Chevy Cruze ECO: Is America Ready to Shift (Again)?

It’s been said that approximately ten percent of the new cars sold in America today are equipped with manual transmissions, with the numbers slipping dramatically over the years. Have Americans become too lazy to shift gears for themselves?

Enter the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze ECO.

The Cruze ECO uses a tiny turbocharged 1.4-liter four cylinder engine and advanced aerodynamics to achieve superb fuel-efficiency. The difference in mileage ratings between the manual transmission-equipped Cruze ECO and the automatic are dramatic.

When equipped with a six-speed manual transmission, the new Chevy Cruze ECO is rated at 28 miles per gallon (MPG) in the city and 42 MPG on the highway. The MPG numbers drop dramatically to 26 city / 37 highway in the automatic-equipped Cruze ECO.

Gearing makes all the difference.

Tensions in the Middle East are only likely to push gas prices higher. With gasoline prices flirting with the $4 per gallon mark in some parts of the country, will the huge boost in the manual Cruze ECO’s fuel-efficiency convince folks to put aside their lazy automatic ways? Or have we simply become too complacent?

Resource: 2011 Chevy Cruze ECO Review

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  • Rasmus Jensen

    Hehe.. $4.. Thats effin’ cheap :-) the other day I saw petrol at $9,40 per gallon here in Denmark. :)

  • Alex

    I prefer the MT and I doubt that those estimates for the Cruze are reliable. I recall a Renault Caravelle I had many years back. It had the R4 engine and 4-speed MT. I couldn’t get less than 40 MPG with that car even in the city. The problem was that Renault made the frame with the same metal that the body was made out of. This made it subject to easily rusting. I liked that car but the problem with the frame made it dangerous.

  • Greg

    It’s mostly been the automanufactures who don’t even offer a manual transmission. They feel their electronic controlled auto transmissions do better than a stick shift (driven by the average American who never learned on a stick).

    Take a look at cars, most don’t offer a stick.

  • D

    Getting my 4-stroke motorized bicycle running with a new transmission. With 120-150 MPH…no motorcycle endorsement…insurance…tags/registration…not going to cry…even at $9.40 in the US. Will love the look of those spending $100+ when I pull up and ask for $1.50-$2.00 to fill up.

  • gypkap

    I’ve had stick shift cars and trucks since the mid-1980s. I have always preferred sticks to automatics, simply because they perform better then automatics, and have been more efficient than automatics since forever.

  • Martin Kruse

    Driving a stick in traffic sucks. No thanks.