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How much will the cruze tow
 

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OP's signature explains that his car isn't stock, and makes 180 HP.

The manual says ECO and Diesel models are NOT recommended for towing. L, LS, LT and LTZ models can tow up to 1,000 lbs with a hitch weight of 200 lbs. Also be sure not to exceed the vehicles overall GVWR (passengers and luggage etc)

Power isn't the issue when it comes to towing, it's the brakes. The stability of the vehicle can be compromised by exceeding the weight recommendations. It's also important to center your load over the axle to avoid the "tail wagging the dog" effect.

 

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The eco just uses weak brakepads. When you change them with semi metallic they brake just the same as the LT.
The Ecos actually are less tail heavy than the LTs (because most of their weight is in the heavier steel engine, vs the LT's all aluminum block saving about ?80lbs? on weight?).
 

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The eco just uses weak brakepads. When you change them with semi metallic they brake just the same as the LT.
The Ecos actually are less tail heavy than the LTs (because most of their weight is in the heavier steel engine, vs the LT's all aluminum block saving about ?80lbs? on weight?).
I'm fairly certain the brake pads are the same. It's the tires that present the biggest compromise for towing, which are the extremely light and soft Goodyear Assurance FuelMax LRR tires.

The engines are the same. In fact, the Eco MT is actually lighter in the front by 80 pounds due to the manual transmission over other autos. It does have some weight savings but not in structural areas (that would be a big issue for crash test ratings otherwise). Also, the Eco MT has tall gears, so towing is a bit of a chore without a tune.

The Gen1 is rated for 1,000 pounds in the US but 2,000 pounds in Australia. I have towed between 800 and 1500 pounds many times with this car. The biggest issue comes with stopping (you need good tires and pads), especially in the rain, followed by rear end stability if your shocks are worn. If you have over 50,000 miles on your Cruze, I'd replace at least the rear shocks before you consider towing. I would also invest in some chassis bracing from Ultra Racing through BNR.
 

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I guess depending on how much you tow.
My Eco has 60+k miles, and barely had more than 1 truckload of laundry to carry.
My rear shocks are almost as good as new.
Also, the ecos have a steel engine, as opposed to gen 2 lts
Some of the older lts have a steel engine as well.
But the Gen 2 lts weigh the same as the Gen 1 eco.
Heavier body, lighter engine.

Tall gears do little to towing. It just takes the engine longer to reach a certain rpm range, but overall, I know I'm quite contradicting popular belief, in saying that gearing does very little to towing capacity or acceleration.

People feel they're accelerating faster, because the tach goes up faster, but you're still pushing the same 150HP, to pull the load.

It's easier to understand when one car has taller gear ratios, but has the same ratio in 5th, that another has in 6th.
The car with the taller gears will have to shift 1 less gear, which makes up for the lower torque per gear, and 5th would equal the other car's 6th gear in torque.

Plus, taller gears allow you to stay in lower gear longer, which also helps in more torque vs a shorter geared car that's accelerating in one gear higher.
 

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I towed a ~1500-2000lb glider trailer with my Eco for a couple thousand miles over several years before I had a truck. Even at 70mph, 6th gear is essentially useless in this situation. It would work ok if driving on perfectly flat terrain, but when there were any sort of hills, I'd need to be in 5th so that the turbo would be providing some boost to help climb the hills. Shifting back up to 6th gear did not improve gas mileage.
 

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I guess depending on how much you tow.
My Eco has 60+k miles, and barely had more than 1 truckload of laundry to carry.
My rear shocks are almost as good as new.
Also, the ecos have a steel engine, as opposed to gen 2 lts
Some of the older lts have a steel engine as well.
But the Gen 2 lts weigh the same as the Gen 1 eco.
Heavier body, lighter engine.

Tall gears do little to towing. It just takes the engine longer to reach a certain rpm range, but overall, I know I'm quite contradicting popular belief, in saying that gearing does very little to towing capacity or acceleration.

