Fuel economy no image

Published on June 3rd, 2010 | by Nick Chambers

25

40 MPG Chevy Cruze Eco to Start at About $19,000

When they unveiled their plans to build a 40 mpg “Eco” version of their upcoming Chevy Cruze at the New York Auto Show last April, GM claimed that the Cruze Eco would have the fuel economy of a hybrid at a much lower price. Today GM put an actual number on what a much lower price means: a starting price of $18,995 for the base Cruze Eco when it goes on sale later this year.

Whether that is really a much lower price than the hybrid competition is a whole ‘nother thing entirely.

Given that the Cruze is technically a compact car, its closest hybrid competition is the Honda Insight. The base Insight starts at $19,800 and returns 40 mpg city/43 mpg highway. The Cruze Eco is expected to get 40 mpg highway, and GM hasn’t yet released what its’ city numbers will be. Because of this, and the fact that GM hasn’t released a list of features that come at the Eco’s $18,995 price tag, there’s no way to directly compare apples to apples between the Cruze Eco and the Insight yet — but the Insight does come with a large list of standard features.

Even if the Cruze Eco returned 35 mpg in the city (doubtful), that would still be an average of about 4 mpg difference between it and the Insight, or at today’s fuel prices about $150 per year. In light of that, is that extra $800 savings really a coup in the hybrid versus efficient conventional car world?

Certainly a well-built, 40 mpg, 4-door, small family-sized conventional car that doesn’t look like a Prius for less than $20K is nothing to sneeze at. It’s a great accomplishment. I’ve also sat inside the Cruze and can say that it is unquestionably more comfortable than the Insight, and, although I haven’t driven the Cruze yet, it would be hard for it to get worse ride and handling reviews than the Insight — which has been almost universally panned. But in the end, it appears the Cruze Eco’s price tag is right in line with comparable hybrids that get better mileage, so I don’t think that GM can keep up the “lower price” charade for much longer.

Source: GM




Tags: , , , , , , , ,


About the Author

Not your traditional car guy.



  • onesojourner

    hmmm so gm finally has a car that gets the same mpg that my 1993 honda civic gets. Good for them.

  • onesojourner

    hmmm so gm finally has a car that gets the same mpg that my 1993 honda civic gets. Good for them.

  • Tim Cleland

    My guess is that it’s going to be pretty loaded in terms of amenities, but you’re right that price is

    a bit up there to be touting it’s “non-hybrid price”.

    “so gm finally has a car that gets the same mpg that my 1993 honda civic gets. Good for them.”

    That’s not quite fair for a variety of reasons. One is that the Cruze is larger, more powerful, and has more amenities than a ’93 Civic. It’s also complying with more safety and emissions regs than the ’93 had to. Next, the ’93 Civic’s ratings were under the old EPA rules. The new rules starting in 2008 make it more difficult to get good fuel economy ratings. Finally, back in ’93, GM had the Saturn S-series that got 40 mpg and the Geo Metro XFi that got 50+ mpg.

  • Tim Cleland

    My guess is that it’s going to be pretty loaded in terms of amenities, but you’re right that price is

    a bit up there to be touting it’s “non-hybrid price”.

    “so gm finally has a car that gets the same mpg that my 1993 honda civic gets. Good for them.”

    That’s not quite fair for a variety of reasons. One is that the Cruze is larger, more powerful, and has more amenities than a ’93 Civic. It’s also complying with more safety and emissions regs than the ’93 had to. Next, the ’93 Civic’s ratings were under the old EPA rules. The new rules starting in 2008 make it more difficult to get good fuel economy ratings. Finally, back in ’93, GM had the Saturn S-series that got 40 mpg and the Geo Metro XFi that got 50+ mpg.

  • Zathras

    There is also the fact that they are comparing it to a hybrid’s milage starting with a full charge. After that charge runs down and the engine has to kick in to start recharging or push the car on engine alone, that milage starts to drop considerably.

    Hybrids are great for around town, but I drive 122 miles round-trip to work and back. Half way home on most hybrids I would be running all on gas. And if you plan to take a road trip, about an hour from home your milage in a hybrid will drop, while the milage on this new Cruze will still be the same. It all depends on your needs and driving habits. If you are mostly around town then stick with the hybrid, but if you put in a lot of miles, this new one might actually be better.

  • Zathras

    There is also the fact that they are comparing it to a hybrid’s milage starting with a full charge. After that charge runs down and the engine has to kick in to start recharging or push the car on engine alone, that milage starts to drop considerably.

