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Chevrolet Cruze
Diesel Cruze will get about 50mpg in city

Traditionally, U.S. auto buyer (and manufacturers) have shied away from diesel engines in passenger cars. There are a few diesel cars on the market in the U.S. already, mostly from VW (BMW and Mercedes offer diesels in limited models). Diesel cars are common in Europe and are a viable alternative to gasoline engines and hybrids in many instances. 

A new vehicle is coming to the U.S. with diesel power that will have fuel economy good enough to make hybrids jealous according to Detroit News. The vehicle is the Chevrolet Cruze diesel and it get well over 40 mpg. The move is seen as a way for Chevy to meet the stiffer EPA standards that are looming for its entire fleet.

The diesel-powered Cruze is expected to hit dealer lots in 2013 and it will be built on the same line as its gasoline-powered brethren. Pricing for the diesel Cruze isn't known at this time. Right now, the gas-powered Cruze has a price starting at $16,525.

Interestingly, the Cruze is the bestselling vehicle in America right now with 25,000 units sold in June. That sales number was enough to put it ahead of the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord. Analyst Dave Sullivan with AutoPacific Inc said, "I couldn't think of a better way for GM to capitalize on the momentum that Cruze has created for GM by adding a diesel."

The diesel engine Cruze would most assuredly cost more than the gasoline version due to the higher cost of production. New diesel engines have little in common with the loud and smoky diesels that many people are familiar with from years ago. Likewise, modern diesel cars can be just as refined as their gasoline counterparts.

We first heard news of the Cruze diesel in February.

Updated 7/22/2011 @ 10:00am

General Motors CEO Dan Akerson just confirmed that the diesel version of the Chevrolet Cruze will drive in 2013. 

“I drove it the other day. It is great,” Akerson told USA TODAY. “These new diesels are quiet. Should make it in the low- to mid-40s, and that’s with an automatic."

Official Press Release:

Chevrolet confirmed today it will add a diesel variant to the Cruze lineup in North America in calendar year 2013.  Diesel versions of the Cruze are currently being sold in Europe. Additional details on the Cruze diesel for North American markets will be released at a later date.

The diesel will bolster the already fuel-efficient Cruze lineup. Cruze Eco with a standard six-speed manual transmission, is  the most fuel-efficient gas-powered/non-hybrid vehicle in America, with an EPA-rated 42 mpg on the highway.

Cruze recorded a total of 24,896 sales in the United States in June, the fifth consecutive month sales have exceeded 20,000. The success of the Cruze has increased Chevrolet’s total share of the compact-car segment from 9.5 percent a year ago to 11.9 percent for the first five months of 2011, even as the segment size grew 19 percent. 

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RE: What took so long?
By Reclaimer77 on 7/12/2011 2:35:38 PM , Rating: 0
Yes it really makes "sense" to have hundreds of these sitting on car lots collecting dust.

Significant numbers of these just aren't going to be sold. American's will NOT embrace diesel engines in passenger cars.

RE: What took so long?
By IcePickFreak on 7/12/2011 5:21:00 PM , Rating: 2
But they will embrace electric vehicles... or else!

RE: What took so long?
By Lord 666 on 7/13/2011 7:37:18 AM , Rating: 2
Came down to protectionism of the US manufacturers. VW, MB, and BMW are too low volume to threaten US makers. However, Honda and Nissan are hence the delay with their diesel products.

Really looking forward to a diesel minivan.

RE: What took so long?
By vision33r on 7/22/2011 1:08:33 PM , Rating: 2
Not gonna happen, the gas companies don't want cheap solutions of us.

RE: What took so long?
By Solandri on 7/22/2011 1:44:28 PM , Rating: 3
Wow, that's a new one. The reason it took so long is that the California emissions standards (which 16 other states use) are much stricter than emissions standards in Europe and Asia. As such, overseas manufacturers looked at the cost to retool their diesel engines to meet those standards, looked at the market share for diesel passenger vehicles in the U.S., projected their sales, and decided it wasn't worth it.

Now that fuel efficiency (well, higher MPG, which isn't strictly the same thing as fuel efficiency comparing diesel to gasoline) has become a higher priority, the sales projections are looking rosier, and some of those engine emissions conversions are starting to become worth it.

Most things aren't due to an industry conspiracy. It's actually very hard to put together an industry conspiracy, even an overt one. Ask OPEC.

RE: What took so long?
By superstition on 7/24/2011 3:10:02 AM , Rating: 2
So what explains the Vega, the Pinto, and the Pacer?

There may not be an overt conspiracy, but when the vehicles being produced are garbage (like the first two in my list, at least), there's a problem that suggests a need for better regulation. Guess what happened when the "free market" didn't do anything about those cruddy vehicles? The Japanese came in. That was great for Japan, but not so great for our auto industry.

Too often, short-term thinking ends up costing a lot. Nader exposed Ford's decision to make the Pinto with an exploding tank to save a little bit of money. Such a decision is a good example of why logical regulation is necessary, and good for everyone -- including the companies that kick and scream when subjected to it.

"If you look at the last five years, if you look at what major innovations have occurred in computing technology, every single one of them came from AMD. Not a single innovation came from Intel." -- AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in 2007
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