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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 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).

"If you look at the last five years, if you look at what major innovations have occurred in computing technology, every single one of them came from AMD. Not a single innovation came from Intel." -- AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in 2007

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