Chevy Cruze review

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Thread: Chevy Cruze review

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    Chevy Cruze review

    Full review here. I got a loaner for the day.

    I just got a used 1LT Cruze for a free loaner today from a local dealer. These are my observations:

    Looks-it was white and the front end looked good to me. Not crazy about the rear end but it's not that bad, but that chrome bar looks out of place. They should at least make it less shiny.

    The interior looks nice but that cheesy cloth on the dash is just not needed. Blah.

    The cloth seats were hard on the cushion and they were a little too narrow and too short (seems to be a Chevy thing) I'm not a big guy and I don't know how a large person could fit in them comfortably. The lack of lumbar controls is a glaring omission that even my 2006 Cobalt has. I think it's ridiculous that with the attention they paid to the interior they would leave something as necessary and obvious as this out of a brand new car that will cost around 20 grand. Ridiculous and inexcusable. (Rant over.)

    The inside rear view mirror should be one inch wider to cover the entire rear window easily (my Cobalt's is wider).
    The Center stack A/C vents are awkwardly placed so that the air has to pass through the steering wheel to get to your face. The lowest fan speed is worthless, can't even feel it.
    The push button controls for the airflow directions are not as intuitive or as easy to use without looking at them as a simple rotary dial.
    The volume knob for the stereo is a little too small. The sound was fine.
    The center console is child size. Pretty worthless. What were they thinking?

    The speedometer is hard to see through the steering wheel so it's a good thing they have the digital speedo in the middle on the LED screen (I like that feature, all cars should have it)
    I don't like that green light that stays on when automatic headlights are used. Who needs this? I know they're on.
    Side visibility is not very good because when you turn your head there is that thick pillar there. I guess that's why they're adding a side lane warning system (how about just make the car easier to see out of?) Ditto for the rear-not so bad but could have better visibility.
    There seems to be no place for me to put my left foot, while the Cobalt has a dead pedal that was placed in a good spot. I also find that the center console intrudes on my right leg space.

    Now for the ride-the car feels like a bigger car. It takes bumps well but kind of wallows a bit like a larger car. It glides over imperfections on the Freeway like they aren't there (unlike my Balt which gets into a groove and stays there). The steering is a little too loose for my taste but it's not bad.
    The engine was a little rough at idle-was not expecting that.
    The brakes are kind of mushy and not very confidence inspiring but probably par for this class.
    The engine is the glaring weakness in the Cruze. While it seems to have enough pickup for everyday moves, the tranny skips too much at low speeds It's impossible to drive the car smoothly and while it speeds up fine to get into traffic if you have to slow down and then speed up again the engine complains loudly (very loudly) and takes too long to get up to speed again. Basically this feels like a good riding car waiting for a good power train.
    There was a surprisingly large amount of wind noise coming from the driver's door.
    I also noticed some odd actions when going into reverse and then switching to drive and taking my foot off the brake the car seemed to drift backwards even on a slight incline.

    When I brought the car back I mentioned the seat comfort and wallow and they had me test drive a 2LT. The leather seats are very hard, even harder than the cloth and the seat back didn't hit my back in a good way-it didn't conform to the curve of the back like the cloth seats did. I would have to say I prefer the cloth, imperfect as they are. Very disappointed because I was thinking the leather seats would be better. The suspension was a little sportier but the erratic shifting was there on this car as well.

    So, the situation as it stands is that I'm not crazy about this car. I don't hate it, I could live with it, but do I want to spend new car money on a car I'm not crazy about?
    I think (my opinion only) that GM made a mistake trying to make this car behave like a midsize and increasing the size (and shrinking the engines). The Sonic cannot take the place of the Cobalt and smaller Compacts like the Elantra, Civic and Corolla because it simply is not good enough. It feels and rides like a subcompact.
    For the next generation Cruze I hope Chevy makes it feel and ride like a Compact (sportier, more toss-able) and put a decent engine-tranny combo that shifts smoothly and has plenty of power to move the car without making the engine cry.
    I'm going to test drive the new Civic and Forte when they come out and see how they compare.

    More likely, I'm probably going to wait until 2013 and see if they're going to do a proper MCE on the car. If not, I will have to sadly look elsewhere.
    Time to get new tires and a serpentine belt on my Cobalt.

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    Re: Chevy Cruze review

    We've just hit 18k with our Cruze, and since we traded a G6 on it, I'd like to share our thoughts on the pluses and minuses of the two.

