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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I finally test drove a cruze today, actually enjoyed it, but a lot is lost in the heat of the moment. I didn't commit to anything. It has 55k for under $10k otd.

Currently have an 06 cobalt with 212k it's still a solid car but problems here and there are exceeding it's worth to me. My mpg's are way down and honestly don't want to invest the money to figure out why.

I commute a little over 100 hwy miles a day so the 6speed 42mpg is music to my ears. But I do have a few questions and concerns. I have searched and most threads are dated but a lot of good knowledge. So if I'm a noob beating a dead horse I apologize.

What kind of actual hwy mpg could I expect?

After test driving I smelled a hint of coolant when exiting the car. I raised the hood, but could see no visible leaks or wet spots, a search showed this was common, but no real answer.

I will need this car to go 200k + miles has anybody hit that yet with the 1.4 turbo?

Thanks for your time! Hopefully can be more involved if I pulled the trigger on it.
 

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I'm afraid I won't be able to help too much but I'd say you should shoot for it. I've got the 2012 LT (1.4 t/c) with 87k on it and haven't had issues. I have a cold air intake which gets me on average 35-ish mpg. With the Eco I would imagine it'd be even better, even if its stock. I personally haven't smelled coolant on mine or have had any issues with it. I just took my Cruze on a cross country trip and it averaged 33.3 mpg across 2700ish miles. Hope this helps at least a bit.
 

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You need to verify no smell of coolant is coming from the vents with the heat on high. High or low fan speed. Make sure the car is fully warmed up when you check. If you find it after purchase, you are more or less stuck with it. The issue comes from the following thread:
http://www.cruzetalk.com/forum/25-g...temperature-control-set-high-heat-engine.html

If the coolant smell is only coming from outside of the car, it is likely the coolant reservoir venting due to the cap o-ring not holding pressure, or another defect as shown in the following thread:
http://www.cruzetalk.com/forum/25-g...fix-coolant-odors-coolant-loss-reservoir.html
 

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I'll be as honest and unbiased as I can.

I own a 2012 Cruze LS 1.8l and it has 140k on it, the transmission is messed up for the 4th time and out of the 28 warrantied repair bills I have on it I have never had a single issue with the engine itself! That doesn't mean the rest of the car will last you though.

At where I am on my 12' Cruze I couldn't commute to work anymore ranging from 60-100 miles a day because the rest of the car was breaking here and there. Now I have a N/A engine in that thing and I only put synthetic oil & premium gas in it but ran it hard every single day of its life and it has NEVER given me a problem engine wise!

Moving to my 2016.5 Cruze LT-RS 1.4l Turbo I was really hesitant because I know for a fact the first thing to break on my car will be the turbo with or without me driving it hard, it's just one major failure point on these cars since they don't over engineer them so I would honestly pass on getting a USED 1.4l Cruze because there's no telling who thrashed the **** out of that engine/turbo and if they put proper fuel and oil in it.

Will the car last you 140k miles? I bet you it will but will it last over 200k? Maybe but I bet you'll have a list of problems when it reaches that point because no car really is made today to last that long.
 

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Welcome to the forum! Here's my input.

I have the 1LT 6 speed manual 1.4L turbo and have owned it since brand new. My transmission is geared different than the Eco in the sense than my 6th gear has the same ratio as the Eco 5th gear. I also don't have the active grill shutters, light weight rims, low rolling resistance tires, and I do have a spare tire which adds weight. I don't drive with economy in mind. I live in a place with endless hills and some mountains.

When I'm on the interstate I set cruise control to 81 mph and I average between 31mpg and 38mpg depending on head winds or if I'm using the AC/heat. The times I've set my cruise at 70 for road trips with no AC I average around 42mpg give or take a couple. I could only imagine how much better my economy would be if I had access to the eco 6th gear. My 5 speed 2.2L Cobalt on the other hand would only average 27-31 at 81mph and around 35mpg at 70 mph with no AC. The 1.4L engine is very efficient. Even when I was delivering in the city I've never averaged below 26mpg with the Cruze. I calculate by gallons of fuel I buy and the trip meter. The DIC average is always optimistic.

