Is the Cruze 1.4T an improvement over past GM efforts and is it a decent engine for a well executed small car? Absolutely. This, however, doesn't change the facts that downsizing displacement and adding a turbocharger does not result in better fuel economy numbers than doing the opposite. The Cruze 1.4T is basically bottom of the pack in fuel economy and horsepower:-
- 2012 Cruze Eco -- 1.4L Turbo (6-spd automatic) -- 26 / 39 MPG (EPA); 138 hp / 148 lb-ft
- 2012 Civic HF -- 1.8L NA (5-spd automatic) -- 29 / 41 MPG (EPA); 140 hp / 128 lb-ft
- 2012 Focus SFE -- 2.0L NA (6-spd automatic) -- 28 / 40 MPG (EPA); 160 hp / 146 lb-ft
- 2012 Hyundai Elantra Blue -- 1.8L NA (6-spd automatic) -- 30 / 40 MPG (EPA); 145 / 130 lb-ft
I am not making this up. Feel free to look up the numbers @ fueleconomy.gov which has all the official EPA numbers.
Contrary to popular beliefs -- downsizing displacement is an ineffective means of improving fuel economy. A more effective path lies in increasing displacement, adopting Atkinson Cycle and going to as few cylinders, as few camshafts and as few valves as you can get away with while meeting your performance and refinement objectives.
The money GM spent on the turbocharger and intercooler for the 1.4T is better spent on adding direct injection, a 2.5 liter aluminum block and an Atkinson Cycle camshaft. The Malibu's 2.5L with an Atkinson Cam if you will, which actually cost less than the 1.4T. Output will be around 140 hp / 134 lb-ft. But fuel economy will be better than the Honda, Ford and Hyundai 1.8~2.0 liter engines -- all of which beat the 1.4T. GM can do even better if they go to 3-cylinders and/or a SOHC head, but I am keeping it simple and drawing from the existing parts bin.
The new engine will look like this:-
Ecotec 2.5 FXE
Operating Cycle: Atkinson-Miller Cycle
Aspiration: Naturally Aspirated
Fuel Injection: Direct Gasoline Injection
Valvetrain: DOHC-16v w/ intake & exhaust VVT
Displacement: 2457 cc (Static); 1843 cc (Effective)
Bore x Stroke: 88 x 101 mm
Compression: 15.0:1 (Static); 11.3:1 (Effective)
Power Output: 152 bhp @ 6000 rpm
Torque Output: 144 lb-ft @ 4500 rpm
Redline: 6300 rpm
Fuel Requirement: 87 Octane Unleaded Gasoline
Estimated Fuel Economy: 30 (City) / 43 (Hwy) mpg (Cruze Eco chassis w/ 6-spd Automatic)
Edited by dwightlooi, 22 August 2012 - 03:27 PM.