Long post for a long drive.
Well, in just over 20 months, I have managed to put 100K miles on my 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel. In short, it has been a wonderful car and nearly trouble free. I am very happy that I bought the car and think it is worth every penny that I paid for it (About $26K out the door in May 2013 and I had to drive 2 hours to get one of the first ones on the ground.) . I am going to break this review out into several different sections that I will go into more detail about. If you want to know anything specific that I have not addressed, please post a question and I will be happy to answer. This is a pretty long post.
I have always been impressed with the consistency of the drivetrain. It always shifts the way I would expect it to and the engine is very consistent in its power delivery. In fact, I will say that this has been one of the best performing drivetrains I have ever driven.
The CTD has always done what I have asked of it, and done it well. Chevy really got this car right, and that statement is coming from someone who has lived with this car day in and day out for over 100K miles. I am quite picky when it comes to the way a car runs and drives and this one has never really given me anything to complain about.
Overall, it has been very reliable. I will outline the specific issues I’ve had below, but when you look at the overall picture, nearly everything has worked the way it is supposed to for 100K miles, and nothing major has gone wrong. It has never left me stranded or had any drivability issues. The interior and body has remained rattle and squeak free and still feels as tight as it did on the day I bought it. Kudos to the design, engineering and assembly teams. You should be proud of what you’ve accomplished, especially after what has come before (*cough* cobalt *cough*).
At 60K miles, I had the front wheel bearings replaced. This was not covered under warranty. I am not blaming GM on this one because the roads I drove on weren’t that great and I remember one bump in particular that I hit at over 65 MPH. I am actually surprised it didn’t pop a tire or break something. The wheel bearings had actually been howling for 10K+ miles before I had them replaced, but I thought it was noisy snow tires.
At 61K miles, I got my first and only CEL and it required replacement of the “Exhaust Gas Temperature Seonsor #2”. It never affected drivability. In fact, I drove it for about 1000 miles with the CEL before I could get it into the shop to be replaced. It was covered under warranty.
Other than that, the MyLink has rebooted itself a couple times randomly and I had a couple strange things with the DIC (such as the MPG on the 3 “loops” resetting itself once and the low fuel light not coming on once). I think the culprit on this was the negative battery cable. I have recently had this replaced under the battery cable extended warranty and that appears to have addressed the issue. I’ve gone a few thousand miles and nothing to report, however I could go over 10K miles and have nothing show up even with the old battery cable, so we will have to see longer term if this was the true fix. Having the battery cable replaced did reset several of the DIC functions and the date/time on the MyLink.
My lifetime average has been right about 41.8 MPG. It’s somewhere in the 43’s in the warmer months and somewhere in the 38’s in the winter. I would say this is 25% city/traffic/short trips/stop and go and 75% highway trips, based on time. I spend a fair amount of time idling and sitting in traffic.
My Driving Habits
I generally always try to drive it long enough to get the engine up to operating temperature, even if it means taking a small detour to my destination. This has always been a habit of mine, no matter what I drive. I am not afraid to drive it hard and to redline within a couple minutes of starting it, in order to get it to warm up faster. I also always let the turbo cool down for a few seconds, especially after driving hard. I drive WOT and redline at least once a day, and sometimes manually shift it so that I can get it all the way up to 5000 RPMs, just to keep everything freed up and clean. Not much power above 4500 RPMs though, it drops off significantly, that’s why they programmed the transmission to shift when it does at WOT.
According to my oil analysis reports, someone with similar driving habits to mine can very safely go 15,000 miles between oil changes **on the right oil**. After some experimenting on either side of that number, that is the number of miles that I landed on as being a good interval. This may shock some people, especially those of us who had “change your oil every 3000 miles or your engine will blow up” pounded into our heads. I recently took a look into the oil filler hole, and for what I could see, it still looks clean as new under there. No signs of sludge or discoloration of any kind.
It’s asked for a fuel filter roughly every 42K miles, based on being programmed to ask for one when it uses 1000 gallons of fuel. After looking at 2 old filters, I can say this is a pretty conservative figure. I would guess you could safely go 50 or even 60K miles on a fuel filter. Good news, considering that they are sort of pricey.
My Favorite Things:
I just love the way the engine sounds. It very clearly lets you know it’s a diesel from outside the car (I have called it “my little tractor” but the sound is well muted and isolated inside the car. I find the car to also be very comfortable and not at all fatiguing on long trips. It is also fantastic that I am consistently able to go more than 600 miles on a tank of Diesel. It lets me squeeze in an extra gallon and a half after the auto shutoff which lets me put in well over 17 gallons.
Things that could be improved:
My list of gripes is very small. I think they could have done a better job designing the windshield defroster. It is a smallish outlet in the center of the windshield that is neither particularly strong nor able to cover the whole windshield. It is not to the point of being dangerous, but it could definitely be better. The only other complaint is the fact that it looks just like an Eco. GM, you should be proud of this car and proudly label it DIESEL or TURBODIESEL or even 2.0TD, but as a separate label (in the same size and font as where you see LT and LTZ on the gassers), not on the green eco badge. There is no easy way to discern a diesel from an Eco unless you are right on top of it or know the difference in the rims. If you spot one in motion on the road, you really cannot tell the difference at all. Other than that, I can’t really think of anything I don’t like about it. Oh yeah, and GM should tell people about it. There’s no reason why they couldn’t easily sell more CTDs than VW sells Jetta TDIs. The reason VW sells so many TDIs is because people know about them.
- My oil consumption has been negligible, less than ¼ quart in 10K miles.
- DIY servicing is fairly easy (oil and filter, fuel filter, cabin filter, air filter, etc)
- Always starts easily even below zero
- The electric heat is very nice in the winter. It provides almost instantaneous heat while the engine warms up. It’s not a full blown system, but it really takes the edge off on the coldest days.
- I have been able to get well over 70 MPG for 25 miles without any crazy hypermiling techniques
- I have never run any additives of any kind to the oil or fuel
- I drove it like I stole it from day 1. WOT from first gear and so forth. Seems to have made for a very nice engine break-in due to the lack of oil consumption
Would I buy it again if I had it to do over?
Definitely, no question about it. I typically have a short attention span for cars, but I am now working on my next hundred thousand.