MPG-o-Matic 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel Review Summary: The 2014 Chevy Cruze Diesel heralds a new era. Call me crazy, but I’ll say it here first … 2013 will go down in history as The Year of the Diesel in America. It’s been decades since an American auto manufacturer offered a diesel-powered sedan and the new Cruze Diesel is the first out of the gate. Chevy has planned for a limited run of 12,000 diesels in this first model year and I’d wager that they’ll sell out, shortly after the word gets out. The Cruze is the most fuel-efficient car from an American manufacturer for the open road. My marketing friends might call this one out as a scarcity play. Will dealers mark up if supplies grow tight? Only time will tell.
The Chevy Cruze Diesel is fitted with a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder diesel engine that produces 151 horsepower and 264 foot pounds of torque, courtesy of a Garret turbocharger. The turbodiesel is exclusively mated to a conventional six-speed automatic transmission. There is just one level of trim, roughly equivalent to the top level LT.
Mileage always matters here at MPGomatic, so lets get right to it …
Take the official fuel economy estimates for the 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel – 27 city / 46 highway miles per gallon (MPG) – as a point of reference. We traveled more than 700 miles and slipped past the official estimates, landing an average of 39.9 miles per gallon combined, and 50.5 MPG on the Interstate highway at our customary 68 MPH target speed. The Cruze Diesel is fitted with a 15.6 gallon fuel tank that provides an astronomical cruising range. A seven hundred and fifty mile tank is well within reason, as long as you’re easy on the accelerator pedal. Slow it down just a little bit and you can see significant benefits. (Is 60 MPG at 60 MPH possible? We dare say it is.)
Folks will inevitably compare the Cruze Diesel to the Jetta TDI. If you’re considering either, you should drive both to see which best fits your tastes. It’s worth noting that while the Cruze Diesel and the Passat TDI require diesel emissions fluid, the Jetta TDI does not. The Jetta TDI’s DSG transmission delivers snappier shifts than the Cruze Diesel’s conventional automatic. Some folks like that. Some folks don’t. Once again, you’ve gotta drive ’em …
Which brings us to acceleration and overall snappiness. While the Cruze Diesel’s HP and torque numbers are higher, there’s something to be said for a quick shifting transmission.
Although the car is assembled in Lordstown Ohio, the 2.0-liter clean diesel engine is built in Germany by VM Motori – an Italian company co-owned by GM and Fiat.
In-cabin amenities are up to snuff. Chevy’s MyLink infotainment system is standard, with all the Bluetooth and digital audio goodies, including Pandora and Stitcher integration. The USB and auxiliary audio input jacks are inside the center console. 12-volt outlets between the shifter and driver’s seat and at the back of the console. Leather seating surfaces are standard, as well.
All-in-all, 2014 Chevy Cruze Diesel is a winner, well-suited to our wide-open roads. It’s absolutely tremendous to see an American automaker offer a diesel-powered sedan, once again. There were many folks who thought this day would never happen. While there’s a bunch of stuff on our wish list (including a wagon variant and a manual transmission), this is a fabulous first effort. Kudos to the faithful at General Motors for staying the course.
Note to the faithful: this Cruze Diesel review marks our first video review for the kind folks at Autobytel.
2014 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel Review
– by Daniel Gray
July 3rd, 2013
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