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  • I play the upright bass! This affected my choice of vehicle greatly in the past, as I often opted for hatchbacks or cars with more spacious interiors (hence my P5 wagon, and the Suzuki Sidekick before it)
    • I know that the smallest car a roughly 6" upright bass can fit in is a Honda CRX. I have personally fit the bass inside a 2004 Toyota Corolla S/
First step is to test and see how that would fit in a Gen1. Otherwise, you're looking at a hatchback and that's only in the Gen2.
 

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2015 LT RS had 50k miles with 0 problems. Unfort my son got in a fender bender and it was totaled.

Got a 2018 RS Premier with 12k miles and 0 issues. Love the 2018 but liked the looks of the 2015.
 

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I can’t comment on everyone’s experiences, as I don’t follow the forum often. I’ll share mine though.
I purchased my 12’ Cruze Eco in August of 2016 with 79k miles. I’m currently at 181k miles. During that time, I’ve replaced the following:

pcv valve/valve cover x2
Intake manifold
Turbo
Water pump outlet x3
Thermostat outlet x4
Engine @161k (piston failure)
Transmission @170k (catastrophic bearing failure)
[email protected]
Sway bar links
Tires x2 sets.
blend door actuator plastic piece for heat/ac controls (over $1000 in labor)
Water pump
Brake pads x2
 

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As an previous owner of a 2002 P5, a current owner of a 2011 Eco (6 speed manual), and a 2018 LT, here are my thoughts.... (oh and a 1990 CRX Si...btw...)

2002 Mazda P5
+Versatile as heck for hauling people/cargo
+Fun to drive
+Decent Fuel Economy
+My car was bone stock. 140K+ trouble free miles
-A bit noisy and "unrefined"
-No tech...unless you count the stock CD player
-Modestly powered

2011 Cruze Eco
+Drives like an "adults" car (quiet, refined, smooth)
+Great 6 speed manual transmission
+Very Good fuel economy
+Looks have aged well
+/-Had the cooling system recall done. Everything else has been just tires and oil changes for 77K miles.
-If you engage the clutch before the rpms/turbo spools up, it can really give you a high "pucker" factor, especially if you are trying to scoot across traffic. I encounter this more often when the ac is on.
+/-Good size trunk and folding rear seats, but it won't swallow up gear like a hatchback

2018 Cruze LT
+Drives like an "adults" car (quiet, refined, smooth)
+Useful Tech (my daughter's expression when she realized it had ACP will forever be etched in my memory...LOL)
+Good Fuel Economy
+Better/More Modern looking car than Gen 1
-Steering wheel is plasticky, not leather... puzzling choice

Bottom line, I have enjoyed every one of these cars and can recommend each based on my experience.

That said, the ONLY car I have ever sold that I regretted selling and would buy back in an instant is my 1990 CRX Si. I am probably getting a bit too old to comfortably get in and out without making strange sounds, and the suspension is definitely not going to be confused with a Buick for smoothness, but I miss it more than any other....
 

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Hello everyone!

After my old Protege5 got totaled, I began looking up cars to replace it. The Cruze appealed to me for the following reasons:
  • The 1.4L turbo engine is reported to be peppy
  • 6-speed manual option
  • Good looks
  • Within my budget of willingness to spend 9-10k
    • Very low miles for given budget
  • Surprising aftermarket support
  • Good MPG
First, I would like to know if you guys can qualify some points I've gathered about the 1st gen 1.4LT Cruze. After reading various articles and making a post on reddit's Cruze subreddit, it seems that...
  • 2014-2015 Cruzes are more reliable than 2011-2013 Cruzes (from cars.usnews)
  • The 1.4LT engine requires a very strict maintenance timeline
  • The 1.4LT engine is very leak-happy; PCV valve can blow the valve cover gasket easily
  • On the reddit Cruze thread I wrote, negative personal testimonies were in the majority (was warned about never-ending headaches, for example)
    • I was told that a 2nd Gen Cruze is a better prospective car, but second hand 2nd gens are a little out of my price range at the moment.
  • Overall ratings of the car are mostly 4 stars from places such as edmunds, usnews, cars.com, autotrader, motortrend (2 star review, no real word of reliability). Most website reviews seem to complain more about the passenger space in the rear.
  • Personal testimonies on these sites reflect both the reddit testimonials and the published website reviews
Ultimately, this car looks like a mixed bag. Some people get horrible experiences, others are completely fine. However, after browsing this forum and looking at the 1.4LT maintenance guide, I think it might be a fair guess that no one followed some maintenance paradigm.

