Next-Gen Chevrolet Malibu to Get Diesel Engine in Europe, Should it Be Offered Here?

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.

Source: GM

Mike
I would love to see it.  I think  a broader selection among auto makers will increase both awareness and consideration.  I think those who don't bring their lineups along will lose consideration among a decent size segment of the market.  These are not untried vehicles.  I think that will give US consumers the confidence to jump in.  
materialman80
Of course they should. Everybody could then get rid of the Mercedes 240/300 diesels they have been driving for years and buy one. They sure can't afford a new Mercedes and the new ones are nearly as reliable as what they have, so i say they will be the first customers in line.
SAinCA
I have a 2008 2.4L gas powered Malibu that gives 24/25 avg on a 75% freeway commute - 31@70mph on a long haul. Even if the diesel returned 35/40 mpg on a commute and GM bit the profit bullet and made the engines the same price, I'd _seriously_ consider re-upping for the D-Malibu. It's a great car that could be even better with the oiler. Just do it, GM. Enough of gas! My UK brother's diesel C-Max gets 50mpg/UK.gal, 40/gal in US terms and it pulls very strongly (personal experience). About time the US petrol-heads became less biased against diesel and get past the crazy fixation with bhp and top speed. Does "need a little more power for our taste" mean you need it in most 70mph States so you can to (or a bit above) the limit just that bit faster than the guy next to you? Grow up, and do the math t=d/s and on journeys even of 300 miles at the same freeway speed as me and my diesel, you may get there 20 seconds ahead of me! Please, "more power" group, don't speak for me; give me torque and mpg and I'll get there almost the same time as you with more $ in my pocket. Audi wins Le Mans with DIESEL, yes, diesel... and they kick but*. Doubt they're prejudiced against diesel ;-) Just my 2-cents...
Jack McGee
YES...with a 6 speed manual...and the 2.9 liter version offered in Europe should be offered in the Equinox, Colorado, Canyon, SRX and Terrain!!!
STEVE
HELL YES! (one more step in putting honda out of business in the USA) at least GM is listening honda still has their thumb up there own asses!
STEVE
HELL YES! (one more step in putting honda out of business in the USA) at least GM is listening honda still has their thumb up there own asses! (hybrids suck)
Robert
The problem with diesels is that they are often priced so compared to gasoline engines that savings from increased fuel economy are lost to the added price. The government is also doing its fair part in blocking diesels with environmental legislation while they seem to have no problem with gas guzzling SUV's which happend to make more money for both car and oil companies, also strange isn't it. And no one needs to talk about the manipulated price of gasoline. In any case I think we see the real interests and motivations of corporate america.
Ray
Should they offer it? Of course they should, but they won't. VW diesel sales are mediocre in the US. Why? because of attitudes of guys like Seawolf2, who don't understand that horsepower is just a fake number derived from torque. While 99.9% of the time these vehicles are used to get groceries or commute at 20-25mph, people harp on about "more power", like they can tell the difference of 20 hp on a 145hp engine. North American diesel is not up to the standards of European-refined diesel. The energy savings are not just in using less fuel, but the less energy it take to refine diesel (despite this, it's priced similar to gasoline). Diesels are great engines, but not in an environment where the fuel prices and quality are so heavily manipulated by vested interests.
Larsen E Whipsnade
I'm heading the other way. What's needed is smaller diesels so we can get some real fuel savings. Like a 1.0 litre turbocharged Aveo. There's more than enough big powerful fast cars to choose from. I'm not paying an arm and a leg to so my kids can drive around in a 200mph SUV! A 1-litre machine that tops out at 80mph and gets 50mpg would suit me fine.
Jordan.W
If the malibu and the mazda6 both offer diesels in their upcoming gererations there will be three diesel powered midsized cars, enough for and interesting comparo, I think i would be interested in buying any of the three sometime, but well see how good they are.
CrossthePond
If the rise in CAFE isn't enough, then I don't know what will. Diesels continue to offer fuel economy that meets or exceeds hybrids, and proven themselves in Europe. Maybe Americans need to learn that true power comes from torque. Here's to hoping the "new" GM has learned something.
Seawolf2
When American pay extra on an engine, even if a diesel, they normally want more performance, the added economy alone is not enough for many of us to pay extra. A Cruze size car with 163 hp and 265 lbs of torque seems sweet. The 140 hp Volks diesel available here and the 143 hp Series 1 diesel available in Europe are both very nice, but need a little more power for our taste. A similar size car with 20 extra horses and the torque of a G37, will make many of us happy, specially with the diesel's mileage. With so much torque, Chevy should sell a stick shift, it will require much less shifting than a car with a small high rev engine.

New Car Research

Find reviews, photos & pricing for:

Chevrolet Cruze

Chevrolet Malibu

our instagram

get Automobile Magazine

Subscribe to the magazine and save up to 84% off the newsstand price

subscribe

new cars

Read Related Articles

TO TOP