BCG report finds advanced biofuels, concentrated solar power, and solar photovoltaic tracking to make significant market impact sooner than commonly assumed
Electrification Coalition to release Fleet Electrification Roadmap on Monday; PRTM sees GE action as catalyst for other fleets

Chevrolet Cruze Eco achieves EPA-rated 42 mpg on highway (updated table)

The non-hybrid 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco delivers an EPA-estimated 42 mpg on the highway (manual transmission models), with city fuel economy of 28 mpg. Cruze Eco’s highway fuel economy beats non-hybrid segment competitors—including 23% greater highway fuel economy than the Honda Civic—as well as the Ford Fiesta subcompact and hybrid models, including the Ford Fusion Hybrid, Nissan Altima Hybrid and Toyota Camry Hybrid. The Cruze Eco carries an MSRP of US$18,895 (including destination charge). It goes on sale in January.

Cruze’s engineers focused on aerodynamic performance (with some improvements derivative of GM’s work with the Volt), mass optimization and powertrain enhancements.

We left no stone unturned or piece of sheet metal un-weighed. Our engineers were comprehensive and thorough when it came to evaluating and modifying the aspects of the car’s performance that contribute to fuel economy.

—Chuck Russell, vehicle line director

Aerodynamics. Aerodynamic improvements over non-Eco manual-transmission models contributed approximately six mpg to the Cruze’s EPA-estimated 42 mpg highway fuel economy. Many were developed and refined in more than 500 hours of wind-tunnel testing of the Chevy Volt, which shares a core architecture with the Cruze. Examples include the upper grille, which has more “closeouts” to improve aerodynamics, a lower front air dam extension, a rear spoiler, a lowered ride height and underbody panels that smooth airflow beneath the car.

The Eco model also features an all-new technology in the compact segment: a lower front grille air shutter that closes at higher speeds to reduce aerodynamic drag and opens at lower speeds to optimize engine-cooling airflow. Another contributor to reduced drag is the use of ultra-low rolling resistance 17-inch Goodyear tires (used with lightweight wheels), which are also used on the Volt.

As a result of the aero enhancements, aerodynamic drag was reduced by 10% over a non-Eco model, with a coefficient of drag of 0.298. That places Cruze at the top of the class for mainstream compact cars, according to GM.

Mass optimization. More than 42 changes were made on the Eco to reduce weight. It weighs in at 3,009 pounds (1,365 kg), compared to the 3,223 pounds (1,462 kg) of the Cruze 1LT. Cruze engineers looked at all aspects of the vehicle’s construction, including hundreds of weld flanges on the vehicle. They were reduced 1 mm to 2 mm in length, which saved several pounds, while the sheet metal gauge thickness was reduced by about 0.1 mm in select components. This saved weight while preserving structural integrity.

Lighter wheels and tires are used on the Eco. They’re 17-inch alloy units with Goodyear tires that weigh 36.5 pounds (16.6 kg) apiece—5.3 pounds (2.4 kg) less than the 16-inch wheel/tires of the Cruze 1LT for a complete savings to the vehicle of 21.2 pounds (9.6 kg).

Efficient powertrain. Cruze Eco is powered by the power-dense Ecotec 1.4L turbocharged engine and a standard six-speed manual transmission. The transmission’s gearing is optimized for the model’s specific 17-inch wheel/tire combination and includes aggressive ratios for first and second gear coupled with a highly efficient, “taller” sixth-gear ratio for highway driving. That means engine rpm is reduced on the highway, which in turn reduces fuel consumption. A six-speed automatic transmission is available, with EPA-estimated fuel economy ratings of 26 city and 37 highway.

The Ecotec 1.4L turbo’s power ratings are 138 horsepower (103 kW) and 148 lb-ft of torque (200 N·m) between 1,850 rpm and 4,900 rpm. The wide rpm range for the maximum torque—a specific trait of turbocharged engines—helps the engine deliver a better driving experience and performance. The turbocharger is integrated within the exhaust manifold, for reduced weight and greater packaging flexibility.

The engine also features premium design elements that give it smoothness and durability while also contributing to the Cruze Eco’s lower curb weight. They include a cast iron block with a hollow frame structure, hollow-cast camshafts and a plastic intake manifold.

Cruze Eco and segment competitors
ModelEPA city fuel economyEPA highway fuel economy
Chevrolet Cruze Eco 28 mpg 42 mpg
Chevrolet Cruze (1.4L turbo, auto 6) 24 mpg 36 mpg
Toyota Corolla 26 mpg 35 mpg
Honda Civic 26 mpg 34 mpg
Ford Focus 25 mpg 35 mpg
Hyundai Elantra 26 mpg 35 mpg

Cruze Eco and select hybrids
ModelEPA city fuel economyEPA highway fuel economy Price
Chevrolet Cruze Eco 28 mpg 42 mpg $18,895
2011 Ford Fusion Hybrid (FWD) 41 mpg 36 mpg $27,950
2011 Nissan Altima Hybrid 33 mpg 33 mpg $26,780
2011 Toyota Camry Hybrid 31 mpg 35 mpg $26,150

Comments

sd

Looks to be a good accomplishment without the complications of the hybrid especially when compared to the mileage of Toyota Camry. I have not driven one yet (hope to correct that soon) but if it is anything similar to the experience that I had driving a newer Chevy Malibu, it is probably a nice car to drive.