    Hybrids are great for around town, but I drive 122 miles round-trip to work and back. Half way home on most hybrids I would be running all on gas. And if you plan to take a road trip, about an hour from home your milage in a hybrid will drop, while the milage on this new Cruze will still be the same. It all depends on your needs and driving habits. If you are mostly around town then stick with the hybrid, but if you put in a lot of miles, this new one might actually be better.

  • Dean

    “There is also the fact that they are comparing it to a hybrid’s milage starting with a full charge. After that charge runs down and the engine has to kick in to start recharging or push the car on engine alone, that milage starts to drop considerably. ”

    I’m not sure exactly what you’re getting at here, but you clearly have no clue as to how a hybrid actually operates…

  • Dean

    “There is also the fact that they are comparing it to a hybrid’s milage starting with a full charge. After that charge runs down and the engine has to kick in to start recharging or push the car on engine alone, that milage starts to drop considerably. ”

    I’m not sure exactly what you’re getting at here, but you clearly have no clue as to how a hybrid actually operates…

  • Max Miles

    I routinely get 50+ mpg in my Honda Insight and have gotten as high as 62 mpg on some highway trips. I would take it over another ho-hum GM product any day.

  • Max Miles

    I routinely get 50+ mpg in my Honda Insight and have gotten as high as 62 mpg on some highway trips. I would take it over another ho-hum GM product any day.

  • Patrick Carroll

    I’ll never, never, never buy anything from Government Motors.

  • Patrick Carroll

    I’ll never, never, never buy anything from Government Motors.

  • Ryan

    I bought a ’07 Yaris new for about $18k (sport coupe). It gets ~35 city and 40+ highway. At the time I was looking at that and the Prius at $28K that would get about 45mpg. I figured I could buy a LOT of gas for $10,000. I’m sure the Prius is bigger but not THAT much bigger. About the only thing I wish the Yaris had was a bigger gas tank. I drive it so much that it gets annoying having to stop for fuel every 380 miles.

  • Ryan

    I bought a ’07 Yaris new for about $18k (sport coupe). It gets ~35 city and 40+ highway. At the time I was looking at that and the Prius at $28K that would get about 45mpg. I figured I could buy a LOT of gas for $10,000. I’m sure the Prius is bigger but not THAT much bigger. About the only thing I wish the Yaris had was a bigger gas tank. I drive it so much that it gets annoying having to stop for fuel every 380 miles.

  • jeff

    It looks like a Saturn ION. Actually, it probably gets the same mileage as an ION. My Saturn SL2’s, a 1999 and a 2002, get 40-42 mpg highway and 29-30 city. I think the SL’s and ION’s all had the I4 Ecotec engine. It’s nice to see that no matter how things change, they’re still the same.

  • jeff

    It looks like a Saturn ION. Actually, it probably gets the same mileage as an ION. My Saturn SL2’s, a 1999 and a 2002, get 40-42 mpg highway and 29-30 city. I think the SL’s and ION’s all had the I4 Ecotec engine. It’s nice to see that no matter how things change, they’re still the same.

  • Alan

    I have the “older cousin” of the Cruze ECO, a 2009 Cobalt LS XFE that is rated at 37 MPG highway [and the HIGHWAY MPG range on the window sticker is stated to be 30 to 44 MPG, it has a 5 speed stick shift], but on the NY Thruway at 72 MPH it got only 31 MPG the last 2 trips I took [at steady speed]. I was the slowest car on the Thruway at that speed. It does appear to get 37 MPG around 50 MPH, but not at Thruway speeds. I think data on what MPG one should expect at exact [VARIOUS] highway speeds should also be available to consumers doing new car comparisons. I wrongly assumed the 30-44 MPG range was based only on “various drivers and various terrains”, I think now that whether you are going 50 or 60 or 70 MPH is probably the most significant factor in the EPA highway MPG calculation. Also, the car’s GM computer usually lies [high] by 2 MPG about what MPG the car has actually achieved [I reset it every time I fill the tank and do the math myself, miles driven since last fill up and actual gallons of gas used]. Maybe GM figures no one will check, that they will just believe the car’s [lying] computer. . . [conclusion: DON'T assume that you will actually get in the middle to high range of the 'rated' highway MPGs !]. I paid $8425 brand new [no trade in] for my Cobalt LS XFE in June 2009 [during the GM bankruptcy], a great deal – about 47% off the $15,925 sticker price ! PS: the range for city driving is 20 to 30 MPG on my XFE, the overall city rating is 25 MPG [the middle of the range]. It looks like the highway rating of 37 MPG is also just the mid point of the 30-44 MPG highway range – i.e. (30+44)/2

