This is my first compact GM car in 25 years due to their cheap interiors, mediocre styling and poor driving dynamics. My Cruze Eco manual has exceeded every expectation: the car is fun to drive, quiet...
This is my first compact GM car in 25 years due to their cheap interiors, mediocre styling and poor driving dynamics. My Cruze Eco manual has exceeded every expectation: the car is fun to drive, quiet, refined and regularly exceeds 45 MPG on my work commute. The
firm European engineered front seats are very supportive, the ride with the sport spring suspension is well controlled and comfortable and the shifter throws are short and light. I have 11K miles without a single issue. The trunk is bigger than some mid-size cars and the interior room rivals a mid-size. The Pioneer sound system is worth the money, the fog lights work better than any factory lamps I've had on my cars, the nav screen is large, colorful with crisp readouts, the back up warning works well and the power seat, combined with the tilt/telescopic wheel, offers a wide rang of adjustability. If you want more power contact Trifecta (0-60 in 6.8 seconds - auto). GM engineers sweated the details to create a car that has exceeded the EPA ratings 100% of the time. My overall average is around 37 MPG actual, not indicated. The lighter weight and lowered CG contribute to a nimble feeling car. A friend who drives a BMW asked to trade cars after he drove my Cruze. I have to shift it more than my Corvette but that's part of the car's nature; the shifter is enjoyable to use so that's not a problem for me.
This car looks good, handles well (tire limited, not chassis - Tire Rack has LRR tires that add 0.04 g's), is easy to see out of, has a solid structure (the doors sound like a Mercedes when they close) and has ten airbags.
The car could use 40 HP and 50 ft. lbs. (if Trifecta can do it so can GM), four wheel disc brakes (using the Volts HD brake system would provide much improved stopping), and an armrest with cupholders for the rear passengers (Eco autos get one, not manuals). Those are my only complaints.
I looked at other vehicles in the segment but was impressed by the Cruze's overall performance and value. If you're in the market for a refined, fun to drive, high MPG car I recommend test driving the Cruze Eco manual before making a purchase decision.