As a car owner...:
  • I like doing my own maintenance and repairs if possible. Am also trying to avoid a moneypit of repairs.
  • I enjoy modifying vehicles, and even modified my old P5 to be mildly competitive in the local sanctioned time attack, but won't be racing the Cruze if I get one
  • I'm considering light modifications if I got a Cruze, such as sportier suspension, wheels and tires.
  • I play the upright bass! This affected my choice of vehicle greatly in the past, as I often opted for hatchbacks or cars with more spacious interiors (hence my P5 wagon, and the Suzuki Sidekick before it)
    • I know that the smallest car a roughly 6" upright bass can fit in is a Honda CRX. I have personally fit the bass inside a 2004 Toyota Corolla S.
With all this information I've given you, do you think a Cruze is a good fit for me? Should I keep saving and instead go for a second gen? I've been advised to look at Honda, Toyota, and Mazda alternatives, and will do so unless I can really ascertain that the vastly cheaper Cruze won't put me back in a moneypit. Tell me your experiences, successes, failures, anything that could help me make a decision.

Thanks a lot for your time!
i have 2012 cruze eco , i bought it brand new,warranty, it has 60k now ,, still runs and looks new ,, dealership replaced turbo under warranty ,and still has 130000 left on extended warranty
 

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As an previous owner of a 2002 P5, a current owner of a 2011 Eco (6 speed manual), and a 2018 LT, here are my thoughts.... (oh and a 1990 CRX Si...btw...)

2002 Mazda P5
+Versatile as heck for hauling people/cargo
+Fun to drive
+Decent Fuel Economy
+My car was bone stock. 140K+ trouble free miles
-A bit noisy and "unrefined"
-No tech...unless you count the stock CD player
-Modestly powered

2011 Cruze Eco
+Drives like an "adults" car (quiet, refined, smooth)
+Great 6 speed manual transmission
+Very Good fuel economy
+Looks have aged well
+/-Had the cooling system recall done. Everything else has been just tires and oil changes for 77K miles.
-If you engage the clutch before the rpms/turbo spools up, it can really give you a high "pucker" factor, especially if you are trying to scoot across traffic. I encounter this more often when the ac is on.
+/-Good size trunk and folding rear seats, but it won't swallow up gear like a hatchback

2018 Cruze LT
+Drives like an "adults" car (quiet, refined, smooth)
+Useful Tech (my daughter's expression when she realized it had ACP will forever be etched in my memory...LOL)
+Good Fuel Economy
+Better/More Modern looking car than Gen 1
-Steering wheel is plasticky, not leather... puzzling choice

Bottom line, I have enjoyed every one of these cars and can recommend each based on my experience.

That said, the ONLY car I have ever sold that I regretted selling and would buy back in an instant is my 1990 CRX Si. I am probably getting a bit too old to comfortably get in and out without making strange sounds, and the suspension is definitely not going to be confused with a Buick for smoothness, but I miss it more than any other....
For some odd reason, the leather steering wheel is only available on the LTZ / Premier model. My 2014 LTZ has it.

Sent from my Samsung Galaxy using Tapatalk
 

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For some odd reason, the leather steering wheel is only available on the LTZ / Premier model. My 2014 LTZ has it.

