2013 Chevrolet Cruze To Offer 2.0-Liter Clean-Diesel Option

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Chevrolet Cruze 2.0 VCDi turbodiesel (Europe)

Chevrolet Cruze 2.0 VCDi turbodiesel (Europe)

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Last fall, GM executive Tom Stephens said the company would offer a passenger car with a clean-diesel engine in the U.S. market, its first since 1985.

Now we know what that vehicle will be: a model of the 2013 Chevrolet Cruze compact sedan.

Workers at the Lordstown, Ohio, assembly plant where the Cruze is built were told about the model last week, according to GM Inside News.

The engine in question will be a modified version of the General Motors corporate 2.0-liter turbodiesel. It is already available in Cruze models sold in Europe and, as the Holden Cruze, in Australia, among other markets.

'Diesel fuel only' caution on Audi Q7 TDI

'Diesel fuel only' caution on Audi Q7 TDI

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In Australia, the 2.0-liter common-rail turbodiesel engine is rated at 148 horsepower (110 kW) and a strong 236 foot-pounds (320 Newton-meters) of torque. It is offered with a five-speed manual gearbox or a six-speed automatic transmission.

In the U.K., the Chevrolet Cruze 2.0 VCDi model with the same engine delivered 42.0 miles per gallon (50.4 miles per Imperial gallon) on the European test cycle. It cost  £17,325 (roughly $28,250 including tax) as tested by Autocar magazine in September 2009.

Internal documents indicate that the U.S.-market diesel will have an engine option code of "LUZ" on the order form. According to GM Inside News, development vehicles (known as "mules") are now being fitted with the diesel engine for testing at GM's Technical Center in Warren, Michigan.

Chevrolet Cruze 2.0 VCDi turbodiesel (Europe)

Chevrolet Cruze 2.0 VCDi turbodiesel (Europe)

Enlarge Photo

The success of the 2013 Cruze clean diesel model in the U.S. market will depend on several factors:

  • the price of gasoline;
  • the price of diesel fuel and the cost difference between that and gasoline;
  • the cost differential for the diesel engine over the turbocharged 1.4-liter engine fitted to most U.S. Cruze models; and
  • whether GM has to fit an expensive urea-injection emissions treatment system to get the engine certified for tougher U.S. emissions standards.

While diesel engines are more efficient and deliver better MPG figures than gasoline engines of the same power, they do not represent a large portion of the U.S. passenger vehicle market.

Car companies and industry analysts say that for several reasons, small diesels won't dominate U.S. car sales. But most experts expect that over the next five years, diesel sales will slowly rise as a percentage of the total U.S. car market.

A 2013 Chevrolet Cruze clean diesel, competitively priced and delivering mileage notably higher than the ratings of the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco--which the EPA rates at 28 mpg city, 42 mpg highway for the six-speed manual version--could speed up that rise.

Would you buy a Cruze diesel? What fuel mileage would it have to deliver, and at what sticker price? (Please be realistic: "60 mpg for $12,000" is not realistic.)

Leave us your thoughts in the Comments below.

[GM Inside News]

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Comments (33)
  1. This is very exciting and with urea injection I honestly would like to see it at 45-48 mpgs on the highway with the automatic. I would be happy if it was priced bare bones for about $19,500 and loaded I'd say about $23,500 I think that is realistic.

  2. I would expect the car to do better in the real world than 42 mpg. It won't require urea at this engine size I don't believe. I have a 2.0 Turbo VW TDI Sportwagen and on a 620 mile trip along the east coast it sometimes exceeds 44 MPG. I would expect the smaller Chevy to do at least that well. A starting price under $20,000 would cause lots of interest. I think that a dual clutch transmission would be better than an automatic option though.

  3. It will compete with the TDI Jetta from Volkswagen so the price needs to be as close to $20,000 as possible and it needs to be equipped with a 6 speed manual gearbox in addition to the automatic transmission. While it could quite possibly get by without urea injection by using a regenerative burn cycle, the fuel economy would be greatly improved if they'd equip it with urea injection.
    Break the mold,, give us something fun and economical.