    The pluses: The Cruze is twice as quiet, soaks up bumps way better, and seems to have a shorter turning radius. The G6 with it's V6 had more power, of course, and more interior room, particularly in the rear seating area.

    The minuses: The Cruze is the most mpg throttle sensitive car I have ever owned. It will get 40 mpg with the cruise set at 60mph. 70 will cost you 3.5mpg. At 75, the V6 G6 with it's 4 speed auto will get the same mpg. We got the computer reflash for excessive low speed shifting in the Cruze. It cost us 2mpg in city driving. Haven't checked to see if it can be reversed to the original setting yet.

    Addressing some of the OP's complaints, the car is basically an Opel from Europe where engine sizes are generally smaller because fuel is up to $8 a gallon. Seats and interiors are smaller because interiors are smaller. No one makes the cushy seats your Cobalt came with anymore. (We tried them all before we bought the Cruze). I've sat on park benches softer than the Mazda 3's.

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    Re: Chevy Cruze review

    Hard seats make for more comfortable seats for longer drives

    Soft seats tend to make a long drive feel like youve been ditting in a ditch for 3 hours
    Who the hell approved this abomination? Hidden Content

    I bet it was some dumbarse in Detroit Hidden Content

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    Re: Chevy Cruze review

    The interior of the Cruze is bigger than a lot of other Compacts though. All it would take is another inch wider and another inch longer. It would make a big difference, IMO.
    The seats in my Balt are actually harder than the Cruze but the seat bottom is flatter so I don't get pinched in the thighs, plus the lumbar control lets me take out all the lumbar to make it fit my back better and to add some in if my back is bothering me.
    My mother sits in my Cobalt comfortably but she said she could never sit in the cruze for a long drive (she's a senior and I have to take her places sometimes).

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    Re: Chevy Cruze review

    Quote Originally Posted by VS Ute 5Litre View Post
    Hard seats make for more comfortable seats for longer drives

    Soft seats tend to make a long drive feel like youve been ditting in a ditch for 3 hours
    I agree but the leather seats are too hard, it's like sitting on a rock. The cloth seats aren't as hard but the shape and size of the bottom cushion makes them uncomfortable

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    Re: Chevy Cruze review

    Quote Originally Posted by steve333 View Post
    I agree but the leather seats are too hard, it's like sitting on a rock. The cloth seats aren't as hard but the shape and size of the bottom cushion makes them uncomfortable
    How many miles were on the car? The seats need to be broken in. Our Terrain seats were firm and some people called them hard but they were great after 10k miles.

    After all you complained about are you sure you want an entry level compact car?

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    Re: Chevy Cruze review

    Quote Originally Posted by steve333 View Post
    I agree but the leather seats are too hard, it's like sitting on a rock. The cloth seats aren't as hard but the shape and size of the bottom cushion makes them uncomfortable
    I didnt sit in them for very long but found them normal for everyday seats

    I have owned cars with seats so heavily shaped and bostered some people struggle to get out of them but they are very supportive and even though quite narrow for me i still found them more comfortable than most
    Who the hell approved this abomination? Hidden Content

    I bet it was some dumbarse in Detroit Hidden Content

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    Re: Chevy Cruze review

    Quote Originally Posted by bballr4567 View Post
    How many miles were on the car? The seats need to be broken in. Our Terrain seats were firm and some people called them hard but they were great after 10k miles.

    After all you complained about are you sure you want an entry level compact car?
    I'm driving one
    17,000 miles

    Quote Originally Posted by VS Ute 5Litre View Post
    I didnt sit in them for very long but found them normal for everyday seats

    I have owned cars with seats so heavily shaped and bostered some people struggle to get out of them but they are very supportive and even though quite narrow for me i still found them more comfortable than most
    I'm sure there are worse out there, but it would be nice for GM to pay some attention to seat comfort. I know they can do it, the seats in the Verano are nice. Slap them in the Cruze and that would do it.

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    Re: Chevy Cruze review

    Quote Originally Posted by VS Ute 5Litre View Post
    Hard seats make for more comfortable seats for longer drives

    Soft seats tend to make a long drive feel like youve been ditting in a ditch for 3 hours
    Couldn't disagree more.
    One of my most comfortable seats for long drives, 5-8hrs, was the vinyl bench seat in my 1988 V30 Chevy crewcab. Sat in the seat of my current 2000 silverado classic for 18hrs/1000miles which is a cloth bucket and lumbar support. I am very concerned about the long term comfort of these hard seats. Drove a 2012 LTZ Impala and didn't care for the overly firm cushions after 1 hr. These new cushions seem too be designed for heavy fleet usage.