People feel they're accelerating faster, because the tach goes up faster, but you're still pushing the same 150HP, to pull the load.

It's easier to understand when one car has taller gear ratios, but has the same ratio in 5th, that another has in 6th.
The car with the taller gears will have to shift 1 less gear, which makes up for the lower torque per gear, and 5th would equal the other car's 6th gear in torque.

Plus, taller gears allow you to stay in lower gear longer, which also helps in more torque vs a shorter geared car that's accelerating in one gear higher.
The Gen1 came in two engine options, the 1.8L or the 1.4L Turbo. All Cruzes that got the 1.4L Turbo got the same engine. There was no aluminum vs steel difference in the 1.4L Turbo. The Gen2 is a different engine altogether and should not be compared for weight differences to the Gen1. In the Gen1, it didn't matter if you had an Eco, 1LT, 2LT, or LTZ, they all had the same engine.

The Gen1 Eco weighs about 3,000-3,010 pounds with the manual transmission. The Gen2 Cruze LT with a manual weighs 2892 pounds; a 110-120 pound difference. Furthermore, I can guarantee that the weight distribution is not the same, as the battery was moved to the trunk, the engine bay was significantly shortened, and the wheelbase was widened. As a result, you are incorrect, they do not weigh the same.

Gearing is everything when you're towing. Your drive ratio directly affects how much power you are able to put to the ground. Taller gears makes it more difficult to tow because you have to downshift more frequently and are not likely to be in the correct power band as often. While not as big of an issue with naturally aspirated engines, it makes a difference in turbocharged engines.

When people feel they're accelerating faster, it's because more power is being sent to the wheels. While the engine is still producing roughly the same power, the drivetrain is transferring different power levels to the ground.

I towed a ~1500-2000lb glider trailer with my Eco for a couple thousand miles over several years before I had a truck. Even at 70mph, 6th gear is essentially useless in this situation. It would work ok if driving on perfectly flat terrain, but when there were any sort of hills, I'd need to be in 5th so that the turbo would be providing some boost to help climb the hills. Shifting back up to 6th gear did not improve gas mileage.
I've had similar experiences with my Eco. I usually end up just leaving it in 5th gear for the entire trip because 6th gear just starts lugging the moment you get on any incline. 5th gear manages to hold pretty well.
 

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I stand corrected,
Last time I saw, the 2011-2016 cruzes weighed ~3100LBS, but didn't notice that second gen 2016s weighed ~2900LBS.

As far as gear ratio, I do beg to differ, and tell you that it doesn't matter at all!
In fact, sometimes it may be better to be in 4th gear, with tall ratio, than in 5th gear with a shorter ratio.
It all depends on the speed you're driving at.
And with the cruze, having a very flat torque curve, it doesn't really matter at all much, since you can run anywhere from 2 to 4k RPM with about the same acceleration.
It's a very wide torque curve.

And like I said before, the 'more power to the ground' is nullified once they shift one gear up (as the tall geared car, would still be accelerating in a smaller gear, having at that point more torque than the shorter geared car in a gear higher).
 

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Gearing definitely matters.

Tow in a truck with a fuel economy oriented rear end, and then tow with one with a towing package rear end. Enormous difference in usable power, ESPECIALLY getting a heavy load moving.

Probably negated somewhat with 10 speed autos in trucks now, but back in the days of 4-speed slushboxes in trucks, rear axle ratio makes an enormous difference.
 

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Gearing definitely matters.

Tow in a truck with a fuel economy oriented rear end, and then tow with one with a towing package rear end. Enormous difference in usable power, ESPECIALLY getting a heavy load moving.

Probably negated somewhat with 10 speed autos in trucks now, but back in the days of 4-speed slushboxes in trucks, rear axle ratio makes an enormous difference.
4.88s + V10 = TOW BEAST
 

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I stand corrected,
Last time I saw, the 2011-2016 cruzes weighed ~3100LBS, but didn't notice that second gen 2016s weighed ~2900LBS.

