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In the market for a new car

4741 Views 37 Replies 17 Participants Last post by  iKermit
Hi everyone,

I have been a forum lurker for a while now, reading up on these cars and associated problems/owner testaments.

These days, I commute over 80 miles a day and have owned a 1996 Camry LE since the showroom floor. Well, with 382,000 miles on her, she's burnt a valve and it's time to let her go. It's been a fantastic car - probably the best car I have ever owned.

I'm in the market for a fuel-efficient commuter car. I have been looking for about 2 weeks now and limping around in a 3-cylinder Camry for the time being. I have driven the Toyota Prius and it's absolutely the worst car I have ever driven - I cannot understand how people can bear to drive such cars.

I have eliminated the Ford Fusion Hybrid, Hyundai Elantra, Honda Civic, and Toyota Corolla - and narrowed my options down to the Chevy Cruze Eco (or Eco Diesel - still stuck between the two) and the Toyota Camry Hybrid XLE for their high MPG figures. I would like to check out the 2014 Accord Hybrid, but it looks like the timing won't work out for me, as I need a new car SOON and the dealers don't seem to have any in stock.

I would say I do about a 70% highway/30% city driving split. I commute from outside Chicago into the city, mostly highway on the way in, then gridlock around the city. As I tend to keep a car forever, I do not mind paying extra for whichever will get the best MPG, as I'm sure to make up the cost, but would like a car that comes in under $28,000 if possible. If there was more gridlock, I would rule out a manual transmission, but I would not mind it on this commute (my Camry was my first "grown-up" car with an automatic).

My 1996 Camry averages about 26 MPG on my day-to-day commute, and I am hoping to average somewhere in the 30s-40s to help even out the cost of a new car. I would like something that looks nice on the inside AND outside and that is somewhat pleasant to drive. Interior space or race-car performance is not really a big concern for me - my wife has a crossover that we use to cart the kids around, and I have a '66 Mustang in the garage. I would like something with adequate power to merge onto the highway and keep up with traffic.

I've driven the TCH on about a 60% city/40% highway route this weekend, and returned about 38 MPG. I also have a friend off work today that let me borrow his Cruze Eco for the commute today to test it out - he was the one that actually got me interested in the car. I have looked at the Diesel, and am very impressed with the interior on the Diesel, but have not had the chance to drive one.

For those of you that own either an Eco or a Diesel, how do you like your car and what kind of MPG do you get in a city/hwy split? How have your cars been reliability-wise?

I will come back with my impressions of the Eco after my drive home, as I spent much of the morning coming in toying and playing around with my friend's car to get to know it a little better. I have a dealer that is letting me borrow a Diesel for the day tomorrow, and I hope to make a decision on which car I will go with by tomorrow or Wednesday, as the Camry is hurting bad and running very rough at the moment.

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Welcome to CruzeTalk!

From what you described, if you have $28k to spend and have lots of highway driving and want a car that lasts a long time, I would without a doubt go with the diesel. Yes, I am biased (I own one and love diesels), but the power and refinement of the diesel is excellent, and it will likely pay off for you long-term in longevity as well.

I haven't owned my diesel long enough to give you accurate mileage numbers, but lots of guys on here are easily getting better than EPA numbers both highway and city.

As far as reliability, it's probably too soon to know about the diesels as they've only been out about seven months and so far there are only about 2,500 of them on the road in the U.S., but thus far there have been no major problems with them that I know of, and a couple of guys on this forum are already up in the 20k or even 30k mileage with theirs with no issues. The engine is not new; it's been in Europe for several years already and was modified for U.S. emissions, and the transmission is a heavier duty and very reliable Aisin transmission not found in any other Cruze.

As far as the gas Eco, the 1.4L turbo engine has proven itself as quite reliable aside from some water pump and coolant smell issues which plague a lot of gas models. The water pumps have been redesigned, however, and the failed ones have been covered under the longer power-train warranty.
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Congrats! I hope it all goes through well for you!

As good as the gas Cruze is, I'm glad to hear another diesel will be hitting the road. If mine is as reliable as my last Cruze, I plan to keep it for a long time.

Stay in touch with us here on CruzeTalk once you pick up your new car.
It's important to remember that you won't get the best fuel economy from a brand new car still in break-in mode and in a car that you're new to driving. As you and the car break in, mileage will improve. My first tank is still the worst to date and was 4 mpg less than my usual tank from that time of year.

Also, with how horribly cold it has been, mileage has been awful. My wife was questioning my decision to get a diesel yesterday as she got "only 39mpg" driving back and forth to work yesterday. I informed her that given that it was close to 10 below Fahrenheit here yesterday and there's winter fuel in the tank plus she was driving on less than stellar roads plus the engine is still new and unbroken-in, 39 mpg was not that bad and was still 5 mpg better than her average with the gas 2LT we had driving in summer conditions.

On my 175 mile trip home with the car from the dealer (when the temps were far warmer), I was getting high 40's and even low 50's, and that was even with varied speeds to break in the engine.
Congrats! I knew you'd love it! Welcome to the Cruze CTD community! Let us know how things progress with your new car!

Well, a diesels forte is torque with a capitol way a gasser will ever produce low rpm torque like that.
Both of the GM 2.0L turbo gas engines, LHU and LTG (Verano Turbo and ATS/CTS/Malibu/Regal, respectively) crank out the same or slightly higher torque than the Cruze diesel engine in the same RPM range and with the same displacement. However, they burn nearly twice as much fuel doing so.
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