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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 mmcdonalataocdotgov on 11/12/2010 12:02:17 PM , Rating: -1
Lessee, Chevy Cruze Eco, 21.1 lbs lighter than regular (3102) = 3080.9 lbs curb weight. Compact, so it's small, but it's a Chevy, so that is a deal killer.

Hmmm, Toyota Prius *sniff*, 3024 lbs MID-size, rated at 51 mpg, and I get 55 regularly in commuter traffic, not hypermiling (I am not even sure what that is other than going slower.)

Well, you got me on price ($18K base versus $22 base), but its a Toyota made in Japan, not in the US.


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.

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