As far as gear ratio, I do beg to differ, and tell you that it doesn't matter at all!
In fact, sometimes it may be better to be in 4th gear, with tall ratio, than in 5th gear with a shorter ratio.
It all depends on the speed you're driving at.
And with the cruze, having a very flat torque curve, it doesn't really matter at all much, since you can run anywhere from 2 to 4k RPM with about the same acceleration.
It's a very wide torque curve.

And like I said before, the 'more power to the ground' is nullified once they shift one gear up (as the tall geared car, would still be accelerating in a smaller gear, having at that point more torque than the shorter geared car in a gear higher).
With an Eco, your 5th gear is equivalent to the LT manual transmission's 6th gear, which means you only have 5 usable gears to work with on the Eco when towing. This again means you are not likely to be in the correct power band. This means that you end up downshifting more often, because your gaps between gears are larger. You have to wind up more when you're accelerating from a stop and for a given RPM.

Try towing once with a stock Eco and then tell me gearing doesn't matter. I've been towing a boat with this car for years. I'd rather have the 1LT gears for towing, but the tune makes it tolerable.
 

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With an Eco, your 5th gear is equivalent to the LT manual transmission's 6th gear, which means you only have 5 usable gears to work with on the Eco when towing. This again means you are not likely to be in the correct power band. This means that you end up downshifting more often, because your gaps between gears are larger. You have to wind up more when you're accelerating from a stop and for a given RPM.

Try towing once with a stock Eco and then tell me gearing doesn't matter. I've been towing a boat with this car for years. I'd rather have the 1LT gears for towing, but the tune makes it tolerable.
Actually,
If the eco's 5th gear equals an LT's 6th gear, then it doesn't matter at all; since you can easily drive in 5th gear on the eco, while in 6th on the LT, while still having the same MPG.
Your tach would indicate the same RPM on both cars; at that same speed, despite being 1 gear different.
There's no one forcing you to drive around in 6th gear. 6th gear is optional, and if it doesn't work (lugging), then you'll have a 5spd car, instead of a 6spd car.
No real loss there.

You can always downshift with gearing, which is exactly why taller gears benefit almost unanimously all across the range, over shorter gears; while a shorter geared car, will not be able to shift up past it's final gear.
So the Eco has an extra gear.

The only issue might be if the eco has such tall gears, that departing in 1st gear is an issue; but I doubt this is the case.

If your gaps between gears are larger, it actually means you will shift less, not more!
It's very easy to see if the LT shifts 5 times (from 1-6th gear), the Eco shifts only 4times (1-5th gear).

I believe there's a LOT of misconception concerning gearing out there, even amongst mechanics.
The only time gearing matters, is the ramp up from a stop, to where the car is accelerating in it's efficiency band (torque or HP band).
Once it's there, the engine will only transfer as much as it can, and gearing won't matter much at all.

There's been occasions where taller gearing actually resulted in FASTER acceleration, and not slower.
In an extreme example, let's say, an LT had such short gears that from 1-6th gear, it would be the same as on the Eco from 1-2.
In such case I'd say it's easy to see that the Eco will be accelerating faster than the LT; as the LT shifts 5 times, when the eco only shifts 1 time.

It's an extreme example that amplifies why shorter gearing does not significantly affect acceleration.

There is of course a balance somewhere.
A car which uses a 6th gear as it's first gear, will probably not even be able to accelerate from a stop, and definitely be slower.
But many cars are geared too short.

As far as not being in the right powerband, the Eco has a powerband of 2-4k RPM, which is very wide, and covers about 3 gears.
 

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Gearing definitely matters.

Tow in a truck with a fuel economy oriented rear end, and then tow with one with a towing package rear end. Enormous difference in usable power, ESPECIALLY getting a heavy load moving.

