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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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This isn't an efficient car...
By 40mpgreally on 11/12/2010 12:05:49 PM , Rating: -1
As a UK driver, this article truly amazed me. It sounds like the US manufacturers have a ton to learn from Europe, Japan or the East about efficient engines.

For example, the current VW Golf (1.4l, 122bhp approx) gets:
34.4mpg urban,
55.4mpg highway,
The DSG auto version gets slightly better figures.

And that's not the most efficient model in the range. The Golf goes up to 60mpg urban/83mpg highway from the 1.6 diesel.

Figures from:

We've been driving cars which get 30-40+mpg for more than a decade. The very large family car (1.8l engine) I got rid of 4 years ago when it was 8 years old used to get me something like 35mpg in town, 45+ on the highway. That car was huge, heavy and luxurious compared to the Cruze (which I spent two weeks driving a couple of months ago, so I know the car well enough). And that was from 1998!

That this car made a headline... it's astonishing. You guys live in a very different world to Europe if this seems like an 'efficient' vehicle. What makes it even more bizarre is that in the UK, Vauxhall (Opel in Europe) is owned by GM and I suspect they make engines which are far more efficient than this unit.

RE: This isn't an efficient car...
By rangerdavid on 11/12/2010 12:11:48 PM , Rating: 3
Exactly my thoughts, even ignoring European cars - this kind of fuel efficiency isn't new to the US market either. I'm not sure why DailyTech posted this article at all; it isn't anything newsworthy.

RE: This isn't an efficient car...
By DerekZ06 on 11/12/2010 1:08:37 PM , Rating: 3
It's harder to get good fuel economy in the US due to emissions. Things such as lean cruise are outlawed, we also have more exhaust after treatment devices that restrict the exhaust.

Just look at something like Fords 6.4 Powerstroke. By removing the after treatment and chipping it with a Spartan tune, it can put down 345more hp than the stock 350 (basically a 2nd motor). Additionally this now 695hp Powerstroke just went from 20mph on the highway going 65 to high 20's going 65.

If the U.S. neglected emissions, we could probably be using motors with half the size and the same power output and achieving much higher fuel economy. But we try to strike a balance so we get average power with average fuel economy with average emissions. Unlike the EU which gets better power with better fuel economy with worse emissions.

RE: This isn't an efficient car...
By goku on 11/15/2010 8:39:22 AM , Rating: 2
Could you at least link to what the hell you're babbling about because doubling performance and increasing fuel economy by 50% is not something that can easily be done by modifying some software unless there was a serious flaw to begin with. It's true that the current tier 2 bin 5 emissions are quite strict in comparison with the LEV emissions in 1994 but that doesn't mean they're necessarily unwarranted. I think if they just changed the emissions standard to that of grams per mile instead of PPM (Parts per million), maybe we would see an accurate emissions picture instead of one that penalizes high fuel economy vehicles and helps those with poor fuel economy.

PPM essentially rewards vehicles that can make their pollution emissions a low percentage of total exhaust volume, even if that means an overall higher amount of emissions. Imagine a drop of Oil in a cup of water.. That would result in high PPM amount of oil in the water. Now imagine a CUP of oil in a swimming pool.. Yes, in terms of PPM, a cup of oil in a swimming pool would result in a lower PPM than a drop of oil in a cup of water but overall, you're releasing far more oil with a cup of oil than with a drop of oil. The PPM argument essentially says that it's not the amount of pollutants you release that matters but the amount of pollutants you release in the scope of total exhaust emissions.

With rules like this, a truck with a 6L diesel engine will actually pollute more than a Geo metro with a 1L engine even though they're held to the same emissions standard.

RE: This isn't an efficient car...
By wookie1 on 11/12/2010 12:29:54 PM , Rating: 3
You can't compare these MPG's directly, as in the UK you use Imperial gallons. So, the Golf you mention actually gets
28.7MPG(USG) urban
46.2MPG(USG) highway

With the 1.6 diesel, it would be
50MPG(USG) urban
69.2MPG(USG) highway

Still pretty good, though.

RE: This isn't an efficient car...
By Spuke on 11/12/2010 12:49:09 PM , Rating: 4
You can't compare these MPG's directly, as in the UK you use Imperial gallons. So, the Golf you mention actually gets
It wouldn't even get the mpg ratings you stated because the EPA and the EU don't use the same testing methodology. They are not comparable. You would need to bring an EU car here and subject it to EPA testing OR send a US car over there for EU testing. THEN you could compare the two.

RE: This isn't an efficient car...
By KnightBreed on 11/12/2010 12:41:10 PM , Rating: 2
People in the UK are too fucking ignorant of the US market to make any argument worth listening to.

Did you convert the UK mpg to US mpg? I can't get to the Volkswagen site from work to see. The imperial gallon is 20% bigger than the US gallon. Convert 55mpg into US gallons -- suddenly we're at 45mpg.

Besides that, our mileage testing cycle is completely different than in the UK. You can't compare mileage strictly by converting to US gallons.

I would love to get a small diesel motor. But I'm not spending thousands upfront for particulate filters and urea injection and whatever crap is needed to make them meet current emissions standards. All that equipment kills fuel efficiency. Just look at the Jetta TDI, rated at 42mpg in the US with the DSG transmission.

By anonymous3 on 11/13/2010 7:19:40 PM , Rating: 2
Facts: my 14 year old Volkswagen returns 44mpg(imperial).Sometimes better, worse when I drive faster.
Oddly enough industry/manufacturers testing cycles seem to produce figures that show their products in the best light

RE: This isn't an efficient car...
By wookie1 on 11/12/2010 12:45:42 PM , Rating: 2
Oh, BTW, converting the USG MPG standard that we have of 39MPG for cars by 2016 (is that the correct number?) to imperial gallons would be 46.8MPG(imperial). This is a fleet average, so that adds to the challenge as well.

ALSO, I think that the MPG measurement that will be used is a combined cycle (mix of highway and city). It's not clear that this Chevy Cruze is above the required fleet average since its city economy is so low.

RE: This isn't an efficient car...
By dubldwn on 11/12/2010 2:10:16 PM , Rating: 2
ALSO, I think that the MPG measurement that will be used is a combined cycle (mix of highway and city). It's not clear that this Chevy Cruze is above the required fleet average since its city economy is so low.

Right. It looks like this car gets 34mpg combined, so if this thing doesn't hit the standard, that makes me wonder about the standard. BTW, the Ford Focus Hybrid does get 39mpg combined.

By Shadowmaster625 on 11/12/2010 1:20:29 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah but we can just print more money to buy more barrels of oil which props up prices so you suckers have to pay more. Ha ha !!!!!!1!!!11!1!1!

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