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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

After driving my wife's Hyundai Elantra over the weekend I was reminded why I chose the Cruze for myself. Before buying our pre-owned Cruze eco, I was the one driving the Elantra. When it was time to finally upgrade her ride, I (selfishly) wanted something nicer than the Hyundai so she can inherit it and I could enjoy the new(er) ride. Now, the Elantra is a nice econobox and is reliable, but it has zero performance appeal. For example, the engine sounds like it came out of a lawn mower and has no torque, despite the bigger displacement compared to the Cruze (1.8 vs 1.4). The handling is also forgettable, offering no confidence in corners or off/on ramps. There are some nice features, like the strong brakes (better than the Cruze), good amount of standard features and TONS of interior space. I don't know how that's the case, when the two cars are parked side-by-side they have similar exterior dimensions. But the Cruze is basically a 2 door coupe inside - which I happen to like since nobody goes in my car - but I feel that it's a huge strike against it for people with families.

When I drive the Cruze and Elantra back-to-back, I feel a huge difference in driving dynamics. It also gets even better mileage to boot. The first time I drove a Cruze was a rental earlier this year, and it blew away my expectations. I was expecting something more along the lines of the cobalt and cavalier, but not even close. I also looked at the jetta, which admittedly has a nicer interior, but sketchy reliability. I'm glad I chose the Cruze. I don't feel like I settled or had to compromise on what I wanted.

What rides were you looking at before deciding on your Cruze?
 

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Hi everyone,

After driving my wife's Hyundai Elantra over the weekend I was reminded why I chose the Cruze for myself. Before buying our pre-owned Cruze eco, I was the one driving the Elantra. When it was time to finally upgrade her ride, I (selfishly) wanted something nicer than the Hyundai so she can inherit it and I could enjoy the new(er) ride. Now, the Elantra is a nice econobox and is reliable, but it has zero performance appeal. For example, the engine sounds like it came out of a lawn mower and has no torque, despite the bigger displacement compared to the Cruze (1.8 vs 1.4). The handling is also forgettable, offering no confidence in corners or off/on ramps. There are some nice features, like the strong brakes (better than the Cruze), good amount of standard features and TONS of interior space. I don't know how that's the case, when the two cars are parked side-by-side they have similar exterior dimensions. But the Cruze is basically a 2 door coupe inside - which I happen to like since nobody goes in my car - but I feel that it's a huge strike against it for people with families.

When I drive the Cruze and Elantra back-to-back, I feel a huge difference in driving dynamics. It also gets even better mileage to boot. The first time I drove a Cruze was a rental earlier this year, and it blew away my expectations. I was expecting something more along the lines of the cobalt and cavalier, but not even close. I also looked at the jetta, which admittedly has a nicer interior, but sketchy reliability. I'm glad I chose the Cruze. I don't feel like I settled or had to compromise on what I wanted.

What rides were you looking at before deciding on your Cruze?
When i bought my car in 2014 I was looking at a 2014 Kia Forte ex, but with good credit, $1500 down and a perfect credit cosigner they wouldn't drop below $375/mo.. being a GM fan my 4 years driving at the time I went to the nearest chevy dealer and looked at malibus, couldn't find one with any features and used in my price range so they said would you mind a cruze?

They had one (mine) in the show room, he ran to the sales managers office to run numbers on different packages but reassuring me I could afford the ltz I was looking at, they wanted me to get all eager to own one then dumb me in an ls they had on the lot. I ended up talking them down for two whole days from $19.8k to $14.8k paying about $16k after tax and interest and I've never looked back

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Wow! You knocked them down 20%? That's impressive. Definitely a good value at that price point. BTW, this is my first GM car. Growing up my father would always tell us to run the other way when it came to American brands. He's a euro mechanic, so we grew up with all VWs, Audis, BMWs and Mercs. I'll admit that the GM of the 80's and 90's were nothing to write home about, but they definitely turned things around.
 

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2014 Cruze Diesel, 2007 Cobalt, 1981 Camaro Z28, 2017 Volt
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We didn't - we knew we wanted the Cruze Diesel, so when we drove to North Carolina the year before, we rented a Cruze (2LT) to drive down to test it out. Liking that, we were good to go with getting the Diesel.
 

