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

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