• Nov 11, 2010
2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco – Click above for high-res image gallery

General Motors has released official fuel economy numbers for the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco, and the automaker's original target of 40 miles per gallon (highway) has been surpassed. The Cruze Eco is officially rated at 28/42 mpg with the six-speed manual transmission, making it the segment-leader in terms of efficiency.

To achieve this, the Eco uses GM's latest 1.4-liter turbocharged inline-four, rated at 138 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque. On its own, the engine is efficient enough to deliver 24/36 mpg, but a host of aerodynamic changes and weight reductions on the Eco account for the extra bump in fuel economy. In addition to a lower front air dam extension, rear spoiler, lowered ride height and revised underbody panels, the Cruze Eco rides on lightweight 17-inch alloy wheels wrapped in low-rolling-resistance tires. What's more, a front grille shutter has been developed to improve airflow at higher speeds, thus accounting for a 10 percent coefficient of drag over standard Cruze models.

The Cruze Eco is priced from $18,895 and hits dealerships in January of next year. For the full details, hit the jump for GM's press blast.



[Source: General Motors]
Show full PR text
New Chevrolet Cruze Eco Achieves Segment-Leading 42 MPG On The Highway

Hybrid-Like Fuel Economy Starts at $18,895; Goes on Sale in January


DETROIT – The official fuel economy numbers for the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco are in and they're good. Segment-leading good. It delivers an EPA-estimated 42 mpg on the highway (manual transmission models), with equally impressive city fuel economy of 28 mpg.

Cruze Eco's highway fuel economy beats non-hybrid segment competitors – including 23 percent greater highway fuel economy than the Honda Civic – as well as the Ford Fiesta subcompact and many hybrid models. In fact, it's better than Ford Fusion Hybrid, Nissan Altima Hybrid and Toyota Camry Hybrid.

"Chevrolet Cruze continues to redefine the compact segment, offering class-leading standard safety features, upscale amenities – as well as hybrid-like fuel economy without the price," said Chuck Russell, vehicle line director. "The Cruze Eco is in a league of its own and will challenge perceptions of the efficiency available in a more affordable non-hybrid."

The Cruze Eco carries an MSRP of $18,895 (including destination charge). It goes on sale in January.

To achieve its segment-leading fuel economy, Cruze's engineers focused on aerodynamic performance, mass optimization and powertrain enhancements. The refinements in each area paid big dividends towards the car's overall efficiency, while providing engineers with valuable information to help enhance the efficiency of future Chevrolet models.

"We left no stone unturned or piece of sheet metal un-weighed," said Russell. "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."

Aero enhancements


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 percent 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.

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. The diet program for the Cruze challenged engineers to look 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 stylish, polished 17-inch alloy units with Goodyear tires that weigh only 36.5 pounds (16.6 kg) apiece. That's 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 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 Nm) 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 world-class 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.

Comparing the competitors

As a result of aerodynamic improvements, mass reduction and powertrain optimization, the Cruze Eco offers the best fuel economy in the compact segment, while delivering hybrid-like fuel economy without the hybrid price. The following charts show how it compares with primary competitors and popular hybrids.

Cruze Eco vs. segment competitors


Model

EPA City Fuel Economy

EPA Highway Fuel Economy

Chevrolet Cruze Eco

28 mpg

42 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 vs. hybrids

Model

EPA City Fuel Economy

EPA Highway Fuel Economy

Price

Chevrolet Cruze Eco

28 mpg

42 mpg

$18,895

Ford Fusion Hybrid

41 mpg

36 mpg

$27,950

Nissan Altima Hybrid

35 mpg

33 mpg

$26,780

Toyota Camry Hybrid

33 mpg

34 mpg

$26,150



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 101 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      James Sonne--
      Under 60 mph on the Interstate? What you are doing is patently dangerous -- not to mention incredibly inconsiderate of your fellow motorists. You are the cause of traffic jams, flared tempers, and could foresee-ably cause an accident. If you want to drive under 60 mph then please, please get off the Interstate before you kill somebody.
      • 4 Years Ago
      This is impressive and all, but i really hate how they are going to advertise only the hw mileage which I feel is quite misleading. And GM is far from the only ones that do this.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Bravo GM.

      I have to say, I think they're finally starting to understand the small car market. Never thought I'd say this, but I would take this over a Civic (especially the upcoming one if the spy shots are any indicator).
        • 4 Years Ago
        seriously. or the fiesta, as much as i like it. the cruze is just as frugal and brings a better interior to the game, color me very impressed.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Volt what, now?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Obviously I would change some interior features, however I would choose the Cruze over the Volt. Its substantially THOUSANDS less and returns 42mpg. Its getting harder to see the point of the Volt with the Cruze for gas and the Leaf for full electric. And for those of you with the marketing speak "range anxiety", pop a Xanax and relax.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @ TexRob
        You're assuming:
        1- 42mpg AVERAGE for the cruze. How many people spend 100% of their time on the highway? If you take the typical combined average instead, it would be 33mpg, and then you're looking at $5682 over 5 years.

        2- 2.50$/gallon will be a constant over the next 5 years. How confident are you about that? Say it averages out to $3.50/gallon, then you're talking $7955 after 5 years. Keep driving that thing for the full 10-year life span of the batteries, and you could save over $15,000.

        Not to mention anything about the convenience of not having to go to a gas station on a regular basis.

