General Motors hasn’t made a diesel car since the 1980s, and for those of us in the auto industry that was good news…until now.
This week, I have the 2014 Chevy Cruze clean turbo diesel. For those who remember GM diesels as slow, smelly, and loud, it is time to get over it. It is clear Chevy is trying to go head-to-head with the VW Jetta TDI with this new entry. I’ve been a Cruze fan since it came out and recommend the car often. I have been a proponent of more diesel cars in the United States for years, so this Cruze turbo diesel was a welcome sight.
Under the hood, it has a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine and a six-speed automatic transmission. It produces 151-horses, but like most diesels, has terrific low-end torque. Acceleration is just short of astounding. This engine is also ultra-clean for the environment. Diesel noise is a little louder than I expected, especially when cold, but you don’t notice anything from inside the car.
Handling is good and the ride is good too, much better than many small cars, but I am sure the overall weight has something to do with it. At almost 3500 pounds, the Cruze is by far one of the heaviest compact cars on the market.
From a safety standpoint, Cruze rates really well with its 10-standard airbags inside, and the list of standard equipment is impressive. My tester has no options, so what I list is all standard equipment. For no extra charge, you get things like leather seating, remote start, heated front seats, power windows, power locks, power driver’s seat, tilt wheel, cruise control, and controls on the steering wheel. The air conditioner works like a charm, even in Texas heat which bounced 100 degrees while I was driving. You also get 17” alloy wheels, rear spoiler, and rear window defroster.
The Cruze Diesel offers Chevy’s MyLink system for your Smartphone, with Bluetooth, Pandora, Stitcher and a host of other apps for real-time traffic, weather, sports scores, even movie times and fuel prices in your area. Everything on the inside is easy to understand and run by a 7” color monitor above the center stack.
I can’t find any reason not to buy the Cruze diesel. The math works especially for those who drive a lot of miles. Most diesels are good to 300,000 miles if basic maintenance is done, so you have to factor that into the cost equation.
I got the stated mileage of 27 in town, and did slightly better on the highway. The sweet spot of this car seems to be at 60-miles per hour, where you can pop that 50-mile per hour barrier.
For the price, the Cruze Turbo Diesel makes a lot of sense and it is a great car overall, especially for those who drive a lot of miles. GM went head-on with VW Jetta and did a darned good job making this a player in the diesel world of small cars.
What I liked most: Ride, drive, and of course fuel economy.
What I would change: Back seat room is limited, basically for kids.
Fuel Economy: Rated at 27 City & 46 Highway. Getting slightly better road mileage.
Warranty: Two years of free maintenance, and 5 year/100,000 mile powertrain coverage.
2014 Cruze Diesel in a few words: Great mileage, a competitor for the hot VW Jetta TDI.
Dealers: If you want to purchase a new Cruze, we have Car Pro affiliates in DFW, Granbury, Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Phoenix, Los Angeles, and Sacramento.
Photo Credit: Chevy