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    Re: Chevy Cruze review

    Quote Originally Posted by Lowboy View Post
    Couldn't disagree more.
    One of my most comfortable seats for long drives, 5-8hrs, was the vinyl bench seat in my 1988 V30 Chevy crewcab. Sat in the seat of my current 2000 silverado classic for 18hrs/1000miles which is a cloth bucket and lumbar support. I am very concerned about the long term comfort of these hard seats. Drove a 2012 LTZ Impala and didn't care for the overly firm cushions after 1 hr. These new cushions seem too be designed for heavy fleet usage.
    Probably more in the spring rates rather than the firmness of the cushion but to each his own
    Who the hell approved this abomination? Hidden Content

    I bet it was some dumbarse in Detroit Hidden Content

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    Re: Chevy Cruze review

    Have you not complained about the Cruze since before it even got here? You have had it out for this car since day one, and have been one of its biggest bashers on here.

    As an owner of one (white, 2LT RS), and someone that has driven the Corrola, Civic, Elantra, I can tell you the Cruze is a great car, and when comparing the Cruze to its competitors (admittedly I have not driven a Focus...yet). The same things you are quibbling about, are the same things I find great about the car in comparison. Seats are very comfortable. The interior is great, the switchgear is great, the smooth power out of the 1.4 is great (you need to keep things in perspective about what class this car is in). NVH is very good inthis class. If the tranny has been re-flashed the tranny works fine. It shifts early, like every other car reaching for higher MPG’s. Clearly your opinions and judgments were preconceived. I could go on and on.

    I guess there is no pleasing some folks. Sorry if I give this zero credibility.

    Please go buy another car, there are plenty to choose from!!!!!

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    Re: Chevy Cruze review

    What I get from this is the OP really wants to like the Cruze, but doesn't. He'd probably be happier in the Verano, but isn't wild about it or it's price.

    Fair enough.

    But, the real question is are his complaints representative? Or do they reflect a personal set of preferences? Is say some (transmission programming, desire for slightly more power) are pretty common, as is the comment about rear-seat room. The driveline stuff seems to be product of the need for high MPG ratings and perhaps can be addressed at the MCE (e.g. Adding DI). Steering feel may improve with enhancements to the electric-based power steering. But overall, sales and reviews indicate the Cruze is a pretty solid offering; addressing the commonly cited weaknesses with a solid update should keep it in the hunt for a couple more years.

    BTW: the reviews seem to indicate that the ECO is the nicest driver of the bunch as it is about 200lbs lighter. You lose a bit of the quiet nature of the regular Cruze, but gain some responsiveness - while getting up to 42 mpg on the highway. Perhaps that would drive smaller and be more to the OP's liking.
    Last edited by Tone; 06-24-2012 at 08:51 AM.

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    Re: Chevy Cruze review

    Quote Originally Posted by JuMPy View Post
    Have you not complained about the Cruze since before it even got here? You have had it out for this car since day one, and have been one of its biggest bashers on here.

    As an owner of one (white, 2LT RS), and someone that has driven the Corrola, Civic, Elantra, I can tell you the Cruze is a great car, and when comparing the Cruze to its competitors (admittedly I have not driven a Focus...yet). The same things you are quibbling about, are the same things I find great about the car in comparison. Seats are very comfortable. The interior is great, the switchgear is great, the smooth power out of the 1.4 is great (you need to keep things in perspective about what class this car is in). NVH is very good inthis class. If the tranny has been re-flashed the tranny works fine. It shifts early, like every other car reaching for higher MPG’s. Clearly your opinions and judgments were preconceived. I could go on and on.

    I guess there is no pleasing some folks. Sorry if I give this zero credibility.

    Please go buy another car, there are plenty to choose from!!!!!
    It's a review, I thought a fair one. reviews are by nature opinions. I wanted to buy one to replace my Cobalt so I gave it a fair test, drove it everywhere I drive daily, tested the pickup for passing after slowing down, gave the seats a good run, testing the ride on the Freeway and over rough roads (passed those 2 tests with flying colors).
    People ragged on my Cobalt all the time but I never thought it was as bad as everyone says, test drove a Corolla that was so bad I couldn't wait until I got out of the car, tested a Civic which was fine except it was slow as molasses.
    I don't take it personally, it's a freaking car. You shouldn't either.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tone View Post
    What I get from this is the OP really wants to like the Cruze, but doesn't. He'd probably be happier in the Verano, but isn't wild about it or it's price.

