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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This may seem like a silly question to ask on an appreciation forum. But I'm the sort of person who makes their decisions by focussing on the negatives and it's making it very hard to buy a car on a budget.

Anyway, I test drove a 2011 Cruze 1.8 LTZ (48,000 miles on the clock) today and thought it wasn't bad and it's well within my budget. But things I've read in reviews make me hesitant.

I thought maybe some owners could allay my fears, cause if you just read reviews you generally hear more from people who have problems rather than people who get on fine with stuff.

What I'm most concerned about most is breakdowns and repairs, are they less reliable in this regard than other cars of the same class?

Thanks for any advice you can give me.

Wayne
 

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Cruze 1.8 LTZ
You might want to re-check your notes. Only the LS had the 1.8. Everything else got the 1.4 Turbo. Same horsepower, but the turbo makes it available at lower RPM.

The 2011 was the first year for the Cruze in North America, and it had some teething problems - something that's likely reflected in it's various ratings. Nothing serious (that wasn't covered in a recall), and the minor problems may have been fixed by now. Take a good sniff around after your test drive. Get the car nice and warm with the heater. If you don't smell coolant, you're good.

As for the care, get religion about oil changes and using a full synthetic and you should be good. You probably should follow the service listed in the 2015 manual as the 2011/2012 manuals where a bit optimistic in parts.
 
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This may seem like a silly question to ask on an appreciation forum. But I'm the sort of person who makes their decisions by focussing on the negatives and it's making it very hard to buy a car on a budget.

Anyway, I test drove a 2011 Cruze 1.8 LTZ (48,000 miles on the clock) today and thought it wasn't bad and it's well within my budget. But things I've read in reviews make me hesitant.

I thought maybe some owners could allay my fears, cause if you just read reviews you generally hear more from people who have problems rather than people who get on fine with stuff.

What I'm most concerned about most is breakdowns and repairs, are they less reliable in this regard than other cars of the same class?

Thanks for any advice you can give me.

Wayne
How a vehicle is maintained is the largest factor in how long it will last. 48,000 miles is enough miles for someone to cause major damage to a vehicle and severely shorten its lifespan. Full service histories are the best way to know for sure, but it's not common for people to keep up with their receipts and records let alone keep that information with the car through dealer trades etc.

That being said, the cruze has a fairly good reputation for reliability. GM has had the ecotec 1.8L engine around for quite some time and have had time to refine it. And the 1.8L doesn't have a turbo. That means no oil or water lines to feed the turbo, no extra air lines from intake to turbo, from turbo to engine, no intercooler, no weird integrated turbine manifold to exhaust. None of the turbo systems can go wrong if you don't have them.

As far as the transmission goes, personally I drive manual and I would like to continue to do so as long as possible. I believe there are many advantages to a manual gearbox including longer reliability when used properly.


Hope this helps somehow.
 

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I have a question: Is it an LTZ? If so it should not have a 1.8 in it but a 1.4, so how did you know it had a 1.8 in it that would make it a LS model. Since it is a 2011, you would be reading most all issues that were encountered with the first model year production and those would be addressed. Other than that, what problems are you referring to? To this point we have not had anybody state the car is not reliable or so problematic that they felt the need to rid of it. I would not concern myself with some of what you read as you are reading mostly the exceptions rather than the norm.
 

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I have a question: Is it an LTZ? If so it should not have a 1.8 in it but a 1.4, so how did you know it had a 1.8 in it that would make it a LS model. Since it is a 2011, you would be reading most all issues that were encountered with the first model year production and those would be addressed. Other than that, what problems are you referring to? To this point we have not had anybody state the car is not reliable or so problematic that they felt the need to rid of it. I would not concern myself with some of what you read as you are reading mostly the exceptions rather than the norm.
I wasn't too sure about the 2011 model trims, I thought maybe the 1.4L was an optional engine for all trims or something. I was simply stating that the 1.8L engine is much simpler. If you're really concerned about reliability it makes sense to avoid turbocharged engines as they have many more parts, and that does increase the chance that something can go wrong.

The turbo in the 1.4L leeches into almost every vital system that the engine uses. Intake, exhaust, oil, and coolant systems all connect to the turbo. And to monitor it all there's more sensors connected to a computer.
 

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OP is in Great Britain, so the LTZ is the 1.8L Ecotec engine. As far as I know the 1.8 LTZs in Europe are rock solid. However, Chevy is pulling out of Europe so you'll have to get service at an Opel dealership.
 

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Least in the USA, the days of people buying new vehicles to keep up with the Jone's is long gone history. Back then, could buy a very nice used vehicle in really good condition at a very low price. Today, people are keeping their vehicles a lot longer, so really question why they have traded them in.

Common phrase today is you are buying someone else's problems, and I don't care what year, make, or model the car is, you can expect problems.

Only like to buy a used car from a new car dealer, what they consider junk goes to an auction where the used car dealers gather. The let me keep the car for three days so I can have the opportunity to check it over myself. Kind of done with this now, last kid out of eight graduated from college two years ago. And sure could not buy them a brand new car, insurance rates would kill me.

