Reviving GM's troubled European arm.
Try to forget the "O" word.
It’s easy to forget about the 2014 Chevrolet Cruze -- but it’s not quite so easy to dismiss it from consideration.
What?!? No manual transmission? No spare tire? Weellll GM, NO SALE!!!!!!!!!!
We own a Mercedes E350D, 2012 VW Passat TDI - SEL, a 335D BMW, and two work trucks - A E350 Econoline 6.0 Diesel and my 2011 GMC Allison Diesel 2500 truck. All of these vehicles are great vehicles but our VW Passat build quality is the worst - unbelievable that we have to put up with so much road noise from this cavernous vehicle. I love the size and relative price but with less than 20k miles, it is falling apart. Given that my GMC diesel is great - I would love to see a Cruze Diesel in the space that my Passat holds now. As for the additional expense of diesels - I not that the same argument is not made against HYBRIDS with all of their variable costs and maintenance that far exceeds the cost of diesel. With all of their torque, today's diesels are simply fun to drive. See you at the green pump out on the edge of the edge of the gas island.
One thing they never mention in theses articles it the increased cost of maintenance. More frequent oil changes and they use more oil, the cost of the fuel filters, urea, and in Denver the increased cost of emission tests vs. gas. With the added cost of the vehicle, you'd have to drive a lot of miles before you'd break even if ever. Diesels are to be driven, not just short trips to the grocery, etc. I have a friend that retired and now drives his Chevy pickup a lot less. When he went to the testing station he didn't pass. Spent quite a sum of money to get it to pass. Thanks, now that I'm retired, I'll just pass on the diesels, especially GM diesels. I remember the junk they put out in the 70's. I'd wait to see how they perform before I'd buy one.
The question is GM moving in the right direction? The diesel is a euro that needed "upgrades"? Does the GM tranny need work? I think so on all accounts but obviously need to do some catching up as VW has had allot of time working out diesel issues. But I like it. I really want a diesel hybrid in a more useful body say a station wagon or mini mini van, not very exciting but great mpg for a family.
Even if I wanted a Cruze with the automatic (which I don't) I would take the 6 speed manual, which works quite nicely. The automatics in the Cruze that I have driven are just unwilling to work with the driver. In order to downshift you will need to slowly push down on the accelerator and wait... and wait, and then it will downshift abruptly, and usually two gears down. This is the way the Cruze gets its 26/38 EPA numbers. I have driven new automatic Ford Fusions, new Chevy Malibus, and the new CVT Accord. All of them were very nice. Maybe Chevy should retune the Cruze's automatic and drop the EPA numbers a few mpgs. Who wants to drive a car that doesn't want to do what you want it to?
By the way, one of the goodies in the Jetta TDI is that the manual transmission is a 6 speed. The GLI also has the 6 speed, but the 2.5 models only have a 5 speed. I am pretty sure that all VW TDI models have the 6 speed manual, although some of the top trims (especially the Passat) can't be had with the stick.
No manual transmission available?? The only trim level available is the most expensive fully loaded model?? GM, don't you understand that most of us diesel lovers are basically the no frills type, just want the basics, and that we are about the biggest economy minded cheapskates around? What you have here is about the most completely opposite of that which you could have ever thought up. I would love to buy American if only I could, but there is just nothing here I want.
The author failed to mention an important point when comparing to the Jetta. The Cruze uses urea additive. The Jetta does NOT need urea (add-blue). If I am willing to buy a new car that has to use urea I'll get a Passat which gets same to better real world fuel mi. than the Jetta due to the Jetta engine loss to emissions tuning vs. Passat w/urea. I'll be curious to see what the Cruze gets real world but it seems like it's the worst of both, small car, needs urea but doesn't get any better fuel mi. for it. That in addition to no 5 door, no manual and to me it adds up to major FAIL for GM. Sad, I really would love to buy American.
Already a well made, affordable, and good looking car, the diesel option will only add significantly to the popularity of the Cruze. Well done, GM! This is also a great move to keep the lineup fresh ahead of the 2015 redesign.
That's great for Gm! Lets see how they can mess up the diesel market for another twenty years this time. If your going to do something let's hope GM can do it right. I am sure Chrysler / Fiat group is ready to unleash its wide assortment of small Diesel engines on its line up of cars but now all these Chevy owners will be fueling up at the wrong pumps and that will be the end of it.
