy one.

          Vulpine: I like the looks of the Mustang–up to a point–but its reliability is not the greatest according to several people I know who own one.

          And yet a virtually new Fiat 500 rental that fails to start is not a really big deal…?

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            A single instance does not represent a product line; multiple instances–especially if it’s EVERY SINGLE OWNER of a given model–do. I do not personally know a single Mustang owner who claims their car is ‘reliable’. The only instance of a ‘defective’ Fiat 500L I know of is the one ‘reviewed’ here on the TTAC. Until I get first-hand evidence of poor quality or hear from the few people I do know who have one, I’ll give the Fiat the benefit of the doubt.

            Going in reverse from that statement, you claim the Nomad was cancelled after ’47, yet another TTAC article has a commenter who believes there was a ’59 2-door hardtop station wagon which, while it may not have carried the Nomad name, apparently kept the layout (I am willing to accept that said commenter is wrong since I’ll admit I don’t remember seeing one myself.) On the other hand, the numbers you offer, 8530 + 6534, only totals out to 15,064, which leaves almost 10,000 units sold in ’56 by your account. Now, I’ll grant that 25,000 cars isn’t many by today’s standards, that’s the rough equivalent of 250,000 since there are now roughly 10X as many cars on the road today as there were 50 years ago.

            “Plenty of us carry things in the back seats, and also regularly transport family members on a regular basis, even if said family members don’t live in the same household.”
            I’ll grant that’s fine for “plenty of us”, but I’m not part of that “plenty”. Sure, I carry things in the back seats; I prefer a load deck instead. I do NOT “regularly transport family members”, unless you count my dog–who would be just as happy on the floor itself. I’m different from you and I’m willing to acknowledge it. What I don’t get is everybody’s insistence that everyone should like the same things. I don’t get that everybody has to “accept” the same type of car whether they like it or not. And yes, I am willing to pay more–slightly more–for a less-popular model if it is a style I want.

          • 0 avatar
            geeber

            Sales of the 1956 Nomad were 8,103 units. It did not sell 10,000 units.

            The Nomad concept died after 1957. Chevrolet applied the NAME to other models after 1957, but not to a luxuriously trimmed, uniquely styled, two-door wagon.

            You can’t extrapolate sales for a 1950s model based on the number of vehicles on the road today. Aside from the fact that people are buying light trucks as personal vehicles, a phenomenon that was largely unheard of in the 1950s, Chevrolet faces much more competition today.

            In the mid-1950s, Chevrolet faced competition from two brands – Ford and Plymouth. A very weak Rambler and Studebaker nibbled at the edges, and Buick poached some customers with the low-cost Special series. But that was pretty much it.

            Today Chevrolet faces competition from Ford, Dodge/Ram, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Nissan and Toyota. All of those are very strong competitors.

            Also note that, in the 1950s, the “regular” Chevrolet generally sold over 1 million units annually. It’s 2014 equivalent – the Silverado series – does not sell anywhere near that number.

            If you choose to make a more direct comparison – a 2014 Chevrolet passenger car to a 1950s Chevrolet passenger car – the 2014 numbers are even lower. No Chevrolet passenger car sells as well as the Silverado series. I doubt, therefore, that a two-door Chevrolet wagon would sell anywhere near 250,000 units in 2014.

            As for the reliability of the Fiat – every survey I’ve seen places Fiat near the bottom when it comes to reliability. So perhaps Mr. Baruth’s experience wasn’t quite so unusual.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Geeber, YOU are the one that said they sold a grand total of 25,000 units, all I did was work out the math. So what happened to the extra 2,000 units?

            And as I said before, you SAY they didn’t make any more 2-door wagons, but somebody else SAID they made a ’59 2-door wagon, even if it wasn’t by the Nomad name. Who is right and where’s the proof?

            Chevrolet/GMC combined sell almost as many light trucks as Ford. Ram comes in a relatively close third with Toyota and Nissan playing pretty distant 4th and 5th. That’s it with light trucks. That comparison hardly makes your point. On the other hand, the American brands now face direct competition from dozens of imports–after having finally killed off all their American competitors that hadn’t folded into one of the three congromerates. In their way, they had almost as much competition back then, but the market itself was far, far smaller.

            And no, Chevrolet faced competition from Buick, Oldsmobile, Pontiac and Cadillac just within the GM corporation, each somewhat aimed at a different demographic. Chevy at that time meant one of two things–economically priced or ‘sporty’. Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Buick and Caddy were incremental steps upward in luxury. It wasn’t until the ’60s that the several brands actually tried to compete with each other for many of the same customers. Personally, I was an Oldsmobile man from the late ’60s through the early ’90s. After that, even their most iconic car–the Toronado–was no longer recognizable. And as far as Chevy facing competition? Hah! As far as I’m concerned, they’re behind everybody but Ford simply because they don’t build anything I really want. And the only reason Ford is below them in my eyes is because I have YET to own or drive a reliable Ford in over 40 years of driving.

            And for some reason you think I’m trying to compare old vs new Chevrolet cars on their merits–I’m not. This whole side-bar discussion built because I said I wanted a NOMAD-styled vehicle and not a bloomin’ blasé 4-door sedan or 4-door wagon. I also know I’m not alone in that desire.

          • 0 avatar
            wstarvingteacher

            I am not taking sides in this argument because I really can’t recall who said what. Just a note on the Nomad. I have a 57 two door station wagon. It is not a Nomad. It is a 210 that is known as a handyman special. The trifive years had what we think of as Nomads. Some other years had Nomads but it appears some of them were four doors. The 59s you are talking about reportedly sold about 21k two doors. But if you google 59 or 60 Nomad they show a four door. Apparently they just don’t make Nomads like they used to.

            Had a 2002 Saturn Vue myself. Handy but did not endure. Got less than 200k out of it when the timing chain blew. Very handy but fragile. My first 4 door work car. Now I prefer them for work. My 4 runner has five doors and is as handy as anything I ever had. Much better than the 57-210. YMMV

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @wstarvingteacher: Thank you for the clarification; glad to know there really was a ’59 2-door wagon. Wish I had one.

