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Chevrolet Cruze Eco
Cruze Eco gets better fuel economy than many popular hybrids

When most people think about green cars, they usually think of hybrids and EVs that are currently making headlines. The fact of the matter is that while most hybrid cars certainly get good fuel economy there are several subcompacts and compacts on the market that offer great fuel economy with standard powertrains.

Chevrolet earlier this year announced a new variant of its new compact car called the Cruze Eco. The Cruze Eco has been rated for 42mpg on the highway and offers 28mpg fuel economy in the city for 6-speed manual versions. An automatic transmission is also offered on the vehicle and it is rated for 26mpg in the city and 37mpg on the highway.

The Cruze Eco uses an Ecotec 1.4L turbocharged engine that produces 138hp and 148 lb-ft of torque between 1,850 rpm and 4,900 rpm. Chevy claim that that the motor was also designed with an eye towards being smooth and quiet.

Several features contribute to the fuel economy of the Cruze Eco including special low rolling resistance tires. The lightweight 17-inch alloy wheels and special tires helped shave 21.2 pounds total from the Cruze Eco compared to standard models with 16-inch wheels.

Chevy also spent lots of time in the wind tunnel to increase the aerodynamics of the Cruze Eco. Chevy says that over 500 hours of testing in the wind tunnel lead to a reduction in aerodynamic drag of 10% compared to non-Eco models. The Eco version has an underbody tray that guides air under the car and has a special grill with more closeouts to improve aerodynamics. The front air dam of the vehicle is lower and it has a special rear spoiler as well.

The Cruze Eco is the most fuel-efficient small cars around, beating out the fuel-sipping sub-compact Ford Fiesta rated for 40mpg, the Ford Focus rated for 35mpg (although the 2012 Focus is supposed to approach 40mpg), and most of the hybrids on the road including the Ford Fusion Hybrid, Nissan Altima Hybrid, and the Toyota Camry Hybrid.

The Cruze Eco will hit dealers in January at $18,895.

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I thought...
By Ytsejamer1 on 11/12/2010 10:07:44 AM , Rating: 2
I thought it was absolutely impossible to improve mileage on cars by a certain date. Wow...who knew that if you actually put effort, time, and R&D funds into it, you can accomplish quite a bit!

Kudos to GM for keeping at it...perhaps they're on the right track after all.

RE: I thought...
By kattanna on 11/12/2010 10:18:51 AM , Rating: 3
this is a compact model car. also note that going from manual to automatic you lose 5mpg highway

now when you get to mid sized or larger cars or trucks, then yes, its going to be damn hard if not impossible for some types to be reaching 40mpg or so.

RE: I thought...
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 11/12/10, Rating: -1
RE: I thought...
By mrdelldude on 11/12/2010 12:46:29 PM , Rating: 2
The lightweight 17-inch alloy wheels and special tires helped shave 21.2 pounds total from the Cruze Eco compared to standard models with 16-inch wheels .

That was only for the wheels. Not sure what the overall change is, though.

RE: I thought...
By Tabinium on 11/12/2010 1:26:05 PM , Rating: 2
21.2 pounds of unsprung(that is, not supported by the suspension) weight is significant. The fact that it is rotating weight on top of that is HUGE. Some old hot rodders would say that 1lb of unsprung is equal to 2, 4 or even 10 pounds of sprung weight. There is no exact conversion, but the overall understanding is there.

Now, would anyone savvy with the automotive field call this "revolutionary" or "cutting edge"? No. But it is nice to hear about engineers actually doing engineering instead of marketing.

RE: I thought...
By sleepeeg3 on 11/12/2010 8:25:16 PM , Rating: 2
It's around 4lbs. Easy to figure out when you compare ETs of 1/4 mile runs to actually reducing 100lbs of suspended weight by say, removing the rear seats. So yes, this improves the power/weight ratio, but ~100lbs of weight savings is only ~3% on a 3000lb car.

