2011 Chevrolet Cruze LTZ: Shifty
December 17, 2010
Last night was my first drive in our Cruze. Overall, I think it's pretty well executed, but one thing struck me as being a little "off" as soon as I started moving: the transmission.
The timing and feel of the gear changes seem a little inconsistent to me. Sometimes the six-speed automatic is smooth as anything else in its class, but other times it feels as rough as a teenager learning how to drive a stick-shift. At first, I thought it was driver error, so I drove like a limo driver -- very slight throttle inputs and not a lot of load on the driveline. Nope, the first to second gear change resulted in a strange lurch back and forth. At the next light, I tried the same approach and the shift was so smooth, I almost didn't feel it.
Slowing down, I also feel some rough downshifts, and just like the upshifts, it's not very consistent. With slight pressure on the brake pedal as I approach a stop, the transmission steps down to the next lowest gear. Every now and then, that shift is far too noticeable -- like your foot slipped off the clutch pedal of a manual transmission.
I've got it all weekend, so I'm hoping to get to the bottom of this. Maybe I'll toss-in a Dynolicious graph to better explain what's going on. It's supposed to rain all the way through the weekend, too, so I should also be able to tell you if the trunk stays dry.
Got anything else you'd like to know about our long-term Cruze?
Mark Takahashi, Associate Editor