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Chevrolet discontinued the Cruze in 2019 after the compact car failed to sell well. In fact, the first-generation Cruze, made from 2011 to 2015, ranked as the worst of 85 Chevy generations. In short, it wasn’t a great car. And one owner of a 2015 model found out the hard way that although “the color red means speed and power, just like a race car,” the Cruze was far from it.

Overheating left a sour taste in this 2015 Chevy Cruze owner’s mouth

A red 2011 Chevrolet Cruze parked on a roof with a blue sky and wispy clouds in the background
2011 Chevrolet Cruze | General Motors via Getty Images

The owner of a 2015 cherry-red Chevy Cruze took to, a website that compiles grievances from consumers about their vehicles. And it sounds like this owner had a good reason. Not long after they bought the car, it began overheating and “accelerating like an old computer booting up.” That was apparently a bit of a buzzkill.

But the owner stuck with the red Cruze and took it to get fixed. Unfortunately, this was not the end of the saga.

The cherry turned into a lemon

After the dealership replaced the spark plugs and fixed a leaking cylinder head, the owner Cruze got its power back — for about four months. When it began overheating again, the dealership replaced the water pump and both heater core hoses, which had been leaking. Excitement at getting the car back turned to disappointment when, a few months later, it started overheating again.

So, the dealership replaced “the cylinder head, spark plugs, water pump, and every other hose except the one leading to the wiper fluid.” The owner finally felt like their troubles were over because it basically “felt like … a brand-new car,” the owner wrote. Spoiler alert: Their troubles weren’t over. This time, the wipers broke, which apparently cost $600 to fix, which seems a bit excessive for wipers, but OK. Thinking nothing else could go wrong, the owner was wrong yet again. The battery had to be replaced. Twice. 

But finally, everything is now working! Well, one wiper blade won’t stay down, so there’s always a wiper blade in the driver’s face even “when they are turned OFF [owner’s emphasis].” Finally, the owner admitted that despite the car’s shiny red paint job, this Cruze is a lemon.

Another owner also grumbled about their Cruze overheating, and they replaced the “thermostat, water pump twice, etc.,” they wrote on They also took it to a dealership, where service technicians “bled the line.” However, none of this stopped the overheating. This owner thinks Chevrolet should issue a recall and give every owner a new car, but not a Chevy Cruze. 

Does the 2015 Chevy Cruze have any redeeming qualities?

The 2015 Chevy Cruze offers a few engine options. The base model has a 1.4-liter four-cylinder making 138 hp and 125 lbs-ft of torque. Then there’s a 1.4-liter turbo-four making the same horsepower but a bit more torque at 148 lb-ft. Oh, and how about a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder diesel engine harnessing 151 hp and 264 lb-ft of torque? Except for the diesel, which comes with only an automatic transmission, you can choose either a manual or an automatic transmission. 

Also, Chevrolet gave the 2015 Cruze several tech features. They include text message alerts, Apple Siri integration, and OnStar 4G LTE with an available Wi-FI hotspot. It also comes with a six-speaker stereo system and the MyLink infotainment system with a 7.0-inch touchscreen.

As for the cherry-red 2015 Chevy Cruze that turned out to be a lemon: Car color is important to many consumers. But just because a car looks nice doesn’t mean it’ll perform well. Remember the adage: It’s not about what’s on the outside but what’s on the inside that counts. 


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