2011 Chevrolet Cruze: Transmission Isn't That Bad
May 24, 2011
There have been a few comments on our Compact Sedan Comparison test, much of it concerning our perceived bias against the Chevrolet Cruze. No sense rehashing it all here, but let's just say that the Cruze lost a few points for its slow-shifting transmission.
I drove our long-term Cruze last night and I think I know why the transmission feels so slow. It's not the shift program, it's the engine. It's utterly torqueless, or at least it feels that way. The transmission may call up a lower gear, but you barely even notice.
I can't say that I really expect big torque from a turbocharged, 1.4-liter engine, but the average consumer expects something. It's a bit worrisome when you're on the freeway and nothing really happens when you downshift.
It's not a deal breaker for the Cruze. It's a solid car otherwise and I don't mind driving it all. If it wants to be considered best in class, though, it's going to need a little more juice.
Ed Hellwig, Editor, Inside Line @ 10,223 miles