            As for the ’02 Vue, I’ll admit I didn’t put that many miles on my Vue before selling it to my in-laws, but at 130,000 miles in 8 years it had served me well and was still on its first clutch pack. My father-in-law is a mechanic and he just replaced the clutch pack with a 2-stage set and absolutely loves its peppy 4-cylinder engine for both performance and economy; it gets more than double the gas mileage of his Ford Explorer and he says it feels quicker than the old Ford that’s really 2 years newer than the Saturn.

            The thing is, back in the late ’60s and extending through the early ’80s Ford and GM specifically had 2-door SUVs on the market and they were reasonably popular. The Bronco/Bronco II and the Blazer/Trail Blazer. For an SUV, that’s all I want or need. Regretfully, the 2-door Jeep Wrangler’s load bed is just a little short even with the back seats folded down but the back seats on the 4-door version don’t fold flat enough.

            Still, it’s a useful vehicle for handling our winter storms where I live. However, with fuel costs again approaching $4/gallon for the mid-grade the engine likes, I want to up the economy. Since I’m about to obtain a 3rd-generation Ford Ranger to replace my F-150, I’ve got load bed relatively well covered for general hauling and no longer need something as big as the Wrangler. I’d really like to get an economical yet sporty coupe, but how much choice is there? So, it appears the Renegade will replace the Wrangler for me.

          • 0 avatar
            geeber

            Vulpine, Chevrolet continued to use the Nomad name after 1957. It also continued to build two-door wagons into the 1960s (although the final ones were Chevelles, not full-size Chevrolets, and the 1965 models were the end of the line, if I recall correctly).

            These post-1957 Nomads were NOT luxuriously trimmed, and they didn’t feature unique, hardtop-style rooflines.

            It depends on what you mean. Chevrolet built two-door wagons into the mid-1960s. They were not, however, particularly stylish or luxurious.

            But if you are talking about something like the original Nomad, which boasted luxurious trim and a unique roofline on a two-door wagon body style, then that type of vehicle died after 1957.

            And I’m not comparing the merits of today’s Chevrolets versus those from the 1950s. I’m pointing out that, just because a vehicle sold about 8,000 units annually in the 1950s does not mean that it would sell even more in today’s larger market.

            Also note that there was much less inter-divisional competition between Chevrolet and its corporate brethren in the 1950s. The price gaps between various divisions were larger, loan terms were shorter and down payment requirements were stricter. It was thus harder to move up from a Chevrolet to a Pontiac or Oldsmobile than it was during the 1970s or 1980s.

            You might get a Bel Air for the same amount of money as a relatively stripped Pontiac. Quite a few people, however, didn’t want to give up the nicer trim and flashier looks of a Bel Air versus what they would get in a stripped Pontiac for roughly the same price.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @geeber: I guess you missed my point that the ’59 was my platform of choice, not Nomad as a model name. The ’59 was considered Chevrolet’s most stylish car ever and that extended from their sedans to their coupes to their hardtops to their wagons. I’ll grant the model had a lot of things against it, but if I were looking for a very specific make and model of 2-door wagon, it would be the ’59 Chevy wagon, hardtop or no. I simply used the Nomad name because almost everybody is FAMILIAR with the Nomad as a 2-door wagon where any other model name I might have mentioned would have automatically brought the image of a 4-door wagon to mind. (Yeesh! Are you really that dense?)

            I’m not arguing any of your other points because A. You’re right, and B. They’re irrelevant to the discussion. In fact, with limited exceptions I believe with the ’62 or ’63 models nearly every GM brand shared sheet metal and overall platforms while using the nose and tail designs to really differentiate the models. That’s also when their prices started to come much closer between brands.

            What is relevant to the discussion is that the types of vehicle I, specifically, want are no longer available. Note I said “types”, not “models”. I couldn’t get a brand-new 2-door American car outside of purpose-built sports models for any amount of money. I couldn’t get a brand-new 2-door SUV except for the Jeep Wrangler for any amount of money. Do you get my point? I Don’t Want Four Doors. If I have to have them, then conceal them in the same manner as the F-150′s extended cab doors, or the Saturn Ion’s passenger-side half-door. It’s that simple.

        • 0 avatar
          wstarvingteacher

          The Vue was engineered to drive great but cost a lot to fix. Apparently you needed to drop the bellhousing just to fix a clutch cylinder. Did my Nissan truck in the driveway.Replaced at least 4 computers on the thing and was always told that they fixed it after 2002. 30mpg on the road and strong enough for a trailer but the timing chain was the straw that broke the camels back. Loved it. Didn’t love me back.

          Had you thought that possibly nobody much is making what you want. I expect that if you look a bit you could find a little old lady car with few miles that made sense. Personally, you have to slap me to get me to change my mind on things. Thats what happened to me and two door vehicles less than 10 years ago. I drove the vue for work which included carrying tools. All of a sudden access to the back was important to me. Possibly that’s a bad example for you.

          Something like a two door low mileage Pathfinder, 4Runner, Montero or other japanese rwd/4wd might be good for you. I just bought a 4Runner that I hope to keep running as long as I drive (71 yo now). They made the early Japanese SUVs with two doors and I have managed to put over 300k on just about every japanese truck I ever owned. I am at almost 200k right now so have a while with the lower mileage I now cover.

          Just some thoughts. Might not work but worth what you paid for them.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            To some extent I think that varied with the model. On the other hand, I think pretty much all transaxles have the issue you describe compared to a rear-wheel-drive truck’s somewhat more accessible design.

            I am quite aware that “nobody much is making what I want”, in fact, that’s my main complaint. Back when I wanted them and couldn’t afford them, they were all over the place. Even so, until 2002 every single vehicle I purchased for myself was a brand-new 2-door model from either Oldsmobile or Buick–with one Chevrolet (a Camaro) thrown into the mix. Now I can’t buy one for love nor money from an American brand EXCEPT a Camaro, Corvette, Mustang or Challenger. My Buick was a T-type LeSabre; my Oldsmobiles were two Cutlasses (an ‘S’ and a Supreme) and a Toronado. Oldsmobile is gone and while Buick is trying to bring back some of its ‘youthful’ feeling, they’re still building for the ‘comfortable retiree’. A 2-door version of any ONE of its models would see a surprising number of buyers, even if not as many as are buying the 4-door model.

