|2014 Chevrolet Cruze 2.0TD|
2014 Chevrolet Cruze 2.0TD
Officially known as the Chevrolet Clean Turbo Diesel or Cruze 2.0TD, this machine promises high mileage and clean emissions. "We're excited to reveal the Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel at the Chicago Auto Show," said Gary Altman, chief engineer of small cars at Chevrolet. "This is the only domestically produced diesel car and the cleanest diesel engine ever built by GM." It's been nearly 30 years since Chevrolet offered a diesel car - the last was the 1986 Chevy Chevette, which had a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine. Those engines were so miserable that they helped sour an entire generation of Americans on oil burners. This Cruze, however, looks quite promising.
While maintaining its big front end, roomy cabin, and expected solid performance, the Cruze diesel will provide around 42 mpg on the highway, at least tying it for the highest mileage of any current Chevrolet in the lineup. (Final EPA certification has not been completed.) Chevy also offers the 42 mpg Cruze Eco, which runs on gasoline but comes only with a manual transmission. The diesel will come with a six-speed automatic and no manual will be offered when the car rolls out. GM officials did not say they would never offer a manual version, just that there's no manual at the launch. Chevrolet engineers learned many lessons from the Eco to improve the aerodynamics and fuel economy of the Cruze 2.0TD, officials said. Like the Cruze Eco, the diesel Cruze will include low-rolling-resistance tires and active grille shutters along with a similar aero package.
The diesel engine produces 258 lb-ft of torque and 148 horsepower, giving it plenty of brawn to handle most tasks. With an expected range of more than 650 miles, Chevrolet said it expects this car to lead the class for total distance between fill-ups. Better yet, Altman said the new engine, complete with aluminum cylinder heads and manifold, will include a boost feature that will allow the engine 10 seconds of additional power, increasing the engine's compression and producing an additional 22 lb-ft of torque to 280 lb-ft.
Like almost all other U.S.-market diesels, the Cruze's engine uses a urea injection system and a particulate filter to keep emissions clean. The urea is stored in a 17-liter tank near the trunk, meaning the diesel Cruze sacrifices almost 2 cu-ft of cargo space, roughly as much as two bowling balls. One tank will last about 10,000 miles, so owners don't have to sweat too much about running out. Chevrolet will only offer the Cruze 2.0TD in the upper 2LT trim level and will include lots of standard features such as the automatic transmission, 17-inch alloy wheels, leather appointed seats, Chevrolet's MyLink infotainment system, and a two-year free maintenance program. Thanks to the high level of equipment, the Cruze 2.0TD will start at $25,695, including destination. That's $1845 more than the Jetta TDI, which starts at $23,850. However, Cristi Landy, director of Chevrolet Small Car and Electrified Vehicle Marketing, points out that the Cruze is much better equipped.
She's right. Merely adding an automatic transmission and a rear spoiler to the Jetta brings the cost to $25,325, and the Cruze still has more bells and whistles. However, even Landy says the diesel market will be a tough sell in the land of the free and the home of cheap gasoline. "We don't expect to convert gas drivers to diesel," she said. "But we know there are people who are adamant that diesel is a better solution." Indeed. While still a small group, diesel owners remain vocal about the need for more choices for American roads. VW has been the only carmaker until this year to offer affordable diesel transportation in America. Mazda intends to bring a Mazda6 diesel sedan this year, but Chevrolet will be the first American brand to offer a diesel compact car. While the engine will be made in Germany, final assembly will take place in Lordstown, Ohio, where all American-market Cruzes are built.