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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've ticked just over the one year mark with my 2015 Cruze and I'm still feeling as inept with driving it as the first day it rolled into my driveway. Thank god there's only another year left on this lease... All the reviews for this car seem to have conveniently ignored the glaring flaws of the vehicle - were they paid? Let's not forget the fact that the RS trim is an absolute joke - sport my ass.

Never mind the throttle delay, horrible turbo lag, grindy/clunky gearbox, weak engine mount jerkiness (no other manual I've driven seems to have this problem, especially), or distinct lack of power - you're left in a bind as to when you shift. You can bang out gears with relative speed by shifting before 2500RPM, but you get little acceleration. Rev it up a touch, towards 3000RPM and you'll find instead that while you were accelerating nicely for a time - you're now left to suffer the horrendous, bi-polar rev hang. Sometimes the revs drop fairly quick, other times they hang, and even sometimes I've watched them climb slightly despite having been well off the gas before depressing the clutch (purposely lifting my foot off early, and having it repeat itself). It drives me literally insane, and I've definitely learned my lesson regarding test driving a vehicle before purchasing it - I won't make this same mistake twice (and will work around the otherwise unfortunate circumstances that led to this, next time).

This guy here seems to have his Cruze tuned up nicely, and the fellow driving seemingly doesn't have any problems with rev hang - maybe he's just letting the clutch out and going? Doing that lurches my car around more than it should, and I can't stand a rough driving experience that's out of my control. Letting the clutch out where it eats up a few hundred revs has a distinctive feel to it, compared to waiting that extra moment and getting it practically spot on - but it's difficult waiting all the time, at least as long as Chevrolet seems to think a person should. Did the Cruze in the video magically have a reduced rev hang from tuning?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tcdv-o-4YYg


Knowing what the tune fixes, and if it fixed the rev hang - I'd consider holding onto this car, or hopping up to 2nd gen and keeping that... But in the current state of affairs, not a freakin' chance. Ford has way better offerings between the Focus and Fiesta (especially ST models), without these issues. Hyundai's Veloster is quite nice, as is the new Mazda 3 and the VW Golf, although I will never trust the latter on quality. All of those cars drive better in my experience, and have considerably less problems with overall enjoyment from a driver point of view. Bad design in my eyes is the new Chevrolet SS, which sounds excellent on paper until you do some YouTube hunting and discover that it too, a true sport sedan, suffers from horrendous rev hang...

Long story short, this car has been around since 2011 - and we've got some tuning options that look rather enticing. Quite a bit more power, and certainly a fix on the throttle delay - but what about the rev hang? I contacted one who said they haven't a fix for it, but I'm wondering if tuning emissions related parts requires radio silence - lest they get fines from environmental agencies or something.
 

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Just a heads up, no one has to waste their time and read this. I'm just blabbering... Fair warning.

Finally someone else who doesn't like the Cruze manual. I completely share your frustration. The Cruze has the worst manual transmission out of any manual vehicle I've ever driven. Here's a list of the one's I can remember.

-1985 5-Speed BMW 318i 1.8L
-1991 5-Speed Mazda Miata 1.6L (with FM turbo)
-1992 5-Speed Honda Civic hatch 1.5L
-1993 5-Speed Mazda MX-3 1.6L
-1994 6-Speed Chevy Corvette 5.7L
-1998 5-Speed BMW 318ti 1.9L
-1998 6-Speed Dodge Ram 2500 5.9L turbo diesel
-2002 5-Speed Ford Explorer 4.0L
-2006 6-Speed Mazda MX-5 2.0L
-2009 5-Speed Toyota Camry 2.4L
-2009 5-Speed Chevy Cobalt 2.2L
-2014 5-Speed Nissan Versa Note 1.6L

And then there's a huge list of brand new 2008-2009 and 2014-2015 manual vehicles I test drove when I was shopping for my Cobalt and my Cruze. Out of all those vehicles, I like the Cruze manual the least. But I still think the crappy Cruze manual is still better than any automatic I've ever driven. Maybe not objectively but it's better subjectively.

I've just learned to live with it. When the revs hang, I just let the clutch out anyway and drag the RPMs back down. Nothing I can do about the gap between 1-2 and the lack of gap between gears 4-5-6. My issue with the clutch delay kind of ticks me off, but I still love the car, it's got a lot of other redeeming qualities. I just know it could be so much better.

Sorry for the rant. Whenever I start talking about manuals I forget to shut up. But now that I've taken the time to type all of this, I don't want to let it go to waste.
:RantExplode:
 

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Just stick it in the next gear and go.

And look into removing the clutch delay valve. Black tube on the front of the transmission - remove it, plug the line directly into the trans.
 

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Last week I figured out why the Cruze has the rev hang. It's to allow you to downshift quickly without excessive wear on the clutch pad. The owners manual specifically warns about skipping gears while accelerating to avoid excessive and premature clutch wear. For downshifting the warning is to "avoid loosing control" of the car. This implies that you can indeed skip gears safely, from the clutch pad viewpoint, skip gears while downshifting. The only way to do this is to keep the engine speed up during the shift.

