Author Topic: Test Drive: 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco  (Read 4116 times)

Offline Autos_Editor

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Test Drive: 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco
« on: July 04, 2011, 04:04:58 am »


With aerodynamic and mechanical changes designed to improve fuel economy, the Cruze Eco 'lives up to its hype', says Chris Chase.

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Offline tpl

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Re: Test Drive: 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2011, 06:49:27 am »
Just as a thought experiment I wonder how the Cruze ECO would be with:
A suitable euro diesel engine. Perhaps about 1.6-1.8 litres 100 bhp, 220 lbs-ft. A modern super high efficiency one. Even with Bluetec if required.
The 6MT then altered for gearing to suit the diesel. Actually from the description in the article that maybe what it has already, long gearing in the top two gears  to suit a diesel's low revs high torque nature.

It would be fascinating to see the economy figures and even more so to see how it drove.   It sounds like a really good car that would be improved by just a slight change to the power and torque available and its delivery.
“It’s one of the dirty secrets of economics — technological progress does grow the economy and create wealth but there is no economic law that says everyone will benefit.”
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Offline safristi

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Re: Test Drive: 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2011, 07:14:15 am »
 ??? ::) so would that make it DROOL_WORTHY and OBSSESABLE for ya tpl.............. ;)
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Offline tpl

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Re: Test Drive: 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2011, 08:00:18 am »
??? ::) so would that make it DROOL_WORTHY and OBSSESABLE for ya tpl.............. ;)
No, it would be an interesting engineering experiment. All the manufacturers have to achieve some awesome fuel economy standards by 2016. Lighter cars, more diesels and probably more hybrids will be the cheapest and most sellable ways to achieve this.

Offline chrischasescars

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Re: Test Drive: 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2011, 09:49:10 am »
TPL, this car would be great with a diesel. The gearing is similar to that in the Jetta TDI, so a motor with a diesel's gutsier low-end torque would vastly improve the car's driveability.
I used to work here.

Offline tpl

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Re: Test Drive: 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco
« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2011, 10:07:55 am »
Is it sold in Euland with a diesel?   Cars that claim to be frugal both on fuel and on CO2 emission usually are.

Offline Erik

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Re: Test Drive: 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco
« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2011, 10:29:37 am »
Coming soon to a Chevy dealer near you:

According to the crew at GMInsideNews, General Motors is mulling the notion of introducing a diesel Chevrolet Cruze to the American market. Sources within the Lordstown, Ohio assembly plant responsible for piecing the compact sedan together have confirmed that a diesel Cruze will be built for 2013. If that's not enough to wipe the stink of skepticism off your person, GMI says that additional sources within The General's engineering team have confirmed that an oil-burning Cruze is on the company's schedule.

Production is rumored to kick off on the project at some point next year.

There's even rumor that GM is currently testing diesel Cruze models around the greater Detroit area right now. While no power or fuel economy numbers are available at the moment, GM is expected to make use of a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine for the new model. That would be the same lump found in the Holden Cruze CDX, which turns out 147 horsepower and 235 pound-feet of torque with up to 34 miles per gallon combined.


http://www.autoblog.com/2011/02/21/report-diesel-chevrolet-cruze-confirmed-for-u-s/

or...

Finally, we will see a domestic automaker offering a diesel engine in a compact car. And the car happens to be the Chevrolet Cruze. At least that’s what the latest word is.
According emerging reports, a diesel engine will make its way to the American Cruze no sooner than the 2013 model year, which would most likely end up being a variant of the 2.0L common rail I-4 common rail diesel seen in the European and Australian-spec Cruze models that currently produces 160 horsepower and 270 pounds-feet of torque and comes with either a five-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission. Combined fuel economy for the diesel is an astonishing 42 MPG (converted from the British combined fuel economy rating of 50.4 MPG).
Aside from the Volkswagen Jetta, the 2013 Cruze could be the only compact sedan in the U.S. to offer a diesel engine, and the only one that will be built within the borders of the Red White and Blue, under the roof the Lordstown, OH assembly plant.
How much will the engine option cost? Will it even sell? Well, the rumor has to be officially confirmed that the Cruze will even get an oil-burner before we can answer those questions.


http://gmauthority.com/blog/2011/02/rumormill-american-chevrolet-cruze-to-offer-diesel-engine-by-2013-model-year/
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Offline hemusbull

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Re: Test Drive: 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco
« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2011, 11:02:10 am »
This is traditionally underengineered GM small car. It is the heviest car of the bunch of all competitors and here the engineers must start from. It is totally wrong to made this so called Eco version before going online with other's weights. I do not take this car here as a serious engineering success, instead I do thing it just shows GM has the resources to do it. Overall, the weight of Eco Cruze should be the one of the standard version of the car.

