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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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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.

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