            Oh, and a 2-door version of the Vue could easily have included ‘hidden’ half-doors in the same sense the Saturn Ion carried them. Access issue solved.

            Finally, finding a 2-door version of any of those brings through two separate issues for me… three really.

            1. They’re Japanese: While I have nothing against Japanese cars in general or specific, I simply don’t want one. I am an American and I want an American-branded vehicle. It has nothing to do with prejudice against any race or nation; it has to do with keeping American money in American companies. And yes, I still consider the Chrysler Group as American, even if they’re owned by Fiat and corporate headquarters is moving to the Netherlands. What with sea levels rising, I expect that headquarters will have to move again within fifty years.
            2. You’re talking used: In every case where I have purchased a used car–even from a quality dealership that offered a short-term warranty–I’ve had to spend money on repairs that I never had to spend on a new, showroom car. In the case of all but one, the repairs matched or exceeded the amount I paid for the car itself within two years–and the cars in every case were less than three years old when purchased. In one case, I had to tell the mechanics how to fix the problem, because a single, simple, STUPID wire was too short and kept breaking off the sensor’s contact clip. It took that dealership’s garage four arguments of, “it’s length is perfectly engineered for the vehicle” and four times of replacing that same sensor for the exact same cause before they learned their lesson. I. Don’t. Buy. Used. That is, unless I have no other option.
            3. The models themselves: I’ve looked at and sat in different examples of every single model you mention–including way back in the ’80s actively selling the early 2-door Montero when it looked far more like a Jeep Wrangler than more recent models do. While I don’t fault their capabilities, the new styles are ugly to my eye. Most of it is due to their choices of interior instrumentation colors and layouts. Those deep-well instruments in the Nissan are great for blocking ambient light, which makes the displays less affected by direct reflections on the panel face–but make you feel like you’re looking down a tunnel just to read them. Combine that with seriously bright–even white facing on the outer surfaces and you get an all-different glare issue that has nothing to do with seeing reflections of all your windows. Toyota is better but when compared to even my Vue was less comfortable and overpriced at the time I was looking. The Jeep Wrangler simply outclassed them in nearly every aspect plus added a true convertible capability which is offered by no other NEW SUV.

            Yes, each of these sounds like an issue I could work past and I would agree with you. My point is that I don’t want to HAVE to work past these issues–I want what I want. I don’t have the skills, the money nor the location to build what I want, so I have to take what’s available whether I like it or not; but I will certainly let my dislike of such methods known so that maybe somebody coming along after me won’t have to suffer the same problems.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Wow GM finally figured out how to keep the print from rubbing off all the black buttons with white writing! When I started used car searching I considered the Trailblazer/Rainier/97X etc but couldn’t find a single one (no mater how low the mileage) that didn’t have radio buttons that had been rubbed white by previous owners.

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      Of course, what of the mid-80s GMs with the wiper and cruise stalk which would be completely BLACK after several years?!

    • 0 avatar
      anti121hero

      Lol! Almost all gms I’ve owned/seen have done that. My buddy’s impala has buttons where he doesn’t even know the use, it’s just a big dash of blank black mystery buttons

    • 0 avatar
      tuffjuff

      Those old HVAC/radio head units really were terrible, weren’t they? I’m pretty sure my much-missed 2000 Pontiac Bonneville used a similar if not identical system to the Trailblazer, and by the time I had owned it, you couldn’t make out half the writing on the steering wheel audio controls/HVAC, etc.

  • avatar
    carguy

    Nice to see that GM upped its game on the durability of its interiors. I test drove one a couple of years back and was impressed by the overall materials quality compared to Hyundai, Toyota, Nissan and Honda.

  • avatar
    DrGastro997

    I’ve found that some of the smaller cities and airports have cars with 30K+ miles. That’s my observation based on numerous trips to Louisville, Nashville, Knoxville etc. Chicago and other biggies seem to have high turnover of new cars. In any case, nice review on a car that’s getting a very bad rap.

  • avatar
    WaftableTorque

    I was going to suggest that the lack of leather aging was due to use of laminate side glass windows which have significant UV blocking properties. However, a quick look at a 2011 brochure indicates otherwise.

    I also stopped using the 2-step Lexol products when the leather case of my Zeiss Ikon camera slowly became encrusted with a waxy, fatty film.

  • avatar
    J.Emerson

    When I drove the new Corolla, it felt much closer to this car in terms of NVH characteristics than the previous generation did. However, even at low speeds there was still a noticeable difference in ride harshness and cabin noise. It would be hard for me to decide between this car and the Corolla for long freeway trips, given how much I liked the Corolla’s seats. The ones in the Cruze aren’t bad (they are better than the Focus, Sentra, and Civic) just not as good as the new Corolla. The next Cruze is a car I am very interested to test.

    • 0 avatar
      burgersandbeer

      Another illustration of how seats fit everyone differently, to the point that they almost aren’t worth commenting on in a review.

      I find the Cruze seats (at least the cloth ones) hateful. I think the Focus has some of the best seats out there.

    • 0 avatar
      05lgt

      The fore aft pitching and other contributors to lackluster turn in coupled with the long delay between throttle changes and actual torque at the wheels will keep me out of a Cruz. I haven’t driven a Corolla in the last 5 years, but back then it did a better job. I don’t deal with frost heave and potholes that try to eat a car, so the advantage of the Cruz setup is lost on me. If it’s built *for* Detroit, they can try selling it there. I went down a Wiki of state populations and it looks like most US citizens don’t live in the frozen zones. It wasn’t always this way, but with CA, TX and FL leading the way it sure is the case now.