    Fair enough.

    But, the real question is are his complaints representative? Or do they reflect a personal set of preferences? Is say some (transmission programming, desire for slightly more power) are pretty common, as is the comment about rear-seat room. The driveline stuff seems to be product of the need for high MPG ratings and perhaps can be addressed at the MCE (e.g. Adding DI). Steering feel may improve with enhancements to the electric-based power steering. But overall, sales and reviews indicate the Cruze is a pretty solid offering; addressing the commonly cited weaknesses with a solid update should keep it in the hunt for a couple more years.

    BTW: the reviews seem to indicate that the ECO is the nicest driver of the bunch as it is about 200lbs lighter. You lose a bit of the quiet nature of the regular Cruze, but gain some responsiveness - while getting up to 42 mpg on the highway. Perhaps that would drive smaller and be more to the OP's liking.
    I think a lot of people love the car, who knows how many people agree with me? A lot of times people with issues about a car gloss them over, especially when someone else is putting down the car they purchased. I'm sure I did this with my Balt.
    The issues I have with the Cruze became a deal breaker because they were too many of them. I know no Compact car is perfect. I bought my Cobalt because the seats had lumbar control (although the seat cushion is too short), I felt it had a comfortable driving position and the car has plenty of pep. I could overlook the rest.
    The Cruze for me has a good driving position but the lack of lumbar controls is a problem because I have a bad back (the cloth seats fit my back better than the leather though) and the lack of passing power made me nervous (I'm now used to driving a pretty quick Compact car). That Freeway incident happened by chance and I'm glad it did.
    Now, on regular driving days and conditions the engine's pick-up would be fine, except for the gear hunting in lower gears, something I'm also not used to and IMO shouldn't happen in a $20,000 car (or any car).
    Basically after a 10 minute test drive it felt fine, after a longer drive not so much. i think that's when you see people start complaining about the car even though they bought it after a test drive. Things crop up.
    The Eco missing the Z Link would be an issue because of the bad roads where I live. The Cruze I drove took bad roads like a champ and that's one of my favorite things about the car.
    My hope is that GM is paying some attention to the drawbacks in this car's design and improves them next year.

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    Re: Chevy Cruze review

    Quote Originally Posted by steve333 View Post
    It's a review, I thought a fair one. reviews are by nature opinions. I wanted to buy one to replace my Cobalt so I gave it a fair test, drove it everywhere I drive daily, tested the pickup for passing after slowing down, gave the seats a good run, testing the ride on the Freeway and over rough roads (passed those 2 tests with flying colors).
    People ragged on my Cobalt all the time but I never thought it was as bad as everyone says, test drove a Corolla that was so bad I couldn't wait until I got out of the car, tested a Civic which was fine except it was slow as molasses.
    I don't take it personally, it's a freaking car. You shouldn't either.
    My only point is you have been critical of this car long before it was available to drive, now you have finally drove it and those opinions remain. Self fullfilling prophecy perhaps? Nothing personal trust me, but I don't see the review to be fair....I'm just calling it like I see it. I have to wonder if you are comparing the Cruze to other options and competitors, or to what your ideal vehcicle should really be? Problem is you get what you pay for in this catagory, and your ideal vehicle (features and performance) may be more of an Audi A3.....but for the price you are looking at you are likely SOL.

    All I am saying, many of your points seem very invalid, expeically when you compare head to head with direct competition in that price point and the opinions you have shared about this car long before this test drive took place.

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    Re: Chevy Cruze review

    I was critical of some things that I didn't like but wouldn't keep me from buying the car, like the C Pillar.
    I thought the engine was underpowered. In a short test it seemed fine, in a longer test it proved to be true in emergency maneuvers and the tranny jerkiness. All of these points were mentioned in reviews by the way.
    I praised what deserved to be praised, mainly the ride ride quality and panned what deserved to be panned, according to my opinion. I also panned the Focus I drove in another review for some things.
    The things I complained about are easily fixed if GM wants to fix them. They are oversights that shouldn't exist and that's my opinion and I'm sticking to it.
    I wanted to like it, I was hoping to like it, I was planning on buying one. Maybe next year, right now it's not there yet IMO

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