I'll agree that the 1st generation Cruze has a non-standard clutch setup. It took me over 5,000 miles to get the hang of smoothly shifting in this car but it can be done.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I've just learned to live with it. When the revs hang, I just let the clutch out anyway and drag the RPMs back down. Nothing I can do about the gap between 1-2 and the lack of gap between gears 4-5-6. My issue with the clutch delay kind of ticks me off, but I still love the car, it's got a lot of other redeeming qualities. I just know it could be so much better.
I have to do that too most times, but it doesn't feel right. It's not right from a mechanical standpoint, when older cars dropped revs quick enough that you really did 'catch' it on the way down. If you were meant to force it to eat revs and make up the difference, you'd never need to take your foot off the gas pedal before changing gears. The clutch itself is okay, for the most part, and at least that portion of the car is predictable.

Just stick it in the next gear and go.

And look into removing the clutch delay valve. Black tube on the front of the transmission - remove it, plug the line directly into the trans.
It's a leased vehicle, so I'm not too keen on messing with it - let alone wasting my time when I'm more than likely ditching it after another calendar year. Not sure how that would help rev hang, outside of giving me slightly more control on how I modulate the clutch - although, really, the clutch isn't a big failing point on the car for me.


Last week I figured out why the Cruze has the rev hang. It's to allow you to downshift quickly without excessive wear on the clutch pad. The owners manual specifically warns about skipping gears while accelerating to avoid excessive and premature clutch wear. For downshifting the warning is to "avoid loosing control" of the car. This implies that you can indeed skip gears safely, from the clutch pad viewpoint, skip gears while downshifting. The only way to do this is to keep the engine speed up during the shift.

I'll agree that the 1st generation Cruze has a non-standard clutch setup. It took me over 5,000 miles to get the hang of smoothly shifting in this car but it can be done.
I'm going to have to disagree here, on the grounds that rev hang relating to downshifting is stretching things a bit much. Really don't see how the rev hang would somehow go against what the manual says about skipping gears - it's a poor practice if you don't know what you're doing and screw it up - but the rev hang has quite clearly been developed for emissions.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I got back from a local dealership where I test drove the 2nd gen Cruze. Overall, the car felt better than mine - but it's still a mediocre driver in my eyes. Compared to competitor cars that I've now driven, the Cruze is still much less than it could be - and I'm not asking for sport car levels of finesse, just little stuff.

I plead my case to the salesman, who came out with me on a short drive in the 2nd gen - about 15 minutes. He insisted that I was riding the clutch and being too hesitant on the gas when shifting, but that's not the case in my eyes. Again, when you go to shift and the car simply doesn't drop revs at a decent speed, you're forcing the clutch to eat up the remainder which causes increased heat and premature wear compared to a system where the revs drop faster - and often end up closer to your intended point where you'd release the clutch. Moreso than clutch wear, it causes a distinct feel and bit of a lurch that a properly rev matched shift does not have; the latter is exactly what I want!

He told me of his driving history with Ferrari's, Lamborghini's, and other sports cars over the years when he worked at dealerships, not to mention track days and track day instruction - so I trust he knows what he's saying, and why he's saying it, when he told me to be more off/on with the clutch. That's exactly how it's supposed to work, I understand the concept well, and that exact principal works on every other stick vehicle I've driven from other manufacturers (and the Chevy Camaro, which is tuned nicely). Doing the off/on stuff when the revs aren't dropping quite right gives you a stupid lurch that could probably be avoided. Gas modulation helps, but you're more likely to give it the wrong amount of gas and have a more jerky shift than you aren't. Again, other competitors drop quick enough and don't suffer from the same throttle delay BS that the Cruze does, so getting the timing right during shifts 'over there' is considerably more straightforward, and more intuitive as a whole.

I used to think I was a bad motorcycle rider, when my old bike was a notchy shifter with a very swift clutch bite point, heavy lever pull, and jerky fuel injection. Two bikes later, to replace that one, and many, many demo rides - no other bikes give me trouble like that one particular bike did. I was starting to believe for a time that I was a bad rider, but that's not the case now that I've found something that does its intended functions better - and more intuitively. Same exact concept applies here; the Cruze simply doesn't work for me, but I'm not incapable.
 

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1st>2nd is a pain in the Cruze, but I can shift mine just fine. Growing up with much older (mostly carbureted) stick shifts it took me some time to get used to it, but it can be mastered. I think what you're contributing to loose motor mounts is the spring give of the dual-mass flywheel. The Cruze's drivetrain is very dummy-proofed but not unmanageably so - I can get 2-3-4-5-6 perfectly smooth every time. It may not be within the limitations of your lease, but Amsoil synchromesh fluid improves the transmission's feel and feedback greatly - the factory fluid has given up causing bearing failures in as little as 25,000 miles.
 
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