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Bought my car one year ago today! Figured I'd put together some quick thoughts on my one year of ownership.

When I first bought the car, it was not love at first sight. I did not buy the Cruze with my heart, I bought it with my money. It was the cheapest new car I could find. ($13,921 after incentives, before tax and fees) After putting on a couple hundred miles, I thought "Have I made a mistake?" The Cruze seemed much slower than my Cobalt I traded. I knew it was heavier and had less power, but the torque was almost identical and came much lower in the RPM band. I expected more. Plus, my knee kept bumping into the A/C temp knob, and I wasn't getting much better MPG. I read up a little bit, and realized my Cruze prefers 91+ octane. After filling it with some Shell 93, the personality of the car changed, not a whole lot, but I noticed. Throttle response was better, MPG was better, and I didn't have to downshift going up hills to keep the engine from lugging. Felt much smoother. I figured out a way to rest my leg without hitting the temp knob too. The only other issue I was having was the second gear grinding. I found this forum and read about the Amsoil synchromesh manual trans fluid swap, so I changed that at 5,000 miles and the grinding went away. Then all of a sudden I was starting to fall in love with my new car.

I just crossed over 22,000 miles today, according to fuelly I've averaged 33.2 MPG which is excellent considering the driving conditions. I have a heavy foot, do a lot of stop/start driving while delivering, 81 mph cruise control on the freeway, and the abundance of hills in TN doesn't help. So I am pretty satisfied with that. I love it more and more every day. I was resetting my trip 2 until I saw others were leaving that to record their lifetime, So I reset mine at 3,000 miles and haven't touched it since. If you have any questions, ask away! Y'all have a great day!

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You had a similar experience to mine. I too figured out how to sit so that I was a) close enough to the wheel and dash for my tastes and b) able to avoid hitting the temp knob. My mileage eventually improved to a little better than EPA estimates for 50/50 City/HWY driving. I never did figure out how to rest my hand comfortably on the bottom of the wheel. I HATE 3 spoke steering wheels. 4 spokes FTW!

As you might have seen in another post, I just sold my Cruze today. I never completely fell in love with mine and eventually my hatred of my car payment won out. My LTZ was a little different animal on the sticker price and I didn't put a lot down or trade much, so I just got sick of my payment.

I'm glad you are growing to love yours. I mostly did as well. They are good cars. I made it through 2 birthdays with mine.
 
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Being a newer car you didn't go thought as much as we did on our builds. Spark plug gaps was a horrible situation until you got in there. Glad you found the correct trans fluids because it really transforms the shifting of the car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
You had a similar experience to mine. I too figured out how to sit so that I was a) close enough to the wheel and dash for my tastes and b) able to avoid hitting the temp knob. My mileage eventually improved to a little better than EPA estimates for 50/50 City/HWY driving. I never did figure out how to rest my hand comfortably on the bottom of the wheel. I HATE 3 spoke steering wheels. 4 spokes FTW!

As you might have seen in another post, I just sold my Cruze today. I never completely fell in love with mine and eventually my hatred of my car payment won out. My LTZ was a little different animal on the sticker price and I didn't put a lot down or trade much, so I just got sick of my payment.

I'm glad you are growing to love yours. I mostly did as well. They are good cars. I made it through 2 birthdays with mine.

The stars aligned to allow me to get such a great deal. The 2015 models just rolled out with their new refreshed grill and the 2016 second generation models were already being talked about. Made my '14 model look old. It sat on a lot in Mississippi in the middle of nowhere for over a year. My model is the 1LT 6-speed manual, so most people can't even drive it. If they can drive stick, they're likely either looking at the super base model LS or the Eco model so mine was kind of under the radar. Since it was such old stock they offered $4000 in incentives off the GMS price I was already getting. Then they offered me an extremely reasonable interest rate and more than I was expecting for my Cobalt trade. End result was a monthly payment of $204 for 63 months. I've been paying $250 because that's what I budgeted for and at only a year later I already owe less than 10K on it, should be paid off in just short of 3 years from now.