The real reason this car gets such good gas mileage is because they put a dog of an engine in it, much like most hybrids already have, but without the weight of the heavy LiIon batteries. Weight and power reduction will always provide gains, but they aren't actually improving the engine, just making it slower. Many people prefer to pay a little more for power so it's not such a struggle to drive and they don't get killed on the freeway. Why force the issue?

RE: I thought...
By acer905 on 11/12/2010 2:49:42 PM , Rating: 2
Have you actually compared the actual size of the cars?

Cruze L,W,H: 181.0,70.7,58.1
Prius L,W,H: 175.6,68.7,58.7

Cruze Front Head, Shoulder, Leg Room: 39.3,54.8,42.3
Prius Front Head, Shoulder, Leg Room: 38.6,54.9,52.5

From, a Compact car has passenger and cargo volume of 100-109 Cu. Ft.

A mid-size car has 110-119 Cu. Ft.

The Prius is only a mid-size because it is a hatchback. The car is the same size, with the exception of the extra cargo space. (the Cruze has 15.4 Cu. Ft. of cargo, the Prius has 21.6)

Give the Prius a trunk instead of a hatch, it would be a compact.

RE: I thought...
By Reclaimer77 on 11/12/2010 5:45:20 PM , Rating: 5
Who cares? Both of them make your balls fall off.

RE: I thought...
By thurston on 11/12/2010 7:35:27 PM , Rating: 5
Who cares? Both of them make your balls fall off.

Good thing we've got you to catch them in your mouth.

RE: I thought...
By Samus on 11/14/2010 3:10:43 AM , Rating: 2
LMFAO, classic.

RE: I thought...
By BZDTemp on 11/13/10, Rating: 0
RE: I thought...
By mindless1 on 11/15/2010 2:52:47 PM , Rating: 2
Actually no, Ford F-series pickups sell in greater numbers world wide than anything else (excluding cars of course).

GM cars also sell in good quantity world wide. Seems you have serious misconceptions about the auto industry or possibly just the US?

RE: I thought...
By theArchMichael on 11/12/2010 10:49:35 AM , Rating: 2
In a real life city situation there is just way more stop and go driving if you live in the city or if you drive in traffic and live in the burbs. With the non hybrid fuel efficient cars the advantage is much less than with the EV or hybrids (because they recharge the batteries from the brakes if i'm not mistaken). So the fuel savings advantage is much less if you're in the city but for road trips it's great. I got about 450 miles on 12 gallons of gas in my Kia Forte and I wasn't hypermiling or anything.

RE: I thought...
By Spivonious on 11/12/2010 10:53:44 AM , Rating: 2
It would be hard not to get 40+ mpg with a lightweight, six-speed, turbo I4. My '03 Focus got 35mpg highway new; adding a sixth gear would easily bump that over 40.

RE: I thought...
By Anoxanmore on 11/12/2010 10:58:57 AM , Rating: 2
I could see this turning into a really neat sleeper car... I'll have to look into it for my new car. :)

(I'm a slight fan of the EcoTech engine, it could arguably be the next 4G63.)

RE: I thought...
By Flunk on 11/12/2010 11:31:53 AM , Rating: 2
You'd be better off with the 1.8L version with the independant rear suspension. The 1.4T eco version doesn't have that much headroom for tuning.

RE: I thought...
By FITCamaro on 11/12/2010 11:48:03 AM , Rating: 1
You're better off with the 2.0L version which is good for roughly 500 hp on stock internals.

RE: I thought...
By Iaiken on 11/12/2010 4:38:04 PM , Rating: 2
Which would be a waste of time without the weight to put that power to the road.

You'd want to go to 330hp tops in a car that size. After that, the torque steer basically ruins the cars handling.

If going in a straight line is what gets you hard, you're better off just grabbing something like an old IS300 and swapping in a JZA80 engine.

