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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone, I bought my 2014 LTZ Cruze with the RS package a little over 3 months ago. I traded my paid off 2010 Malibu LT which I bought brand new from the same dealer and loved it. Along with my 2012 Silverado LT I bought used a year ago from another dealer, which I still owed around $24,000 on. After my trades and the incentives I picked it up for a little over $14,800 after purchasing the extended warranty. The main reason I did the trade was I had to cut my debt to purchase my fathers house. I live with him and help him out due to medical reasons, and his mortgage is high due to the outrageous interest rate he has. So after mulling it over I figured I could cut my debt by getting rid of the two and getting a nice fuel efficient car. I have wanted a Cruze since they came out, which was sometime after I bought the Malibu back in March of 2010.

SHORT STORY
Basically I am stuck with a car that doesn't excite me or I enjoy, it is a nice looking and so far reliable car (hasn't had any issues). I think every day about trying to get out of it but I am stuck due to a huge depreciation, which I wouldn't care about if I loved the car, (it would be worth it). I am now paying for a car that does not do much better than my old paid off car was, and at least I was happy with. Sorry for the long rant below, I tried to keep it short, and I do understand there have been guys on here that have had way worse problems and situations than me. This is my problem and I hope someone has some input as to what I can do to get better fuel mileage, or feel better about my Cruze. I can't afford to trade it in and now I'm down to one vehicle, so I can't really try and sell it in a personal sale and then try and find something else. I'm just trying to make it work for now, or until I just get tired of it.

LONG STORY
Originally I planned to get a Crystal Red 1LT or ECO 6MT but the dealer did not have any on the lot, just the LS with the 1.8 and MT which I did not care for. It came down to a 2LT from another dealer or the LTZ on the lot which I drove and liked. The LTZ ended up being about 3,000 more than the 2LT and had alot more features, like the leather seats and safety package among others. I picked the LTZ up the next morning on a Friday, over the night I felt I should have haggled some more with my trades. I gave them two good trades after all and only took their first offer on them, which was about what KBB said was a fair price. Both of which later were listed and moved very quickly at about a $6,000 mark up over what they paid me. I look back and feel a little sick, but I felt it was a fair deal at the time and took it, water under the bridge.

I am however kind of disappointed in the fuel economy I have been getting from this car. I was getting around 29-30 at first, and when I took it for a nice long ride to Maryland I though great maybe I'll get 35-36 hopefully. When I did my calculations, which is always at the pump and I usually fill up when the light comes on I got just barely 30 MPG. My Malibu did 27-28 for me consistently, which I would drive fast and did not care about fuel economy enough to change anything. When I first got the Cruze I would drive like I normally did before. I would usually cruise at about 65 on my way to work, which is about 32 miles and then the way I take home is 36 due to being all highway. Traffic is bad on the highway route in the afternoon so I go down through the city which has about 10 stop lights. The highway route is about 4 miles longer but I can get up and go to cruising speed and don't have to sit and idle. Some of the lights are on timers and will make you wait a few minutes even at 1:00 AM. I have read over this forum, and found that the LTZ models don't typically get the higher MPG's that the lower models do.

So far I have re-gaped the spark plugs which ranged from .020-.025 all were different to .035 and then later back to .030 due to varying statements I have read on here. I put the tire pressure to 40 on all 4 tires and have adjusted my driving style and speed. I have gone so far as to drive at 50 MPH (Which is 5 under the 55MPH limit) sometimes on the drive home. I keep my accel consistent and not too fast and try and keep my shifts under 2500. I have never been one to speed up to a stop light nor gun it, I always coast as much as I can, it's just stupid not to. I was capable of getting 35.7 out of one tank. But since then the best was around 33, and after upgrading to the 89mid grade or 91-93premium gas which is typically .10 to .30 cents more per gallon. I have only achieved 33 twice and all other fill ups have been 30 or below. I have about 6200 miles and just had the dealer change the oil with the free service plan, and I know it has been cold here which can affect the MPG.

