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The past two weeks I have been reading various threads about the Cruze at Cruzetalk. My 2006 PT Cruiser has 93,000 miles and it starting to cost me a big chunk of $$ - got estimates of a grand to change the timing belt. Since the gas mileage isn't so hot on the PT, I am thinking of trading it in towards a Cruze. I test drove a few models (LT,LS and Eco) and really like them. Only thing I did notice was the erratic shifting occasionally in my test drives, almost like a delay. From what I read that is normal and should go away, but some say it never has from them. Anyway, after reading issues of paint chips, squeeks/rattles, thermostat issues and erratic shifiting behavior that people have talked about in the Cruzetalk forums I am now backing off getting a Cruze. Am I overreacting? What would you guys do? Basically I have narrowed my car purchase to a 2011 Chevy Cruze LT1 with the Bluetooth/Cruise Ctrl package or a 2011 Dodge Avenger Mainstreet (4 cylnder). Both are almost identical in price for me (I qualify for a full employee discount for the Dodge and only a supplier discount for the Cruze). Not sure what I am going to do. Do I want room for a little less mpg, or more mpg with less room? Basically, the 2011 Avenger is a more refined update to a model that has been out a while, hence I assume less problems. The 2011 Cruze is new in the USA and after reading the issues on this forum I'm not so sure now. So confused- I need to make a decision before my timing belt breaks and I am forced to put a grand into my PT! Thanks for listening...
 

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1. Anyone who has more than 7k miles and is still experiencing shifting problems is super-rare from what I've seen. If there are any, they just need to purchase Trifecta tune, it's guaranteed to fix their problem.

2. We all have the paint chips problems, get some clear bra material for it or mudflaps, seemed to help others.

3. I don't think anyone is having squeeks/rattles, if they are, they need to immediately go to the dealer and refuse the car until its resolved. I drove 3 rattleboxes, I mean Cobalts, and refuse to drive another.

4. Thermostat problems were part of a small group of recalls and have been resolved, again no one should still have this issue.

5. Erratic shifting, see #1, Trifecta works wonders



I can't make the decision for you, and obviously I'm biased but I'm saying the Cruze over the Avenger by FAR. I don't think the Avenger is anywhere in the same class as far as refinement, engine capacity/power, exterior appearance, and the Avenger is probably more money depending on which models you're looking at.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask us and we'll do our best to help ya out.
 

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So confused- I need to make a decision before my timing belt breaks and I am forced to put a grand into my PT! Thanks for listening...
First off I would like to encourage you to not make a choice of trading in your current car because of your possible mechanical issue in the near future as you've stated. This will force you to accept a really low low-balling offer from the dealer upon trade-in. The dealer already expects less than 2k more than what your trade-in is worth, try and find a better reason to look into purchasing your new vehicle. :) Please don't take offense to this either but I'm one of those guys who spends the day reading about ways to buy a new vehicle. :) The biggest reason I bought my Cruze was because of the deal I got but it wasn't the only reason.

Where do you live? Having an opinion on a car can vary depending on the weather you experience everyday.
If you live in Hawaii like me your only worry will be transmission life due to traffic everyday, suspension because our roads are the worst in the nation, and corrosion control from the Ocean.

The Cruze will win in many different categories in it's class. One thing nobody pays attention to these days and takes for granted in vehicles is safety ratings. I tell you no lie when I say that the Cruze wins for the best in it's class according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

I would recommend the Cruze to you based on what you're looking for. No offense yet again, but there is no comparison to the Avenger. What is it you're looking for in a vehicle?
 

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I bought the Cruze 1LT back in March. I have 2300KM on it and I have noticed that the lag so to speak in the shifting of gears are long gone. It really didnt bother me that much to begin with. I am 110% happy with the decision that I made in purchasing the Cruze. I have the red metallic paint and to date have no paint chips in or around the car at all!
 

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someone on here said it the best, most people get on a site like this to complain. so most of the things your reading are worst case. and as shawn stated a lot of the problems are already fixed or easily fixable. it is your decision, but i will add i love this car, and i know a lot of people here do as well.
 

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I think the majority of us on this forum are overall satisfied with their Cruze. Me for example am blown away by it, far exceeded my expectations after 4500 miles. The transmission was a non issue after about 2K miles for me, all others were fixed before I bought the car.

You have to take forum posts with a grain of salt, as mentioned earlier most of the negative ones will be worst case of people blowing the problem out of proportion.

Thats my 2 cents worth, but ultimately it's your decision and your decision alone.
 

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1. Anyone who has more than 7k miles and is still experiencing shifting problems is super-rare from what I've seen. If there are any, they just need to purchase Trifecta tune, it's guaranteed to fix their problem.

2. We all have the paint chips problems, get some clear bra material for it or mudflaps, seemed to help others.


3. I don't think anyone is having squeeks/rattles, if they are, they need to immediately go to the dealer and refuse the car until its resolved. I drove 3 rattleboxes, I mean Cobalts, and refuse to drive another.

4. Thermostat problems were part of a small group of recalls and have been resolved, again no one should still have this issue.

5. Erratic shifting, see #1, Trifecta works wonders



I can't make the decision for you, and obviously I'm biased but I'm saying the Cruze over the Avenger by FAR. I don't think the Avenger is anywhere in the same class as far as refinement, engine capacity/power, exterior appearance, and the Avenger is probably more money depending on which models you're looking at.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask us and we'll do our best to help ya out.
Is there anywhere else to get the mudflaps than the dealer. Also would they affect the airflow on the eco, thus reducing mileage?
 