RE: I thought...
By Alexvrb on 11/13/2010 2:49:45 PM , Rating: 3
There are ways to minimize or even eliminate torque steer. If they built an SS variant (CAFE and design costs will probably prevent this from happening) with HiPer struts, equal length shafts, etc, it wouldn't even be an issue. The Cobalt SS does very well on the track, and that's a BUDGET performance compact FWD. It outhandles and outperforms a lot of more expensive vehicles on the TRACK, not in a straight line - and people have been building them with decent amounts of power, too.

Also, they put the LNF 2.0 turbo ecotec in RWD cars, too. Cue Solstice/Sky. Built LNFs and even LS small blocks are often found in these RWD convertibles and they're awesome, so that blows your "too much power for car that size" argument out of the water.

RE: I thought...
By dubldwn on 11/12/2010 2:38:13 PM , Rating: 2
I could see this turning into a really neat sleeper car

Holy sh!t I just read this thing goes 0-60 in 10 seconds! You have your work cut out for you maybe if you crank up the boost you'll beat a minivan :O

RE: I thought...
By FITCamaro on 11/12/2010 2:59:03 PM , Rating: 3
You think that'll stop the fart pipes from being on this thing like everything else?

RE: I thought...
By Spuke on 11/12/2010 11:08:33 AM , Rating: 1
I thought it was absolutely impossible to improve mileage on cars by a certain date.
The cars been in development for the last four years dude. GM's been talking about it for the last three. They didn't just whip this car up over the weekend. :rollseyes"

RE: I thought...
By ender21 on 11/15/2010 10:12:26 AM , Rating: 2
The cars been in development for the last four years dude. GM's been talking about it for the last three. They didn't just whip this car up over the weekend. :rollseyes

I'm not sure how that invalidates his point. Car manufacturers say it's too difficult/expensive/time consuming to improve gas mileage in cars to meet any sort of government mandated standards. Even if it's been in R&D for 4 years (you sure all 4 of that was spent trying to get good mpg?), this just shows it's possible. So, point valid.

RE: I thought...
By mindless1 on 11/15/2010 2:56:23 PM , Rating: 2
It's possible GIVEN TIME AND MONEY. The natural evolution of the automobile is a bit different than the government telling Henry Ford in 1910 that all his cars must reach 40 MPG.

So when they say it can't be done they mean given current tech and budgets they can magically make a car from the future drop out of their arse because someone says it would be nice or necessary.

RE: I thought...
By zendude on 11/12/2010 11:11:00 AM , Rating: 2
The is a differnce between Highway and overall rating.
When you factor in City Driving, this car falls well short of some of the state goals.

It drops even farther when an Automatic Transmission is added. This is partially due to added weight. A small and light vehicle will be far more sensitive to added weight. It is also likely geared different to allow for acceptable acceleration to make up for the power lost in the automatic transmission. Weak fuel-efficient engines would most likely be more effected by this and again need gearing to allow for sufficient accelleration for entering highways.

Furthermore, the goals are for AVERAGES which means that small fuel efficient cars need to get far better mileage to make balance in larger cars such as Family Vans and Pickup Trucks.

RE: I thought...
By FITCamaro on 11/12/2010 11:42:41 AM , Rating: 4
Exactly. They're talking about having 40+ mpg FLEETWIDE averages. Not just highway mileage targets for small cars.

This appears to be a compact sedan similar to a 4 door Civic. Works for a college student or young people with one kid. Doesn't work for people with larger families. The targeted fuel economy standards basically eliminate any kind of vehicle that can tow because they would hurt fuel economy too much. If you have a 15c/20h mpg truck (17.5 mpg avg) and a 40 mpg average target, that means you need a car with an AVERAGE of 52.5 mpg to hit the standard.

Yes companies can just pay the penalties and pass that on to consumers but why should people have to pay more for a product because the government doesn't think it hits some target which they think they have to power to impose.