However, I am sure that the GM bashers will find much to critize so let the bashing begin.

The Goracle

.

Only 20 mpg worse than the Honda diesel (still banned from the US by Obama/Reid/Pelosi) and 10 mpg worse than my 30 year old diesel VW Rabbit pickup. Progress?!?! Please...

.

HarveyD

The Ford Fusion HEV and specially the Prius III HEV does a low better but they do cost more. The new larger 2011 4 cyls Sonata can match it and does not cost much more.

kelly

The average 35 mpg is good for 3100 lb, yet a 3200 lb Sonata has a large, not small, car rating - though 5 mpg less.

me.yahoo.com/a/aNQRcfshwMLkqYnOA5CduPqGsZX0kdZwzoUe

Come on people, this car is very impressive. There is nothing like that on the market right now among gasoline ICE cars. The Goracle says his 30 yrs old Rabbit does better by 10 mpg. What a bunch of baloney ! That's impossible. No Rabbit back then was rated that highly. Other people write about 2011 Sonata. Well yes, the Sonata is also a very impressive car with a highly impressive mileage. BUT the Sonata is rated only at 35 mpg (please check the Hyundai web site), whereas the Cruze is rated at 42 mpgs. Although it is really difficult to compare the Cruze to Sonata as Sonata is a bigger and more expensive car.

Seems like GM is moving towards the head of the pack of the leaders if it comes to gas efficiency. They have the Equinox (an absolute leader among SUVs), now they have the Cruze. They also seem very well positioned in the market if it comes to the dissemination of the DI technology which is bringing all of these awesome results.

I think GM bashing ought to stop. The company made mistakes in the past, but is doing its absolute best to go past it and towards a very strong future. And let's do not forget, a part of the GM problems was not even the company itself but the unrealistic demands and expectations of the unions.

Peter9909

Hey Goracle:

In January, when Honda still hasn't figured out how to get its Diesel here and our laws are exactly the same are you going to blame just Obama and Reid or Boehner too?

Mercedes and VW both have 50 state legal passenger cars available in the US. Honda could too, if it wanted to.

In my entire lifetime, Diesels have never been popular in the US, regardless of who controlled the House, Senate or White House and regardless of our emissions laws. Stop blaming the current administration for something that's been going on for 30+ years.

MG

Impressive numbers for 6-sp turbo-charged manual, which will probably be selected by less than 10% buyers in US.
It's not clear if competitors were equipped with manual or automatic, I'd say with automatic so the Cruze numbers look better.

Interesting that Honda and Toyota do not use turbo charged engines in their best selling models (Civic,Accord, Corolla, Camry) in the US , and they apparently don't plan to use them in near future.
Probable reason is that the use of turbos would damage their stellar reliability record, their key selling point.
I hear from some mechanics that turbos are usually supposed to last 100 k miles, and used cars with turbos are best avoided. Replacement is expensive, and sometimes involves a lot of labour.
I read once saying from a car executive: "The price of used car determines the price of new car".

George Furey

There are plenty of reasons besides government that make it hard to import diesels into the US. For example, over here we have much tighter emissions standards for diesels, 0.07 grams per mile of NO2 versus 0.29 in europe. For this reason the entire emissions system would have to be reworked on european cars, which often leads to a reduction in efficiency.

See Here: http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/alternative-fuel/diesel/4330313

SJC

The 2011 Sonata is an amazing buy. How they get that mileage with that horsepower I do not know. It is bigger and roomier, so they seem to know what U.S. buyers want.

Patrick

The 2012 Focus is also expected to get 40mpg on the highway.

MG - from briefly viewing a few of the listed cars it appears as if they compared the Cruze against the competitors with manual transmissions.

ai_vin

Actually the Goracle is right about his Rabbit. With the 1.5L diesel the '80 Rabbit was rated at 45 mpg city/ 57 mpg highway.

However, the Rabbit was a much smaller car, 2006 lb to the Cruze Eco's 3006 lb, you shouldn't compare the two.

ai_vin

To be truthfull; there was some variation in the weight of the Rabbit, some models were as heavy as 2,445 lb.
But they still had less weight, height, width and length than the Cruze.

Scott

ai vin

Second that. My old 1997 Audi A6 2.5TDi (5cyl 140bhp)gets up to 50mpUSg highway (60mpUKg), and that's by doing long motorway journeys at 70mph, in 6th gear.

HarveyD

For your information:

Cruze 2011: 138 hp, City 28 mpg, Highway 42 mpg

Sonata 2011: 198 hp, City 32 mpg, Highway 49 mpg

On top of that, the Sonata is a mid-Large car and the Cruze is a compact.

The Cruze 2011 fuel consumption is nothing to write home about while the Sonata's 2011 is a real accomplishment.

GM still has a very long way to go.

RD

and what's with comparing the Cruze (a compact car) to mid size cars (hybrid or otherwise)? It's crap like that that will continue to turn me off to GM.

Sheesh!

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)