I also don't care for the placement of the touch screen, but have not really seen any complaints here about it, just find it a hassle to actually use the touch feature due to it being into the dash instead of flush. The car is quiet, but not as quiet of a ride as the Malibu was, and doesn't have the storage the Malibu did. I also miss the inside truck release button and the tap shift being buttons was alot nicer then the push and pull. I did take notice to these things before I bought, but I was planning on having a car that would get good mileage and I would get use to these minor inconveniences. I had contacted the dealer within a few weeks about my unhappiness and asked about getting into a new Malibu. Which I had drove before as a rental and loved it. I did not consider it before my purchase of the Cruze due to a higher price tag and the fuel economy. But after talking to the salesman I found out that my car was not worth mouch more than I owed. The car listed for $26,800 and after the rebates and dealer price cut was $22,800 and I had $9,500 in trade which gave me a sale price of $13,300 (it was about 100 less I just rounded numbers) which after fees and warranty was $14,800. But the offered amount on the Malibu would have just barely paid the car off and very little off the price of the Malibu. Another dealer offered me 15 and then moved to 16,000 towards a new Malibu, which didn't give me much off either.
 

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Just curious - what's the Cruze lacking that you find "exciting" in a Malibu? Honest question - I've driven both styles of Malibus - I liked the older generation, but wouldn't call either I4 engine exciting. A friend has a V6 LTZ - that ones kinda fun.
 

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I have only achieved 33 twice and all other fill ups have been 30 or below. I have about 6200 miles and just had the dealer change the oil with the free service plan, and I know it has been cold here which can affect the MPG.
In cold weather I typically average 28-34mpg with my 1LT auto, January and February toward the lower end of that. I never get below 34MPG all summer though, typically averaging 37mpg every month.

It really boils down to your route, driving style and average speed as the main things that effect your MPG. Does your route have stops or hills? Are you accelerating like a grandma or briskly? Using the DIC trip computer what is your average speed per fill up? Flat routes with less stops, average speed above 40mph & briskly accelerating from a stop is what seems to work best for me. 70-80% of my driving is in the 45-65mph range, so my average speed is almost always above 40mph.

When I say to accelerate briskly, my car in D is typically shifting in the 2800-3200RPM range. This is slightly more than a light foot but using it means your off the gas in less time. Accelerating to slow will take 2X longer on the gas to get up to speed, which burns way more fuel. Your best bet is to get up to the speed you want to go as quick as possible and get into the MPG speed spot(45-65mph) quicker & for a longer period.

When you do drive in the city, stick to main streets with less stops as residential streets with stops at every block really eat up the gas. When cold my car is typically reading 10-12mpg in residential stop and go!!! If you reset one of the trip computers before different parts of your drive you may find a slight route modification can significantly increase your average MPG.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I had a I4 in mine, and it got me 28 mpg all the time and I would drive 70 and accel hard on it at times, I did wish I had got the V6 at times, but thats what I had a truck for lol. I drove a Malibu earlier this year, it was a rental my girlfriends parents had. I liked the ambient lighting which the cruze lacks, and the car was very quiet. The touch screen was simple and right there to use and you didn't have to slid your fingers down to touch the screen. The access hole behind was nice for storage, and the seats were comfortable, ever since I've had the Cruze my back hurts from my commute to work, not to blame it on the cruze but I don't think it helps. I'll have to see about a lumbar support to see if it helps any. I only used excited because I don't feel that way to own it since I've had it. It's a nice car, it gets me around, I just feel like I made a bad choice and regret it. Not saying the Malibu would have made me feel great or excited, but at least some of the things I now find to be annoying in the Cruze may have been solved by looking at another vehicle. I went and got it thinking I would be getting a good vehicle that got 35 MPG, and now I have to baby it just to get 30. If I had know I would not be getting great MPG I would have considered the Malibu. It is mostly my fault I am not happy with it, I should have shopped around and test drove other models. But I heard good things, and good mileage and the price was somewhat lower than a Malibu. Being that I came from a Malibu I might have been more happier to get into a newer model.
 

