The 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel has been officially tested by the EPA, and the agency says the new sedan will return fuel economy of 27/33/46 mpg (city/combined/highway). That makes the Cruze Diesel more efficient on the highway than its main rival, the Volkswagen Jetta TDI.
The Chevrolet Cruze Diesel uses a 2.0-liter inline-four turbodiesel engine with 148 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque, and a six-speed automatic transmission. Chevrolet predicts a 0-to-60-mph time of 8.6 seconds and, thanks to the impressive highway rating, a driving range of up to 700 miles on a single tank of diesel. Like gasoline-powered versions, the diesel Cruze will be built at Chevrolet's plant in Lordstown, Ohio.
The diesel model stacks up favorably against the gasoline-powered Chevrolet Cruze Eco. The efficiency-focused Eco is EPA-rated at 28/42 mpg with a six-speed manual transmission, or 26/39 mpg with a six-speed automatic. It uses tricks like active grille shutters and low-rolling-resistance tires to reduce consumption.
However, the Chevrolet Cruze Diesel doesn't match the fuel economy of its Volkswagen rival in the city. The Jetta TDI manages 30 mpg city and 34 mpg combined, whether equipped with a six-speed manual or dual-clutch transmission. Its 2.0-liter turbodiesel makes 140 hp and 236 lb-ft, so it's less powerful than the Chevrolet.
Pricing for the 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel starts at $25,695 (after an $810 destination charge), and the standard equipment list includes 17-inch wheels, leather seats, the MyLink infotainment system, and two years of free maintenance. A 2013 Jetta TDI with the dual-clutch automatic transmission starts at $24,885 (after a $795 destination charge), but it has 16-inch wheels and cloth seating.
The 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel goes on sale in select cities with high sales of diesel passenger cars this spring, and will be available across the U.S. and Canada by the fall.