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Wow! You knocked them down 20%? That's impressive. Definitely a good value at that price point. BTW, this is my first GM car. Growing up my father would always tell us to run the other way when it came to American brands. He's a euro mechanic, so we grew up with all VWs, Audis, BMWs and Mercs. I'll admit that the GM of the 80's and 90's were nothing to write home about, but they definitely turned things around.
It was a leased vehicle in 2011, I knew that and told the sales manager I knew they'd made a good amount of money on the car, a three year old car is not worth 20 grand no matter what trim level ! Lol they fought the bank for a 2.8% which is impressive for my age ! (20 at the time)

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I drove a few vehicles before settling on the Cruze.

-2015 Ford Fiesta 1.0 turbo 3cyl 5-speed manual
The car was pretty bland all around, steel wheels and hubcaps, no opt extras inside. (I didn't want anything extra except I couldn't stand the steel wheels) Light beige interior, which I wasn't a fan of. The engine was pretty under powered which was to be expected, but I needed to drive it to make sure I didn't want it. It had a surprisingly big trunk. The appeal of fuel mileage was tempting but the lack of power, weird ford chimes, interior color, wheels, new DI tech, and lack of incentives kept me away.

-2014 Ford Focus 2.0L NA 5-speed manual
Good power, much faster than the Fiesta and faster than the Cruze. The particular one I looked at was well equipped with sunroof 17" alloy wheels, and the sync radio. It was pretty nice, but I didn't want all the extras for the price. The gearbox was nice and it drove great. The price, the looks, and the DI tech kept me away.

-2015 Honda Civic 1.8L NA 6-speed manual
Decent build quality, the double dash layout was neat, and it had a lot of technology. It drove really great, but it wasn't very powerful on the low end, not too bad on the top end. Pretty comfortable. The dealer wasn't willing to negotiate at all on price so that kept me away. It was the most expensive vehicle I tested. Also coming from a GM family, it felt wrong to drive it. I just couldn't get over my brainwashed domestic vehicle bias.

-2015 Honda Fit 1.5L NA 6-speed manual
I didn't like this car at all. Sales guy talked me into driving it. I hated the way it looked, I didn't like the interior, the wheels, the drive, the engine note, or the lack of speed. And to top it off, it was more expensive than the Cruze.

-2014 Jeep Compass 2.0L NA 5-speed manual
Driving this solidified my hate for crossovers. It had awful handling, way too much body roll. No power at all, very heavy, and mediocre gas mileage. It was kind of spacious, and it was pretty comfortable. They were offering some pretty good incentives but it couldn't beat the Cruze.

-2015 Chevy Sonic RS 1.4L turbo 6-speed manual hatch
Came pretty much fully loaded, mylink package, sunroof, etc. I liked the way it looked on the interior, all of the RS touches were neat. The wheels looked good but it was a hard ride. I didn't like the gauges. There was much more engine noise than any of the other vehicles, which is a plus for me. The handling was good. Since it was pretty new, they weren't taking any money off of it, so the price kept me away, I ended up getting my Cruze cheaper.

-2014 Chevy Cruze 1LT 1.4L turbo 6-speed manual
I decided on this vehicle for many reasons. The biggest reason was it was cheaper than all of the above vehicles. I got GMS discount, and 4K cash back since it was a model year old, the new grill for the '15 was out, and it sat on the lot for over a year. They also gave me more for my trade-in than I was expecting. I love the way it looks, especially the front end, and I love the interior. I love the way it drives, the 16" wheels with thick sidewall tires gave it a comfortable ride. I love the engine and it's low down torque, it's also insanely efficient. I love the way it sounds, especially the rare times I can hear the turbo spooling.

The things I don't love: The transmission isn't my favorite, the 2nd gear grind was annoying until I changed the trans fluid, and the gear changes and clutch are very numb but it gets the job done and it's still a ton of fun to drive. The seats could be more comfortable, and I miss my adjustable lumbar support. The back seats could offer a little more space, but it's better than my Cobalt. I don't like filling it with premium fuel to get the best efficiency and power, but it sips fuel so I can handle an extra $4 per fill especially as it gets 400-500 miles per tank. My final out the door price after taking off incentives and GMS discount, then adding taxes and fees came out to $15,765 for a brand new Cruze. I've had it for 20 months and put 34,000 miles on it with no issues other than the 2nd gear grinding at WOT which was solved by changing trans fluid.
 