RE: I thought...
By Spuke on 11/12/2010 12:57:19 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. They're talking about having 40+ mpg FLEETWIDE averages. Not just highway mileage targets for small cars.
I used to have a copy of the new CAFE standards but lost it. It's not a straight average but some formula used to figure out mpg. The car companies can meet the short term targets because that's already been in development. It's the long term one's that are tricky. There's still some negotiating to do so expect some changes.

RE: I thought...
By Spuke on 11/12/2010 2:27:42 PM , Rating: 2
Here's a good article on the 2016 CAFE standards. Note they aren't 35.5 mpg but the 34.1 announced earlier this year.

RE: I thought...
By Spivonious on 11/12/2010 1:09:55 PM , Rating: 2
It's got four doors. Please explain why an older family with two teenage kids couldn't use this.

RE: I thought...
By Spuke on 11/12/2010 1:27:31 PM , Rating: 2
It's got four doors. Please explain why an older family with two teenage kids couldn't use this.
I could make that car work. I had two sedans with less backseat room than the Cruze with two kids.

RE: I thought...
By FITCamaro on 11/12/2010 3:01:42 PM , Rating: 3
I'd love to see you shove 4 people and luggage into one of these. Unless its an overnight trip with duffel bags, the suitcases aren't going to fit in the trunk. And I don't know about you, but as a teenager I was 6'1". I would not have been happy to be shoved into the back of one of these for an extended drive.

RE: I thought...
By mcnabney on 11/12/2010 4:28:18 PM , Rating: 1
Most dual-income families have two cars, dimwit.

This car is for dad to drive to work while mom chucks the kids in the Mazda 5.

Stupid Americans think every car has to every damn little thing. No wonder they cost so much.

RE: I thought...
By Spuke on 11/12/2010 5:35:57 PM , Rating: 2
Stupid Americans think every car has to every damn little thing. No wonder they cost so much.
Stupid Europeans. Cars are cheap the US!!! Compare your prices to here. Besides, we don't like to buy 16 things that all do the same thing. We would prefer one that does it all. It IS cheaper to do it that way. The main reason Americans have two cars is the wife works in one place and the husband works in another. Otherwise, we would have one car.

RE: I thought...
By mcnabney on 11/15/2010 11:48:18 AM , Rating: 2
I was actually taking aim at the dual-SUV household.

You know, the seven-seat behemoths that have never left the asphalt and the most challenging role they have is hauling two kids and a load of groceries home. Americans (of which I am one) have attached their social standing to the type of car they drive. They also have this wierd idea that SUVs are safer than a typical midsize, which may be true if striking another car, but are far more likely to be involved in accidents due to their poor braking and maneuverability.

There are plenty of people that have a legitimate need for a large SUV. Four kids and a boat pretty much require it. But that is not a huge market and has been met by products like the suburban for decades.

RE: I thought...
By mindless1 on 11/15/2010 3:04:30 PM , Rating: 3
You are suggesting that we, people who enjoy freedom, should do what you want instead of what we want as individuals.

I live in in the snow belt and haul things every once in a while. It would be senseless to keep renting a vehicle to do that or get safely back and forth in the winter.

What is this foolish notion that we are supposed to cram ourselves into some tiny car? If you can't afford gasoline, that is your problem not ours. Supply and demand, those who want SUVs should have them.

The idea about safety is pointless, the largest factor in safety is the sanity of the driver - not even their innate driving skill matters as much.

Another reason to get an SUV is better visibility AND better vision from being higher up, especially when there are lots of other SUVs, trucks, vans, etc on the road. Get in the average small car and you can't see more than 20 feet around you in traffic.

So, we basically see there is no reason to own a small car, similar to there being no reason to own the tiniest home possible even though some greenie would argue it takes less energy to heat, cool, less materials to build and maintain.

The point is, we are not sardines, only poor people have to settle for barely adequate (anything). Bigger IS better till it won't fit between lanes or in parking spaces.

