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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey, new member and prospective buyer here. I'm not new to diesels at all, but my VW TDI recently got damaged and I'm thinking about options for upgrading. I'm researching and haven't really seen any comparisons of the Cruze diesel yet, so thought I'd ask.

What are the major differences? Are they cosmetic or are there real performance differences between them?

For me, I drive a LOT and a lot of highway miles, so something like a Volt is nice, but I don't think I would see the real benefit there b/c it would always be using the engine. I would definitely be interested in an engine tune for "reasons" and mileage / reliability are top on that list. My VW has over 400k miles on it, so you see that I'm in this for a while!

How much can they reasonably tow - not just the rating, but actual capability?
Does the Gen2 come with any kind of wireless charging pad (would be nice list)?
Does the 9-speed auto make a huge difference in mileage?
Does the Gen2 come with Apple Car Play? Can it be added to the Gen1 at all? - I've changed radios in previous vehicles, but I'm not thrilled about the new style of everything SO built-in that it cannot be changed at all.
Do either or both generations come with XM radio built-in?
Do both generations (or only the G2) come with auto-start-stop, and can the behavior of that be customized? I sometimes idle my car a LOT for power or comfort during work.

What kind of real-world mileage can be expected? I tend to drive fast, 80 on the highway is normal.

Above all, thanks for answering! I probably have more questions but don't yet know them. :D
 

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How much can they reasonably tow - not just the rating, but actual capability?

Not much more than the gasser. The issue is not the engine it's not ruining the unibody.


Does the Gen2 come with any kind of wireless charging pad (would be nice list)?

The earlier ones have it but it doesn't work that well.


Does the 9-speed auto make a huge difference in mileage?


Yes, and a massive one. The Gen 2 is alot better at high speeds (over 60) than the Gen 1.



Does the Gen2 come with Apple Car Play? Can it be added to the Gen1 at all? - I've changed radios in previous vehicles, but I'm not thrilled about the new style of everything SO built-in that it cannot be changed at all.



Yes the gen 2 will have car play. No it cannot be added to the Gen1. Replacing it is not worth it.

Do either or both generations come with XM radio built-in?

Both The Gen 1 was top premium model minus a few extras. Its more or less the same story on Gen 2.

Do both generations (or only the G2) come with auto-start-stop, and can the behavior of that be customized? I sometimes idle my car a LOT for power or comfort during work.


Only gen 2. No it cannot.
 

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Hey, new member and prospective buyer here. I'm not new to diesels at all, but my VW TDI recently got damaged and I'm thinking about options for upgrading. I'm researching and haven't really seen any comparisons of the Cruze diesel yet, so thought I'd ask.

What are the major differences? Are they cosmetic or are there real performance differences between them?

For me, I drive a LOT and a lot of highway miles, so something like a Volt is nice, but I don't think I would see the real benefit there b/c it would always be using the engine. I would definitely be interested in an engine tune for "reasons" and mileage / reliability are top on that list. My VW has over 400k miles on it, so you see that I'm in this for a while!

How much can they reasonably tow - not just the rating, but actual capability?
Does the Gen2 come with any kind of wireless charging pad (would be nice list)?
Does the 9-speed auto make a huge difference in mileage?
Does the Gen2 come with Apple Car Play? Can it be added to the Gen1 at all? - I've changed radios in previous vehicles, but I'm not thrilled about the new style of everything SO built-in that it cannot be changed at all.
Do either or both generations come with XM radio built-in?
Do both generations (or only the G2) come with auto-start-stop, and can the behavior of that be customized? I sometimes idle my car a LOT for power or comfort during work.

What kind of real-world mileage can be expected? I tend to drive fast, 80 on the highway is normal.

Above all, thanks for answering! I probably have more questions but don't yet know them. :D
Can't answer all as I've only owned and still continue to own my Gen1 Diesel, but I'll bang a few off.

The difference between gen1 and gen2 is an entire body style change and engine change. I'm not too technical when it comes to engines, but I think it's a 1.8L in the Gen2 and a 2.0L in the Gen1. Gen1 does not have a manual transmission option, Gen2 does. At the end of the day, if you're a person looking for style, it will depend on how you like the look of the vehicle. As I said, complete body style change. I personally like the look of the Gen1 and have stuck with it. I have the 2014 which was the first model year for North America that they stuck the Diesel engine in it. They continued it for 2015 which had a small front end change, but everything else stayed the same. 2016 began Gen2 and the Diesel was not​ included in that year. 2017 and 2018 showed the return of the Diesel engine.

