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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
An old Marine from Ohio checking in. How are you all?

So my wife was given free reign within a budget to replace her beat up old Mazda 3. She has a time limit as we are moving soon on military orders, and she could end up wit my 2005 OutBack and she hates driving stick. You see we have 3 drivers and four (well, 8 counting the bikes) vehicles. So I am looking to trade 2 in and pick up one. Then I keep my Silverado (No way in God's green earth is old reliable going away), my daughter keeps her Malibu Maxx and my wife will be in a Cruze. Somehow we will be a Chevy family.

However, I am the one who has to keep these vehicles running while my wife shops with her eyes only. Generally speaking I do pretty well as we average 250k before we trade them off. But I am concerned over this choice. While I used to race the old Ford SVO motors, this little turbo worries me. What issues am I looking at having? Right now the front running car for her is out of warranty so once off the lot it is mine to fix. I want her to have a well optioned car as she usually gets the stripped out version. Can I get a heads up on these please? I drove one and it seemed pretty anemic for a turbo car.
 

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The Cruze's turbo isn't tuned for power. Instead it's tuned to allow a very tiny engine to push a heavy car with relative ease. As a result the Cruze feels underpowered if you're used to traditional turbo powered cars. On the other hand it has more than enough power for everyday driving.
 

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Anemic is a kind word! They are really high rated, all Chevy's are for the last 3 years in a row by J.D. Power but now I read those commercials might be fake, most commercials are. All I know is you'll notice the CRUZE is not included in most of those award winning studies. It drives well, gets great gas mileage and loses value faster than you can make payments! Welcome to you and your wife
 

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It is an economy car, designed to return good gas mileage if you drive conservatively.

What year is the Cruze that you are considering? You say you have a budget, so I am assuming used? Some years are better than others.

The 2016.5 and 2017 Cruze is a redesigned model, and it should have even higher reliability, imo.
 

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Welcome to CruzeTalk.

Are you looking to buy new or used?

There are two designs, the blue one in the header of the website is the newest and the red one is the older design.

If you are looking used, stay away from ALL 2011 and 2012 Cruze's. Common issues include the valve cover/pcv system failing and the water pump, both which I believe are covered on an extended warranty (ONLY on those parts) by GM.

Turbo's are a hit or miss. I've never had an issue with mine over 51k.

There is a guy on here that has I think over 400k, I'll find his thread and link it into a post here and that should give you more information.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I can't post the link yet (post count). But the one we are strongly considering is a 2014 LTZ with 100k. It is in great shape so far as I can tell and I had them put her on a lift for me. I know what a dealer can hide so I am looking for what I should be spotting for. It is under $10k so fits the budget.

I told the wife she didn't have to consider room (family is fast starting to drive them selves as another kid will be getting a pick up in a month when she gets her license) or gas mileage and she still came back to the Cruze and an Avenger (I HATE DODGE) which she hated after driving. Of course being a gear head my ears perked at turbo, but I was expecting a bit much. Guess I will have to wait for another few years and pick up an Outback XT again for that kind of fun.
 

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2014+ is the model year to get for reliability, and the LTZ is quite a nice little car. It looks like it's in very good shape from the pictures, although the tires on it look kinda cheap - can't tell what they are though.

See if this car has a CarFax report & a history of problems. Some Cruzes have tons of issues and some are relatively trouble free. If I'd seen the CarFax report from my old one on a used lot, I'd run.

Try to negotiate a transmission fluid change into the sale if possible (we generally recommend doing those at 45k intervals).
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
2014+ is the model year to get for reliability, and the LTZ is quite a nice little car. It looks like it's in very good shape from the pictures, although the tires on it look kinda cheap - can't tell what they are though.

See if this car has a CarFax report & a history of problems. Some Cruzes have tons of issues and some are relatively trouble free. If I'd seen the CarFax report from my old one on a used lot, I'd run.

Try to negotiate a transmission fluid change into the sale if possible (we generally recommend doing those at 45k intervals).
The car fax only had maintenance and a couple recalls if i recall right (we looked at like 15 Cruzes). I will check again. Since joining here, I think I know a couple other things to look for. The oil line off the turbo might be tricky though as it seems hidden from view. But I will be sure to check for any signs of coolant leaks that I may have missed. Is this a fair price if it all checks out?
 

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The car fax only had maintenance and a couple recalls if i recall right (we looked at like 15 Cruzes). I will check again. Since joining here, I think I know a couple other things to look for. The oil line off the turbo might be tricky though as it seems hidden from view. But I will be sure to check for any signs of coolant leaks that I may have missed. Is this a fair price if it all checks out?
Sounds like it's been a good one then. Oil line on that should already come with the heat shielding and updated design with O rings that doesn't leak. The PCV (look for oil on trans leaking from the throttle body hose), water pump, and water outlet connections are still common though.

Looks quite reasonably priced.
 

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Go for it. Offer 9 and see what they'd do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Tomorrow, I will do just that.

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Since you said the Cruze feels anemic, for a decent amount more power, you can pay $550 and be BNR tuned :) It turns the Cruze into a whole different car. And welcome to the group! The Cruze you're looking at does look to be in great shape.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Alright. We did it. I traded in my beautiful Subi Outback and the wife's junk Mazda 3 on the car up above. Being over 100k they would not warranty it. The only issue I uncovered was it having snow tires (funny as we are about to move to NC), and it might need a brake job.

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