I've only had one "issue" with my car in the 18 months and 33K miles I've owned it, the transmission would grind when I shifted quickly from 1-2 at 5,500+ rpms. I fixed that by changing the transmission fluid to a thicker Amsoil synchromesh. Other than that, it's been flawless. However, this car is known to have a few common issues. The water pump has an extended warranty coverage, and a few users have reported turbo failure. But you can find people who have issues with any vehicle if you search. As long as you take care of your vehicle it will take care of you. (Since you got 200K+ out of the Cobalt I assume you understand and appreciate the value of maintenance :) )

Note: I get noticably better gas mileage from my Cruze than my Cobalt, however I do treat the Cruze to 93 Octane because it's turbocharged. It's not "necessary" but I get better economy when I use premium and it negates the added cost of the fuel. When I ran 87 in the Cruze it got about 3 mpg less. (most recently edited because I realized I put 2LT instead of 1LT)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Awesome input, so far, thanks guys. I will definitely check for interior smell with the heat on if I move forward.

As mentioned mpg's with the cobalt, I would average between 35-36 in my 5 speed 2.2 and I'm down to 30-31 now, while gas is cheap right now, I do estimate saving apx $40/month on fuel... Probably to be offset by the unavoidable increase in insurance, but such is life.

The premium vs regular gas interests me, as I would've never thought the increase would be worth the cost. Something I'll definitely have to test out.

The turbo excites me while worrying me at the same time. I feel like it will be a ticking time bomb, but that's a gamble. I really wanted an automatic this round but I'm opting for a manual again for the simplicity and reliability, and mpg increase. I suppose the turbo could essentially be my expected "trans rebuild".
 

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Awesome input, so far, thanks guys. I will definitely check for interior smell with the heat on if I move forward.

As mentioned mpg's with the cobalt, I would average between 35-36 in my 5 speed 2.2 and I'm down to 30-31 now, while gas is cheap right now, I do estimate saving apx $40/month on fuel... Probably to be offset by the unavoidable increase in insurance, but such is life.

The premium vs regular gas interests me, as I would've never thought the increase would be worth the cost. Something I'll definitely have to test out.

The turbo excites me while worrying me at the same time. I feel like it will be a ticking time bomb, but that's a gamble. I really wanted an automatic this round but I'm opting for a manual again for the simplicity and reliability, and mpg increase. I suppose the turbo could essentially be my expected "trans rebuild".
As long as you run top notch oil in the car and don't hammer on it before optimal operating temps are met, the turbo should last fairly well, if it doesn't it is covered under powertrain warranty to 100,000 miles/5 (i think) years. Since the model you looked at is a 2013 it (should) have most of the bad issues worked out that the 2011 and 2012 models suffered from, so you're mostly safe in the regard of piston failure and stuff.
 

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Awesome input, so far, thanks guys. I will definitely check for interior smell with the heat on if I move forward.

As mentioned mpg's with the cobalt, I would average between 35-36 in my 5 speed 2.2 and I'm down to 30-31 now, while gas is cheap right now, I do estimate saving apx $40/month on fuel... Probably to be offset by the unavoidable increase in insurance, but such is life.

The premium vs regular gas interests me, as I would've never thought the increase would be worth the cost. Something I'll definitely have to test out.

The turbo excites me while worrying me at the same time. I feel like it will be a ticking time bomb, but that's a gamble. I really wanted an automatic this round but I'm opting for a manual again for the simplicity and reliability, and mpg increase. I suppose the turbo could essentially be my expected "trans rebuild".
Believe it or not, my insurance went down moving from my Cobalt into the Cruze. I was told coupes generally cost more to insure because they're "sporty", and the displacement of the engine is factored in. Since the Cruze is a 4-door with a 1.4l it's less risk than a 2.2l 2-door. I was also told the Cobalt was a very popular car for college kids which makes it higher risk statistically, where-as the Sonic has kind of become the college car replacement, and the Cruze is owned by basically everyone.
 