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I would buy the cruze. Bought mine about three weeks ago and the only thing I had to do it was fill up the tank once.

you are right about the shifting. but one morning going to work I really noticed something different about the car. it just started running smoother and seem to have more pickup. this was around 450 miles on the odometer and I also noticed the shifting was smoother and a lot more normal. the salesman told me it would normally take 250 - 300 miles for the shifting to adjust to your driving. not really sure what happened but maybe the pistons rings started to seat too.

hope this helps but I would buy a cruze - I traded my 117000 mle 1996 honda civic ex in on one. the civic a/c busted and some other minor things made the repairs on that just too high to put into the car for me. but what is funny is I drove a lot cars and the cruze reminded me of my 1996 honda civic ex more than the new civics. was quieter and a lot more solid. the new civics to me just sounded to much like a tin can.
 

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If you don't mind shifting a little, the 6 speed LS is a nice car the only thing it does not have is cruise control(which can be added for @ $300) the styled wheels and navigation. I have had mine for 2months with no problems and I get decent mileage out of it @27MPG (more city than highway). I don't have to worry about the automatic shifting problems and the price was @ $2000 less. If you can live without the visual navigation Onstar(tells you how to get where you are going with no pictures) and wheels, the LS is a nice moderately priced car. When I take it on the highway in 6th gear, it has a real smooth + quiet ride. I traded in a 2007 Civic on it and I am quite happy. Prior to that I had a 2003 Olds. Alero with a 5 speed that was suffering from age and repair bills.

Hope this helps and good luck
 

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Hello DBY2011, regarding your second thoughts on buying a Cruze. I've owned the LT1 for 2 1/2 months now, and am so glad I bought this vehicle. It truly is a pleasure to drive. GM offers a good warranty if you ever need it. But maybe another long test drive of both vehicles will help you decide which is best for you.
I'm one very happy Chevy Cruze owner. Like one of the previous posters on here said...this car exceeds expectations for a small vehicle.
Cheers!
 

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When you test drove the Eco, was it M/T? If you are OK with M/T and want fuel economy, go with that choice since shifting is not an issue.

I bought an LT back in October, drove it through a Michigan fall, winter, and now spring. I never had a shifting issue, and no paint chipping (plenty of salt around here). Fuel economy? THe last two tanks were 36 mpg and 37 mpg. Both those tanks were 4 to 5 80 mile round trips on hwy, a few trips to little league, ballet, etc. 70 mph was the top speed on the hwy, but not continous.
In other words, it worked out for me, but I kind of wish I waited for the Eco.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
If you don't mind shifting a little, the 6 speed LS is a nice car the only thing it does not have is cruise control(which can be added for @ $300) the styled wheels and navigation. I have had mine for 2months with no problems and I get decent mileage out of it @27MPG (more city than highway). I don't have to worry about the automatic shifting problems and the price was @ $2000 less. If you can live without the visual navigation Onstar(tells you how to get where you are going with no pictures) and wheels, the LS is a nice moderately priced car. When I take it on the highway in 6th gear, it has a real smooth + quiet ride. I traded in a 2007 Civic on it and I am quite happy. Prior to that I had a 2003 Olds. Alero with a 5 speed that was suffering from age and repair bills.

Hope this helps and good luck
Thanks for everyone's input. I drove a LS for the first time last night and to be honest the 1.8 didn't seem much different then the LT with the 1.4 turbo. The cruise control from Rostra doesn't seem that hard to install in the LS either (maybe I can get the dealer to do it if I buy the kit). I probably could live with the LS. I figured out my 5 year payment for the Avenger Mainstreet (sticker $22,295) and the LT Cruze ($19,700 sticker)- $282.62 for the Avenger and $282.89 for the Cruze. BTW- the 2011 Avenger has been updated dramtically- it's not the same car as the previous year. If I can get the dealer to throw in mud flaps and make sure it is a late model build (rear doors aligned better) still maybe will go for the Cruze. Can't believe the Cruze would be tested for "millions of miles" and no one would notice paint chips- that's the kind of stuff that has got me concerned about the car.

The Eco I drove was a 6sp auto- I don't even know how to drive a stick. LOL The Eco was good but it had a little more tire noise ( I assume due to the harder rubber of the low res tires) and I am concerned about the tires costing too much down the road to replace and also not sure about the reliability of the motorized shutters in the front. I can't see that being something that would last a long time either.
 

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I bought my Cruze 1LT on April 21st and so far have only had 1 issue, which from what I gather is common in many new cars. (Check Engine Light came on the third day I had the car and OnStar and others said check the gas cap.) The dealer fixed the problem in less than an hour and I am very happy. So far this car is the best car I have ever purchased. I have noticed the shifting issue, but like others said it should go away. I only have 1350 miles on the car and the shifting hasn't been as bad as a previous car I owned.
 

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i would recommend getting rid of the pt cruizer asap i am a mechanic for a living and personally have seen way to many issues with them....as far as what to replace it with i have never liked dodge chrysler products as far as cars are concerned lets face it any car you own will need work sooner or later depending on how its built and how you maintian it i dont care for those brands due to cost of repair and how they are built....as far as the cruze goes i have an ls 1.8L manual trans which i got at the end of feb and now have 6500 miles on it i have had no sqeaks no rattles no problems what so ever....my opinion between the cars you mentioned get the cruze hands down
 

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I love my LS automatic. Has 5,500 on it and is peppy yet frugal on gas. I drove a new Malibu the other day and it was not as peppy as the Cruze. (don't know what engine was in it. I looked under the hood but couldn't see plugs so think maybe it was a straight 4 cyl.) It didn't ride any better than my Cruze, just bigger and heavier. Still would take the Cruze over the Malibu.
 
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