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Do get yourself a lumbar thing. I have a mesh one (like $10 from bed bath and beyond), and it helps a TON! The strap just barely stretches around the seat too. Completely changes the seat. I used to get home from work with a sore back after an hour of commuting, but haven't had it since!


Vote for Carly for December COTM and Ashley for MOTM!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
In cold weather I typically average 28-34mpg with my 1LT auto, January and February toward the lower end of that. I never get below 34MPG all summer though, typically averaging 37mpg every month.

It really boils down to your route, driving style and average speed as the main things that effect your MPG. Does your route have stops or hills? Are you accelerating like a grandma or briskly? Using the DIC trip computer what is your average speed per fill up? Flat routes with less stops, average speed above 40mph & briskly accelerating from a stop is what seems to work best for me. 70-80% of my driving is in the 45-65mph range, so my average speed is almost always above 40mph.

When I say to accelerate briskly, my car in D is typically shifting in the 2800-3200RPM range. This is slightly more than a light foot but using it means your off the gas in less time. Accelerating to slow will take 2X longer on the gas to get up to speed, which burns way more fuel. Your best bet is to get up to the speed you want to go as quick as possible and get into the MPG speed spot(45-65mph) quicker & for a longer period.

When you do drive in the city, stick to main streets with less stops as residential streets with stops at every block really eat up the gas. When cold my car is typically reading 10-12mpg in residential stop and go!!! If you reset one of the trip computers before different parts of your drive you may find a slight route modification can significantly increase your average MPG.
My AVG speed has been in the mid to high 40's since I've been keeping track. My commute is 32 miles to work and the last 5 is city with stop and go, speed limit is 35 but traffic is usually doing 40-45. On my way home at midnight there's nobody on the road and I will set cruise to 60 sometimes 55 and stay on that all until i get off the highway to go home and then that 2 miles back. The highway has some inclines and one decent sized hill to go over, but traffic is bad during the day and I try and keep up usually around 60-65. I have noticed when the temps seem to go above 40 my DIC MPG goes up, but when its below that it drops, and as it's been getting colder it drops, also I don't let my car sit and idle either due to the cold weather. I have found It doesn't heat up much even when left for a few minutes, I just go easy on it after I let it sit a few seconds after start up. I am hoping that the mileage will go up in the spring.

I have tried the higher accel, I have always believed in getting up to speed quicker, not gun it, but quicker to a cruising speed. I only started lowering my shifts because I had read that keeping them lower helps, but I believe it was meant for the MT.

I know a lot of guys love their Cruzes, I don't mean to say it's a bad car, it just doesn't suit me and after learning the hard way I'm just trying to find some ways to help me enjoy it.

And thanks for the responses
 

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I went and got it thinking I would be getting a good vehicle that got 35 MPG, and now I have to baby it just to get 30. If I had know I would not be getting great MPG I would have considered the Malibu.
If you look at fuelly.com you can see most automatic cruze drivers average in the 28-33mpg range. Looking at the window sticker the car is only rated at 30MPG Combined. This is the number most will average with the car, not the 38mpg highway rating.

Also if you look at the malibu on fuelly, you will see your MPG would be even lower with it. Seems most average in the 22-26mpg range(about 6mpg less than the cruze). On paper they are more comparable though, with the Malibu only getting 1MPG less than the cruze combined rating. Compare Side-by-Side
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
If you look at fuelly.com you can see most automatic cruze drivers average in the 28-33mpg range. Looking at the window sticker the car is only rated at 30MPG Combined. This is the number most will average with the car, not the 38mpg highway rating.