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I'll chime in I have a 2012 Eco however, mine's a 6M. MPG depends mostly on you and how you drive. I live in Cincinnati so it is very hilly here and traffic is? with all the construction. I have only taken the car on a "road trip" maybe once or twice and as long as you are able to keep the MPH between 60 - 65 you can actually see @40 Which is what I saw on a trip from Cinti to Cleveland and back one day. My commute to and fro from work with all the hills and traffic and not being able to just let the car drive gives me mid 30's but I spend little time on the highway at cruising speed where the MPG comes from. Some other guys like Mike Ober(obermd) are able to accomplish the mid 40s in his car because his commute allows him to keep the car at a consistent speed on the hwy. It all depends on you and the ability to keep a constant speed.
 

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I have a 2012 Eco MT. The 42 MPG is what I get at 75-77 MPH. At 55 MPH this is a 55 MPG car. At 65 MPH it's a 48 MPG car. Check for an odor in the cabin when running the heat on high after the engine has warmed up to operating temperature (about 15-20 minutes). Also be aware that in the winter this car doesn't warm up quickly because the engine is so small and the power train so efficient.
 

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You didn't mention if the the car is 6M or 6A. I have 2 '12 6M's and a '13 6M. My brother has a '12 6A. Mine do get better milage than his on the open road. With smooth traffic mine will average low to mid 40mpg on the open road at 75mph. My brothers will average high 30's in the same conditions. If there's no traffic mileage drops by 2-3 mpg. If traffic flow is not smooth, mpg drops even more. The Eco version seems to reward drivers who look far ahead. This is especially true of the 6M which coasts better than about any car out there. I you can stand driving slower or are willing to draft close to 50mpg is possible. With a shorter FLVV, 600 mile tanks are pretty easy to get on a 6M. With a topped off tank, I've made it to Atlanta from Chicago ( about 700 miles) without a fuel stop.

Around town I can average 30ish. His is 24-28 and at times less due to remote start. With the automatic it's easy to not feel how hard you are actually stepping on the gas.
 

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You didn't mention if the the car is 6M or 6A. I have 2 '12 6M's and a '13 6M. My brother has a '12 6A. Mine do get better milage than his on the open road. With smooth traffic mine will average low to mid 40mpg on the open road at 75mph. My brothers will average high 30's in the same conditions. If there's no traffic mileage drops by 2-3 mpg. If traffic flow is not smooth, mpg drops even more. The Eco version seems to reward drivers who look far ahead. This is especially true of the 6M which coasts better than about any car out there. I you can stand driving slower or are willing to draft close to 50mpg is possible. With a shorter FLVV, 600 mile tanks are pretty easy to get on a 6M. With a topped off tank, I've made it to Atlanta from Chicago ( about 700 miles) without a fuel stop.

Around town I can average 30ish. His is 24-28 and at times less due to remote start. With the automatic it's easy to not feel how hard you are actually stepping on the gas.
Later in the thread he mentioned:

I really wanted an automatic this round but I'm opting for a manual again for the simplicity and reliability, and mpg increase.
 

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For me and my car, I had issues the entire time. Most of the issues eventually were fixed. Only outstanding issue I have is the MyLink radio and the occasional shut engine off oil pressure chimes when I hit a puddle or do under body wash in the car wash. After a day the sensor dries out and it's fine again. My car seems to be the odd ball made on a Monday (literally) so not every issue I have or haven't listed could be normal for 2013.

My list of items that broke between 200 miles and 60K are too long to list and I couldn't accurately remember them w/o referring to my notes. W/o causing you to panic this early into the game, I'll list a few things I would look for if I decided to go looking into a used 13 eco.

*Have them audit the service records for recalls and other issues.

*Water pump
(I had about 3 so far) could your coolant smell. Mine would never make it into the cabin but super noticeable once you get out and walked past the front of the car. o ring on the coolant top could be old and need to be swapped out.

*Recalled half shaft I had the 2nd one take a crap on me 50 miles into install, check that has been swapped out since we had 2 of those for 2013 eco 6m.

