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Chevrolet Cruze



  • winter2winter2 Posts: 1,796
    Recently, GM quietly announced that the Cruze will be sold here with a diesel and a six speed manual (no automatic) in model year 2013. The engine is being co-developed by GM and an Italian company partially owned by GM called V.M. Motori. FIAT owns the rest of V.M. Motori who has been making diesels since 1947.

    I bring this up because of an issue I have had with V.M. Motori diesels. Chrysler in Europe has been using this company for some years now and in 2005 and 2006 used one of their engines in the Jeep Liberty. I had a 2005 Liberty with one of these engines and it did not hold up. It threw a rod at 77,594 miles without warning and destroyed the engine in short order in spite of getting very good care. If you look on the forum here on Edmunds at the Jeep Liberty diesel you will see that there have been numerous issues.

    I am not trying to dissuade anyone from buying a diesel, but engines from this company leave something to be desired. I wonder why GM did not use one of their Opel diesels instead?
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,346
    This is interesting to learn, winter. I almost bought a Liberty because it offered the diesel. I loved the torque and the way the engine ran, although for its 2.7 litre size (if I recall) certainly wasn't the smoothest of inline 4's, it was smooth enough.

    The deal breaker for me, was the auto transmission. While I prefer a stick (and that engine was well suited to utilizing the most efficiency out of a stick with so much torque down low in the rpm range) I was still considering a purchase with the only trans available, being the corporate Chrysler 5 speed auto. But it shifted so badly, that I lost total interest after driving a second demo at a different dealer. The two trans shifted a bit differently from each other (even that was curious) but they both were busy shifters when they needn't have been, and lazy when they needed to be responsive. Just terrible software communicative management with the engine. A total deal-breaker. And wouldn't you know it, years later we learn that that trans did in fact have a very troublesome torque-converter. Little did I know at the time that Chrysler's sourced engine emission systems would also cause a myriad of issues down the road that can't really be blamed on VM.

    But, your crank issue (and I have heard of other mechanical issues also) can't be blamed on emission devices or Chrysler; or at least I surely don't think they can. But what can be blamed on Chrysler is how poorly they handled their customers who got saddled with this troublesome, expensive power train. And for that I have a memory like an elephant and feel relieved that the auto trans was such a disaster on my demo drives because if it hadn't, I too would be experiencing the premature and even fatal issues you guys who bought one, have. I feel badly for you. And I thank you for your info post about the Cruze VM diesel. Had I not known this, I probably would have stilled passed if the auto was not available, but only because of some health complications that make shifting a stick a problem for me in my years now.

    I am extremely impressed with the mileage that Cruze owners are getting in real world driving, with both engines and trans combos. I have personally driven the turbo with 6 auto and the 1.8 with 6 stick and was very impressed with both. The 1.8 with the stick left me suspecting that given the weight of car and the 1.8 with auto would make it not too swift for pickup, and if driven hard in stick or auto would be harder on gas than the turbo driven normally. But I also believe the great mileage owners like alias are getting with the 1.8 stick if driven not too aggressively. Now that I know about where GM is foolishly sourcing their diesel (instead of using the Holden?/Opel) and not offering the auto, my choice would be the turbo with auto when I am in the market again. Of course the bar is constantly being raised so who knows. And we also won't know if GM does a better job than Chrysler, of making emission systems more compatible with VM's diesel, but also offer longevity. Visions of crank failures on a cared-for engine is hard to forgive though.
  • winter2winter2 Posts: 1,796
    edited June 2012
    The issues with the powertrain in the Jeep Liberty were multiple and if you were not aware of some of the quirks, it would cost you.

    If this VM/GM hybrid engine is more VM than GM then expect issues, especially with emissions and mechanical issues. The EGR valve on the CRD was a nightmare. It was not properly designed to handle the soot in the exhaust stream and from time to time you had to "blow out" the soot from the EGR which left clouds of soot behind you when you did it. Another quirk was the intake manifold pressure sensor. It needed cleaning with every oil change and of course the location left something to be desired. Forget to clean this sensor and you would blow a hose from the turbo to the intercooler. Then we come to the variable geometry turbo, made by Garrett. Only lasted about 80K miles before you had to repair it or replace it. I wish Chrysler had used a twin-scroll turbo, yes more money, a little harder to package, but in reality simpler and more rugged. The Cruze diesel will have a DPF and potentially urea (DEF) spray into the exhaust stream for emissions. This should prove interesting.

    As to the trans, you must have driven an early model in 2005. The trans in my CRD always shifted smoothly in fact almost too smoothly. When Chrysler recalled the CRD to modify the engine torque and replace parts in the trans including the torque converter (F37 recall) the vehicle acted very much the same except that power delivery was not quite as potent. I was into my third torque converter at the time my engine threw a rod and I had read of other Jeep CRD owners having even more torque converters installed than I did.

    Now back to the Cruze diesel. If GM has more say than VM, I am not sure what to expect. I still remember the 5.7L V-8 diesel nightmare from the late 70's to early 80's. GM gave diesel a bad name and an undeserved bad reputation with that engine.

