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Arguably the Best and Possibly Quietest Compact in the US

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Old 09-14-2010, 03:15 PM
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Arguably the Best and Possibly Quietest Compact in the US

With a_FE rating that is anything but "World Class"

http://www.cleanmpg.com/photos/data/501/2011_Chevrolet_Cruze1.jpg
Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG - Sept. 14, 2010

2011 Chevrolet Cruze - $16,995 + to start and just 30 mpgUS combined... It took GM 10 years to just match a previous generation Corolla

In Eco clothing and a stick, it should offer 40 mpg highway… In the blinged out condition with the 1.8L that GM is trying to sell it in, just 30 mpgUS combined. Less than that achieved by a 7-year old Toyota Corolla?

According to GM, compact cars are rarely associated with very quiet, refined interiors. Chevrolet's engineers developing the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze took that as a challenge: deliver the quietness of a larger, upscale vehicle while maintaining the value and efficiency of a compact. I wonder if they have ridden in Lexus’ HS as that has been out for almost a year now?

“Reducing noise is fairly easy if you have the flexibility to add cost or increase weight,” said Cruze Performance Manager, Brandon Vivian. “For Cruze, every change had to meet two criteria: It could not increase the Cruze starting price of $16,995, and it could not add weight that would jeopardize Cruze's outstanding fuel economy.”

The starting price is just a tease however as it clearly jumps from 17K into the low to mid-20’s when you place any of the standard equipment most want on their cars including PW, PL, PM and a 6 to 8-way adjustable seat.

Fortunately, the sound treatments do appear on the surface to work as the following quote relays… Either it had very poor firewall and floor insulation to begin with or it is really that quiet? Hmmm…

“Every noise masks other, quieter sounds,” Vivian said. “For example, reducing a wind whistle on the highway can uncover a tire rumble on coarse roads. With Cruze, we recently added a dampener to the fuel line, because the interior is so quiet that we could hear fuel flowing through the line.”

To meet customer dB objectives for the U.S. market, engineers developed more than 30 acoustic treatments that mute unwanted engine, road, and wind noise. Here are 10 of the most significant features:
  • 500 inches of structural adhesive reduce structural noise and increase body strength.

  • Seven pints of liquid sound deadener on the cabin floor mute road and friction noise, and weigh 30 percent less than conventional sound-deadening materials.

  • A five-millimeter, acoustic-laminated windshield quiets wind noise.

  • Triple seals for all four doors block wind and road noise.

  • 30 “Snickers bars” of expandable, sound-blocking baffles in the roofline and window frames quiet noise transmitted around the door openings.

  • The 26- x 50-inch hood liner features acoustic materials that mute engine noise.

  • Two sound-absorbing mats on both sides of the front-of-dash panel isolate engine noise, and save three kilograms of weight by using lightweight materials.

  • A 15-millimeter-thick mat in the spare-tire well absorbs road noise Four wheel-well liners, backed with textile material, block tire noise.

  • A five-layer headliner muffles cabin noise.
Now all we have to do is hope like hell none of these extra measures come tumbling down on the driver when he or she is driving down the road. An experience members of my own family have personally experienced more than a few times in their what was brand new 08 GM SUV of all things???

The quietness of the Cruze illustrates how addressing one sound often brings less-noticeable noises to the surface. Now let us hope they execute with a long term plan to keep said noise reduction additions in their place for the life of the vehicle instead of the first 25,000 miles?

And about that FE number again… 30 mpg combined really kind of actually blows for a compact car built in late 2010? Bring on the ECO and if you charge what you are expected to charge for the more Spartan vehicle, remind me to place GM on my “Short” list after the IPO…
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Old 09-14-2010, 07:30 PM
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Re: Arguably the Best and Possibly Quietist Compact in the US

On Chevy's site, they have the MPG comparison with other 2010 competitors



So the combined MPG is somewhere between "meh" and "not bad". But a year from now, when we have a new Focus, Elantra, and quite possibly Civic, they are not going to have much more than "standard Onstar and XM" to distinguish the Cruze from the rest of the pack.

Don't you love the row stating "6 speed automatic or manual transmission"? Standard for Cruze, not available on others. Seems to imply the other cars do not have a transmission available at any price. Yes, they are hawking the class leading six forward ratios, but even with the extra cogs, they're tied for city MPG and beat the others by 1mpg on the highway?
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Old 09-14-2010, 07:37 PM
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Re: Arguably the Best and Possibly Quietist Compact in the US

Comparing to the Corolla just points out how Toyota has gone the wrong direction in the last 7 years.