*Transmission whine from low trans fluids
At about 40/45K I had my trans making a loud whine at freeway speeds but in the city it was kinda tame but present. I did a fluid swap at about 35K but prior to that the fluid level was low. The dip stick to check the trans level is... not there. You may find the fluid sucks and the common fix was to use one of the 2 Amsoil gear oils listed in the How To area. The fix was a new transmission installed.

*Negative cable recall I'm not trying to compete on who had the most issue with that cable, I''ll just give a list of what all I had to replace just before that cable was replaced.
(3) coil packs (1) Brake booster pump (1) under hood fuse box and still going though **** trying to get the MyLink replaced.

*A/C refer charge low My car was purchased on a cold day so I didn't test it out. 200 miles later I found out it didn't work. it was low from the factory so they had to vacuum and recharge by weight. Since then I had super cold A/C.

*Parking assist handle holds car still Ensure this guy works. Took like 6 months to get this issue fixed. Reverse is my parking gear as all the others would still roll on me when the hand brake, sorry parking assist handle wouldn't hold it on any incline to include the one in the dealer service line. I'll just toss adjust rear drums here so it's not looking like a huge list of items. They come out of spec and cause the front rotors to prematurely wear down. I assume the dealer inspected the front pads, mine were toast to the point the metal rusted and separated from the backing.


That's my list of things to look for, I'm sure others may have some to add to it. My Fuely won't reflect much since I bounce around from stock and tuned conditions and fuelly keeps breaking and mas purging my inputs. Spark plugs will help you on the MPG and 6th gear low revs. My plugs came gapped .016 making my car painfully slow. There is a whole spark plug thread for this topic as well.
 

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if the smell is coming from the area of the tank have them replace the water outlet and the cap to the overflow tank. Those solved my smell problems outside of the car. I never had any inside the car. If the smell is coming from the right front of the engine by the belt it is the water pump. Those have a special warranty of 10 years/150,000 miles.

Keep the oil changed and never let the engine overheat and it should last that long. Fortunately the only problem I have had with my engine is the water pump. I did have a transmission fluid pump o-ring fixed the first year I had it - leaked some transmissions fluid that was a known problem and my dealer found the leak I never noticed it leaking.

Engine seems solid and GM has put them in a lot of their vehicles. Transmission has always shifted funny IMO. Did shift better when I got the ECM recall over a year ago. I think all transmissions are shifting funny these days I think the manufacturers are getting cute with the programming and are screwing the shift points up for MPG.

I have a 2011 1LT that was built 10/28/2010 (happy birthday to my cruze:)) so it is 7 years old but it sat on the dealers lot for six months before I bought it and I just turned 52,000 miles and I drive about 70 to 80 percent city miles.
 

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if the smell is coming from the area of the tank have them replace the water outlet and the cap to the overflow tank. Those solved my smell problems outside of the car. I never had any inside the car. If the smell is coming from the right front of the engine by the belt it is the water pump. Those have a special warranty of 10 years/150,000 miles.

Keep the oil changed and never let the engine overheat and it should last that long. Fortunately the only problem I have had with my engine is the water pump. I did have a transmission fluid pump o-ring fixed the first year I had it leaked some transmissions fluid that was a known problem and my dealer found the leak I never noticed it leaking.

Engine seems solid and GM has put them in a lot of their vehicles. Transmission has always shifted funny IMO. Did shift better when I got the ECM recall over a year ago. I think all transmissions are shifting funny these days I think the manufacturers are getting cute with the programming and are screwing the shift points up for MPG.

I have a 2011 1LT that was built 10/28/2010 (happy birthday to my cruze:)) so it is 7 years old but it sat on the dealers lot for six months before I bought it and I just turned 52,000 miles and I drive about 70 to 80 percent city miles.
The 2011 auto trans were unique for that year. In 12 they changed a few things but 15 seems to be the solid feeling trans of all the low miles loaners I drove throughout the loaner car woes.
 

