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Diesel-powered Chevy Cruze beats Jetta TDI at 46 mpg highway

Promises more equipment for similar starting price.

By AutoWeek Apr 18, 2013 7:55AM

General Motors said the 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Turbo Diesel will deliver an estimated 46 miles per gallon on the highway, besting the company's initial target by four mpg.

The estimate is also good enough to top the rival 2013 Volkswagen Jetta TDI, which achieves 42 mpg on the highway. The Cruze's 2-liter turbo diesel engine produces 148 horsepower, compared with 140 hp for the Jetta diesel.

After its February introduction at the Chicago auto show, GM engineers continued to make adjustments to the Cruze diesel to improve its fuel economy. It emits 90 percent less nitrogen oxide and particulate emissions than earlier diesel models, according to GM.

"We were still testing at the time, but wanted to be clear that we would be at or better than Jetta," a GM spokeswoman said. "The engineering team did a lot of incremental changes to the Cruze diesel from the Eco model to gain efficiency."


The Cruze diesel will be GM's first diesel car sold in the United States since the 1980s.

It is also a bellwether for diesel demand in the country as more automakers weigh the technology to comply with stricter U.S. fuel economy rules.



Volkswagen is the only nonluxury brand now selling diesels and dominates the U.S. market with its TDI offerings in the Jetta, Passat, Beetle and Golf. Last year, 20 percent of U.S. Jetta sales were diesel versions.

The Cruze diesel, featuring a six-speed automatic transmission, has an estimated range of 700 highway miles, about 130 more than the gasoline-powered Eco trim, which is rated at 42 mpg highway.

The starting price for the Cruze diesel is $25,695, including shipping. It will go on sale in select U.S. cities this spring, and nationwide and in Canada in the early fall, GM said. Chevy Cruze sales have slipped 2 percent this year through March to 55,731 and GM is counting on the diesel variant to spark new interest in the compact sedan.

Since its mid-2010 launch, Cruze sales have eclipsed 2 million units globally, with more than 33,000 of them powered by diesel engines. Gary Altman, chief engineer for the Cruze Diesel, said: "We harnessed generations of diesel expertise to adapt our world-class global engine for the North American market."

-- Vince Bond Jr., Automotive News

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Apr 21, 2013 6:54AM
So, it costs $8000 more than the gas powered Cruze and gets only 4 MPG more? Around here diesel costs fifty cents more per gallon than gasoline. I don't see the math working out here.   
Apr 19, 2013 4:52AM
This is welcome news for diesel automotive power in thr USA. However, the comparison to the VW Jetta is not logical or fair. The Jetta is a much more spacious sedan than the Cruze. The Chevrolet Cruze, like other models in the Buick compact line, are great looking vehicles but have rear seats that accommodate children but not normal adults. The Cruze is not a five adult passenger vehicle....nor is the new small Buick. Setting size aside however, the Cruze diesel would be a good advance for GM. 
Apr 18, 2013 8:47AM

The article mentions an automatic transmission but does not confirm if the manual will be available or not.  I've been waiting for this car for a long time now, but automatic only is a deal breaker.




Please bring the hatchback version here as well.

Apr 19, 2013 12:42PM

"Hardly, diesels are generally bought for high fuel economy and not driving enjoyment."

Maybe in America, and even here it is too early to tell, as we are at the dawn of a new diesel era in the United States.

A diesel car is bought for everything: handling, fuel economy, friendliness to the environment, and especially performance. Yes, performance.
Apr 18, 2013 10:22AM
I'm curious which one will be quicker.
Apr 19, 2013 12:43PM

"Most compact diesel models do not need urea injections and I have not read anything leading me to believe that the Cruz will need them either."

4.5 gallon tank in the trunk, I am afraid, that is what I read.
Oct 8, 2013 4:32AM

The European Ford Mondeo diesels, which is a larger and arguable more enjoyable drive than the Cruze, obtains as high, or even higher mileage. It comes in hatchback, saloon and station wagon models. It has a variety of diesels, from 2200 cc to a 1600 Eco model, which the British car magazine " "WHAT CAR?" states gets 66.5 miles per Imperial gallon, which equals 55 mpg on a US gallon. I own a Ford Mondeo ( 2001 model) in Europe, and have never been happier with a vehicle, and I have owned all manners of Mercedes, BMW, VW and Toyotas in my life. Wish Ford would bring this car to US shores !


Apr 28, 2013 5:42AM
It only gets  27 mpg in TOWN.   That still sucks for the extra $8000 asking price over the gas version.
Apr 19, 2013 12:47PM
"What is the big deal about a manual. I drove one day in, day out for years. Now I like to drive and let the car do the shifting."

The big deal with the manual is that one actually gets to drive, and that the driving does not suck, that is the big deal!

Besides, driving a diesel with an automatic transmission makes no sense whatsoever, because all the benefits are lost.
Apr 22, 2013 5:03AM
My 1963 Mercedes Benz 190D for 48 MPG, so BFD Chevy. If I was real conservative I could get 55 MPG highway.   The European Volkswagen  gets 75 MPG highway.
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