Print 90 comment(s) - last by mindless1.. on Nov 15 at 3:53 PM

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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why only eco model?
By undummy on 11/12/2010 2:41:17 PM , Rating: 2
Why can't GM use the rims on all of the Cruzes?
Why can't GM make all of them aerodynamic?
Adapt the improvements to all the vehicles!

I just don't get it. What is the point of a non-Eco model? Clueless automaker!

Its was no different with their original Chevy Hybrid pickup truck. It didn't weigh any more than the regular non-hybrid pickup because they lightened everything. But, they couldn't make the effort to lighten the regular non-hybrid pickup to improve MPG....

Fret not non-Eco owners. Find yourself a set of lightweight 17" rims, greenie tires, and some duct tape to improve the aerodynamics.

BTW, my 1983 1.4L Renault Alliance was rated 35mpg city 50mpg highway. Catching up with the 80's !!!!

RE: why only eco model?
By Spuke on 11/12/2010 6:26:47 PM , Rating: 2
I just don't get it. What is the point of a non-Eco model?
That's a good question. We'll have to see how much the Eco model costs. That will give us the answer.

BTW, my 1983 1.4L Renault Alliance was rated 35mpg city 50mpg highway. Catching up with the 80's !!!!
Your Renault doesn't meet 2010 US emissions or safety regulations. Nor was it tested using the current US EPA fuel economy standards. Not to mention (I guess you didn't read any of the posts), US gallons is different than Imperial gallons.

RE: why only eco model?
By mindless1 on 11/15/2010 3:53:45 PM , Rating: 2
Not everyone wants to pay more for fancy rims nor the larger diameter tires.

Not everyone wants cars squished down to where you can't access anything in the engine compartment easily. Not everyone wants a car that looks like a clone of everything else around them.

The automakers aren't clueless, Eco oriented cars tend to be more flimsy, worse to drive, more expensive to maintain.

In short, you are confused that everyone wants a tiny bit better gas mileage and will happily ignore all the downsides to get there.

For example, note that the average car in the US _IS_NOT_ the most fuel economical possible for its era, because the owner CHOSE that they did not want the most fuel economical one, instead opting for some other feature or benefit instead.

With same construction techniques and materials, and cost, lightening an automobile makes it less safe, makes it rust out faster, causes more frequent mechanical failures, causes worse interior materials and comfort, causes lower resale value because they just wear out faster.

... that a car still runs doesn't mean much if it looks and feels worn out.

Automakers attempt to build what will sell well. Tiny european cars are not what most americans buy, choosing not to.

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