My brother bought an '11 Eco manual when they came out so I had been exposed to the Cruze plenty before buying it but never considered it until the numbers came out looking so good. My first choice was a beautiful maroon focus 2.0L manual with a sunroof. But I read about problems with their direct injection system so it kind of spooked me away. Plus when I test drove it, it just felt like the wrong car for me. I've always driven GM and besides a few oddities here and there, so has my family. So I went to check out a sonic and that's when they the dealer located the car I'm currently driving, cheaper than the base '15 LS sonic, cheaper than the fiesta, and MUCH cheaper than that Focus I was looking at.

If I was buying a car with my heart, instead of my wallet, I would likely end up with a C7 Corvette, WRX, Camaro you know, the usual gear head favorites. But sadly, I am budget limited like the majority of the population.
 

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Awesome! Glad you have enjoyed it. I wish mine was a manual.

The only two gripes I have about mine is how slow it is and how the transmission doesn't shift smoothly all the time.
 

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Awesome! Glad you have enjoyed it. I wish mine was a manual.

The only two gripes I have about mine is how slow it is and how the transmission doesn't shift smoothly all the time.
My first car, the Grand Prix had an auto. It wasn't bad but I always found myself having an irrational deep seeded jealousy of my friend's crappy MX-3 because it had a manual. It just looked like so much fun, so I decided whatever I got next, would have to have a manual. Just so I could learn and become experienced with stick shift. Even if I didn't like it, next time I could get an automatic again and then at least I would know that I didn't like it, and I would know how to drive stick just in case the chance to drive a Corvette or something came up I would want to be able to take advantage of that.

When it came time to trade the Grand Prix, I only looked for cars with a manual. In doing so I discovered a few things. One, dealers don't carry very many manuals. Two, manuals generally are only ordered in base model cars on the bottom of the totem pole or expensive fast cars. Three, manuals have a cheaper starting price and if you can find one on the lot, dealers are keen to get rid of it because the majority of the population can't drive stick. The Cobalt actually offered a manual in the 2LT trim which came with power everything, alloy wheels leather wrapped shifter and stearing wheel. Pretty loaded for a manual. My 1LT Cruze actually has basically all the same options as the Cobalt did and it was offered with a 6 speed manual so it was a perfect match.

My parents went with me during my first new purchase to co-sign, and then they said see you at home! But I didn't know how to drive stick. So here I am with my brand new stick shift car, 17 years old still kind of new to driving in general with only 40K miles experience, 35 miles from home at 5pm rush hour. And I don't know how to drive my brand new car. My parents just said, well when we bought our first manuals no one taught us, and we figured it out by the time we got home, good luck! So I asked the sales guy basically, how do I avoid breaking my new car? With a few pointers from him, a white knuckle super concentrated drive hone including three times stalling at red lights and angry people honking, I finally got myself home.

Could drive pretty smoothly after a week, and mastered it after 3 months. So in only 3 short months, I mastered a skill I will forever have. And the thing is, I love it. I love the extra work involved and how I'm prone to messing up so it keeps me aware. It so much fun to drive too, you get to know EXACTLY how the car is going to react to your inputs and you can demand it to do whatever you want. It's a great feeling. I decided I wanted to get another manual when I traded the Cobalt. Glad GM decided to offer a manual for the Cruze.

Side effect of driving a stick:
-Some people can't drive my car, not that I would let them.
-I always have to know what transmission people have in their cars.
-When I drive an auto, sometimes I reach for the clutch that doesn't exist and occasionally end up grabbing a bit of the over sized brake pedal.
-Driving an auto now, I under estimate how much brake force is required because the torque converter is still transferring a little bit of the engines power instead being completely disengaged like my car in neutral.
-You just feel better than other people for no good reason.


10/10 Would recommend driving stick shift.
 
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Makes me feel better to know that apparently all of us have that issue with the leg hitting the ac knobs! lol! mine only does it if i have the seat forward for back seat passengers. I always tell my wife that if it starts to get cold to move the knob back to hot.

Glad to hear you're enjoying your car as well! I honestly just bought mine as a daily that gets good milage with no intent to do anything but drive it. One day the bug hit me and i started modding and just can't stop myself...
 
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