  4. Awesome! I have really liked the Cruze since it was first revealed, the diesel option may be just what they need to get me out of my '03 Jetta TDI.
    Although they really need to offer it with a 6-speed manual or dual-clutch auto and keep it in the $15-$25k range.

  5. If this thing got 48 MPG and cost $22000 I'd be interested and so would a whole lot of others because if you want to rack up the miles (200,000 plus) this is your ride! GM is on a a mission now put it in a mini pickup! 2013 Chevy Luv! 2013 crossover 4 x 4! 1/2 ton flat bed mini commercial PU!

  6. When you ride past the gas stations all the way to 600 miles per tank in a Crossover/Mini PU/Commercial Flatbed/Mini Box Truck it helps Americans get over their love affair or stubborn mind numbing addition to the V 8! This a great start in that direction!

  7. I have a better idea- put that engine with a good heavy duty automatic into a Colorado pick up --good practical towing and decent around town usage.

  8. I'd spend 25,000-26,000 on the cruze diesel. It would need to get 48 mpg hwy-33 city. And have the fuel tank at 15.6 gallons. And be able to order a super radio system. I would prefer a manual tranny also. I think a urea system would be ok. Thank You!

  9. This is awesome news! I had a Jetta TDI that consistently went over 1300km's on a 55Litre tank! that's almost 70mpg (imperial)!!
    Good to see GM is embracing this technology!

  10. Awesome! We have five diesels (four TDI's and my duramax) in the family. My grandfathers 1987 normally aspirated VW diesel pickup has 440,000 miles on it but is slowly dying. My 2003 returned its best fuel mileage on May 20, 2004 when I went 738 miles on 13.8 gallons (~53 mpg). In terms of styling and build quality the 2011 Jetta is a huge disappointment in my opinion. I love VW's but I can't get over the vastly cheapened interior so look at the Cruze a while back and was really impressed with the car but without a diesel option I would never consider it. Now I can get the Cruze, buy a tuner, and put water injection on it. Nice!

  11. GM are you listening! Give a turbo version in that Colorado pickup for a descent towing package! The people have spoken! Next question is BP going to get away with the oil spill for 20 billion. Add another 1 maybe!

  12. 35/45 with the automatic and similar with a 6sp manual. This is a low end car like the VW's, so people looking to save on fuel are looking to save on purchase price too. $20,000 for base model with 6sp manual, $25,000 for loaded automatic model with NAV. Not sure there is a lot of room for this model in this country with the 1.4 liter gas turbo model close on efficiency and the US does not have the huge difference in gas/diesel fuel prices like europe.

  13. The diesel makes little logical sense because it costs so much more - most people will not own the car long enough to recoup the savings in fuel costs. For example, here in Australia, the petrol 1.8L Cruze costs $21,990 while the diesel is $25,990 (discounted prices). Personally I would rather save the $4,000 and suffer the mileage hit. Diesel Cruze sales are average here - at around 20% of sales, maybe a little less.

  14. I agree that diesels are not good for short term paybacks. If you are a leaser you are better off going with the Petrol model for sure. People like me on the other hand want a car for the long haul with at LEAST 10 years of service and 200+k miles it makes sense for sure. I don't think every car should be diesel but for some it is a great option to have.

  15. I always thought diesels made the most sense in trying to improve fleet averages: the gas stations (diesel) are already in place and the engines are much more efficient. Plus they have the advantage of all that low end torque, which makes them great for real world (i,e,. not racing) performance driving. In regard to the price performance part, the yardstick, whether we like it or not, is the Prius, so the mid-$20K and 40-something MPG is where it needs to be. With at 2L Diesel at 300-something foot pounds of torque, it may out accelerate the Prius, so it may not be necessary to hit the Prius price point or MPG.

  16. I totally agree @m guerra I think that in terms of daily driver usage and fleet fuel economy averages. Realistically I think they are great for those looking for a reliable fuel efficient powertrain because they aren't driving in stop and go city traffic very often. I really hope that diesel can grow past the cult status into one of many solutions to the energy crisis.