  • avatar
    Japanese Buick

    Flying my small plane from Chicago to Raleigh I got stuck with my business partner in Cincy Lunken by a hurricane on the East coast. The FBO we landed at gave us a Hertz Cruze to wait out the weather in. When it became apparent that it would take days we decided to drive home. The plan was to drive a rental car home and then bring it back a few days later to get our plane and fly it home. Extending the Cruze to a multiday rental looked pricey so we went to CVG to rent another car for the trip then return the Cruze to Lunken. Huge mistake. Budget at CVG gave us an HHR. I really hated to give that Cruze back and then drive 9 hours in the HHR shitbox. And then drive it back 9 more hours a few days later. We should have ponied up for the Cruze. Driving an HHR sucks, but driving one through the night in torrential rain through the WV mountains REALLY sucks.

    Maybe it’s the contrast with the HHR and the regret over renting it, but that Cruze was a really nice car in every way. Glad to hear it’s held up well.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    I had a brand new Cruze as a rental earlier this year with 10 or so miles on it when I picked it up.

    Decent little car.

    I’m not a huge guy at 5’11 155lbs, and I had to slide the seat all the way back and lean it all the way back to be comfortable. It was comfortable for me, but if I was 1 inch taller, I don’t think it would have been.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      Odd. Did it have a sunroof? I am 6’2, with a very unusually long torso and little short legs (picture a gorilla), and I fit in a Cruze just fine.

      • 0 avatar
        I_S

        I’ll seconds that… I am 6’1 with long legs and a short torso, and I recall having a decent amount of range left in the one I rented a couple of years back.

        I was also curious to see how the perforated cloth would hold up over time, as I expected it to look like an old knit sweater. I must say I am pleasantly surprised.

        • 0 avatar

          I’m 6’3″ (almost 6’4″) and I fit fine in the rental cruzes I have had. The only rental I noticed a headroom problem in recently was a mustang had to add a little lean to the seat on that one.

      • 0 avatar
        nrd515

        I’m built like a Gorilla too, with really big shoulders (I’ve been told by several doctors over the years that I have about the biggest shoulders and thickest collarbones they had ever seen) and fairly short legs, but in all these smaller cars, it’s my feet that cause most of the problems. I don’t remember what it was, but a few years ago I had some kind of Mopar product that was so tight around my feet that I probably shouldn’t have been driving it. I couldn’t really keep my feet far enough apart to be comfortable without just putting my left foot on the brake pedal. The lack of shoulder room is another annoyance with little cars, but the foot thing is the real killer for me. The Patriot I had last week needed about 2″ more seat travel for me to be able to be really comfortable too.

    • 0 avatar
      PonchoIndian

      You must be one oddly shaped MOFO! Did your rental have a power seat?

      I’m 5’9″ and if I put the seat all the way back in my Cruze I can’t touch the pedals no matter how much I stretch…and I have a 32″ inseam.

  • avatar
    Quentin

    I had a ’12 Camry with 45k on it at a Detroit airport. The car was literally trashed. The rear bumper skin was gouged in 3 or 4 places, the A pillar, roof, and C pillar were scratched and gouged from the base of the windscreen to the base of the rear glass. The interior was mud stained and it appeared someone took a key to most of the interior surfaces. I’ve never seen rental car abuse like this. I went back to the counter and told them that they needed to note how jacked up the car was. I mean, it was Detroit where Toyota isn’t exactly loved, but this was crazy. Everything still worked on the car, though, and it drove normal. Just tons of aesthetic damage.

    • 0 avatar
      Fred

      Sounds like the last Cobalt I got as a loaner except it only had 20,000 miles. It to started and ran but after 300 miles I was glad to get my truck back. Glad to hear Chevy is really getting better. At least the Cruise looks a lot better than that old Cobalt.

    • 0 avatar

      “I mean, it was Detroit where Toyota isn’t exactly loved”

      A. Camrys sell about as well in Michigan as they do elsewhere in the U.S.

      B. Toyota’s main North American R&D center is just outside of Ann Arbor, less than 20 miles from Detroit Metro Airport. They spent over a billion dollars building it and I’m sure the employment there is in the thousands. They also have a satellite technical center in Plymouth, again not far from DTW.

      C. Much of Toyota’s North American sales volume is made up of cars built here in the U.S., in Kentucky and Texas and elsewhere. The Camrys and Tundras have a pretty high domestic content. Every automotive vendor with employees in southeastern Michigan wants a piece of Toyota’s supplier business.

      • 0 avatar
        DrGastro997

        Well said. I’m surprised at the amount of Japanese transplants in Detroit. The amount of foreign cars driven by the locals is something I’m sure they never saw coming. Without these transplants I think Detroit would be in a much worse condition…

      • 0 avatar
        Quentin

        I’m well aware of those points, Ronnie. It was an offhand segway; I wasn’t saying that standard practice of every Michiganer was to demolish a Camry. Sort of like how people say “you are from WV? you don’t even have an accent” when they find out I’ve lived 30 of my 31 years in WV.

      • 0 avatar
        rocketrodeo

        “Ann Arbor: six square miles surrounded by reality.” I have never met anyone from Ann Arbor, or who lived in A2, who considered themselves a part of metro Detroit.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      The difference in condition between rental cars can be pretty amazing. We bought a 2012 Altima ex-rental last year that has very little cosmetic wear for a 40K mile car. Some of the others we looked at with the same mileage were pretty brutalized

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    What a nice surprise, because I spent two hours pricing these out yesterday. I, too, have had three or four Cruze rentals (all of them 2LT examples from Hertz), and came away impressed. The rear is a bit short on space, but when you’re moving from a cramped ’97 Jetta VR6—whose driver’s seat is stuck all the way in the rearmost part of the seat track so as to make the left rear occupant space virtually unusable—it’s actually quite accommodating.

    I want a 2LT or LTZ with the RS package, MyLink (which limits me to 2013 and newer vehicles) and full navigation. The only pre-owned examples I’ve seen with that configuration are within spitting distance of a new Cruze with the same options…especially with discounts. I think the 2015 facelift is hideous, so once the 2015 units appear on lots, maybe I can snag a good deal on a 2014.

