Choose the Chevy Cruze for Great Gas Mileage

You don’t have to buy a hybrid to drastically increase your gas mileage. Take a look at one of the best new high-mpg cars, the Chevy Cruze.
By Todd Kaho
April/May 2011

The Chevy Cruze isn’t a hybrid, but its Eco model gets an impressive 42 mpg on the highway.
PHOTO: CHEVROLET/GENERAL MOTORS


Content Tools

Related Content

Earth Gauge Tip of the Week — Under Pressure

Tips on how to increase your car's fuel efficiency by checking the tire pressure.

Day in the Life of a Wood Gas Driver, Part 1

Ever wondered what its like to drive around using wood as fuel? Tag along with Chris as he fires up ...

Attempting to Test Drive the Nissan Leaf

Are EV's actually being marketed, or a ruse by traditional manufacturers?

New Holland T7 Tractors

The T7 Series fuel economy is attributed to the design of the engine. With the SCR technology, the e...

What if you could have near-hybrid-level gas mileage without the added expense of a hybrid car? No, we’re not talking clean diesel here — we’re talking about a new, right-size car that applies efficiency technologies to our old friend, the internal-combustion engine. This non-hybrid mpg champ is the 2011 Chevy Cruze.

The Cruze’s standard model with manual transmission has an EPA highway fuel economy rating of 36 mpg (26 mpg in the city), with a suggested retail price of $16,995. However, at a suggested retail price of $18,895, the Cruze Eco model has a class-leading highway rating of 42 mpg (28 mpg in the city) if equipped with a manual transmission.

The improved mpg in the Eco comes from reduced weight, improved aerodynamics and, most importantly, reduced engine size. The Eco is an example of coaxing maximum fuel efficiency from an already thrifty car. (An automatic transmission is available on the Eco for an extra $925, but delivers only 37 mpg on the highway.)

If the Eco’s smaller engine feels like a deal breaker to you, consider this: The 1.4-liter, four-cylinder engine is turbocharged to deliver 138 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque. Its six-speed manual transmission allows the driver to rev the engine for best power or shift early for optimal fuel economy.

At highway speeds, a car’s gas mileage is most affected by how well it slips through the air. Chevy treated the Cruze Eco with the latest aerodynamic tricks, including grille shutters that close off the front radiator at lower speeds (when it’s not needed to cool the engine). The vehicle also rides a little closer to the ground and has tires with low resistance to rolling.

With the development of the Chevy Cruze, we see further evidence that car companies are finally realizing that mpg is an important consideration for buyers interested in a new car.








Post a comment below.

 

Sandie Heatherington
4/29/2011 2:22:03 PM
Mr Rogers This is America and everyone has a right to their opinion. It's funny that I could express mine without insulting the Cruise or the person who wrote the article. I was suggesting that there are other gas saving alternatives out there. As far as sheep, Mr. Rogers, sheep follow the Shepherd, so I pray I'm always found guilty.

Jason Hinton
4/29/2011 1:23:12 PM
CJ: You are comparing apples and oranges. The Cruze is a compact car while Prius is a mid-size car. A better comparison would be to a 4 cylinder Camry. The hybrid battery in the Prius weighs 93lbs including steel case and cooling fan. It has 32 pounds of nickel which is less than the nickel used in the steel alloys that make the body of the car. The battery is warranted for 150,000 miles and Prius taxi fleets have been easily doubling that mileage without needed to replace the battery. This is due to Toyota only allowing 40% of the battery capacity to be used so that the battery is never deeply discharged. Considering that the Prius has been in production since 1998 with no record of mass battery failures or replacements, I think it is time to put the “hybrid battery replacement” myth to bed. As far as maintenance, the Prius doesn't have any extra components, just heavier duty versions of what is in any gasoline car. The Prius has a controller, battery, and two electric motors. A conventional car has a controller (to regulate charging), battery, and two electric motors (alternator and starter).

CJ Rogers
4/29/2011 9:37:38 AM
Sandie H. - You are fooling yourself if you believe your Prius has even come close to paying for the premium you paid for hybrid technology. If we assume a generous 50 mpg average for your Toyota and a conservative 38 mpg average for the Cruze, the difference in fuel used over your stated 170,000 miles is less than 500 gallons. You paid a lot more than a $1500-$2000 premium for the privilege of driving a gimmick. When you need to replace the energy storage system sometime during the next 100,000 miles or so you will go several years deeper into the ROI hole. And where will you dispose of that huge hunk of heavy metals and concentrated pollutants? Save your money, America, buy a roomier, better-looking, lower maintenance vehicle and don't be mistaken for a sheep.

Sandie Heatherington
4/29/2011 8:28:50 AM
We have had a Toyota Prius since 2006. It gets 49-52 mpg highway and 54 mph in the city. It has 170,000 miles on it and we have only had to replace the tires and do oil changes. It was more expensive, but because it is a heavy car it has a very solid ride. We felt it paid for itself in about two years. The cost of gas was over four dollars a gallon when we got it and my husband works a good distance from home. There are some new cars out there making claims for high mph, but the Prius has proved itself to us in both economy and quality.








Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 66% Off the Cover Price

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Lighten the Strain on the Earth and Your Budget

MOTHER EARTH NEWS is the guide to living — as one reader stated — “with little money and abundant happiness.” Every issue is an invaluable guide to leading a more sustainable life, covering ideas from fighting rising energy costs and protecting the environment to avoiding unnecessary spending on processed food. You’ll find tips for slashing heating bills; growing fresh, natural produce at home; and more. MOTHER EARTH NEWS helps you cut costs without sacrificing modern luxuries.

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet’s natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. That’s why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.00 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.00 for 6 issues.