RE: I thought...
By Spuke on 11/12/2010 5:30:24 PM , Rating: 1
My son is 6'1" and had no problems in the back of a Nissan Sentra sedan and an Infiniti G20. We made sure he could fit comfortably. And there was plenty of truck space in both cars for all of our luggage. You don't know what lack of trunk space is unless you've driven my Solstice! ;) The Cruze is not some tiny sh!tbox. It has plenty of room for a family of four. Five? No way, unless three are infants AND all the baby seats fit. There are exceptions, really tall kids probably won't fit well nor will large families, but those parents will know that and buy accordingly. For the average American family (look it up), this car will do fine. Hopefully, it's a real competitor to the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla/Matrix.

Now, all that said. I rather have a Ford Edge and I have never liked SUV's.

RE: I thought...
By FITCamaro on 11/13/2010 12:31:30 AM , Rating: 3
Does the Solstice even have a trunk?

You want a small trunk though, look at a GTO. In Australia, the Monaro had a huge trunk with fold down rear seats. US safety standards though forced them to put the gas tank in the trunk which basically cut it in half. With the radio off and a sufficiently quiet exhaust, you can hear the fuel pump. Only good thing about it is that it makes fuel pump swaps and gas tank maintenance (not that there really is any unless you just need to put in a bigger pump to support more horsepower) extremely easy.

RE: I thought...
By mindless1 on 11/15/2010 3:23:49 PM , Rating: 2
... and sardines fit "comfortably" in their cans.

Sorry but no! Comfortable is a comparative term, the fact remaining that more room is more comfortable because people are living beings that like space around them and to be able to move around a bit especially when they have to ride for awhile versus just sitting there for a minute to see if their knees hit the seat in front.

THAT is another factor, if the driver or front seat passenger aren't short their seat is further back so the back seats barely have any leg room at all. I'm not 6'1" but find I am adjusting the seat back nearly as far as it will go even in full sized sedans... but at least in those you can do so and still have rear seat legroom.

RE: I thought...
By Keeir on 11/12/2010 3:20:15 PM , Rating: 2
Yes companies can just pay the penalties and pass that on to consumers but why should people have to pay more for a product because the government doesn't think it hits some target which they think they have to power to impose.

The worst part of CAFE is that it addresses the wrong thing.

We (voting citizens) of the US want people to use less Fuel. Increasing the CAFE standard does not directly address this issue, because it is not based in any way on actual Fuel Consumption... Car choice is just one of many factors that affect fuel consumption. Driving Style, Driving Habit, Distance Driven, type of leisure, etc all play significant roles in a person's fuel consumption...

Gas Tax + No more CAFE please! Let automakers make what they think will sell AND promote people to save fuel rather than make wasteful life choices and blame fuel consumption on manufactures not making magic cars.

RE: I thought...
By mcnabney on 11/12/2010 4:32:36 PM , Rating: 2
I agree 100%. If we do collectively want to reduce gas consumption we should tax it. Taxes destroy - quite reliably too. Add an extra $1/gallon tax and you would be amazed what kind of cars people would want to buy. It would also let different manufactures focus on different parts of the market instead of trying to force them into a CAFE box.

Wants me 90's era CRX
/will be happy with this car or a Fiesta.
//have two kids
///but they aren't fatties like most

RE: I thought...
By Spuke on 11/12/2010 6:05:20 PM , Rating: 2
Since we already have gas taxes, I'm guessing you would like to raise them. Are these taxes across the board or would some people be exempt or pay a lower rate, like truckers for instance? That's my problem with a gas tax. It doesn't just raise the price of fuel, it raises everything associated with fuel. So, what you're proposing is simply a consumption tax where people that consume more pay more (they already do it's called sales tax).

Why not cut out the middle man and just create an across the board tax called consumption tax. Remove the sales and gas taxes and replace it with this and have a single tax to raise and raise some more. Have a base federal rate and allow the states to raise it from that rate (or leave it). That way places like California can have their VAT equivalent and places like Alaska can choose the base rate.

Sound good?