Offline Neromanceres

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Re: Test Drive: 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco
« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2011, 12:52:59 pm »
This is traditionally underengineered GM small car. It is the heviest car of the bunch of all competitors and here the engineers must start from. It is totally wrong to made this so called Eco version before going online with other's weights. I do not take this car here as a serious engineering success, instead I do thing it just shows GM has the resources to do it. Overall, the weight of Eco Cruze should be the one of the standard version of the car.

Under Engineered.  Um I think not.  I think you mean over engineered.  The increased weight comes from additional sound absorbing materials and from a heavier safety cage.  As a result the car is the quietest and safest car in it's class.  Also the car is the largest in the compact C-segment class.  The interior volume brings it very close to a midsize car.  So it's no suprise that it's one of the heaviest in the segment.  Yet still delivers close to best in clase fuel economy.

Erik above is correct (except numbers posted are from GM's old 2.0 Turbo diesel see new numbers below *). Search Series II cruze diesel.  GM is currently testing and so far (fingers crossed) the new awsome 2.0 turbo diesel that GM uses everywhere else in the world which is Euro 6 compliant will make its way here around this time next year in the Cruze and possibly other models.
http://www.holden.com.au/vehicles/series-ii-cruze/efficiency#/diesel
* New 2.0 Diesel numbers
(120 KW = 160hp @ 3800 rpm 320NM = 236 lb-ft @ 1750 rpm)
http://www.themotorreport.com.au/51865/2011-holden-series-ii-cruze-cdx-diesel-road-test-review

An awesome videos.  Listen how quiet the diesel is.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3404FpjqPB8&NR=1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K1ae4U0EWtA

There are also rumors that GM canada is considering importing the Cruze hatch for Canada only.  And if GM decides to make a diesel Cruze hatch ECO for Canada it will be a strong contender for my next car.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2011, 01:13:59 pm by Neromanceres »

Offline tpl

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Re: Test Drive: 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco
« Reply #9 on: July 04, 2011, 01:48:38 pm »
Excellent!    I bet with some care they may be able to produce the 2013 Cruze ECO-D or whatever they call it already meeting the 2016 economy standards.   Maybe by then there will be an Opel diesel just a tad smaller, maybe only 1.6 or 1.8  then they can crank the boost up a little but save a bit more fuel in gentle suburban motoring... or even make a super efficient DSG transmission that will fit in the car...after all VW make a 7 speed for a smaller car than the cruze.

I have a lot of confidence in GM engineers if they can keep the bean counters off their backs.  8)

Offline TopGun

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Re: Test Drive: 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco
« Reply #10 on: July 04, 2011, 02:34:24 pm »
....

I have a lot of confidence in GM engineers if they can keep the bean counters off their backs.  8)

Nicely done reference TPL!  Hopefully Lieutenant Dan (as the AutoExtremist refers to him) will be kept far away from the engineers.

Offline dirtyjeffer

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Re: Test Drive: 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco
« Reply #11 on: July 04, 2011, 04:58:03 pm »

Under Engineered.  Um I think not.  I think you mean over engineered.  The increased weight comes from additional sound absorbing materials and from a heavier safety cage.  As a result the car is the quietest and safest car in it's class.  Also the car is the largest in the compact C-segment class.  The interior volume brings it very close to a midsize car.  So it's no suprise that it's one of the heaviest in the segment.  Yet still delivers close to best in clase fuel economy.

before reading this, take note that i like the Cruze...i recommended one to a friend (who bought it) and also suggested my F.I.L. look at one (although, for some reason, he prefers the Malibu because he says it is larger - it isn't really, but anyway).

