Hey guys. I've always been a GM guy and my 3 previous vehicles prior to my 06 Jetta were a Cavalier, a 99 SS Camaro, and my current toy, a H/C/I 98 Z28.
I was daily driving the Camaro but a Spec 3 clutch car with 4.10s and a roll cage inside getting 14mpg was not a practical vehicle so I got the 06 TDI Jetta and loved it. Low end torque, fun to drive, and great gas mileage without looking like a rolling dust buster like the Prius.
Some of the TDI guys on Mytorbodiesel and TDIClub migrated to the Cruze so I'm wondering if guys can give me perspectives on the 1st gen Cruzes- particularly if you've owned both cars. Unlike the Jetta which was a 3k cash in hand bargain buy, a purchase of a Cruze will be significant and involve a loan so I don't wipe out savings. Its a purchase I need to get right since it will be the first time I have ever had a car payment. My budget is anywhere from 7500 to 11,500 and is largely dependent upon the mileage.
Which brings me to my first question- is there a particular mileage to avoid? I've seen some list around 7k but they have 140,000 miles. When do the timing belts need to be replaced on these cars? Are there cases of early turbo or DMF failures? Are there issues with cam lobe wear like with the Jettas or high pressure fuel pump issues? My big decision is if its worth the additional 4-5 grand to get one with 50-60,000 miles on it instead. Also, being a GM product how absolute trash or prone to wear are the interiors? What are the most expensive wear components and what symptoms do I need to keep an eye on?
Sorry for the barrage of questions. I've been toying with the purchase of a Cruze for a year or so and I may get forced to get one now- or at the least I need to find another very fuel efficient vehicle that is fun to drive.