General Motors has announced that it will add a diesel Cruze to its 2014 model lineup. The addition of the 2.0-liter turbo-diesel option marks the first time an American automaker has offered a diesel car since 1986 when it phased out the Chevrolet Chevette diesel.
The diesel Cruze will reportedly deliver 148 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque which tops the specs for the model’s sole competition – the Volkswagen Jetta TDI. The Jetta TDI’s 2.0-liter dual-overhead-cam turbo-diesel delivers 140 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. The engines will be manufactured in Europe and fitted at Chevy’s Lordstown, Ohio assembly plant.
The Cruze’s engine options currently include a 1.8-liter four-cylinder, and a turbo-charged 1.4-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine.
When it comes to fuel economy, however, the Jetta wins by a nose. When it comes to highway driving, the Cruze’s 46 mpg beats the Jetta by 4 mpg. However, the Jetta’s 30 mpg city rating tops the Cruze by 3 mpg. The Jetta TDI has an EPA-estimated 34 mpg combined city / highway compared with the diesel Cruze’s 33 mpg.
GM is confident that consumers will base their buying decisions on more than fuel economy. With a sticker price of $25,695, the diesel Cruze offers comparable standard amenities as the higher priced Jetta TDI, and GM is also offering a longer warranty and maintenance plan than Volkswagen.
Chevrolet’s vice president of marketing Chris Perry says, “Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel fills an important role in Chevrolet’s diverse four-cylinder lineup, and is primed to win over diesel devotees and compact car buyers with its performance, torque and fuel economy. We leveraged engineering expertise from around the globe to develop a world-class, low-emissions engine to give U.S. and Canadian customers a car that’s both fun to drive and practical at the pump.”
Although the automaker doesn’t expect to sell large numbers of Cruze diesels, the introduction of its Clean Turbo Diesel engine to the U.S. market will pave the way for other diesel cars and trucks. The company is considering offering a 4.5-liter V-8 diesel option for its Sierra and Silverado light-duty pickup trucks.
GM plans to launch the 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel model in select cities this spring. By this fall, the model will reportedly be available at dealerships throughout the U.S. and Canada.