Know for a fact any new car dealer does not even offer the trade-in value for that vehicle, so if the car does look half decent, trade-in price is about as high as I will go. Have to leave a little room to buy parts to repair this or that, if I had to pay for labor, would be completely out of the question. How about 700 bucks just to replace an alternator, 350 bucks or a hub bearing. This list is endless.

Typically expect to lay out another thousand bucks just for parts to make sure the car is safe enough for my kids to drive. I also get the name of the previous owner so I can talk to them. And like to see all the service records.

Ha, all I can say is, buyer beware. Way prices are today, almost cheaper to buy a brand new vehicle. Stepdaughter at her choice just purchased a new Kia Soul base model for $13,000.00, and does have a 60K mile bumper to bumper warranty.

Watch out for those rentals, those things are very poorly maintained and have the crap pounded out of them.
 

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I don't know the ins and outs of the Cruze models. I will say that I love my 2014 LT Cruze ! I didn't buy my Cruze used - bought mine new with 17 miles. I am very wary of buying used vehicles myself -as stated above - buying someone else's problems. Don't know the history of the vehicle...and so on and so on. The only issue ( knock on wood) I had, was my trans wasn't shifting right....or at least, not to my liking!! After couple trips to the dealer, made a big stink about it.....and got my Cruze running right!! All I can say is whatever vehicle you are interested in, drive the car! I don't mean drive it like you're a student driver either -DRIVE IT!!! If it passes the tests and doesn't smoke, leak, overheat or smell things, you should be good to go! Ideally, you would want whatever "problems" to happen, while the vehicle still belongs to them....not after you shelled out $$$ and own it!
 

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This may seem like a silly question to ask on an appreciation forum. But I'm the sort of person who makes their decisions by focussing on the negatives and it's making it very hard to buy a car on a budget.

Anyway, I test drove a 2011 Cruze 1.8 LTZ (48,000 miles on the clock) today and thought it wasn't bad and it's well within my budget. But things I've read in reviews make me hesitant.

I thought maybe some owners could allay my fears, cause if you just read reviews you generally hear more from people who have problems rather than people who get on fine with stuff.

What I'm most concerned about most is breakdowns and repairs, are they less reliable in this regard than other cars of the same class?

Thanks for any advice you can give me.

Wayne
Hi Wayne and welcome, like any car you might buy when you get to the point of purchase make sure that the dealership has a 3 day no fault return policy. Spend the $ to have a reputable local mechanic throughly go through the Cruze and check all the major components for trouble spots and of course take a good look at the what kinds of warrantys are left from the factory and what does the dealership offer as well.
That being said as far as a fun and feature packed ride the Cruze is an awesome car. You can also go to "my Chevrolet" at the play store if you have a smart phone and sign up and put the vin# and make, model in and it will give you loads of info about the specific Cruze your looking at.
I am a new Cruze owner so I have no feedback on long term dependability but I can tell you that through my extensive research before my purchase that when you compare overall miles, year, storage, safety, comfort, styling and features the Cruze in my opinion ranks better than other vehicles in it's class.
Personally I love my Cruze, it's fun to drive gets amazing gas mileage (my driving thus far has netted a whopping 33 mpg with a split between hwy & in town miles). Overall I would highly recommend it.
Hope this helps and good luck to you.
D
 

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My mother in law has a 2012 and my sis has a 2014. Both are 1LT, 1.4 engines. I got my 2015 1LT because the others in the family were so reliable. The 2012 has been back a couple times for recalls, but that was covered. Only unexpected repair was the front rotors warped on the 2014 after avout 30K miles, but from what I read here that could have been caused by misadjusted rear brakes putting more strain on the fronts. Only bad thing I have heard about the 1.8 is that it doesn't get quite the fuel mileage it's supposed to get.
 

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Funny, you say about the rotors! For a while, I thoght it was just my Cruze. The stock brakes, are terrible! I just changed over my rotors and pads......and boy what a difference it is, from the stock brakes! Coincidently, my Cruze is clocked in at 32,xXxX.


My mother in law has a 2012 and my sis has a 2014. Both are 1LT, 1.4 engines. I got my 2015 1LT because the others in the family were so reliable. The 2012 has been back a couple times for recalls, but that was covered. Only unexpected repair was the front rotors warped on the 2014 after avout 30K miles, but from what I read here that could have been caused by misadjusted rear brakes putting more strain on the fronts. Only bad thing I have heard about the 1.8 is that it doesn't get quite the fuel mileage it's supposed to get.
 

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Funny, you say about the rotors! For a while, I thoght it was just my Cruze. The stock brakes, are terrible! I just changed over my rotors and pads......and boy what a difference it is, from the stock brakes! Coincidently, my Cruze is clocked in at 32,xXxX.
I had my rear brakes adjusted about two months after I got my car. What a difference. Once that's done the stock brakes on the Cruze are very good at emergency stopping. What they aren't so good at is repeated hard braking so if you're constantly getting on your brakes you may see some reduction in stopping power.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for all the excellent advice. It sounds like I'm taking a bit of a gamble with any car of this mileage. I'm about 80% sure I'll go and buy it, as you all seem pretty pleased with the ones you've got.
 

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Got mine with one mile on the odometer. This ain't a new car! Its used! It has been given good care. Brakes are OE, hardly worn after 43K miles.
 
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