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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: Bie Deal
By Spuke on 11/12/2010 6:19:08 PM , Rating: 1
Experience with close to 500 GM rental cars over the last 10 years says you are wrong. Yes rentals get abused, but about 9 or 10 times I have gotten GM cars straight off the truck at the airport. All have had real issues, things literally fell off of a couple of them.
Although considerable, your "evidence" is anecdotal. In my experience, I find current GM cars to be of good quality with my present Solstice the most trouble-free car I've ever owned. The GM cars previous to 5 years ago (with the odd exception of Buick) were varying degrees of junk. GM has improved immensely and I have no problems giving them a shot based on that.

I think Ford is doing a much better job and would be willing to go over to their camp. I'm not brand loyal at all so it's easier for me to switch between makes and I carry no grudges. It's just a car and even if it was really good, I may move on anyways because another car may have more desirable features. I like the 2011 Mustang and am keeping an eye on those. The rear suspension is a huge turn off and I don't want to give up the double wishbones of my present car. Any quirk of the Mustang's rear end would piss me off. Especially since my car has no quirks now. A couple of years of SCCA victories says it all.

If I were on the road as much as you, high fuel economy would be a no brainer and I'm surprised you're not driving a Prius or diesel VW. You would make back you're money a lot faster than your average driver. It might be worth the extra upfront expensive.

RE: Bie Deal
By tng on 11/12/2010 6:52:16 PM , Rating: 2
The GM cars previous to 5 years ago (with the odd exception of Buick) were varying degrees of junk. GM has improved immensely and I have no problems giving them a shot based on that.
While I agree with you on this, my fear is that now they will lapse back into the mentality that drove down quality before.

I know what you are saying about anecdotal evidence, and I would agree here to, but my experience has been so consistently bad with GM. I have also driven allot of Fords both here in in Europe and found them to be fine, even the ones that were beat up.

The little car that I currently have is a Chevy Cobalt 4 door. I will say that the sound system in it is FANTASTIC. However I am not impressed by the mileage which is considerably less than the Focus that I had on my previous trip. Also the controls for the radio and heater are clumsy and cheap. It also has something that all of this model has, a bad engine control. While at idle it will missfire about once every 30 seconds.

I will say that I liked the last Focus I had much better because of the Sync package that allowed me to use the Bluetooth for phone calls. Can't wait to see one of the new setups in the newly announced models. I will admit that I am a junky for that kind of thing.

RE: Bie Deal
By mindless1 on 11/15/2010 3:41:37 PM , Rating: 2
Cars across the board will go down in quality! Honda too for US market, because they're all trying to reach the low emissions, high safety, environmentally friendly BS thrust upon them - while raising price as little as possible.

My experience with US automaker quality is they have a higher % of initial defects, but once you fix those defects the car will last an appropriate # of years for the cost:benefit ratio to be near the imports.

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