Also if you look at the malibu on fuelly, you will see your MPG would be even lower with it. Seems most average in the 22-26mpg range(about 6mpg less than the cruze). On paper they are more comparable though, with the Malibu only getting 1MPG less than the cruze combined rating. Compare Side-by-Side
Yeah I have seen the figures, I understand the Malibu doesn't get as good as the Cruze. The main reason I went with a Cruze and disregarded the things I was not impressed with was due to the higher fuel efficiency. I am only upset cause had I known before I bought that i was only going to get 30 mpg, I would have kept the Malibu, or if I wanted the new Malibu I would not have set a high standard on fuel economy.

Right now when I drive this car I'm always worrying about speed, and keeping the dic instant numbers as high as possible. I have found when I am driving back roads, hilly or curvy roads my fuel mileage goes up, cause I am keeping at lower speeds and I coast more and accel less.
 

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Yeah I have seen the figures, I understand the Malibu doesn't get as good as the Cruze. The main reason I went with a Cruze and disregarded the things I was not impressed with was due to the higher fuel efficiency.
I could understand in 2012 and before thinking you could achieve better MPG with the cruze since the window stickers then only listed the CITY/HWY MPG numbers prominently, but all 2013+ cars that is shown as the fine print. The combined average of 30MPG is in large bold letters. Besides comparing EPA numbers the cruze auto only gets 1MPG better than the malibu. Unless your driving 75% or more highway(below 70mph) there is no way you'll get highway MPG figures with any new car.

The change to the window sticker in 2013 was to better indicate to customers the average MPG they should achieve.

2012 & 2013+ Window stickers to compare below:
Text Font
 

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and keeping the dic instant numbers as high as possible.
Careful, that can be misleading. It's a power vs energy thing. Always minimizing the power used doesn't always result in the least amount of energy used.

I wouldn't pay attention to the dic instant numbers unless you were moving at a constant speed. (Neither accelerating or coasting.) There may be times (like pulling away from a stop) where a short burst of "bad" numbers can yield better results than a longer run with "not as bad" numbers. I'd set a goal of getting to the higher gear as quick as possible (shortest distance) without having to use brakes in the next block or two.

Faster can be more economical if it means being in a higher gear. Engine friction generally trumps the frequently mentioned aerodynamic drag. I'd say in general the slowest speed in the highest gear is your most economical speed. (That's a really broad brush, but it's a starting point.)
 

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I am led to believe the OP is using mileage obtained as a reason to not like the car.

Truth be told though, reading between the lines, I don't think the OP would like the car if it consistantly got 40 MPG.
Maybe I'm off base but sometimes, no matter how good the vehicle, an individual just can't 'connect'.

I had a very similar experience back in 06.....just had to have a GTO.....for 06, it had the 6.0 and that pushed me into buying mode......searched and searched.
Found a dealer with a red, six speed with red guts.......perfect.....and he sold at invoice.
Sealed the deal and off I went.

I don't know when for sure and I sure don't know why but about three weeks as a owner......it occurs to me, I ain't diggin this car.

Ran flawless, drove great, no squeaks/rattles, everyone who saw it just loved it.....except me.

3 weeks after that I traded it on my 07 SRT8 Magnum......wish it had a six speed but beyond that, it hit all my triggers.....enouph so that it resides in my hanger with my other, summer only toys.

Good news, between the GTO holding good value (I got invoice plus had lots of GM card $$) and the Dodge dealer thrilled to see someone wanting to get a fourty grand wagon off the lot......I actually saved some dough by making the trade.

So, my story revolves around the suspicion that the OP in this case, feels trapped into a car he/she is just not fond of.
Needs to see a different face in the driveway.......I get it.

Recommendation: find a way to like it or start rumbling around looking for what you really want.
You are going to take a $$$ hit, but every day you own this car the hit gets harder.

Rob Peter, pay Paul......get creative and get it gone......I cannot imagine making payments on something I don't like.

Good luck!

