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What cars did you cross shop before choosing the Cruze?

3694 Views 32 Replies 23 Participants Last post by  Aranarth
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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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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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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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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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
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.
You may be the only person ever to cross-shop the Cruze with those models lol. Glad you found the right car for you. Related question, how does the diesel model drive? Is it particularly sluggish off the line? Does it have the typical diesel idle (ie loud)
 
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