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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
We visit a cabin in NC during the Summer on a road called "The tail of the dragon" we are on about curve 81 and it's a tough but fun road! In 10 miles you can climb around 2500ft in elevation,max on the road is around 5300 feet. We were driving a Grand Marquois 4.6L for the trip and it struggled some,constantly downshifting leaving the transmission in drive.We intended on buying a manual tranny car but we ended up buying the 6 speed auto.I'm assuming manual shifting would be the choice to prevent the transmission from overheating,which I've yet to try out.I'm sure some of you live or drive in mountain areas,just wondering how the Cruze performs and how well the 6spd does without manual shifting
 

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Administrator, Resident Tater Salad
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Ugh, that's like driving a battleship around an ice skating course. That, and the 4.6L Ford engine is a joke. I've always wanted to drive that road with a fast car. A BMW or something.

The LT Cruze performs great in the mountains at interstate speeds. I've never had to downshift from 6th just to pull a hill.

The nice amount of torque from the 1.4T engine makes it pretty good at twisty mountain roads too, and it's fun as heck to pull out of corners with in 2nd or 3rd at 3000+ RPM.

Keep the transmission at or below 3rd-4th for that road, and have some fun with it :)
 

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Epic Beard Man
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In full auto mode, it probably will downshift as much as the Grand Marquis. Remember there's six gears here vs. the 4 speed 4R70 with the 4.6. But the best part about the Cruze is you can easily control which gear you're in with the manual mode.

In manual mode, the Cruze will hold a gear fine and you can use the turbo to help you get going some on those turns. However, I believe I've read on here that the newer Cruzen don't hold their gears as long as the older ones do. For example, I can be going along the road well within the speed range for that gear, floor it, and it'll stay in that gear. But I hear some of the new Cruzen will drop down a gear or two in that same scenario.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of the Grand Marquis, but comparing it to a Cruze on that particular drive isn't even comparing apples to oranges. The Cruze will handle it with much more assurance, and if you have the RS package with Z-link, that road will be more fun than you think. You may find it won't need to downshift as much because you can take the curves/turns faster than you did before.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
That road is like a video game,some days we would drive it 3 or 4 times from the entrance to Franklin,loved it! I did pretend the Mercury was a sports car! LOL
 

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Administrator, Resident Tater Salad
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I need to get out that way again. I did it in my old 98 hp Honda Accord...and STILL had a blast :D
 

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I don't know about your mountains, but my ECO MT is a blast to drive in the Colorado mountains.
 

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I hear that's a fun but dangerous road.

On my way to San Diego I spent a lot of time I'm 4th to keep the car from rolling back. That's with the 1.8, can't wait till I get to take that trip with a 1.4.
 

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Epic Beard Man
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My Cruze is the 2013 1.8L model and it's great to know it will do well in the mountains
In that case, you probably will spend more time in the lower gears because you'll need to rev the 1.8 more to get going/keep it going on hills. The 1.4 has great low end torque, but the 1.8 needs to rev much more to get the similar output.
 

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Epic Beard Man
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This sounds like a road I'd like to do in this:



But since I probably couldn't pry it out of my dad's hands, I guess I'll stick with my Z-link Cruze :)
 
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