    Frankly, I am intrigued by this development but I am very scared of anything associated with VM Motori or GM.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,628
    I just took a Cruze rental (1LT I think) on a 370-mile two day trip. It had just over 12k miles when I picked it up. The outbound trip was in the evening and temps 70-80, so no AC and average speed was 64 mph--never had the cruise control over 67. Almost all highway. On that leg I got 42.7 mpg per the trip computer. Then I drove around town today and headed back to town. It was about 80 and I was dressed up so had the AC on. Still was doing well, at about 42 mpg overall, until I-94 was blocked by a bad accident. I sat for a long time, with AC on (1/2 mile for over an hour). Finally got to turn around and drove on side roads around the accident. But with all that I still averaged 40.2 mpg for the trip, which I think is really good given the near-zero mpg I got for over an hour (which dropped the overall mph to just over 50). Also, my butt and back weren't too much the worse for wear sitting in the car for nearly 4 hours w/o a break.
  • gparagpara Posts: 23
    Great job on the mileage, if you are that good now look at the ECO model and be ready for 50+mpg under the same situations.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,628
    Based on recent reviews from C/D and CR on the Eco, I doubt I'll see 50+ mpg under those conditions. Maybe 50 mpg with the stick when cruising on the highway.
  • Kirstie@EdmundsKirstie@Edmunds Posts: 10,676
    A reporter is interested in talking to any car shoppers who are thinking about buying any one of the following small cars: Chevy Cruze, Ford Focus, Hyundai Elantra, Honda Civic or Dodge Dart. Please send a brief description of your shopping experience and your preferred contact information to by Monday, June 18th

    Need help navigating? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • bradley2bradley2 Posts: 11
    Sorry to say but after attempting to be a patriot & GM/Chevy man with strong multi-generational family ties to the company this Chevy Cruze recall for stupid under-carriage fire hazard is the last straw that broke this camel's back. In addition to that my Cruze (2011 LT) had bad hood paint job/crease out the gate, lousy fit & finish and additional recalls/service advisories including a failed thermostat, etc. and a wicked rattle from driver side pillar among other things. Also my 2010 Chev Equinox had multiple problems with less than 50k miles including a passenger rear window motor failure, a lumbar driver seat automatic motor failure, rattles galore, speakers that hum and moan, and more. That on top of prior Malibu gasket failures and yada yada yada have given me no choice. Bye bye GM, have a nice life. PS the dealers were great but the design, engineeering and manufacturing flaws doom them too, I fear and no marketing gimics can overcome that. I am a patriot and a loyalist, but I am not stupid. Watch for my next posting about a FORD or heaven forbid, an import. PS my 2006 KIA Spectra 5 now "owned" by my daughter with 150k+ miles and no coin invested other than brakes, tires, oil changes and timing belt runs like a top. Go figure.
  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaPosts: 1,543
    Don't let the door hit you on the way out. Cruze has been very well received and has had both good reviews and a good track record. All cars have recalls and this one is pretty minor.

    2011 Buick Regal Turbo, 1968 Oldsmobile Cutlass S Holiday Coupe

  • jamtracyjamtracy Posts: 74
    I've had mine for 6 months now. I drive it everyday and have had zero problems or complaints with it.
  • jpfjpf Posts: 496
    45% market share in 1980 and 15% in 2012. Soon there may be no more customers to hit on the way out the door.
  • eliaselias Posts: 1,830
    there are so many awesome GM cars now! I regret that I only have one butt to put in the drivers seat of a GM car at a time, including my gas-only Volt (aka Cruze).
    in Cruze news, my 2011 M6 had the two safety recall/inspections done yesterday. It took less than an hour.
    The car did need the shield thing for engine/clutch.
    It did not need the disassembly/welding/re-assembly procedure - a 24 page process - would have required two techs.
  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaPosts: 1,543
    Perfectly sensible response, since we all know the same people who designed & built the Citation also did the Cruze. :confuse:

    2011 Buick Regal Turbo, 1968 Oldsmobile Cutlass S Holiday Coupe

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,628
    Not quite. The Cruze's design comes from Europe and Korea.
  • The V.M. Motori engine in the liberty was an over bored 425 series with extra cylinders unit first used in 1998 in europe it was a disaster when overstretched . the engine used in the cruze is the ra420 first introduced in 2006 and is very reliable I am curently running an antara with the same engine and 6 speed manual box it has been extreamly reliable.
  • jpfjpf Posts: 496
    No, different engineers but same corporate philosophy. GM hasn't learned much in the past 30 years.
  • Upon changing my oil one day last month i noticed a pink drip coming from around the seal bearing area where the drive shaft and transmission connect. Immediately called the dealer as I had an extended warranty, thank God! My 2011 Cruze has 56K on it by the way...
    After showing the technician the trouble area I was given a loaner vehicle and told they would call me as soon as they inspected it further. I recieved a call later in the day and was told the water pump has a bad leak...r u kidding me?!?! 56K miles and the water pump goes bad! Anyway, while they were replacing it they replaced the thermostat and also found a cracked engine mount which was also replaced. Never owned a vehicle that had less than 100K on it and had issues of this sort. All together I paid nothing for the repairs and I am still happy with my Cruze. I would still buy another one if I had my choice. ;)
  • averaging 33.5 city/hwy and 36mpg on hwy 2011 Cruze 2LT 1.4L turbo
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,003
    We're glad to hear that everything has been resolved on your Cruze, lexan1965! We wish you many more happy miles, and if there is every anything you would like for us to check into, please contact us via email at (include your name, contact information, and the last 8 digits of your VIN with your inquiry).

    Sarah, GM Customer Service
  • sandman_6472sandman_6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 2,578
    Must be something going around I guess...the wife's Mazda3 needs 2 engine mounts...granted her ride has 113k and is an '05 model. Luckily you have the extended warranty...we opted to forgo one. Luckily, there's money in the car fund and since we've never kept a ride over 80k before, don't really feel that bad. Guess we're gonna fix it and try to get this puppy to 150k.

    Good luck with your Cruze!

    The Sandman :) :sick: :shades:

    2014 Hyundai Tuscon SE/2005 Mazda 3s/2008 Hyundai Accent GLS/2009 Nissan Versa SL hatch

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