In advance of the Paris Motor Show next month, Chevrolet has pulled the wraps off a new powertrain option for the Malibu sedan: a diesel. Starting now, European customers can pick up a Malibu powered by the automaker’s 2.0-liter diesel I-4.
The new engine is rated at 160 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque in the Malibu and paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. Chevrolet is also offering the 2.4-liter gas four-cylinder in Europe; in the U.S. customers also have the option of a 2.0-liter turbo-four.
If this 2.0-liter diesel sounds familiar to you, you’re right. It’s the same engine that’s found under the hood of the oil-burning Cruze. In the compact sedan, the mill produces either 127 or 163 hp. Chevrolet has confirmed that it will bring a diesel-powered Cruze to North America; our guess is that it will be the 163-hp, 265-lb-ft variant to better compete with the 140-hp Volkswagen Jetta TDI. We’ve also previously reported that the diesel Cruze could achieve up to 50 mpg, well above the Jetta TDI’s 30/42 mpg city/highway rating.
With the addition of the four-cylinder diesel to the Malibu lineup in Europe we can’t help but to wonder if Chevy will give American buyers the option of an efficient diesel as well. Right now, the most frugal version sold here is the 2013 Malibu Eco, rated at 25/37 mpg. Chevrolet currently has no plans to bring a diesel Malibu to the U.S., but said that it was “going to keep a close eye on Cruze diesel sales” once that car goes on sale here.
A Malibu diesel could potentially prove to be good competition for the Volkswagen Passat TDI, which is currently the only midsize sedan with a diesel option and bests the Malibu Eco at 31/43 mpg. Would you want a diesel Malibu, or is the Eco efficient enough? Is there room for another diesel-powered midsize sedan? Let us know what you think in the comment section.