Rob
 

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So, my story revolves around the suspicion that the OP in this case, feels trapped into a car he/she is just not fond of.
That sounds about right. Maybe try and rent a car to see how that goes first. (Hertz used car sales has rent-to-buy. I think you rent it for 3 days and then can buy it.)

There's always going to be things you find out about a car after the test drive, or have to wait until you know if it's just "different" or really a problem.
 

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Change the plugs to NGK BKR7EIX! That and the K&N drop in air filter will wake your Cruze out of its comfortable sleep!
 

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Careful, that can be misleading. It's a power vs energy thing. Always minimizing the power used doesn't always result in the least amount of energy used.

I wouldn't pay attention to the dic instant numbers unless you were moving at a constant speed. (Neither accelerating or coasting.) There may be times (like pulling away from a stop) where a short burst of "bad" numbers can yield better results than a longer run with "not as bad" numbers. I'd set a goal of getting to the higher gear as quick as possible (shortest distance) without having to use brakes in the next block or two.

Faster can be more economical if it means being in a higher gear. Engine friction generally trumps the frequently mentioned aerodynamic drag. I'd say in general the slowest speed in the highest gear is your most economical speed. (That's a really broad brush, but it's a starting point.)
BMW did a study back in the 70s and determined that accelerating with egg shells under your foot is not as efficient as a brisk but not hard to high RPM acceleration, so the acceleration part of this is correct. This study was done with a 6/3 cylinder BMW and they were actually surprised that forcing the car to use all 6 cylinders resulted in better fuel economy during acceleration.

As for the claim that engine and rolling resistance are larger factors in fuel economy this is valid only at low speeds. I don't remember the exact constant speed friction drag equation for a car but it runs along the lines of

speed * (rolling resistance + engine resistance) + speed * speed * aero coefficient of drag.

Since our cars, especially the ECO MT, has a relatively low aero CoD at low speeds the linear increase in drag is overcome by the aero drag at speeds above 40-45 MPH. In the ECO trims the shutters close at 40-45 MPG to reduce the aero drag portion of this equation.

During acceleration the mass of the car adds another large linear constant to the above equation and the entire equation then becomes a differential equation along the lines of


delta(V/T) (mass + rolling resistance + engine resistance) + ( delta(V/T)^2) * CoD

V is Velocity (speed)
T is Time
delta (V/T) is actually dV/dT.

This equation, while not exact, is in the correct form.

The EPA estimation system uses the above equation when computing city MPG, which is why Chevy engineers did things like drop the ECO MT fuel tank by 3 gallons, deleted the rear seat cup holders, used shorter body welds (since done across the line), reduced noise insulation in the trunk, chose very light wheels and tires, and dumped the spare tire - all to reduce that huge factor called mass.

For the highway portion of this Chevy's engineers did things like lower the ECO's ride height to reduce the amount of air under the car, added belly laminar air flow panels to lower the turbulence under the car, added the trunk spoiler to make the car seem longer to the air flow which also reduces turbulance, and added the active shutters to smooth out the front of the car by creating a pocket of slightly compressed air that effectively makes the lower grill disappear relative to the air flow. These changes reduced the amount of power required to slice through the air, allowing the ECO to run at noticeably lower engine speeds on the highway, which also reduces fuel consumption. Thus the very tall 6th gear in the ECO MT. The ECO AT has these same body modifications but shares the gear ratios with the LT and LTZ trims, so it doesn't share the same boost in highway fuel economy over them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I am led to believe the OP is using mileage obtained as a reason to not like the car.

Truth be told though, reading between the lines, I don't think the OP would like the car if it consistantly got 40 MPG.
Maybe I'm off base but sometimes, no matter how good the vehicle, an individual just can't 'connect'.

I had a very similar experience back in 06.....just had to have a GTO.....for 06, it had the 6.0 and that pushed me into buying mode......searched and searched.
Found a dealer with a red, six speed with red guts.......perfect.....and he sold at invoice.
Sealed the deal and off I went.

