Approaching 1 year and 26k miles on my 2012 Eco manual trans. I bought this car for my daily driver and commuter car. I have a long highway commute at times and chose the Cruze primarily because of the good overall value and extraordinary highway MPG. Here is a brief summary of the good, bad, and ugly.
1. Stellar MPG. I am averaging (hand calculated) 40MPG and routinely see 42-43MPG at 75MPG
2. Decent handling. Not a sports car but not a boat either. Exceeds my expectations for a car like this.
3. My Goodyear tires have perfromed very well. These are the first set of Goodyears I have ever had that I can say I am satisfied. Quiet, good traction in all weather conditions, and appear to be good for 50k miles or so.
4. Overall design is good - interior control placement and exterior design. I have not found any glaring weakness in controls or functions, and have overall been impressed by interior material quality and function.
5. I like the turbo motor overall. It drives a lot like a diesel though, as it is setup for low-end torque (good) but runs out of breath about 4k or so. In fact, I rarely ever have it above 4k, almost always short shifting even when giving it the beans. Nothing to be had from reving it much higher.
6. Car is very solid, has a good overall feel. Reminds me a lot of my 2001 Jetta with that solid German feel and character.
1. I am using premium 93 octane to reduce the pulsing/surging that seems to be a common trait in these engines. Even with premium fuel it still does this, although not as bad as on regular unleaded. I have seen no noticeable MPG difference on 93 versus 87 or 89, but it does run noticeably smoother on 93 octane. No significant change after re-gapping the plugs (although I did notice a slight improvement in low end torque after re-gap).
2. The engine idle is rough at times. Not terrible but not really smooth. No change after I re-gapped the plugs.
3. A/C is just plain weird. Sometimes it is ice cold, sometimes it isn't. And this is independent of outside temp, load, and fan controls. I can't figure it out, but I think it is something with the variable displacement compressor. It works, just sometimes it works a lot better than others.
4. Because of the good low-end torque and weak high end power, I end up shifting a lot. I like a manual trans, and don't mind shifting, but in traffic this can become a chore. The shifter is easy and smooth, just have to shift a lot.
5. Rear legroom is lacking, although nothing unusual about the Cruze in this class of car. They are all that way. I am 6'1" and no adult can fit in the back seat behind the driver seat when I am driving.
6. Driving range in the Eco is too short. I am getting 400 miles on a 10 gallon fillup (40MPG is great) but why did they have to short the Eco fuel tank size?? 2 or 3 extra gallons would make a big difference and increase range to 500+. I don't like to drive on empty, so I find myself with 9 and 10 gallon fillups every 2 or 3 days or so. And no, I'm not going to waste my time fighting the fuel pump trying to squeeze the extra few gallons that will go in the tank.
7. Front seat comfort. I have fought the seats since I have had the car, finally finding a position that my lower back seems to tolerate, but only to find that my shoulders are now cramped feeling like they are being pushed forward. This is a huge problem for me, as I spend a lot of time in the car and some days it is really painful. I am 6'1" and 185 pounds. I do have the convenience package which includes power drivers seat. I am thinking now that it is not a positioning problem but how the seat is shaped (in my case)
If I can't find a solution to the seat comfort problem I won't keep this car. Too bad really, since overall I really like it. But it isn't worth having back and shoulder pain from the poor seats. I am going to try a few more ideas with seat cushions and adjustments to see if I can find something that works, hopefully something will work!