Probably negated somewhat with 10 speed autos in trucks now, but back in the days of 4-speed slushboxes in trucks, rear axle ratio makes an enormous difference.
Yeah, but which cars still have 4 speed gearboxes?
The difference between 3 and 4th gear on a 4spd gearbox often is large.
Those vehicles are tuned for street driving, not towing.
The Cruze already is tuned for towing, if you ask me.
It's 5th-6th gear ratio difference is only about 20%.
It's pretty wide, because of the turbo, but it's not optimal if you ask me. Could be wider.

If I weren't towing, I'd love the Cruze to even have a 20% wider gear spacing.
To go on the highway at 75MPH, the Cruze does 2750RPM, which I prefer to be 2500RPM.
That would be perfect for me, and a possible savings of 5-10% in MPG.
 

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The only time gearing matters, is the ramp up from a stop, to where the car is accelerating in it's efficiency band (torque or HP band).
Florida’s pretty flat, highest elevation less than 400 ft.

Gear ratios make no difference towing grades?
 

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Let's stop arguing pointless things that are against physics. Shorter gears = better acceleration and better choice of a gearing suited to staying in the engine's torque or HP powerband. Taller gearing = better MPG cruising at a constant (higher) speed. It's evident between the 2011-2012 AT Cruzes; it's evident between the LT and Eco manual transmissions; it's evident with the 4-speed autos that GM and Ford both changed to insanely tall gearing to try to meet stricter CAFE requirements.

Ford compared their own 10-speed F150 with the SAME engine against a 6 speed, towing uphill. Guess which one won that race?
 

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Let's stop arguing pointless things that are against physics. Shorter gears = better acceleration and better choice of a gearing suited to staying in the engine's torque or HP powerband. Taller gearing = better MPG cruising at a constant (higher) speed. It's evident between the 2011-2012 AT Cruzes; it's evident between the LT and Eco manual transmissions; it's evident with the 4-speed autos that GM and Ford both changed to insanely tall gearing to try to meet stricter CAFE requirements.

Ford compared their own 10-speed F150 with the SAME engine against a 6 speed, towing uphill. Guess which one won that race?
The shorter gearing, gives better acceleration, is what you've been taught, yet it's not always true.
And it's not true for short geared cars like the Cruze.
They're better off the bat from a stop, but from a rolling stop, with or without load, gearing makes almost no difference in acceleration.

I understand that a taller gear has less torque per gear, but you still have a specific engine that needs to pull the same load.
And taller gears is easier to shift at the correct RPM range, shift less (less time wasted between shifts)...

There's not much of a choice to stay in an engine's torque or HP powerband, when the Cruze's torque band is flat from 2 to 4k RPM, I just explained that. That's almost it's entire rev range where the car pulls the same.
 

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The shorter gearing, gives better acceleration, is what you've been taught, yet it's not always true.
And it's not true for short geared cars like the Cruze.
They're better off the bat from a stop, but from a rolling stop, with or without load, gearing makes almost no difference in acceleration.

I understand that a taller gear has less torque per gear, but you still have a specific engine that needs to pull the same load.
And taller gears is easier to shift at the correct RPM range, shift less (less time wasted between shifts)...

There's not much of a choice to stay in an engine's torque or HP powerband, when the Cruze's torque band is flat from 2 to 4k RPM, I just explained that. That's almost it's entire rev range where the car pulls the same.
Nope

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There's not much of a choice to stay in an engine's torque or HP powerband, when the Cruze's torque band is flat from 2 to 4k RPM, I just explained that. That's almost it's entire rev range where the car pulls the same.
It absolutely does not pull the same at 2k RPM as at 4k. At 2k the turbo is providing little, if any boost. If it were really the same at 2k and 4k RPM, I could easily tow my glider trailer in 6th gear in hilly terrain, but...then there is reality.

Anybody have a torque/horsepower curve for the 1.4T?
 
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