When you get a Diesel these days, you're getting one with the new emissions system. You didn't mention the year of your VW, but I assume it at least has a DPF? With the newer Diesels, including the Cruze, you're getting the DPF as well as the DEF system. Gen1 can easily go 20,000km on a single 17L tank of DEF. The Gen2 seems to consume it at a quicker rate from what I've read. Both generations have their quirks with the emissions system. I personally have only had the EGR valve get stuck once (replaced under warranty) and a DEF tank heater stop working (also replaced under warranty). There's a fair number of sensors throughout the system that people have had problems with; again, you'll find those documented around the forum.


Does the Gen2 come with Apple Car Play? Can it be added to the Gen1 at all?
Gen2, yes but unsure if the lower end models have it. Gen1, no. However aftermarket is always an option.

Do either or both generations come with XM radio built-in?
Yes.

Do both generations (or only the G2) come with auto-start-stop, and can the behavior of that be customized? I sometimes idle my car a LOT for power or comfort during work.
Only on Gen2. Gen1 has none of that silly stuff. It can be customized (mainly shut off entirely) with a relatively simple tune install. There's articles and posts about that on the forum. Without a tune, if you're idling somewhere and haven't been driving, I don't think it will auto shutoff. Pretty sure it does it when driving, meaning the vehicle needs to be in DRIVE gear for it to initiate its function.
 

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Geordi - any chance you also have a KJ and are n Lostjeeps?

I wracked up 450,000+ miles over the last 15yrs in a couple of different VW TDI. My beloved tuned/turbo'd '00 Golf died at 350,000. It was $5K for eying and suspension work or put that into a down payment. I now as of July have a 2018 Cruze HB MT Diesel. I plan to drive it for 10yrs and 250,000+ miles. 7,000 mi on it so far, so here are my comparisons:

Power HP/FT-LBs: the 1.6TD in the Gen2 Cruze is very comparable if not a bit more than my tuned VW 1.9TDI ALH. Plenty of torque for a commuter in the Cruze. I don't think you will be towing anything, car seems to lightly built for that.

Handling - The Golf wins here. I have the RS Package, low profile 18in tires, etc but the VW seemed more glued to the road. It was also a bit heavier. The 18in tires give lots of road feedback from expansion joints, surface changes, etc. The electric steering is a bit vague.

Convenience - Cruze wins here, but its 18yrs newer. Android Auto, Apple, Satellite, etc. Nav works with the phone just fine projecting on the radio screen.

Build Quality - I'll be curious to see how the interior holds up over 10yrs. The VW was falling apart and that stupid tactile coating they had on all the plastics sucked. I opted for the "leather" seats in the Cruze. I plan to get a dash mat and get the windows tinted. This car is a greenhouse for some reason parked at work. Gets hot in there fast compared to the VW. Lots of plastic in the Cruze that I hope does not crack over time. The VW's had known ongoing issues with window regulator, door switches, glove box doors, sunroof drains, etc. Not sure yet on the Cruze.

MPG - I run 90% interstate on a 60mi each way commute. I run with the pack at 78-80mph and hand calc is 45-48mpg. The car calculates a 43-45mpg so at least it doesn't lie like most of them. I did have 1 trip running back from IL at 68-70mph and the DIC said 54mpg over the last 50mi.

Another bonus is no timing belt, so that $1000 every 3yrs on the VW is gone!! The 1.6TD has a timing chain on the back of the block that is "supposed" to be lifetime. Be curious to see how the hold up, but I'd be factoring in a replacement around 250,000.

Also the Cruze has decent enough ground clearance. I had a skid plate on the VW because I'd heard of too many cracked oil pans from road debris.

Overall I'm slowly growing to like the Cruze.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hey JP - I am indeed the same Geordi from LOST Jeeps, and I'm the traveling tech for the CRD. My 03 TDI wagon got rear ended by a moron in a truck and his insurance wants to total it and brand the title... I'm still looking at my options there. The wagon's door took the hit b/c moron lifted his truck, and the door sill also needs to be replaced b/c it got bent up in the wreck.

