The rumors were true: Chevrolet will bring a diesel-powered version of the Cruze sedan to the U.S. market in 2013. It’s unknown what diesel engine will be used, but the Cruze is offered with two different diesel engines in Europe.
A Chevrolet spokeswoman said it was too early to say how fuel economy might compare to other Cruze models, or even what engine would be used by the American Cruze diesel. She confirmed that the diesel trim would not replace the highly efficient Cruze Eco trim -- leading us to suspect the diesel’s economy could trump that of the gasoline-powered Eco. The Cruze Eco is EPA-rated at 28/42 mpg (city/highway) with a six-speed manual transmission.
In Europe, the Cruze is offered with a 2.0-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder, producing either 127 hp and 221 lb-ft of torque, or 163 hp and 265 lb-ft depending on trim. The Cruze diesel’s closest American-marketcompetitor would be the Volkswagen Jetta TDI, which produces 140 hp and 236 lb-ft from a 2.0-liter turbodiesel engine. It returns fuel economy of 30/42 mpg (city/highway). Diesel cars have proven a big hit for Volkswagen and now account for over 20 percent of VW sales.
We should learn more about the Cruze diesel as we approach the 2013 on-sale date. Given that gasoline-powered versions of the Cruze are already approaching or beating the heralded 40 mpg mark on the freeway, does Chevrolet really need a diesel version? Will the improved economy of oil-burning sedans draw even more buyers to the Cruze, or is it a waste of time for GM? Have your say in the comments section below.