Report: 2013 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel Could Get 50 MPG, Automatic Transmission

Chevrolet still hasn’t revealed many technical details about its upcoming diesel-powered Cruze sedan, but a new report suggests the oil-burning Cruze will return up to 50 mpg. According to Ward’s Auto, the 2013 Chevrolet Cruze diesel will be far more efficient than the gasoline-powered Cruze Eco.

Ward’s says the Cruze diesel will use the same 2.0-liter turbodiesel inline-four engine that’s already on sale for European-market Cruze sedans. That engine offers up to 163 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque, and a source told Ward’s, “You could envision up to 50 mpg.”

Both of those figures would best the Cruze Eco, which is an economy-optimized version of the Cruze sedan. The Eco’s turbocharged 1.4-liter inline-four engine produces 138 hp and 148 lb-ft of torque. It returns 26/39 mpg (city/highway) with an automatic transmission, or 28/42 mpg with a six-speed manual transmission.

If the Cruze diesel is more powerful and more efficient than the Eco version, it could be a huge success for buyers looking to save at the pump. One more benefit: the diesel will reportedly be mated to an automatic transmission, whereas the Eco only surpasses 40 mpg with a manual transmission. The vast majority of American drivers prefer automatics.

General Motors North America president Mark Reuss told Ward’s that the Cruze diesel would help Chevrolet remain competitive in the small-car marketplace. “Look at the number of diesels our competition sells in that class. It’s not small,” Reuss said. Volkswagen reports that diesel-powered cars -- like the similar Golf TDI and Jetta TDI -- now account for 24.1 percent of its sales in the U.S.

Source: Ward’s Auto

Why are automatics a benefit? With today's smaller engines, driving a manual really isn't all that fun, especially in the city. Actually, it gets pretty annoying. Out in the country? Sure, manuals are GREAT. But when tied to a small engine, it becomes work. Further, with modern dual clutch transmissions, the car does the work, improves your mileage AND your acceleration. This is also nice with a diesel since diesels aren't big revvers and you have to short shift them all the time. I've only ever had two automatics in my life and hated them, but my next car will be dual clutch for the city and will get at least 35mpg. But it wont' be a sedan. Sedans are too impractical.
Manuals comprise less than 10% of car sales. Many new models will not have a manual option (Toyota IQ). In my opinion, automatic transmissions contribute to bad driving and many parking accidents where the wrong pedal is pressed ("sudden acceleration"). Manual transmissions force constant attention on the road, and make it very difficult to talk on cell phone, text, eat a burrito and apply make-up at the same time in traffic.
Quote: 'One more benefit: the diesel will reportedly be mated to an automatic transmission'. Since when is it a 'benefit' to have an automatic? In a small or modest sized car, it is only an added cost, and takes out the fun of driving, and gives that mind numbing 'appliance' feel to a car. I'm sure thats fine for those who swoon over everything digital and social, but not so great for hands on lets rock oldsters. No manual, no sale to this one. xxx One more benefit: the diesel will reportedly be mated to an automatic transmission

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