there are a lot of Compact segment cars that are classified as "mid size" according to EPA standards, so the Cruze being one isn't like it is the only one doing it...as well, other cars do this while keeping their weight down...also, it was stated before that in this ECO model, weight was shaved from this model by reductions in the thickness of the sheet metal and welds on the car...that isn't "sound engineering" by my standards...engineering would have meant using other materials that are lighter in weight, but still strong, not skimping on what you already use.

personally, i think the regular model is good on its own, and the ECO version is little more than an attempt to appease the marketing department ("2011 Cruze - Up to 61 MPG").
« Last Edit: July 04, 2011, 06:35:34 pm by dirtyjeffer »

Offline Neromanceres

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Re: Test Drive: 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco
« Reply #12 on: July 04, 2011, 06:55:39 pm »
before reading this, take note that i like the Cruze...i recommended one to a friend (who bought it) and also suggested my F.I.L. look at one (although, for some reason, he prefers the Malibu because he says it is larger - it isn't really, but anyway).

there are a lot of Compact segment cars that are classified as "mid size" according to EPA standards, so the Cruze being one isn't like it is the only one doing it...as well, other cars do this while keeping their weight down...also, it was stated before that in this ECO model, weight was shaved from this model by reductions in the thickness of the sheet metal and welds on the car...that isn't "sound engineering" by my standards...engineering would have meant using other materials that are lighter in weight, but still strong, not skimping on what you already use.

personally, i think the regular model is good on its own, and the ECO version is little more than an attempt to appease the marketing department ("2011 Cruze - Up to 61 MPG").

Engineering is a always a comprimise.  Just because a car is heavy doesn't mean it's under engineered.  GM marketing wanted best in class safety and low noise.  And they achieved it while still being near best in class in fuel economy.  To me that sounds like a well engineered car.  Is the car heavy for it's class ... Sure it is.  Could they have used lighter materials .. Sure but it would cost a lot more.  Yes the ECO uses a different gauge sheet metal.  But that too is a comprimise.  In a few years dings and other abuse will show a lot more on the ECO models compared to the regular Cruze. But you get better fuel economy in return.

GM took a different approach with the Cruze and pushed for a more premium feeling compact car.  Hyundai (for example) went for the most features for the buck approach and was willing to comprimise the premium feeling a little (compared to the Cruze) to achieve good fuel economy.

To elaborate i'm not knocking Hyundai.  Just they have taken a different approach and are essentially targeting different people.  Want a cost effective feature rich car buy the Hyundai.  Want a quiet refined solid car then buy the Cruze.  Want both well you will have to pony up the money for the LTZ Cruze.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2011, 07:03:43 pm by Neromanceres »

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Re: Test Drive: 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco
« Reply #13 on: July 04, 2011, 07:03:47 pm »
Engineering is a always a comprimise.  Just because a car is heavy doesn't mean it's under engineered.  GM marketing wanted best in class safety and low noise.  And they achieved it while still being near best in class in fuel economy.  To me that sounds like a well engineered car.  Is the car heavy for it's class ... Sure it is. Could they have used lighter materials .. Sure but it would cost a lot more.  Yes the ECO uses a different gauge sheet metal.  But that too is a comprimise.  In a few years dings and other abuse will show a lot more on the ECO models compared to the regular Cruze. But you get better fuel economy in return.

GM took a different approach with the Cruze and pushed for a more premium feeling compact car.  Hyundai (for example) went for the most features for the buck approach and was willing to comprimise the premium feeling a little (compared to the Cruze) to achieve good fuel economy.

There ya go. Quite true.

Now you will likely get a lecture on why that is all wrong of course.

Offline dirtyjeffer

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Re: Test Drive: 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco
« Reply #14 on: July 04, 2011, 07:56:26 pm »
Engineering is a always a comprimise. 
??

that makes no sense...engineering is about developing new ways of doing things...new technologies...new materials...new standards...in that way, the car wins (as i mentioned, i like the Cruze)...it has a nice new engine (1.4T)...6 speed automatic transmissions...nice looking car inside and out, and from what i have seen, seems to get decent reviews...however, all the time and money spent on "light weight high strength plastic automated louver vents" was a waste...they took away from the "bones" of the vehicle and spent it on lipstick...instead of spending all that time and money on those silly vents, and spent it on "engineering" instead of "gimmicks", things would have been quite different....sure, those vents likely save a fraction of a MPG, but so would reducing the cars weight...and that would have benefitted the ENTIRE line up, not just the ECO model.

