Seeing what other people have posted recently about their cars being low on coolant at delivery makes me think GM has done this intentionally to avoid this issue. As jblackburn pointed out, in his case the coolant level was low on delivery and he didn't experience any coolant odors until filling the overflow beyond that level.I thought twice about it. I'm waiting here to see what the resolution of the issue is before I plunge in with a purchase. I don't need a $20,000 headache.
I have not experienced ANY coolant smell inside my car at all. The only time I smell any coolant is if I pop the hood right after driving and stick my nose down near the hoses. That isn't a problem in my book. Though I CAN see evidence of vapour escaping the vent on the overflow bottle, that would be considered "normal" as that's why the vent is there. I am interested in this "issue" purely from a geeky Engineering point of view... I love looking into things and figuring them out, as in I like to know what's going on and exactly WHY things happen the way they do.
I bought some distilled water last night and plan to top up the reservoir to the cold fill mark after work today. If my car starts venting coolant when topped off but stops again after the coolant level drops, I would say that's a pretty good indication that this issue is under control. At that point it would just be a matter of GM letting people know that the coolant "fill" level had been revised.
We should be really close to hearing feedback about what appears to be the main cause of the "coolant" smell inside the car, which appears right now to be simply a few cars built with either too much grease on parts of the heater core vent module, or just some grease in the wrong place. Regarding odors from teh overflow tank venting, if GM has intentionally reduced the coolant fill level to resolve this, all new car builds should be without this issue and any cars built before this fix came into effect will have a temporary venting issue that will pass as soon as enough water vapour escapes and the coolant level drops in the tank.
If my mother needed a new car tomorrow I wouldn't hesitate to recommend a Cruze. It has been a great car for the 8 months I've owned it, I am VERY happy so far.