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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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Top end power in these cars (1.4) is simply not there, turbo kicks out at around 4200 rpm so flooring will leave u with nothing. Trifecta tuning ($315) will really help with this for such times. Now, I must also push the diesel because I am a 1.4 driver now but I test drove the TD and it is simply amazing. The brakes are bigger (be advised, go easy on brakes... MUCH easier than in 1.4 which is light as is) and stop VERY sharply without much motivation. Also, quieter smoother and it feels like I am driving a MUCH more expensive car. Don't expect "sports car" from it... but passing power is there as needed. Also, we had a member do 900 some odd miles in a tank this week. 900. Yes seriously. Test drive and you will fall in love, beware friend. Go in ready to buy.
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He knows you haven't driven it yet... he is just expressing confidence in the product. I share in this confidence... you will drive, and if you leave without signing papers I will be surprised. It is that good. Like I said there... 900 hwy miles to a tank done by a member. POSSIBLE to do such numbers yourself. We wish you luck. Either way, glad to see another member on CruzeTalk and hope you stick around after you fall in love with the TD.
Glad to hear we have been able to bring you into the group then! I am sure you will love the diesel, I only got the 1LT because they couldnt ship me a diesel, but it was a beautiful thing. We demand pictures!!

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