The difference in the transmission is a big one for me since I do mostly highway, but the cost difference... ouch. I also looked at more recent TDIs since they will give better mileage, and same thing - Ouch.

Lack of tunes on the Gen2 is an issue, although I'm sure that will be resolved soon. Deleting things on the Gen1 would be a high priority, and I understand that can deliver some better mileage at the same time as reducing complexity of the emissions system and giving back the potential of an actual spare tire.
 

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My 03 TDI wagon got rear ended by a moron in a truck and his insurance wants to total it and brand the title...
At least you don't have a contract with them giving them the right to buy it from you.
But some states laws' might still require branding if damage is more than xx% of market value.
Sometimes it helps to say no for a month or two until the adjuster just wants to get it off his unresolved claims list.

With all that hwy driving, I'd want a 2nd gen with a stick shift. IIRC the EPA hwy rating is 10% more than the 9sp, and that seems to carry over to real life.
 

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For pure MPG you can’t beat the Gen 2. But if you end up with a Gen 1 you won’t be disappointed.

My 09 TDI averaged 42 lifetime MPG (182,000 miles). After the buyback and switch to a 14 CTD I’m averaging 45.5 MPG (35,000 miles).

If you tend to drive 80 mph often in a Gen 1 expect about 40-42 mpg. It is capable of doing 54 mpg, but that’s at 60 mph. On the other hand, the Gen 2 does 50 mpg easily and can get into the 60’s with a light foot.

Also, no spare tire in the Gen 1. Not a deal breaker but important to know.
 
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With all that hwy driving, I'd want a 2nd gen with a stick shift. IIRC the EPA hwy rating is 10% more than the 9sp, and that seems to carry over to real life.
I have both a manual and an auto gen 2 diesel. There is actually no significant difference in MPG over the first 8000 miles. Lifetime for both is within .1 MPG of each other. 45 MPG both combined driving and average speed of 30MPH. There will be no manual for 2019. If one wants a manual, move fast on a 2018, or you won't get one.

Sent from my Moto G (5) Plus using Tapatalk
 

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Hey JP - I am indeed the same Geordi from LOST Jeeps, and I'm the traveling tech for the CRD.
I'm over on Lost, but mainly a lurker. We have an '05 KJ CRD and my folks need up buying an '06 to copy cat. I do most of the maintenance on them. Ours is the wife's ride and is the kid hauler.

I was really close to getting another VW. Almost bought a buyback Passat stick with LOW LOW miles. I really wanted a hatch back though. It's mainly just me in the car commuting but one of the big sellers on the Cruze was rear leg room. Kids are growing, but there is plenty of room for adults if need be. That is non existent in the Golf and The Sportwagen. But that also means a little less room in the hatch. The Cruze rear seat does fold flat with the headrest still attached which is a bonus over the VW.

The Cruze is growing on me. Like stated earlier if you want a stick you better scoop up a 2018 SOON!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Good to know about the mileage differences - I'm thinking the potential of a tune on the Gen2 will be resolved soon enough, and 8-10 more MPG are certainly a HIGH incentive. I drive way too much to care about getting a manual. I'd have to try it on a test drive to see about the auto start/stop. I really wish there was an actual wagon version though. That is a big thing for me right now, b/c I use it for work and carry either a fair amount of tools or TV equipment (sound mixer is my primary business) and I also "car camp" a lot on long trips, setting up an air mattress in the back and letting the engine run for heat or AC. Having the room for gear is a big thing, I almost never have the seats up in my 03 wagon.
 

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There is no auto start/stop on the manual. For the auto it can be disabled by going to manual shift mode (L9). For 2019 there is a disable auto start/stop button.

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So I took the Cruze in for the 1st free oil change. While there I had them check into this shudder, but they didn't find anything. It's on record though: [h=1]Manual Transmission Shudder?[/h]
So they wanted to keep the car overnight and gave me an Equinox as a loaner/rental. It was gas, but I easily saw 35-40mpg on my highway commute. Diesel should do a bit better. Maybe consider that for your car camp/sleep needs? It should also handle a small trailer, maybe 2500lbs? But your KJ buddies might frown at you showing up to fix theirs in a too similar vehicle?
 
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