2012 Chevrolet Cruze Eco 4dr Sedan (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
15K miles and going with no issues.
I get an actual 41 MPG combined...on board computer is usually 2-3 MPG optimistic.
Quality is much better than expected.
Hands free calling via blue tooth.
Underside panels and other streamlines.
Tons of room under hood for maintenance.
The gearing seems a bit off in lower gears.
1st is too low, 2nd and 3rd are a bit high.
It is difficult (for my driving style) to find a proper gear when turning a corner or rolling through a stop.
Still haven't figured out why it idles at 1K and very occasionally at 700.
700 should be the norm.
Yeah, about the gear ratios- 4-6 are all overdrive, that's how you get 41 MPG. But that means 3rd has to be your passing gear. It can't be too low, like with the engine hitting red line at 78 MPH (for example), or you'll be forced to shift into 4th, an overdrive gear, and the car won't accelerate quick enough to pass. Think two lane highway with two cars to pass and traffic coming the other direction.
As for first gear, you are moving a 3200 pound car with 138 HP. First gear has to be a little low or you won't get a smooth or quick launch off of the line, especially with a turbo. Second gear will seem tall because first is so low. The RPMs drop too much when you shift. You can lower second, but then the car falls on it's face shifting into the tall third. I had a 4 speed truck like that...
Actually, I remember these same wide gear ratio compromises were made by engineers in the 70's and early 80's when there were a lot of 4 speeds, but people still needed good hwy mileage. With a triple overdrive 6 speed, I'm not surprised GM reached similar compromises for gears 1-3. And yeah, a close ratio 6 speed would get you around corners and comfortably rolling through near stops in second gear, but then your mileage would almost certainly suffer.