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None. I was a Pontiac man since my first car. The Lancer was because GM didn't have a car for me at the time and Fords just don't do it for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The things I don't love: The transmission isn't my favorite, the 2nd gear grind was annoying until I changed the trans fluid, and the gear changes and clutch are very numb but it gets the job done and it's still a ton of fun to drive. The seats could be more comfortable, and I miss my adjustable lumbar support. The back seats could offer a little more space, but it's better than my Cobalt. I don't like filling it with premium fuel to get the best efficiency and power, but it sips fuel so I can handle an extra $4 per fill especially as it gets 400-500 miles per tank. My final out the door price after taking off incentives and GMS discount, then adding taxes and fees came out to $15,765 for a brand new Cruze. I've had it for 20 months and put 34,000 miles on it with no issues other than the 2nd gear grinding at WOT which was solved by changing trans fluid.
That is quite the list of cars you've looked at. I gotta agree about some of the pitfalls. I've had many jettas and passats that were manuals, and their clutch feel was night and day better than the Cruze. It just feels so numb and hard to gauge the release point. Getting used to it though. Other thing I don't care for is the piano black on the console. While it does look nice, it gets dirty and scratched just by looking at it.

Keep 'em coming!
 

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Most recently, '17 Accord Sport SE and '17 Fusion SE 1.5 Ecoboost.

Strongly disliked the Accord. Loathe the interior (very cheap looking and feeling) and horrible road noise. Terrible ride quality. Infotainment is a freaking joke compared to the Ford and uplevel Chevy. Loved the engine and transmission, and like any Honda, very sturdily built.

Liked everything about the Fusion, but didn't feel as refined as the Cruze and the motor just wasn't as punchy (it's heavy). If it were a 2.0 for the price of the Cruze, I'd probably have taken it.

In the end, it came down to a great price and tons of features on the Cruze for me. I didn't want to buy another GM, but it's a nice freaking car. I sure as heck wasn't buying another GM manual after my experience with the 12.

The new Civic 1.5T probably would have been up my alley, but that thing is too freaking ugly to want to be seen in. Naw.
 

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That is quite the list of cars you've looked at. I gotta agree about some of the pitfalls. I've had many jettas and passats that were manuals, and their clutch feel was night and day better than the Cruze. It just feels so numb and hard to gauge the release point. Getting used to it though. Other thing I don't care for is the piano black on the console. While it does look nice, it gets dirty and scratched just by looking at it.

Keep 'em coming!
Sorry, I didn't intend to write a book, it just happened haha. When looking for a car my order of things I had to have from most important to least important was:

1. Manual transmission
2. Affordability
3. 4-Door (I loved the Cobalt coupe but each door was as wide as an entire parking space)
4. Has to look good
5. Real alloy wheels, no hubcaps

I didn't want to buy another GM, but it's a nice freaking car. I sure as heck wasn't buying another GM manual after my experience with the 12.

There's something fundamentally wrong with the getrag M32 in paticular. The getrag F23 5-speed in my Cobalt was VERY different. It actually felt like the shifter was connected to the transmission despite the cable linkages. It felt very robust, and it could take abuse. It offered positive feedback and it never fought back. It never ground gears unless you messed up the timing. And the gearing was perfect other than 5th could have been taller. I loved the transmission/engine combo in the Cobalt. The Cruze is so vastly different in comparison.
 

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There's something fundamentally wrong with the getrag M32 in paticular. The getrag F23 5-speed in my Cobalt was VERY different. It actually felt like the shifter was connected to the transmission despite the cable linkages. It felt very robust, and it could take abuse. It offered positive feedback and it never fought back. It never ground gears unless you messed up the timing. And the gearing was perfect other than 5th could have been taller. I loved the transmission/engine combo in the Cobalt. The Cruze is so vastly different in comparison.
The gear ratios or clunkiness didn't really bother me. It was the fact that it all broke horribly in 50k. Every. Single. Part.

Ok, reverse bothered me. Who the heck geared THAT? Also the clutch is terrible. Even with a new clutch disc, it isn't grabby like a Honda. Easy to drive, sure, good to drive, nay.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
As numb as the Cruze clutch is, it still feels better than a friend's C6 vette I drove. It was so light, as if there was no pedal. The engine more than made up for it, lol.

Europeans make great shifters and have good clutch feel. But I don't expect my Cruze to be tuned like, say, an M3's. It just has to be functional.
 

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Had a GM, my 2004 GTO - an excellent car. At the time , early 2011 was worried about fuel prices. Saw the ECO and the fuel mileage and could get a 6MT - I was sold. Did not consider other vehicles.
 

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I bought my 2014 Cruze LS new in October 2014. In the past I've driven many rental cars on business trips, so I've always known which car would be my next new purchase when my current car needed to be replaced. But this time around I hadn't rented a car since 2009 (the business trips stopped, which was fine by me), so I really had no clue which car to buy!