2004 Corolla
1.8L Manual = 31 combined
1.8L Auto = 28

How many manuals were sold?

2010 Corolla
1.8L manual = 30
1.8L Auto = 29
2.4L manual = 25
2.4L auto = 25

Why did Toyota offer the 2.4L? 25 combined for compact car from Toyota, that really blows.
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Old 09-14-2010, 07:57 PM
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Re: Arguably the Best and Possibly Quietist Compact in the US

Quote:
Originally Posted by worthywads View Post
Comparing to the Corolla just points out how Toyota has gone the wrong direction in the last 7 years.

2004 Corolla
1.8L Manual = 31 combined
1.8L Auto = 28

How many manuals were sold?

2010 Corolla
1.8L manual = 30
1.8L Auto = 29
2.4L manual = 25
2.4L auto = 25

Why did Toyota offer the 2.4L? 25 combined for compact car from Toyota, that really blows.
The EPA numbers are adjusted and then rounded down, so the 5MT Corolla may have been bumped from 31 to 30 due to rounding. The added bulk of the mandated safety gear, and possibly some ECM tweaking to meet the current emission requirements could have reduced the combined number by 0.5. And similar tweaking and maybe a change to the final drive is all that's needed to boost the automatic version up by 1.

Even with the greater weight and emission control requirements, the 2010s could still gain a few mpg if they weren't so overpowered. Even the Corolla 1.8L with automatic is faster than a V6 car of 25 years ago. The auto mags still gripe about how the "sterile" Prius offers an anemic 0-60 time of around 9 seconds. Until computerized fuel injection hit the mass market 20 years go, a 9 second 0-60 meant muscle car, and it was celebrated by the same magazines. There was a time not so long ago when 0-60 in 12 seconds and quarter mile times in the low 20s was common for most passenger cars. How did we ever survive with such underpowered transportation?!
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Old 09-14-2010, 10:09 PM
RobertSmalls RobertSmalls is offline
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Re: Arguably the Best and Possibly Quietist Compact in the US

Since 2008, we've been reading headlines throwing around the big 40:
http://www.hybridcars.com/gas-mileag...lub-27640.html

Hopefully, the reason they're holding off on the EPA numbers for the Eco is that their engineers are scrambling to wring one more point of EPA MPG out of it before the big reveal. 36 HWY -> 40 HWY is an awfully large step for a trim package that consists of aero tweaks and 0.4L less displacement, but I hope they can make it.
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Old 09-14-2010, 10:14 PM
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Re: Arguably the Best and Possibly Quietest Compact in the US

The thing is that Honda Civic is just as big as my 2001 Honda Accord on the inside. The trunk may be a little smaller on the current civic than my old accord, but other than that, they are the same size.

No wonder "small cars" get that sort of mpg nowadays - they aren't really small cars.
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Old 09-14-2010, 10:29 PM
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Re: Arguably the Best and Possibly Quietest Compact in the US

Hi Robert:

We have been reporting on the 40 mpg Eco Cruze and its tweaks plus the 40 mpg Fiesta since they were first announced... The Cruze Eco will be ready in a few months. Here are a few hundred Cruze stories here for your perusal...

Cruze

Good Luck

Wayne
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Old 09-14-2010, 10:50 PM
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Re: Arguably the Best and Possibly Quietest Compact in the US

The Eco is still not showing up in the dealer printbooks. My speculation is that the Eco uses several Volt parts (wheels, stereo speakers, some internal bracing), so it will be delayed until Volt production begins, and suppliers provide those parts.

The Volt wheels - ultralight forged aluminum - use the same bolt pattern and width/diameter as the wheels on my Chevy, so hopefully I can find some take-offs online and swap em out. Then I can get some cool "KillaVolt" graphics to really jazz up the old war wagon.
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Old 09-14-2010, 11:13 PM
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Re: Arguably the Best and Possibly Quietest Compact in the US

Hi All:

The Cruze wheel in detail...

One reason for the 2011 Cruze’s excellent fuel economy is its wheels

Wayne
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Old 09-15-2010, 08:17 AM
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Re: Arguably the Best and Possibly Quietest Compact in the US

Sorry, but for $20K +. i am buying a manual trans Sonata LONG before i am buying a Cruze. I can think of at least a dozen cars i would find more desirable for that kind of money, over the Cruze. Looks like GM (Generic Mediocrity) shoots another blank. Too bad, i was hoping for so much more(for less money)
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