Sent from my Samsung Galaxy using Tapatalk
It used to be in LT trims from 2011-2014, but was decontented to the plastic one from the LS for 2015. It seemed to stick around for the 2016+ models in LT trims, and it feels quite cheap. It was definitely one of the things that made the Gen 1 Cruze feel a little bit better than some of the class it was in competition with.
 

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Hello,

I just wanted to put in my 2 cents about the gen1 cruze. I owned a 2015 RS Automatic. I loved my cruze but recently traded it in for a different car because of minor issues and fear of bigger issues.

I owned my cruze for 1 1/2 years. I had to do the following repairs:

replace plastic t thingy for cooling system.
Replace valve cover for pcv
Replace water pump

I also hated the Auto transmission. I am told that this is normal but when you come to a stop light and are breaking and the light turns green. When you hit the gas it tended to slam into gear. Felt terrible.

that being said I had a 2013 sonic lt also 1.4l. 75k only replaced the water pump under warranty. No other issues. Traded it on my cruze. It was manual and I loved that car but it was to small for my family. We also owned a 2013 Buick Encore with a 1/4. This one did not have the same transmission slip as the cruze and never had a single problem. It was made in Korea.

I now own a 2016 Buick Verano which I traded the cruze on. So far I love my verano.The verano is a gen1 cruze with different engine options. I opted for a 2.0 which is way faster than the cruze! (But not nearly the gas mileage). Inside is nearly identical except slightly upgraded. Transmission has the same issue. :(. I’ve read that the 2.0 from the Buick has had little to no problems. It’s not the Cadillac motor that had the piston issue... and here is the best part... I picked up mine still in bumper to bumper warranty (44k miles 50k warranty) with a price tag of 11k. If you look at verano s steer clear of the 2.4l engine. Seems they are hit or miss.
 

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2014 LT. 70k miles...pcv in manifold went bad and caused some issues. Had to replace cam cover and installed the fix kit. No other problems, still have original battery some how lol. Wait I did have the harmonic balancer and evap purge canister changed under warranty early on within 10k miles but that was it

Gen 1 definitely runs hot... coolant temp 220-225 90% of the time. Oil temp around 230. I monitor my cruze on most drives thru the torque app with the correct pids. Keep an eye on your coolant level and do the PCV kit fix from xtremerevolution and you'll be good to go.

Use full synthetic oil and change every 5k miles or so.
Screenshot_20200104-154039_Torque.jpg
Screenshot_20200102-175828_Torque.jpg
 

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Thank you all for your responses! Always excellent to hear more personal testimonials from people that aren't anonymous folks on dealer pages.

I believe by now that I'm not going for a 1st gen. It's truly a coin toss to see if you got a good one or not, and even if you do get a good one, there are lots of low-quality parts that'll be problematic down the line. Seems like I would need to do a decent amount of work myself to "make" it reliable, which is not something I'm interested in, nor have the time to do, at the moment.

However, those 2nd gens do seem quite promising, especially for the hatchback model. I have a feeling that the hatchback models with the 6-speed manual are going to be really tough to find and much more expensive than my current budget, but if I manage to find a good deal, I'll have to check it out.

Thank you guys a lot for your time!
I will offer a counterpoint to many of the opinions here. I have a 2014 LT 1.4t auto (although I really wanted manual) I went through a period of continuous repairs only because I was being stubborn and did not fix one of the underlying issues right away. I am at about 88k on mine and love it. I also found it worth while to buy good all season radials and a set of snow tires as I live in the rust belt. Night and day difference from the stock tires.

If you are looking to spend that much, you can find a really nice low miles Gen I. Just reserve about $500 to be proactive. Buy Dorman or Mahle Lifetime warrantied plastic cooling parts i.e water outlet, thermostat housing, gaskets, and coolant reservoir and the resevoir to water outlet line (forgot the name). Purchase an insulated turbo oil line and also the coolant line, CPASV seals, valve cover, XtremeRevolutions PCV fix kit and big three kit, a front crank seal, a new serpentine belt, a new idler pulley, take the car in for both the water pump and neg battery terminal extended warranty. If the battery is five or more years old, buy the diesel Cruze size battery. I am being extremely proactive in saying all of this and not holding back. Change the brake fluid, coolant, transmission fluid and oil. You could wait and see and nickel and dime your time or do it all at once and get 100k miles relatively trouble free.