The car to be replaced was a 2004 Oldsmobile Alero. My plan was to "downsize" to a compact car. Being a "Detroit Big Three" person, I test drove the following (all are new 2014 models with automatic transmissions and assembled in the US):

1. Chevrolet Cruze LS (1st Chevy Dealer)
2. Ford Focus S
3. Ford Focus SE (Same dealer as Focus S. The salesperson insisted I drive the SE after driving the S, even though the powertrains were the same and I really didn't care about all the extra gizmos in the SE.)
4. Dodge Dart SE
5. Chevrolet Cruze LS (2nd Chevy Dealer)


In the end I bought my Cruze from the 2nd Chevy Dealer and continued my all-GM car ownership!
 

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I only actually looked at four vehicles before getting my Diesel, but I had a few in mind. At the time I got my Cruze, my umber vehicle was a '98 Camaro Z28 with a 6 sod and a '95 Chevy K1500 with a fully built 5.7 TBI. I was looking for something cheaper to maintain and cheaper on fuel. I still wanted something that had enough power to be fun to drive.

2014 or 2015 Subaru WRX
Couldn't find any 2013's with the options I wanted and it was more than I wanted to spend. Subaru stopped making 2014 WRX's in December of 2013 and the 2015's weren't released until March of 2014.

2011 Infiniti G37xS
Was my dad's company car and I could've got the buyout on the company lease for a good deal, but Infiniti maintenance made me nervous. I had worked at an Infiniti dealer for a while in the service department and the maintenance was pretty much BMW expensive.

2014 Ford Focus ST and 2014 Ford Fiesta ST
was quite ineterested, but couldn't find a dealer that even had one for me to come and look at, nevermind drive.

2014 Jetta TDI Highline with a 6 spd manual
Almost bought it. Test drove it and was going to come back in a few days to finalize the sale. I had already booked the appointment to test drive the Cruze though, so I ended up going and looking at it.

2014 Cruze Diesel
Fell in love with it shortly after driving it. Every aspect about the Jetta that was better, didn't really matter to me. The Jetta had more interior space, a bigger trunk, and better city mileage. I'm the only one ever in my car so interior space doesn't matter, either does trunk size. The slight difference of the Cruze compared to the Jetta in fuel economy was almost irrelevant as either were going to be way better than my current vehicles. I liked the bit extra power the Cruze had although I really wished it had a manual transmission option. Due to issues with the extended warranty negotiations, the deal almost fell through and I almost ended up getting the G37xS.
 

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We looked at a variety of cars:

1. Civic - This along with the Cruze was one of our top picks. It was noiser than the cruze and Im not a fan of the dashboard but it was priced lower than the cruze. Also not a fan of the "side mirror camera" - was more blinding at night than helpful.

2. Corrolla - not much positive to say on this one (the latest edition) - all around dud

3. Ford Focus - IF you are a Johnny Cash fan you'd love the interior - black, black, black. I didnt like the mini screen DIC. Was nice to have a hatch version but price was a bit higher with comperable options

4. Price shopped a Mazda 3 - We prob shoudlve test drove this but nothing about it interested me - just my preference. I hear these are nice cars.

5. Cruze - I really liked the Cruze from the first time I drove it. Quiet, lots of head room. It was one of the most expensive sticker price wise. We got it under the 20% off discount last March which still palced it $500 more than the Civic, however with my $3500 GM Card discount it was a no brainer.


I have test driven the new Civic and have to say Im not sure what I would buy today if looking. The new Cruze is nice but GM has totally butchered the options offerings and from what I can tell the price has gone up atleast $1,000 if not $1,500 on the LT model vs the Gen 1.
 

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After 2 years of comparing, the short list was:
2013 Cruze 2LT RS moonroof & Navi.
2013 Civic EX-L w/Navi.
 

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Only Reason I bought our diesel cruze,is I wrote off one of our Diesel I30's,would have gotten another one of them but what the insurance paid out the cruze was the only thing in Diesel I* could afford,of the same year of the car I wrote off,I have grown to love the car
Rick
 

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In 2011, with gas prices being what it was I decided it was time to dump the 06 Legacy GT Wagon as get something gas worthy but with a manual trans. My short list ended up being the Civic EX 5 sp, Corolla S 5 sp and Cruze Eco 6 SP. After driving them all I know I made the right decision.
 
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