        Don't get me wrong, the Cruze is awesome and these are amazing numbers. This is definitely a great option for somebody who can't afford the initial cost of the Volt or who isn't interested in the technology at all, or most of all, for people who do spend a lot of the time on the highway and traveling more than 40 miles in a day. But this thing doesn't eclipse the Volt at all, in my opinion.
        • 4 Years Ago
        It's ridiculous to compare the Cruze to a Prius... (Look at the city numbers). It's even more ridiculous to compare the Cruze to a car that can technically achieve "infinite" gas mileage, the Volt. The Cruze is cheaper and achieves wonderful gas mileage nonetheless.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Once again, you Monday morning quarterbacks have missed the point of the Volt. GM said all along they were going to lose money on it. The Volt is comparable to the Cruze, the same way a Hummer is comparable to Geo Metro. They have four wheels, an engine and get some kind of fuel economy. The Volt was a bold move in the direction of new, untested technology. It succeeded with flying colors. 4 years ago every other car manufacturer laughed at the idea of the Volt, now every major manufacturer is doing some kind of plug-in hybrid, including Toyota, even took one of the most fuel efficient cars in the world(Prius) and turned it in a plug-in. The next gen of Volt with be lower cost with better range. Sighting what the public wants is nonsense. 5 years ago everyone wanted an SUV, then the gas price jumped and they wanted fuel efficient, now the gas prices are lower and the same idiots are buying up trucks again. GM knows this technology is more important than the current situation.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Well one needs gas to get to the store...and one doesn't.

        Let's not needlessly start a flame war.
        • 4 Years Ago
        No, he's absolutely right, and I am a huge Volt fan. I really wanted one as my next car in March. This car, for those of us who have a round trip commute greater than 30-40 miles, the Volt makes no sense. On top of that, even if you never used a drop of gas (other than that gas cycling mode to preserve the ICE) the number of years it would take for the Volt to overcome the price difference between the two would be crazy. Just doing some simple math of 15k miles a year at 2.50 a gallon for gas, and assuming you live in a magic world where you never use a drop of gas in a Volt, and your electric bill is paid by leprechauns, in 5 years, your gas bill would be a mere $4464.29. With the govt rebate on the Volt it would take between 12-15 years for the Volt to save you money. If we didn't have the rebate, we'd be looking at like 15-18 years.

        I'm all for helping us get off oil, but you can't expect people to bail out the planet with their pocket books.
      • 4 Years Ago
      MPG war is on. Hyundai Elantra's 1.8L NU engine has 150hp and will be rated at 40mpg highway.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'd never buy a prius, test drove one and it's certainly not my cup of tea, however this is not comparable. The prius gets nearly 60mpg's around town vs this cars 28.

      Don't get me wrong, not bagging on this at all. just it's a silly statement to say that people that buy prius's are only after their image. Here in NY you can drive the prius in the HOV lane which to many people commuting into the city from Long Island is a huge boon
      • 4 Years Ago
      sounds like it gets better mileage than the volt...
      • 4 Years Ago
      This is nifty, but I can't help but think they couldn't have implemented some of the weight and other saving things in the "lesser" Cruze models for the MPG gains. This is more "pay us extra and we'll give you higher MPG's" which is fair.

      I'll just be curious to see if you need to pay a premium on the new Focus for it's supposedly 40MPG+ rating, or if you can get a 40 MPG highway new Focus for $16k. Then this will be less appealing, for more than one reason. =P
      • 4 Years Ago
      If local inventories at Chevrolet dealers here in Virginia are any indication about the success of the Snuze so far, it won't be long before the panic button will be pressed by Government Motors. Instead of seeing cars being replaced with rapid sales and rapid deliveries, the number of vehicles on the lot are GROWING and the SAME VEHICLES are lingering around. Also noteworthy is the stagnant inventory of Shamaros as well.

      This vehicle could get 50 mpgs on the highway and it wouldn't change the fact that this is a totally unremarkable car with no performance and limited appeal to today's consumers on the electronics side. Chevrolet built its perfect 1990 car....... in 2010.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I think it's pretty normal for dealership inventory of a new car to increase. You know, because they had zero cars to start with, since it's a new car.
      • 4 Years Ago
      No thanks.

      I'll buy a fiesta, get 40mpg and look stylish doing it. This thing looks like a 1998 hyundai.

      Not impressed. Also not impressed how suddenly car companies can achieve 42mpg.

      Even more impressive is how the American people don't care. For years you've been lied to and screwed over. Then the government steps in and does it to you again in the form of bailing out these idiots so they can keep doing it all under the guise of,

      "Saving 300,000 jobs."

      You are all morons.

      What about the 169 billion in liabilities GM magically got rid of? I'm sure that affected jobs too. Don't let anyone crap on a union worker though! Only 7% of Americans are union yet they control 99.9% of policy in this country and have our president in their back pocket.


      • 4 Years Ago
      As much as I like the interior of the Cruze and as subjective as design gets, its exterior in my opinion still leaves something to be desired. Kia, Hyundai and Ford have done much better with their compacts.

      As for Japan Inc, I've noticed that a lot of people draw comparisons to the Civic and the Corolla whenever the Cruze is brought up . Do keep in mind that both are 3-4 years old now. The only valid comparisons would be the Lancer (pretty good), the Mazda3 (atrocious from the front) and the Impreza (boring).
        • 4 Years Ago
        Just an FYI about the 8th gen (current) Civic:

        It went on the market around August of 2005. That means it is going into its 6th year on the market.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Better mileage than a Fiesta with way more power and space. This is the way they should be doing it....functional efficiency.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I think the Fiesta and the Cruze are in two different classes.
        • 4 Years Ago
        The Fiesta only gets 40 mpg with the auto box. Otherwise it's rated at 37 mpg. The Cruze gives you 42 mpg with a manual, which is pretty sweet.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yeah, the Cruze is in line with the focus. The Aveo would be the competitor to the Fiesta.
        • 4 Years Ago
        It gets a whopping 2MPG more and it costs $5,000 more to start.

        You can't really compare the two.
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