  • avatar
    HerrKaLeun

    Some newer GM cars I drove at work also seemed better interior than the old Malibus. so they improved somewhat.

    Now they can move onto making the cars not kill people, as step two of the development.

    If i was GM CEo i would have focussed on the “not killing people” part first. but at least they improved something.

  • avatar
    seth1065

    I have had several as rentals and they are a good solid car, you could do far worse, I would rather own this than a Mazda 2 for example, it would make a very good first car for someone.

  • avatar
    Nigel

    We have a 2012 Cruze LTZ and a 2012 Honda Pilot EX-L bought a couple months apart new. The Cruze is shade over 30K, and the Pilot is a shade over 25K on the odometers. The interiors of both cars have held up pretty well although I might give a slight edge to the Chevy. Other than the unavoidable door dings and scratches both exteriors look close to show room new after a wash and wax. They are garage kept.

    The Cruze still has not developed any creaks or rattles. It has stayed quiet and solid as a rock. The Pilot over the last six months has a stray rattle or creak when going over broken up pavement.

    Both cars have factory NAV. The Honda’s was more intuitive to start, but the Cruze’s is better long term as it does more stuff.

    I had a 1990 Olds Calais new as well as a 2008 Aura to compare it against. The Cruze is holding up much better over time than either of them. It is holding up better than my 99 Passat or ’05.5 Jetta. The Cruze is heads and tails better in every way from my wife’s 2000 Cavalier or 2008 Cobalt.

    While the most fun I ever had driving a car was my Passat, the Cruze can keep things entertained within limits on backroads. It melts away the highway miles. It’s a really nice car.

  • avatar
    Kaosaur

    This seems a little bit harsh on the Cruze. A friend of mine is about 5-months into his ownership of a 2014 Cruze. He’s a former NA Miata owner and daily drove my RX-7 for a few months, so he’s got a decent-enough handle of cars. I’ve also driven it myself a couple of times.

    It’s not a bad little car. It’s definitely a car for 2 people, but compares well to similar GM & Honda products. He needed something economical and this hit all his buttons. It’s got decently minimal infotainment, which for us Millenials is all that we want. It’s a heck of a lot better than similar-type&year fleet vehicles like the Avenger.

    Despite it being a GM product, it seems like something that will hold up, which is not something I can say for my other friend’s 2011 Avenger, which seemed rickety after only a year. The Cruze is pretty comfortable to drive, doesn’t toss me around as a front-seat passenger and feels most similar to the current Accords. Throttle and braking feedback are about what you’d expect for a modern econobox.

    If I were operating on the same budget, would I buy it? Probably not.
    Is it something I would discount outright? Absolutely not.

    PS. I thought they’re no longer Daewoo as of 2013? The interior of that one and the 2014 look exactly the same though.

  • avatar
    stroker49

    Is it really a rebadged Daewoo and not a rebadged Opel Astra? I had one as a rental car one month ago in LA and I didn’t like it. The problem was the engine/transmission. As I’m living in Europe I’m used to four-bangers, but not four-bangers coupled with an automatic transmission. That is the reason I think Americans don’t like four cylinder engines. Here in Europe most people have to use four cylinder engines (gas is 8,50 USD/gl) but most of us use MT, and that is perfectly fine. If we are driving more expensive cars (Mercs, BMW etc.) with bigger engines or torqueful diesels then we often have AT. Fourbangers with slushboxes really sucks! My own car is a 2005 Cadillac STS 3,6 with 65000 mi. I find that car much better than a nine year newer Cruze (or Corolla, Golf, Focus). The STS only gives me 23 Mi/gl but it is better paying for gas than depreciation!The Cruze could be had as a wagon with diesel here in Europe, with MT!

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      It is on the same small-car platform as the Astra (Delta II), but is literally a Daewoo Lacetti. The last rebadged Astra we had here in the States was the Saturn Astra. At this point, though, I would consider the Cruze to be more of a global car than a rebadged Korean one.

      As for your STS, if you ever get the chance to check out an STS-V, do so. They made fewer than 3,000 between 2006 and 2009, but it’s an absolute hot rod of a car. A family friend of ours has a silver 2006 STS-V, and I love driving it, especially on the interstate at open throttle. It’s also a car that leaves me reasonably assured that it could be maneuvered quickly enough if a deer or something runs out into the interstate. Just don’t turn off the traction control….ever.

      • 0 avatar
        bunkie

        I sorely miss my 2006 Northstar STS. You’re right about the agility. To this day, I miss the Magnaride shocks, they were a revelation. I’ve never owned a car that felt so capable thrown into a quick turn.

  • avatar
    gasser

    All the 2014 LTs are listed on Chevy website as 1.4 turbos. Was this 2012 LT rental NA or turbo?

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      You can’t get the naturally-aspirated 1.8-liter engine in anything but the base trim (LS). I find that one to be dreadful and would never go for it. The LT, Eco and LTZ all use the 1.4-liter turbo engine, and the Diesel is its own trim, I believe.

  • avatar
    Kenmore

    “Smooth, silent, and heavy”

    To me those are Holy Grail words for anything that has 4 cylinders.
    Wish there were a hatch to test drive. From what I’ve seen and heard of my neighbor kid’s Cruze, I’d definitely not discount it just because it’s a Che.. Chev.. GM product.

  • avatar
    romanjetfighter

    Damn, that leather looks GREAT. Compared to the Hyundai Genesis, which had very worn and faded leather seats after just a year when Edmunds tested it.

    I wonder if it’s because the rental company conditions the leather, or maybe they use a semi-synthetic leather, or treat it to death?

    The paint on one of the buttons on my 2013 Accord has already worn out so you see white underneath the black.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      “Damn, that leather looks GREAT. Compared to the Hyundai Genesis, which had very worn and faded leather seats after just a year when Edmunds tested it.”