There are many How-To's that will pinpoint exactly what to do in our How-To section. Your bass should fit with the rear seats folded flat and the neck in between the front seats without too much of an issue. Another plus to going with a Gen I, there are plenty in the junk yards to pick from. I've upgraded to leather seats, replaced a ton of parts I mangled, and added a host of other options for very little money (I went to a u pull it type yard.) I also agree with your assessment that 2014-15 are the best years both mechanically and visually.

While the Gen II's are nice, they have not been out as long, there are fewer in the yards and there are definitely not as many How-To's in the forum. One last thing, I would heavily research the manual trans before deciding. I think there are ways to beef it up and make it more responsive, some documented here on the forum. I do know that the auto will shift better and faster than most average drivers. Oh an I almost forgot. There are many more aftermarket options for the Gen I.

Good luck with your choices and Cruze On!
 

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I will offer a counterpoint to many of the opinions here. I have a 2014 LT 1.4t auto (although I really wanted manual) I went through a period of continuous repairs only because I was being stubborn and did not fix one of the underlying issues right away. I am at about 88k on mine and love it. I also found it worth while to buy good all season radials and a set of snow tires as I live in the rust belt. Night and day difference from the stock tires.

If you are looking to spend that much, you can find a really nice low miles Gen I. Just reserve about $500 to be proactive. Buy Dorman or Mahle Lifetime warrantied plastic cooling parts i.e water outlet, thermostat housing, gaskets, and coolant reservoir and the resevoir to water outlet line (forgot the name). Purchase an insulated turbo oil line and also the coolant line, CPASV seals, valve cover, XtremeRevolutions PCV fix kit and big three kit, a front crank seal, a new serpentine belt, a new idler pulley, take the car in for both the water pump and neg battery terminal extended warranty. If the battery is five or more years old, buy the diesel Cruze size battery. I am being extremely proactive in saying all of this and not holding back. Change the brake fluid, coolant, transmission fluid and oil. You could wait and see and nickel and dime your time or do it all at once and get 100k miles relatively trouble free.

There are many How-To's that will pinpoint exactly what to do in our How-To section. Your bass should fit with the rear seats folded flat and the neck in between the front seats without too much of an issue. Another plus to going with a Gen I, there are plenty in the junk yards to pick from. I've upgraded to leather seats, replaced a ton of parts I mangled, and added a host of other options for very little money (I went to a u pull it type yard.) I also agree with your assessment that 2014-15 are the best years both mechanically and visually.

While the Gen II's are nice, they have not been out as long, there are fewer in the yards and there are definitely not as many How-To's in the forum. One last thing, I would heavily research the manual trans before deciding. I think there are ways to beef it up and make it more responsive, some documented here on the forum. I do know that the auto will shift better and faster than most average drivers. Oh an I almost forgot. There are many more aftermarket options for the Gen I.

Good luck with your choices and Cruze On!
Very well written thank you for the post. my eco is a 12 6 speed manual with 66,000 miles on it.I bought the doorman valve cover along with the doorman intake and the v2 pcv kit. I have them sitting in the basement waiting a little bit to get them put on. My valve cover has a pretty small leak. I did notice under my hood that my battery is pretty small not shur if thats the diesel cruze battery or not.
 