Quote
Just because a car is heavy doesn't mean it's under engineered.

making a lead square box is easy...making something safe, strong and lightweight is hard.

Quote
GM marketing wanted best in class safety and low noise.  And they achieved it while still being near best in class in fuel economy.  To me that sounds like a well engineered car.  Is the car heavy for it's class ... Sure it is.  Could they have used lighter materials .. Sure but it would cost a lot more.  Yes the ECO uses a different gauge sheet metal.  But that too is a comprimise.  In a few years dings and other abuse will show a lot more on the ECO models compared to the regular Cruze. But you get better fuel economy in return.

but it wouldn't have had to cost more...the money they spent on those silly vents could have instead been put to use in using more high strength steel, maintaining sheet metal thickness and weld seams....that would have made much more sense...in fact, had they done that, they wouldn't even need a special "ECO" version of the car, as the entire Cruze line-up would have benefited from such "engineering", not just one limited production model.

Quote
GM took a different approach with the Cruze and pushed for a more premium feeling compact car.  Hyundai (for example) went for the most features for the buck approach and was willing to comprimise the premium feeling a little (compared to the Cruze) to achieve good fuel economy.

To elaborate i'm not knocking Hyundai.  Just they have taken a different approach and are essentially targeting different people.  Want a cost effective feature rich car buy the Hyundai.  Want a quiet refined solid car then buy the Cruze.  Want both well you will have to pony up the money for the LTZ Cruze.
i wouldn't really say the Cruze is above the Hyundai, as i think both are very good...as i said, i still think the Cruze is a great car...i just wish they thought more about what they were doing as it could have been much better...perhaps a diesel Cruze may fit that bill, as rumour has it we might see it next year.

Offline rrocket

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Re: Test Drive: 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco
« Reply #15 on: July 04, 2011, 08:19:50 pm »
Engineering is a always a comprimise. 
??

that makes no sense...engineering is about developing new ways of doing things...new technologies...new materials...new standards...in that way, the car wins (as i mentioned, i like the Cruze)...it has a nice new engine (1.4T)...6 speed automatic transmissions...nice looking car inside and out, and from what i have seen, seems to get decent reviews...however, all the time and money spent on "light weight high strength plastic automated louver vents" was a waste...they took away from the "bones" of the vehicle and spent it on lipstick...instead of spending all that time and money on those silly vents, and spent it on "engineering" instead of "gimmicks", things would have been quite different....sure, those vents likely save a fraction of a MPG, but so would reducing the cars weight...and that would have benefitted the ENTIRE line up, not just the ECO model.

Quote
Just because a car is heavy doesn't mean it's under engineered.

making a lead square box is easy...making something safe, strong and lightweight is hard.

Quote
GM marketing wanted best in class safety and low noise.  And they achieved it while still being near best in class in fuel economy.  To me that sounds like a well engineered car.  Is the car heavy for it's class ... Sure it is.  Could they have used lighter materials .. Sure but it would cost a lot more.  Yes the ECO uses a different gauge sheet metal.  But that too is a comprimise.  In a few years dings and other abuse will show a lot more on the ECO models compared to the regular Cruze. But you get better fuel economy in return.

but it wouldn't have had to cost more...the money they spent on those silly vents could have instead been put to use in using more high strength steel, maintaining sheet metal thickness and weld seams....that would have made much more sense...in fact, had they done that, they wouldn't even need a special "ECO" version of the car, as the entire Cruze line-up would have benefited from such "engineering", not just one limited production model.

Quote
GM took a different approach with the Cruze and pushed for a more premium feeling compact car.  Hyundai (for example) went for the most features for the buck approach and was willing to comprimise the premium feeling a little (compared to the Cruze) to achieve good fuel economy.

