Print 129 comment(s) - last by lagomorpha.. on Jul 31 at 9:53 AM

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 lagomorpha on 7/13/2011 12:02:36 AM , Rating: 2
I'd rather see them become available in half-ton pickups that might actually be towing something and able to benefit from the increased torque. Not to mention with work trucks people tend to care less that it sounds like a tractor.

RE: What took so long?
By Ghost42 on 7/13/2011 1:09:58 AM , Rating: 2
If it wasn't for the fact I live in California I would have gotten rid of the 350 in my K5 Blazer and put a diesel in it. It's damn near impossible to do however. There isn't even a C.A.R.B. legal CNG option that I can install.. Well there was 1 but that company is out of business as they were bought out and their new parent company no longer offers the kit.

C.A.R.B. is beyond ridiculous. You car could put out lower c02 emissions then a tree and it'd be illegal if the parts you used didn't have that stupid little sticker saying the manufacturer spent thousands for C.A.R.B. to "test" it.

RE: What took so long?
By Bad-Karma on 7/13/2011 2:04:57 AM , Rating: 2
When you start talking abut a Diesel engine that is capable of doing decent work in a 1/2 ton truck then your also looking at a considerable amount of weight added as well. Most Diesel engine blocks are cast iron to help hold in all the extra stresses. With the weight comes the increased suspension to support it.

Also the extra torque generated by the diesel means that the frame has to be beefed up as well to keep the engine from literally warping it.

When you move into the GM or ford 3/4 ton or higher you see the use of straight C channel beams used in the frame with additional cross members to strengthen.

I know that at one point that Ford was working on smaller diesel engine(s) for use in both the ranger and 150 series but I think the project was scrapped.

RE: What took so long?
By Spuke on 7/13/2011 9:45:33 AM , Rating: 2
I know that at one point that Ford was working on smaller diesel engine(s) for use in both the ranger and 150 series but I think the project was scrapped.
Everyone had a diesel ready for their 1/2 tons until the market took a crap. All were delayed/scrapped.

RE: What took so long?
By jharper12 on 7/23/2011 6:03:56 AM , Rating: 2
Yep, Ford had a 4.6 and GM had a 4.5. That 4.5 Duramax is truly remarkable. Didn't spend a lot of time learning about the Ford, but I'm sure it was also a great engine. I really wish these had come out... they offered up some great fuel economy in even 3/4 ton trucks.

RE: What took so long?
By lagomorpha on 7/22/2011 11:10:58 AM , Rating: 2
Somehow those issues didn't stop Toyota from putting a 3L turbodiesel in their Hilux and Fortuner, or Mercedes from putting turbodiesels in their sprinter vans. You don't need an enormous 8 cylinder diesel engine for half-ton and lighter trucks if you aren't trying to make them do the work of 3/4 ton trucks, and work trucks don't need impressive 0-60 times.

RE: What took so long?
By Jeffk464 on 7/22/2011 5:36:25 PM , Rating: 2
Man, I sure wish I had that engine in my 2005 Tacoma. I bet it would pull off 30-35mpg.

RE: What took so long?
By Jeffk464 on 7/22/2011 5:39:53 PM , Rating: 2
I accelerate pretty slow 0-60 with my 4.0 245hp v6 to improve my mileage, so I guess there is no point in the faster engine.

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