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Bought a new order 2018 Cruze Turbo Diesel as a daily commuter. Best purchase I've made so far. The dealerships still suck and are highly unhelpful when it comes to the service of your vehicle.
There is plenty of information out there to keep this car serviced and running in good condition. After you take advantage of the free oil change(s) you are offered when you buy the car; just make sure you follow a good maintenance schedule and the car will hopefully do well for you. I still routinely get between 50 and 54 mpg (mid to high 40's if you have a heavy foot) and if you fill the fuel all the way to the top, I've been able to pull 750-780 miles out of a tank depending on your driving habits.
I personally had never owned a diesel, so I'll offer this:
1. Pay attention to the DEF level in the car after you get it. The car will go into limp mode and will barely get over 50mph if you let it get too low.
2. Buy DEF from a truck stop pump instead of in those stupid little boxes. If you get it at the truck stop you'll pay about $4-5 to fill it vs. $10 or whatever the going rate is for some possibly questionable product.
3. Oil is fairly hard to find for this car unless you know where to look. Use Dexos 2 oil; and you can find 5 qt bottles at Walmart for about $23, with filters running about $7 if you do it yourself. Otherwise bend over and drop a C-note at the dealership.
4. Rotate the factory tires every 3500 miles or so. They will wear a little heavier on the fronts, as it is a front wheel drive car.

Good car and good value for the price.
 

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2014 LT. 70k miles...pcv in manifold went bad and caused some issues. Had to replace cam cover and installed the fix kit. No other problems, still have original battery some how lol. Wait I did have the harmonic balancer and evap purge canister changed under warranty early on within 10k miles but that was it

Gen 1 definitely runs hot... coolant temp 220-225 90% of the time. Oil temp around 230. I monitor my cruze on most drives thru the torque app with the correct pids. Keep an eye on your coolant level and do the PCV kit fix from xtremerevolution and you'll be good to go.

Use full synthetic oil and change every 5k miles or so.
How did you get the transmission fluid and intake temp data? I also have a 2014 Cruze. Thanks


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Very well written thank you for the post. my eco is a 12 6 speed manual with 66,000 miles on it.I bought the doorman valve cover along with the doorman intake and the v2 pcv kit. I have them sitting in the basement waiting a little bit to get them put on. My valve cover has a pretty small leak. I did notice under my hood that my battery is pretty small not shur if thats the diesel cruze battery or not.
If the battery tray is not completely filled, it is not the diesel battery.
 

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How did you get the transmission fluid and intake temp data? I also have a 2014 Cruze. Thanks


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He is using a phone and the Torque app. You will need a OBD-II adapter as well. I personally use the Scan Gauge II.
 

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2014 LTZ 60k miles. Love the car, hate the motor. I joke with my kids that it's powered by a "leaf blower" motor. With work I rent a lot of cars when I travel, so I've driven more cars than most. The gas mileage has been poor. Many engine repairs, PVC issue, multiple coil packs, turbo died under warranty at 40k, etc. I would not buy another 1.4.
 

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There are 3 used gen 2 hatchbacks available that I'm gravitated towards. The alternative for me is a 2016 Sonata. Corolla is out because I find it boring. Civic is out because I hate the outside and inside. Elantra is too cramped in the back, and it doesn't excite me. Accord and Camry are made of gold and are stupid expensive. Forte haven't looked yet,. but it looks too simpleton. So I keep on coming back to the Cruze. Consumer Reports shows the 2nd gen 2016+ (excluding the Limited which is 1st gen built from left over parts) is good. JD Power shows it's good. Various magazines say it's good. Lots of people in forums are positive about it. So, it really does look like the 2nd gen is a winner!
But I'd love to see some of this clarified / solidified, so I summarized some questions:

1) Is a 2nd gen 2016+ Cruze hatchback a wise choice?
2) Is it reliable?
3) Does that power train warranty protect me from any mechanical problems that are responsible for getting the car to move (including the turbo)?
4) Is it being made in Mexico a problem?
5) Is it a bad idea to do the Trifecta thing?
6) Does it suck for short cold runs in cold climates?
7) Are other people using it with people in the back seat a lot.
8) How many miles are people getting out if, and how does it compare with other brands in that aspect?
9) What's considered high mileage enough where it starts to develop problems?
10) What would you pick between a 2016 Sonata and 2018 Cruze hatchback with the same mileage and at the same cost, and why?
 
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