2014 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel: A 42 MPG Oil Burner You Can Afford

Illustration for article titled 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel: A 42 MPG Oil Burner You Can Afford

Chevrolet dropped the much-anticipated Cruze diesel at the Chicago Auto Show today, saying that they're bringing a powerplant to America than can hold its own against any Volkswagen.

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They're calling it the Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel, as if to erase all doubts in the minds of American car buyers that diesels are dirty and underpowered. This new diesel engine is a modified version of a motor GM already uses on their cars in Europe.

Illustration for article titled 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel: A 42 MPG Oil Burner You Can Afford

Let's talk numbers: It's a 2.0-liter four with 148 horsepower and a healthy 258 lb-ft of torque at 2,000 RPM. It also features an overboost feature that pushes torque up to 280 lb-ft for "stronger acceleration periods of about 10 seconds," GM says.

Most importantly, they say it can achieve 42 mpg on the highway when coupled with an automatic transmission. No word from GM on whether a manual version will be available, but we can only hope so. Check out the full specs on it here.

Interestingly, unlike Volkswagen's small diesel cars, the Cruze relies on a urea injection system to cut down on particulate emissions. GM says the car can go 10,000 miles without a urea refill, but that's one more thing to think about if you're cross shopping this against the Golf.

Here is some footage of it driving around and filling up, just like a real car. See, American car buyers? You don't have to be terrified of diesel engines anymore! They're not going to explode and kill you or turn your children into beret-wearing socialists!

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The Cruze Diesel will go on sale this summer for the low, low price of $25,695.

Photos credit GM

Hat tip to John!

DISCUSSION

hammerheadfistpunch
HammerheadFistpunch

I hear that no manual will be offered http://tinyurl.com/9wul5wa (i suspect the 6 speed in the eco would pop with 280 ft/lbs roaming free) which is a real bummer, not only because it means less fun, but if the VW tdi's are any clue, the autos get much worse mileage than the manuals. (1 worse city 3 worse highway). That being said, I think this car will (except in very cold climates/seasons) achieve >45 mpg on the freeway and mid to high 30's in the city. My JSW is rated at 30/42 and I average 34 (90%/10%, city/highway) and on the highway I get 42-45 average and as high as 50. And that's traveling at elevation...with a full load...at 80 mph. I've actually never gotten as low as 30 (When was the last time you could say that about EPA numbers) and I don't really drive like a saint either.

Its True the value prop isn't great if you are like most American car buyers and leave it after 5 years, but if you plan on keeping it for 10-15-20 years like I do...it really starts making sense, But that's not actually the reason I bought it. I bought it because I can drive quietly and comfortably for 600-700 miles without ever changing out of 6th let alone filling up. 236 ft/lbs is more than enough to cart me, my wife and child and ~500 lbs of production gear up over high mountain passes in 6th with the cruise set at 70, while averaging high 30's to low 40's. THATS the charm of diesel.

Last thoughts: I'm sad about urea injection, that's really too bad, but it does mean better mileage usually and at least its easy to find now. And finally, WHY THE HELL CAN'T WE GET A SMALL DIESEL IN A LIGHT TRUCK!!!!