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Thanks to Obermd and BlueAngel, this is the first spring in over 3 years that I've had a fully sealed coolant system.

Fixing this issue has allowed the engine to operate with temperatures as low as 216F and as high as 226F. The fast temperature cooling response has to have something to do with the increased performance and mileage.

The car drives much smoother, and I can now coast using DFCO all the way down to 16 mpg, as the AUTOMATIC transmission downshifts.

Mileage via the pump method has been 36 mpg with 89, and I even recently filled a tank of 87 getting 35 mpg.

Thanks for everyone's thoughts and suggestions on how to repair issues on the Cruze! If it weren't for this website, and my personal interest in fixing things, I think I would have jumped ship by now. There's no excuse for bad O-rings and sealing radiator caps.

Maybe the automatic transmission really takes 40,000 miles to learn smoothness, but I hope the next 100,000 miles are as smooth as the last thousand!
 
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