      Yes, the 2009-2013 Genesis has leather that wears quickly, but in my opinion it looks better with age, since it’s quality stuff. The car company whose leather wears in a rather offensive manner—IMO—is Ford. I looked at 30K-mile 2012 and 2013 Explorers (despite the fact that I hate the Explorer’s styling), and the leather always looked looked like leather that had endured 60K or 70K miles’ worth of wear in competitors’ vehicles. If you really don’t want to deal with any kind of visible leather wear, get the leatherette interior in a VW, or MB-Tex in a Mercedes-Benz. BMW’s leatherette isn’t so nice, or else I’d recommend it too.

      “The paint on one of the buttons on my 2013 Accord has already worn out so you see white underneath the black.”

      That would piss me off to no end. It annoys me that the MacBook Pro Retina I bought in January has shiny spots worn into the centers of the keys (I’m a web designer/programmer and novelist, so I do lots of typing). I would be *really* annoyed if that happened on something as expensive as a car, one that’s supposed to last for fifteen or twenty years. But the Cruze seems to be hard-wearing.

  • avatar
    sketch447

    Why are people so hesitant to admit that GM makes darned good cars?

    Face it, apart from its anemic turbo, the Cruze is a home run. Value-wise, it is light-years ahead of Corolla and Civic, and the Focus is a toy compared to the Cruze. The Cruze’s only deficit is its engine.

    If GM boosted that tiny 1.4L turbo to 170 hp, it would far outclass anything and probably get the same fuel economy.

    GM gets things right more than often. I had an Alero 4cyl stick a while back. Its structural rigidity was comparable to a bank vault. The 2.2L ecotec was bulletproof and compact, yet torquey (a/c use barely affected its power delivery). Paint quality was top-notch. It never left me stranded. It was a superb car.

    The Alero got totaled. I wanted to replace it with a Cruze, but I didn’t want a tiny turbo. The Chevy dealer tried to push the Cruze 1.8L, but I didn’t think the base engine would be adequate for that car, esp. with a full load and the a/c blasting. The Malibu offered no stick, so I said goodbye to GM………..for now.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      You have a point, but Cruze is hobbled by its status as a Chevrolet. GM will sell you a Cruze with an adequate motor but its called Verano.

    • 0 avatar
      Ryoku75

      I’m pretty anti-GM, but I will admit that with the right equipment the W-Bodys were okay cars all things considered, dunno how they are compared to a Cruz though.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      I won’t diss GM for making bad cars. I’ve been impressed with the Cadillacs & Buicks I’ve driven, but I haven’t driven a Chevy I’ve liked in a very long time. Granted, I haven’t driven dozens of Chevys, but those that I have driven were all extremely meh. Not a single one of them left me with any one thing that I wished other cars had or were like.

    • 0 avatar
      JREwing

      The reason is that GM is really, really good at burning people. They get people to consider them with good cars, then they burn them with piles of junk.

      I owned a 2006 Cobalt for a couple of years. It was generally a decent daily driver, and the manual transmission made the 2.2L four pretty responsive. But it was crystal clear GM engineered it to a price, even as it was a quantum leap ahead of the Cavalier in quality. For example, the struts died at 75,000 miles, when my ’05 Ford Five Hundred still has decent damping at 126,000 miles.

      Oh yeah, and that ignition. I didn’t think it was deadly, but I was surprised at how easy it was to inadvertently shut off while in motion.

      My ’88 Corsica had precisely one thing going for it – the 2.8L V6. The 3-speed auto ate itself, and the torque converter lockup solenoids failed regularly. Front brakes never lasted more than 20,000 miles. The interior was constantly trying to self-destruct. Oh yeah, and the shocks died early.

      This Cruze give me some faith that, when I seek out a diesel in a couple of years, I won’t be making a horrible mistake. Will other current GM models be similarly trustworthy? Can’t say.

      That’s not an issue I’ve ever had with the Fords I’ve owned (Crown Vic, Focus, Five Hundred). Honda and Toyota – well, they have their reputation for a reason, even if the cars themselves aren’t always wonderful.

  • avatar
    anti121hero

    Anyone wanna see how the interior of my 20 yr old jeep with 228000 miles has held up? It’s honestly not bad at all apart from the vinyl seat ripping. Ha, but really, the 2012 versa at work currently has 88000 miles on it, and the interior is almost the same as a new one we got with 12 miles on it. And it’s been through some abuse, that car. Cigarettes and fast food and parts thrown around and spilled chemicals and general lack of caring. It still looks brand new.

  • avatar
    redav

    I never see rentals without cloth seats. I seriously doubt this car has been a rental for 50k mi. Whether the materials have held-up or not, I don’t believe a rental could ever be cleaned like that, which also makes me think it had a prior life outside a rental fleet.

    The only Cruze I’ve driven was a low trim with the extra weak engine. Maybe it had a mechanical problem, or maybe it’s just how that engine/transmission worked, but it drove like crap. It might have been how underpowered it was, but it sure felt like trying to get a kid ready for school who really didn’t want to go and would rather throw a temper-tantrum that get dressed–lots of whining and fighting but not any moving.

  • avatar

    Good review and pretty much nailed it. For me, living in Brazil, for years we got Opels. Never did it for me. Now we get these Daewoos and they are much better. Have been in many an argument as to the true origin of the car, and even if Korean designed, the Americans have to sign it off. The Cruze is a an improvement over the last couple of Astras. Heavier and more “refined”, it delivers the traditional GM traits of middle of the road in everything that has always been what the best GMs had. Just for looks, quality and design of interior, I’d take it over any Japanese. Dynamically, it still gets railroaded by cars like the Focus.

  • avatar
    nrd515

    I wouldn’t be surprised if it turned out that the Cruze I rented a couple of months ago is the same car pictured above, it had about 50,000 miles on it and it had Kentucky plates on it. I have nothing bad to say about it, except I’m too big to fit in it comfortably. No rattles, rode decently, and if you kept the revs up in “autostick” (Don’t remember what Chevy calls it) mode, it was decently quick. It’s not something I would buy, but I didn’t hate it after a week, like I have every other rental I’ve driven, except the Patriot I had last week, I didn’t hate it either, but with size 14 shoes, I didn’t fit in it either.