  • Alan

    I have the “older cousin” of the Cruze ECO, a 2009 Cobalt LS XFE that is rated at 37 MPG highway [and the HIGHWAY MPG range on the window sticker is stated to be 30 to 44 MPG, it has a 5 speed stick shift], but on the NY Thruway at 72 MPH it got only 31 MPG the last 2 trips I took [at steady speed]. I was the slowest car on the Thruway at that speed. It does appear to get 37 MPG around 50 MPH, but not at Thruway speeds. I think data on what MPG one should expect at exact [VARIOUS] highway speeds should also be available to consumers doing new car comparisons. I wrongly assumed the 30-44 MPG range was based only on “various drivers and various terrains”, I think now that whether you are going 50 or 60 or 70 MPH is probably the most significant factor in the EPA highway MPG calculation. Also, the car’s GM computer usually lies [high] by 2 MPG about what MPG the car has actually achieved [I reset it every time I fill the tank and do the math myself, miles driven since last fill up and actual gallons of gas used]. Maybe GM figures no one will check, that they will just believe the car’s [lying] computer. . . [conclusion: DON'T assume that you will actually get in the middle to high range of the 'rated' highway MPGs !]. I paid $8425 brand new [no trade in] for my Cobalt LS XFE in June 2009 [during the GM bankruptcy], a great deal – about 47% off the $15,925 sticker price ! PS: the range for city driving is 20 to 30 MPG on my XFE, the overall city rating is 25 MPG [the middle of the range]. It looks like the highway rating of 37 MPG is also just the mid point of the 30-44 MPG highway range – i.e. (30+44)/2

  • sigh

    It’s not like the government can be held accountable for BS advertising. Sorta like “We paid our loans back already!” Sure you did, liars.

  • sigh

    It’s not like the government can be held accountable for BS advertising. Sorta like “We paid our loans back already!” Sure you did, liars.

  • douglas prince

    It would be nice to see a new vehicle released without any sort of “standard package” and see how the costs stack up. Perhaps an ala carte menu for buyers who don’t want/need Onstar or Mapquest built into the system.

  • douglas prince

    It would be nice to see a new vehicle released without any sort of “standard package” and see how the costs stack up. Perhaps an ala carte menu for buyers who don’t want/need Onstar or Mapquest built into the system.

  • Harold

    I have a 90 mile one way commute. And a 2008 Toyota Yaris 4 door automatic to commute in.

    In summer, I get 38-40 MPG, consistently. In winter, 35-36 MPG. That’s running at 70-75 MPH over half of the commute where the speed limit is 65, and 62 where it’s 55. I’ve made the commute at the speed limit several times, and checked my mileage. Doesn’t vary any at all. What changes it is gas formulation (winter gas gets far less mileage) and wind. The commute is wholly east-west (and west-east the other way). A headwind over 30 MPH cuts into mileage a bit. A tailwind helps it more than a headwind cuts it. I don’t have exact numbers for that, just a feel based on two years of commuting this way.

    Get up to speed, hit the cruise control, and stay steady. That’s the key to better mileage. When I get stuck behind someone on the two lane portion (about 25 miles) who slows down to 50 for curves, speeds up to 65 in passing zones, and slows down randomly and speeds up for no apparent reason, mileage really suffers.

  • Harold

    I have a 90 mile one way commute. And a 2008 Toyota Yaris 4 door automatic to commute in.

    In summer, I get 38-40 MPG, consistently. In winter, 35-36 MPG. That’s running at 70-75 MPH over half of the commute where the speed limit is 65, and 62 where it’s 55. I’ve made the commute at the speed limit several times, and checked my mileage. Doesn’t vary any at all. What changes it is gas formulation (winter gas gets far less mileage) and wind. The commute is wholly east-west (and west-east the other way). A headwind over 30 MPH cuts into mileage a bit. A tailwind helps it more than a headwind cuts it. I don’t have exact numbers for that, just a feel based on two years of commuting this way.

    Get up to speed, hit the cruise control, and stay steady. That’s the key to better mileage. When I get stuck behind someone on the two lane portion (about 25 miles) who slows down to 50 for curves, speeds up to 65 in passing zones, and slows down randomly and speeds up for no apparent reason, mileage really suffers.

  • http://ms1.gotdns.com jonny rocket

    i’m gonna get one.

Back to Top ↑