Though some have pegged the upcoming 2013 Chevrolet Malibu as a potential game-changer for the U.S. market, the car’s impact could be even more far-reaching as the mid-size sedan will also be offered in Europe for the first time. European models typically have diesel engines available alongside gasoline offerings, and the Malibu will be no exception, as a four-cylinder diesel option has been announced for the European market.
The inclusion of a diesel engine in the European Malibu should come as no surprise, as most cars in Europe are available with oil-burning flavors and generally have a high take-rate. Still, the recent announcement of the Chevy Cruze diesel’s stateside debut makes us wonder if a diesel Malibu will also find its way across the pond.
Dave Darovitz, product communications manager for the Malibu, told us that there are currently no plans to offer a diesel engine in the U.S.-market car. If that’s truly the case, it means Americans will miss out on the 2.0-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder engine European customers will enjoy, which produces 164 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. The 2013 Chevy Cruze diesel will get a U.S.-spec version of that engine also displacing 2.0 liters, but expected to produce around 163 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque.
Volkswagen has just launched the Passat TDI in the U.S., and the argument for mid-size diesels could gain some strength. Despite only having 140 hp, the Passat TDI’s 2.0-liter turbodiesel I-4 pumps out a respectable 236 lb-ft of torque and achieves 31/43 mpg (city/hwy).
So, seeing as Chevy is already bringing one diesel-engined car over, and Volkswagen is blazing a trail for mid-size diesels in the U.S., should the Malibu diesel get its passport approved and be offered in the U.S. as well? Let us know what you think.