No stick, no spare tire, a smaller trunk than the gasoline Cruze, front seats too skinny, cramped rear seating-- no thanks. While I probably wouldn't buy a VW, if I had to choose between these two cars, I would get the VW. There are so many VWs with the TDI-- 3 doors, 4 doors, 5 doors, convertible, etc. The VW corporation could simply survive by only having the diesel. This one-trip-pony Cruze will probably be overcome by the Jetta diesel, et al.
50k mi. Passat SEL TDI here, solid as the day it rolled off the lot. Routine maint. only. The last GM we owned fell apart around a still running motor at around 135k mi. At least everything broke and rusted out at once so it didn't nickel and dime us to death before we realized it needed to go to the salvage yard, not that there was much to salvage other than the long block.
While I agree that diesels like to run and it would be silly to buy one if you drive 5k mi. a year just about everything else you wrote is wrong in my experience. In my state diesel car and light truck inspections cost less than gas engine. I do my own oil changes, the OCI is 10k mi. diesel vs. 5-7.5k mi. gas. I use "the best" syn. oils and they cost the same diesel and gas. We (extended family) have several over 250k mi. (one over 500k) so, yes there is nothing wrong / bad with 10k OCI. Fuel filter? Yep needs to be changed but so do gasses, usually 2 to 1 diesel vs. gas but then the gasser needs spark plugs. I could go on re maintainance
Agree. Re equipment/options, Some say they do this to help absorb the cost of the diesel in the options markup margin.
Re the manual, I guess they felt the take rate wouldn't justify the certification cost.
VW does the same (re equipment/trim) though not as bad with the TDI. TDI is pretty much it's own trim level in some models. Try to get a gasser base spec. Jetta or Golf w/the TDI engine - not gonna happen.
At least in the last article re the diesel Cruze the urea tank in the trunk was mentioned, of course the fact that the Jetta doesn't use urea was never mentioned so the articles on the diesel Cruze here get even less informative here. Spin perhaps?
@ed124c That's because VW is selling us their European cars. Only now it's changing with the new Passat. The European not only did not kill the diesel, like we did, but, they nourished these engines for decades and now are so far ahead of Detroit that it makes no sense anymore to try to compete with engine design. GM would be better off taking ready Opels and modifying them to meet US needs. The VW, BMW, Mercedes and now Fiat appear to succeed this way. GM tried it, out of desperation, just before the bankruptcy with Opel Astra selling a few here as Saturns and then stopped and returned to the old practice.
re maintainance but my experience is that diesel costs less than gas and I spend less time working on them. Urea, yep, some of the new ones need it, have you priced a jug at a truck stop? Like buying dry gas for your gasser. If you remember the 70's GM diesels then GM and other diesel sellers today hope that the younger generations looking at the new diesels will take your "experience" in the same light as the rest of your outdated "old timely" grandpa stories.
@red rotors They do it to justify the higher initial cost of the diesel to the buyer. Make you compare the diesel with other upscale trims. Easier for marketing to push the cost increase onto the buyer this way.
@ChevroletFan @ed124c I think you are right. Actually, it sounds a bit scary. I guess I would, grudgingly, have to add "freshman/ unknown engine for the US" to the list of this Cruze's problems. It does seem that GM is always lagging behind. Too little, too late.
That's exactly what I said - hide the cost of the diesel in the margins on a loaded model vs. a stripper.
Ummmm....... Did you guys even read the article? Third paragraph, might want to give it a look. They did take a euro Opel engine and modify emissions to meet USA anti-competition (no sound scientific basis) standards. VW does the same w/their engines for N. American market sale cars. The Cruze diesel engine is not a repurposed Olds gas engine. I suppose the emissions mods could cause some teething pains, if they do then the car is a sure flop vs. a probable flop.
"The heart of this mileage champ is a 2.0-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder. The engine is a revised version of the 2.0-liter unit used in the Opel/Vauxhall Astra, Insignia, and Zafira overseas. However, for its U.S. application, General Motors engineers gave the four-cylinder numerous updates. Most important is the addition of a particulate-scrubbing urea filter, necessary to meet American emissions standards. The North American unit also gets a new intake cooler, a higher-capacity ERG sensor, ceramic glow plugs to aid cold starts, a low-friction vacuum pump, an improved timing belt system (that only needs to be serviced every 100,000 miles), and an optional oil pan heater ($100)."