  • avatar
    VoGo

    I don’t understand why Jack feels the need to repeatedly remind us that the Cruze was mostly engineered in Korea. I only care whether it’s a good car or not.

    • 0 avatar

      It’s called an angle. Like the other day the big hoopla about what was surely an isolated problem with the car, hang onto something to avoid making it a lovefest.

    • 0 avatar
      SayMyName

      The issue isn’t Korea, it’s Daewoo. The idiot stepchild among Korean automakers.

      • 0 avatar

        I drove old Daewoos and I’ve driven the new ones signed off by GM. The difference is striking. Daewoo may or may not have been what you claim, but they are not like that now. Under GM, the ultimate responsible for anything they put out, the cars are well rounded and unexciting. Quite typical of what GM did when GM did well and eerily similar to what Toyota does.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      It’s important because the Cruze is repeatedly presented by GM and the media as an example of their ability to compete, when it fact it’s a sign of their decision to wash their hands of the single most important automotive segment in the globe.

      It’s exactly like me hiring Larry Carlton to play the solo on my album and then getting the press to admiringly state that I’ve stepped up my game as a guitarist.

      • 0 avatar

        A little bit different from your example in the sense that GM dictates what Daewoo has to do. They then test, oversee and sign off. Comparing the latest batch of Daewoos with old ones, you can see GM’s fingers all over the cars. If its a model that is sustainable or worthy is another thing, but it has worked for me. I never really wanted GMs before, now they have a couple that I’d happily buy.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        But Jack,
        As a global automaker, shouldn’t GM be touting its ability to source engineering projects where the best talent is? By leveraging their Korean assets, GM isn’t washing their hands of the C segment, they are engineering the best product they can. And the results show, even 55K rental miles later.

        If GM were claiming the Cruze to be the all-American savior, or if this were a re-badge of the Corolla, I would share in your disdain.

        But as it is, they are just practicing smart business. With GM, you’ve got to celebrate the victories, no matter how small.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    There is something to be said of boring and appliance like reliability. Maybe it would not be my first choice but if I wanted a car with good fuel economy and that was comfortable I would be interested in it. It would be more engaging with a manual transmission. I might be more interested in the Verano. Actually I like 4 door vehicles especially when I am hauling more than two people.

    @Jack you were driving near where I live. I live in Hebron, KY which is where the N KY and Cincinnati airport.

  • avatar
    segfault

    I didn’t know you could get leather with the base, non-turbo engine. Doesn’t look like you can on the 2014 models, unless this is a fleet special. What year was the one Jack rented?

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      2012. Nominally you couldn’t get the NA engine with the 2LT trim, but I popped the hood on it.

      • 0 avatar
        segfault

        Wow, that means it’s been in the rental fleet probably 2 years or more (by the end of June, 2012, production on the 2012 Cruze would have been winding down or they would have already been building the ’13s). Impressive it’s held up so well.

  • avatar

    For my entire life, the small cars from GM were cruel jokes. The only things they had to recommend them were a low price and misguided loyalty on the part of the customers who “…weren’t gonna buy no ferrin’ car…” As a measure of just how unaware the customers were, I regularly saw a bumper sticker boasting that “I’d rather push a Chevy than drive a Ford” – on a Chevy Sprint!

    The small car strategy from 1960 until about 2010 was a prime reason why the General ended up bankrupt. Let me say it as plainly as possible – the Chevette, the Cavalier, the Cobalt and their in-bred cousins and brothers throughout the GM lineup were terrible cars. Just terrible.

    So it is a measure of progress that the Cruze gets positive mentions here and in the comments.

    I own one – a 2011 LS – and I have to say it’s a fine car. It’s not flawless and it could be better, for sure. But most importantly, we no longer have to imagine a small GM car that’s discussed with the class leaders. Mine replaced a beloved E36 BMW with many, many miles. The BMW was 100% a transportation appliance for me, and so is the Cruze. No track days or misguided efforts to build a racing car for the daily commute. I get my automotive (and financial) thrills from a Porsche 928, and the 928 will continue to soak up interest and disposable income for years – perhaps decades – yet unknown. The Cruze accommodates 928 ownership just fine for me.

    I’m going to treat my Cruze almost like a winter beater – reliable transportation that helps to preserve the fun cars. If I do a good job of keeping the Cruze alive, I’ll always have the option of the 928, and I’ll soon have a K75S bike; further on an E30 rehab is in my daydreams.

    I like the Cruze for the same reasons I liked my Volvo, my Saab 99s, the various VWs, and the BMWs – it’s credible, not some cheap way out that appeals only to the most jingoistic and ill-informed opinion. If GM makes more cars like this, their problems will be over with, and forever.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @owenstanley–GM is making more cars like the Cruze but they need to do the right thing and make good with the consumers who have bought their vehicles and are having problems. I have owned GM products over the past 30 plus years but there was a period where I would not even look at them. It is easy to lose the trust of the consumer and much harder to win them back. The article about the young lady from Tennessee is a case in point, her car needs to either be fixed, replaced, or bought back by GM instead of getting the run around and delay on what is obviously a major safety issue. If GM can’t fix a vehicle in a reasonable amount of time then they need to either give the consumer another vehicle or buy that vehicle back. Recalls and defective products can happen to any manufacturer but what is important is how the customer is taken care of once a problem arises. A customer can be lost forever if an issue is mishandled or not taken care of.

    • 0 avatar

      Jeff – all true. GM even lost my father-in-law, purely a domestic car buyer and primarily a GM customer after several mediocre cars and some truly shocking dealer experiences. BTW it was the Olds version of the GM10 that was the last straw here. Sometimes there is not much to be done as the car is just crappy, but the dealers can be the biggest problem. Remember how badly the dealers had the company over the barrel; the whole 8 brands thing was essentially GM surrendering to the dealers and keeping too many brands and too many stores for at least 20 years & probably longer. I’d say that Tesla is looking past the dealers for reasons just like this. I usually take care of my own cars and buy parts from trusted internet sources so the dealership experience is one I have very little interaction with. I bought the Cruze used from a Chevy dealer. The sales pitch for OnStar (or whatever it’s called) nearly turned into a hostage situation as I told the sales dude about 50 times and 25 different ways that I was not interested, even if they gave me the &^#!! thing!!! I can’t imagine how a truly important issue (like a safety recall) would be handled – and I hope I don’t find out!

