Today's Rant: Disappointing MPGs in the Chevrolet Cruze


I had such high hopes for the Chevrolet Cruze. But I suppose that's when you get let down.

The test car, a Cruze LTZ model, came equipped with a 1.4-liter, 4-cylinder turbocharged engine that delivers 138 horsepower. Fuel economy estimates on the all-new compact car ring in at 24 mpg in the city and very beautiful 36 mpg on the highway. Well it it would be beautiful if it actually worked that way. During the time that I tested the Cruze, I had primarily highway driving. Without traffic. I had maybe one or two days of city driving, but overall, the majority of my driving was pleasant highway driving.

And at the end of the week, I only managed 23.5 mpg.

OK, I should point out a couple factors probably played into some of this. It was at or around 20 degrees for 5 out of 7 of the test days. And on at least 4 occasions, I did use the remote start. But I just don't think that should combine to create mileage that is completely below EPA estimates. Especially when a couple weeks prior, I managed to get 22 mpg in an AWD SUV.

All that being said, I'm seriously hoping this was a fluke. And I'm looking forward to giving it another go in the Eco model.


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  • It seems unfair to harp on the fuel economy of a vehicle considering the Chicago winter, autostart to warm up, and most likely not the best fuel conserving driving style.

  • In reply to Southerncannuck:

    Southerncannuck, you make a good point, and I would normally agree with you, but when I can get better comparative mpgs in an AWD SUV in the same cold weather than a car that's being touted for it's fuel economy, I think it's worth a small harp. And I was being very careful during the test period with my driving habits--very little city driving, and all my highway driving (200 miles worth) was traffic free as I had this car in the week between Christmas and New Years. No lead-footing it either ... I've been practicing for a hypermiling long-distance drive with some auto folks ...

  • In reply to jillciminillo:

    It's a very rare reporter that considers trying to get the best MPGs instead of the best 1/4 mile times. I hope that you become the forefront of automobile reviewers.

  • In reply to Southerncannuck:

    It's difficult to reach EPA fuel economy numbers in 20 deg cold when those numbers are generated at 68 to 86 Fdeg test temperature especially since cold air has more effect on air drag and tire rolling resistance. That said, perhaps the mpg on-board computer was malfunctioning. Resetting it to get rid of the "zero mpg data" from the autostart cold engine idling might have been a way to check that out.

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