2014 Chevy Cruze Diesel arrives with 42 mpg for $25,695*
The last time General Motors had a diesel passenger car in the US, it was the 1.8-liter 1986 Chevette. At the 2013 Chicago Auto Show today, GM is unveiling the much-anticipated 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel. The compact bows with a 2.0-liter turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine that boasts 148 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, with full twist coming on at just 2,000 rpm. What’s more, the common-rail, direct-injection diesel features an overboost function that allows the engine to deliver up to 280 lb-ft of torque for 10 seconds at a time. Even with 10 more horsepower and 110 more pound-feet of torque than the available turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder in the Cruze, the 2.0-liter diesel engine can return up to 42 mpg (highway) bolted to its six-speed automatic transmission.
If you’re counting, that figure meets the less powerful Cruze Eco with a six-speed manual transmission. More importantly, the auto transmission Cruze Diesel matches its main competition, the Volkswagen Jetta TDI, in highway fuel economy. The Cruze 2.0 TD (as it will be badged) can also handle up to 20 percent biodiesel (B20), whereas the Jetta is rated only for B5. General Motors has not released city fuel economy for its newest diesel, but we do know how much it will cost you to jump behind the driver’s seat.
GM will kindly ask for $25,695, plus an $810 destination fee. That marks a $2,115 premium over a loaded Cruze LTZ Auto and $2,640 more than the Jetta TDI, though the MSRP will net you a leather interior, 17-inch alloy wheels and an Aero Performance Package, as well as a two-year maintenance plan and five-year, 100,000-mile powertrain warranty. Compared to the gas-powered Cruze, you also lose a couple cubic feet of rear cargo space thanks to a 17-liter diesel emission fluid tank. That urea fluid, which helps put the clean in clean diesel, will need to be refilled at least every 10,000 miles.
The Cruze’s diesel engine will be built in Kaiserslautern, Germany and the car will be produced starting in April at GM’s plant in Lordstown, OH. Sales should kick off in May or June and cars will first roll out in 13 select states where GM has had success selling diesel-powered Silverado trucks. If you’re thinking GM did something similar when the Volt was released, you’re right. GM is again targeting buyers who are familiar and interested in a new (well, new since 1986, anyway) technology. This time, though, instead of zero emissions and li-ion, the audience knows that there’s a significant difference between the label and real-world fuel efficiency of diesel vehicles, and so might be persuaded to do the math on higher diesel fuel costs and come to a favorable conclusion.
You can read the full press releases, both on the Cruze Diesel and its beating heart, below. Now we just have to wait for the wagon.
Sebastian Blanco contributed to this report.
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By Zach Bowman