  • avatar
    Stovebolt

    Thanks for the “real world” information on how this vehicle holds up. Like Steve Lang’s used car efforts, it provides as useful perspective on issues that matter more than the latest new car hoopla.

  • avatar

    At the end of the day it is still a Daewoo that is ranked at the back of the pack.

  • avatar
    George B

    I’ve been a passenger in a Cruze on a business trip. One of the good things about the Cruze is it has a good amount of passenger room for a “small” car. The driver complained about the 1.8L’s lack of power on hills. Wish GM made a version of the car with a larger engine well matched to it’s mass. Wonder if the Gen III Ecotec 2.5 from the Malibu would fit.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    GM needs to concentrate on quality and customer service. Get those right and they will not have to go through another bankruptcy.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    My coworker had a 2012 Cruze RS with the 1.4T automatic. It was a very nice-driving car with smooth, strong acceleration and a nice interior. He traded it at 65k miles, and it still drove like new.

  • avatar
    raresleeper

    I am surprised that there are leather seats in that rental.

    I know a gentleman that has a Cruze with almost 90k on it. He said its slow as molasses and gutless but has been very pleased with its reliability.

    On a serious note, I would love a diesel, row your own Cruze with the six speed. I gave it a gander and searched for one on cars.com (or one of those big sites), only to find nary a one.

    FWIW, I am pleased to see this car holding up like that. You know that Cruze has been abused wholeheartedly.

  • avatar
    Chris Ransdell

    A few thoughts….

    Cruzes are available with 2 gas engines and a Diesel engine. Even that seemingly stripped rental you (figuratively) had was probably the turbo. At least for 2013/2014, if it had cruise control it was not the 1.8 NA motor. Most rentals are 1LT or fleet special models which would have the comfort suspension. 2LT, LTZ and diesel models have the sport suspension with Z-Link but 1LT with RS get Z-link also (but not the lowered ride height etc?). It’s a little confusing but the bottom line is that almost nobody gets the better suspension package on the rental, Jack’s experience apparently the exception.

    I find my diesel to be a very satisfying small car so far though there are a lot of little creature comforts that my Cruze just doesn’t have even fully loaded where my 2010 Malibu does. Most notably there aren’t as many places to store things in the Cruze. Only the tiny center box is covered whereas the Malibu has a cover for the entire center console that can be pulled down, a 2 level center console box which is much deeper and a tip out drawer to the left of the steering wheel and a small storage area in front of shifter which is covered where the Cruze’s is not. Oh and the visors don’t extend on the Cruze.

    On the upside, the rear center armrest that I didn’t think I would like turned out to work well on an 800 mile trip with 3 adults in the Cruze. Though sometimes derided for not being a color screen, the center gauge console drivers information center display is excellent on the Cruze. A digital speedometer, 2 trip meters with separate average speed and MPG counters, a timer, oil life and fuel filter life countdowns, instant fuel economy, distance to empty, individual tire pressure readings, conformation of cruise control set speeds and a handful of other things are all just a few signal stalk presses away. I’m also impressed with the manual shift system on the Cruze. Though paddle shifters would be nice, at least the Cruze responds right away when tap shifting, more than can be said for my Malibu with paddles. The diesel has its own auto, different than gas cars and it has generally been well liked in reviews. Also note that for gas Cruzes, the first few years had earlier transmission tunes that were considerably improved in 2013/2014 cars.

  • avatar
    JohnnyFirebird

    I saw a 2011 Cruze last weekend with horrifying rust on one door – it must have been a bad repaint or unrepaired damage. I hope. But it was a patch almost a foot wide and bubbling up like crazy.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    What I’D like to know is the man who designed the hideous new face of the US-spec 2015 Cruze (not the next-gen Chinese Cruze, which isn’t that bad-looking at all). I’m wondering what it cost, and what the point was, considering this fridge-white workhorse looks far handsomer.

  • avatar

    I don’t have good memories from renting a Cruze, it might be do to the fact it was in Israel, the 1.6 L engine is so weak that it sucks up all joy from the ride, specially when you travel on hilly mountain roads, I don’t remember any drive were the AT would stay in 6 gear for long, simply not enough power.
    Now about rental, I recently took 2 cars from Alamo, first one in Phoenix AZ, what they call premium, you choose your own car, Maxima, Genesis, 300, Tourus and I ended up with an Avalon, none had more than 9k miles on them.
    My next stop was Seattle, I got a smaller car, again, they were all new, I picked up a Corolla with 200 miles on the clock, to be honest, the Avalon was a joy, 1400 miles of 0 noise and plenty of power, the Corolla was a disappointment, I can’t understand how people buy this car over other cars in the segment.

  • avatar
    turvo

    We just got back from New England where we had a rental LT model, this one with 11k on the clock. I was actually quite impressed after having been saddled with GM rental garbage many a time. But the steering, oh the steering. It took awhile to get used to the lightness of it and the constant coarse corrections were maddening. The MYLINK gets a big ol’ thumbs down as well although the sound quality was decent. The car was solid and seemed very well made though, not old GM like at all. Decent interior materials and fit and finish inside and out was a revelation. Oh and the AC kicked ass on Tuesday when it reached triple digits and what seemed like 90% humidity. ( In New Hampshire no less!)
    Would I own one though? Probably not, it was a bit underpowered and gutless and there was the steering. I prefer my wife’s 2013 Optima across the board. Still there was not one time where I shook my head like I usually do with a GM rental and wonder what they were thinking, so there’s that. Good job guys.

  • avatar

    After reading all the comments here I am suddenly wondering how the car would hold up if it accidentally ran over a fox or something. Probably not as well as a Jeep Wrangler, but I assume it would do the job just fine.


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