RE: I thought...
By Keeir on 11/12/2010 7:41:53 PM , Rating: 2
Spuke... your not thinking this through

If the GOAL is to reduce Fuel consumption...

Forcing Manufacturers to SELL a certain mix of cars... not an efficient way to do this at all. You mention the increased hit due to gasoline... how about all those Auto Bailouts? GM, Ford, etc all made cars for years that did not return profits! Why did they do this? They were essentially forced to... by CAFE and by UAW.

CAFE as a tool has significant negatives. For one thing, it forces the new car market to only high mileage consumers. Looking at the Cruze/Focus versus last years models... its often 150,000+ miles before the cost increases are offset by the fuel gains. It forces people who want a weekend toy to pay the same cost of acquistion as someone who plans on driving every day. Look at Ferrari looking at expensive Hybrid system.

Its targeting the wrong thing, and comes at significant costs.

Maybe a gas tax is not a good idea, but CAFE is a terrible idea which is politically popular because we get to blame the manufacturers for failures and price increases rather than the government or our own consumption choices (both of Fuel and Automobile).

RE: I thought...
By FITCamaro on 11/13/2010 11:38:06 PM , Rating: 2
How about we do neither.

Why should people be punished for having a large family? Or want to own a boat? Or some jet skis? Or just wanting to have a fun car to drive? Why should people be forced either through CAFE standards or taxes to have small families or not enjoy luxuries if they can afford them. Punishing these people is nothing but a great way to kill an economy. You're discouraging economic activity. As well as ensuring that a nations population will go down.

Of course thats what these "green" idiots want. Less of us parasites sucking off mother earth because we're so evil.

RE: I thought...
By Kazinji on 11/14/2010 10:50:17 AM , Rating: 1
Some of these "green idiots" think more of the future. How long with the oil last til its gone? How long with coal last til we can't make energy? IT WILL NOT LAST FOREVER. If we don't start moving to getting off it now, what then? What if oil was all gone up tomorrow...WE WOULD BE SCREWED.

CAFE is not the best but it something. What happened when gas was $4 a gallon, people got smaller cars. And the ones that needed the trucks still had them.

We need more people? 4 billion is not enough?

RE: I thought...
By Nfarce on 11/14/2010 5:04:24 PM , Rating: 1
Well why don't you fascist "Green" nazis start killing yourselves to save the planet while the rest of us move forward with whatever energy means and equipment we deem fit for our personal tastes, needs, and comfort.

We have enough untapped energy in North America to last into the next century until a real viable alternative energy solution for transportation can be met. We just can't access it thanks to the enviro-nazis.

RE: I thought...
By mindless1 on 11/15/2010 3:47:17 PM , Rating: 2
The differences in fuel consumption are a mere drop in the bucket contrasted with total fuel consumption in manufacturing and other transportation.

These "geen idiots" are misinformed zealots that cannot think logically enough to gather info before pretending they have the answers.

Whether it lasts forever or not, it is not very important in the grand scheme of things if the oil reserves run out in 2180 instead of 2185!

What will happen? The market will decide! As you mentioned the price of fuel will go up, consumption will go down, and people can CHOOSE to buy a more fuel efficient vehicle instead of having it forced upon them.

Ironically enough, if it weren't for all the changes made to automobiles they would be cheaper, so the money you save would sit in bank drawing interest to pay for the tiny difference in fuel economy OR for whatever you want to spend it on instead.


RE: I thought...
By goku on 11/13/2010 8:17:53 PM , Rating: 2
It's not an average, it's a WEIGHTED AVERAGE.
The standard for 2016 actually calls for 30mpg avg for trucks and 39mpg avg for cars. But again, that's CAFE average. A vehicle that gets 39mpg on the CAFE standard would be getting 30mpg on the Monroney sticker that is pasted on the side window. Since trucks have to abide by the 30mpg CAFE standard, that means they really only have to average 23mpg according to the Monroney sticker.. 23mpg isn't all that difficult now is it?

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