I don't know when for sure and I sure don't know why but about three weeks as a owner......it occurs to me, I ain't diggin this car.

Ran flawless, drove great, no squeaks/rattles, everyone who saw it just loved it.....except me.

3 weeks after that I traded it on my 07 SRT8 Magnum......wish it had a six speed but beyond that, it hit all my triggers.....enouph so that it resides in my hanger with my other, summer only toys.

Good news, between the GTO holding good value (I got invoice plus had lots of GM card $$) and the Dodge dealer thrilled to see someone wanting to get a fourty grand wagon off the lot......I actually saved some dough by making the trade.

So, my story revolves around the suspicion that the OP in this case, feels trapped into a car he/she is just not fond of.
Needs to see a different face in the driveway.......I get it.

Recommendation: find a way to like it or start rumbling around looking for what you really want.
You are going to take a $$$ hit, but every day you own this car the hit gets harder.

Rob Peter, pay Paul......get creative and get it gone......I cannot imagine making payments on something I don't like.

Good luck!

Rob
That really sounds like my problem, and I didn't really express it that way. I bought it hoping to get a good fuel efficient car, and it does good, but I really loved my Malibu. Looking back if I had babied the Malibu more I would have easily achieved the mileage I am getting now and the car was paid for. Last year when I took a trip to the beach with the Malibu I got 34 mpg, which was 1mpg higher than highway rating for the car. The cruze barely got 30, and I went to a different beach which lead me on highway the whole way down. I just have not really become accustom to this car yet and its been over 3 months, I came from a car that I really liked. It didn't have the leather heated seats, or sunroof, or touch screen, but it was my first new car and it was what I wanted.
 

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I do 99% City Driving in my 2012 LTZ Cruze, and drive somewhat aggressively,an get an as advertised 26.0 mpg lifetime....When ido get on an open Freeway with nohills, I get 39..
 

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I had a 2012 eco before that, and got the as advertised, 27 mpg lifetime, and mabee 40 mpg on the freeway....when buying a car, you always buy based on the city Mpg, never the Highway as your minimum Mpg with usually be the City Mpg... Also I recommend running the Ltz at the recommended 30 psi as it makes the ride so much better and wont hurt your mpg at all really.
 

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I have never owned a Car, especially a Turbo powered Car that wont even chirp the tires off the line? The 1 LT is almost embarrassing yet after a year of ownership I do like it. It has some great technology, runs fine, excellent MPG, and fits a bunch of new stolen Harrah's bedding, towels and extra amenities I was given along with my entire life's possessions, minus my TV & DirecTV receiver which is sitting at my Chiropractor. I remote started it today from my 12th floor mini suite and some guy started staring at it like WTF, something you don't see everyday!
 

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Administrator, Resident Tater Salad
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I have never owned a Car, especially a Turbo powered Car that wont even chirp the tires off the line? The 1 LT is almost embarrassing yet after a year of ownership I do like it. It has some great technology, runs fine, excellent MPG, and fits a bunch of new stolen Harrah's bedding, towels and extra amenities I was given along with my entire life's possessions, minus my TV & DirecTV receiver which is sitting at my Chiropractor. I remote started it today from my 12th floor mini suite and some guy started staring at it like WTF, something you don't see everyday!
I have! It had 240 HP too. Wouldn't do anything off the line.

Your Cruzen needs a manual.
 

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I had a 2012 eco before that, and got the as advertised, 27 mpg lifetime, and mabee 40 mpg on the freeway....when buying a car, you always buy based on the city Mpg, never the Highway as your minimum Mpg with usually be the City Mpg... Also I recommend running the Ltz at the recommended 30 psi as it makes the ride so much better and wont hurt your mpg at all really.
I assume your ECO was an automatic. The ECO MT is under rated for both city and highway MPG.
 
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