To elaborate i'm not knocking Hyundai.  Just they have taken a different approach and are essentially targeting different people.  Want a cost effective feature rich car buy the Hyundai.  Want a quiet refined solid car then buy the Cruze.  Want both well you will have to pony up the money for the LTZ Cruze.
i wouldn't really say the Cruze is above the Hyundai, as i think both are very good...as i said, i still think the Cruze is a great car...i just wish they thought more about what they were doing as it could have been much better...perhaps a diesel Cruze may fit that bill, as rumour has it we might see it next year.

I am an auto engineer.  I did a similar automated vent system for a BMW made in the 1990s.  They sound similar in operation.  I have no idea why you're so focused on that single detail about the vents being so important (apart from being anal, maybe?)..but the "cost" that you seem to be terribly hung up on amounts to almost nothing on a per piece basis.  The shroud that the vents sit in has to be molded anyways, and adding in the cutouts for the vents is a simple matter of removing steel on one side (cavity) and having less steel removed on the other (core).  The shroud is shared by other Cruze's, so it's only a matter of having interchangeable inserts to either have the cut-outs in or out.  I did a quick machine simulation for cutting out such a cut-out, and the time difference was less than 5 minutes for the main mold.  The inserts themselves ~ 10 hours, total.  You'd also need a small mold for the vent flappers themselves. 

Now divide that 5 minutes time plus the vent flapper mold by the MILLIONS of shrouds that will be made from this one mold and you see how the cost is so minute as to hardly be even a factor.

And you seem to think that saving all of this imaginary money for weight loss was the better way to go.  Weight loss in general can be VERY expensive....far more expensive than making a couple of flaps.  Often times weight loss is THE most expensive thing to do.  Yes, it would benefit the entire line, but you have zero clue how expensive it is to engineer, test, and test and test a lightened part, let alone an entire car's chassis/platform.  Compared to that, a flap is peanuts.  But since you're an engineer, I'll assume you knew that already?
« Last Edit: July 04, 2011, 08:25:04 pm by rrocket »
How fast is my 911?  Supras sh*t on on me all the time...in reverse..with blown turbos  :( ...

Offline TopGun

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Re: Test Drive: 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco
« Reply #16 on: July 04, 2011, 09:50:51 pm »
AutoBlog Podcast #236 - Dan Roth's summary of Elantra vs. Cruze vs. others in that segment.

Elantra - Buy it if want lots of kit and don't care much about driving - feels like a car you'd buy at Walmart if Walmart sold cars.

Cruze or Focus - Buy them because it drives way better than an Elantra.

Corolla - Don't buy it at all

Offline rrocket

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Re: Test Drive: 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco
« Reply #17 on: July 04, 2011, 09:53:30 pm »
AutoBlog Podcast #236 - Dan Roth's summary of Elantra vs. Cruze vs. others in that segment.

Elantra - Buy it if want lots of kit and don't care much about driving - feels like a car you'd buy at Walmart if Walmart sold cars.

Cruze or Focus - Buy them because it drives way better than an Elantra.

Corolla - Don't buy it at all

Hmmm...Odd.  The Cruze finished near the bottom in one of the latest magazine multi tests (8 cars) I read.  One of the only cars it beat was the Corolla....

Elantra finished first.

So I guess it really depends who's reviewing it...

http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/sedans/1107_best_selling_compact_sedan_comparison/index.html
« Last Edit: July 04, 2011, 09:57:56 pm by rrocket »

Offline TopGun

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Re: Test Drive: 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco
« Reply #18 on: July 04, 2011, 10:03:47 pm »
.....
So I guess it really depends who's reviewing it...

....

Those tests tend to favour value for money pretty heavily...so absolutely!  While still fun to banter about, people value different things.

One of my wife's friends didn't buy a Mini STRICTLY because it didn't have a place to dock her iPod...she didn't even drive it.

Offline rrocket

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Re: Test Drive: 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco
« Reply #19 on: July 04, 2011, 10:09:29 pm »
.....
So I guess it really depends who's reviewing it...

....

Those tests tend to favour value for money pretty heavily...so absolutely!  While still fun to banter about, people value different things.

One of my wife's friends didn't buy a Mini STRICTLY because it didn't have a place to dock her iPod...she didn't even drive it.

It depends in what your priorities are.  Why do you think the Corolla continues to be the best seller?  Most people care little about the driving experience, and just want the most reliable, cost effective appliance.