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The 2011 auto trans were unique for that year. In 12 they changed a few things but 15 seems to be the solid feeling trans of all the low miles loaners I drove throughout the loaner car woes.
Yeah agreed, when i got tires at my dealer they gave me a 2015 LT1 as a loaner and since the ECM programming my car really shifts like the 2015. Before the ECM programming my car didn't shift anything like a 2015.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks for all of the info guys, it's much appreciated. I'm still kicking the tires, as I'm still not sure what route I want to go. Ive also found a 14 diesel w/10k less miles(44k), for $13k (sticker price)

So with a 110 mile, all hwy commute, would the extra $$ pay for itself to go up to diesel... One thing you guys have mentioned and I've read is you really need to run higher grade fuel in the 1.4, well diesel is roughly 2.15-2.20 here right now, based on that diesel would be a cheaper fuel cost and get better mpg (how much better?)

But would the extra sticker price and maintenance cost be pay for in the long run? I would love for this next car to last a very long time. But I here about emission problems and dpf, def, etc... It's a little overwhelming for someone who's never actually owned a "clean diesel".
 

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Thanks for all of the info guys, it's much appreciated. I'm still kicking the tires, as I'm still not sure what route I want to go. Ive also found a 14 diesel w/10k less miles(44k), for $13k (sticker price)

So with a 110 mile, all hwy commute, would the extra $$ pay for itself to go up to diesel... One thing you guys have mentioned and I've read is you really need to run higher grade fuel in the 1.4, well diesel is roughly 2.15-2.20 here right now, based on that diesel would be a cheaper fuel cost and get better mpg (how much better?)

But would the extra sticker price and maintenance cost be pay for in the long run? I would love for this next car to last a very long time. But I here about emission problems and dpf, def, etc... It's a little overwhelming for someone who's never actually owned a "clean diesel".
so $3000 price difference...

two different trim levels, leather, sunroof, 4 wheel discs, etc...put a value on that __________

dont know the price difference of diesel vs higher grade unleaded where you are

diesel is cheaper here most of the time, so no brainer.

fuel filter change every 1000 gallons...depending on your mpg of course, but roughly 40,000 miles $100
timing belt change at 100,000 miles ~$1000
def is $10 every 10,000 miles
trans fluid....seems to be consensus to change every 30,000 miles $100
some ppls batteries are gone before 3yrs.....you wont get same life as a gasser battery, but 3yrs is too soon....im gonna load test my 3yo tmmw at work.

then, theres repairs that may happen, may not. YMMV.

im 3yrs, 60,000 miles no unwarrantied repairs....its worked as it should, or got warranty repaired (See garage)
 

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Thanks for all of the info guys, it's much appreciated. I'm still kicking the tires, as I'm still not sure what route I want to go. Ive also found a 14 diesel w/10k less miles(44k), for $13k (sticker price)

So with a 110 mile, all hwy commute, would the extra $$ pay for itself to go up to diesel... One thing you guys have mentioned and I've read is you really need to run higher grade fuel in the 1.4, well diesel is roughly 2.15-2.20 here right now, based on that diesel would be a cheaper fuel cost and get better mpg (how much better?)

But would the extra sticker price and maintenance cost be pay for in the long run? I would love for this next car to last a very long time. But I here about emission problems and dpf, def, etc... It's a little overwhelming for someone who's never actually owned a "clean diesel".
My diesel is about the same mileage and has been fantastic. Without trying, I can get the 46 mpg that it advertises. If I put some effort into it and drive the speed limit, breaking 50 mpg is no problem. I think the only thing on the Diesel that really ends up being noticeably more expensive to maintain is the timing belt that needs to be done at 100,000 miles. Some people have had emissions issues with their diesels, but the majority who do seem to have problems fairly early on. A person on the forum under the username "diesel" has almost 200,000 miles on his and I don't think he has had any major issues. "Cruzeecobluetopaz" has a Cruze Eco with a 6 psd that has 414k miles on it and I think his has been pretty reliable too. Personally, if I were you, I'd get the diesel based on your commute and because of the much better options it offers over the Eco.
 
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