  17. Well, if you're buying diesel because you plan to keep the car for 10 years that's not really all that smart either. There's no way of predicting what fuel prices will be a year from now, let alone 10 years. You can only really buy cars as short term items (or at least with short term knowledge), and if they last longer that's just a bonus.

  18. And since petrol easily wins the argument for short term gain, that option makes the most sense to purchase right now. Only buy diesel if you can predict the fuel prices of 2020. Besides, you don't even take into account personal circumstances, which are even more unpredictable than fuel prices. Do you think your life is going to be exactly the same 10 years from now and you'll still have, need, or want your 10 year old Cruze? That's a huge assumption.

  19. The thing is with trucks, mini 4 x 4's and commercial mini flat beds the vehicles are cool powerful and get almost 50 MPG. People will then buy for the wow factor. A Colorado PU with a turbo clean diesel is a great vehicle that can make it from NYC to SC on one tank! Good for environment and cool!

  20. Yes, I plan to buy a diesel for our next car. I want a Subaru but they won't sell it in the US. Maybe VW or Audi. I really want all wheel drive.

  21. Hi all, Love the idea of the diesel Cruze. I think they should make a hatch too. the attractive one from Europe. (I think it was designed in Australia) I'll take it over the prius any day. It must be in a similar price bracket though...

  22. I would want to see 48 mpg highway, with a manual or auto transmission. I am considering a Cruze Eco at the moment, but wouldn't mind a diesel that was available with higher trim levels and the standard-size fuel tank (15.6 gal. vs. 12.6 gal for the Eco). I would buy a Cruze Diesel LT2, and I wouldn't mind if it stickered in the $22-24K range. MPG and range are important for me, as I drive around 500 miles per week for work. It would be nice if I could get an American car, at a slightly lower price point than the Jetta TDI, and get over 500 miles (comfortably) to a tank of fuel.

  23. This diesel cruz idea is spectacular. Finally another choice besides the VW TDI. If priced right (around 20K) this will be a hit. It has to be done without the urea injection though. If it has the urea injection then I don't think I would be interested. Bring it on Chevy. I would love to keep my money on this side of the pond! Build it and they will come!

  24. It has to compete with the Jetta-I'd like to buy American but it has to get over 40mpg and be well equipped for around $25000 or why wouldn't I just by another VW ?

  25. With the gasoline powered Cruze getting 42mpg highway already, the diesel will have to be really efficient also. I say 36/48 starting at $22,000. And also a hatchback, or forget it!

  26. Wait 5 years to see if the "diesel car" is still around. VW will be around as they build quality cars. The last time GM - Chevy built a diesel, they would not even take them back in trade - they were junk. they converted a gas engine to diesel and the engines did not work for long. The fools that bought the GM diesels got the "drive" shaft. I have a small business and must have a dependable car that works.

  27. The first VW diesel cars were also junk. I had a diesel Dasher the first year they were available. It also had a gas engine modified to be a diesel. It required a top end overhaul once per year. I got rid of it and got a Toyota Tercel. Now VW makes great diesel cars. I bet GM will get it right this time too.

  28. I'd like to see 35/48 with urea,wide ratio 5spd manual(that torq does not require a 6spd) for $20000 with ac,no cameras,or navs in a base model, save those for the Cimaron Smarter yet
    would be to put it in the Colorado.But no usa manufacture seem to be that smart(Ford not selling new diesel ranger in usa).

  29. I am ready to pay a down payment today for a Chevy Cruze hatch (even better wagon) with diesel engine. Manual transmission too. I drove diesels for many years in Europe and they are the real deal. Wake up North America!

  30. I just test drove the '11 Cruze Eco today, and it is one sweet ride. Great driver, quick, but with 42mpg hwy if you keep it in overdrive, on the highway.
    I think with the longer lifespan of a diesel- and better resale, along with the better economy, I would happily pay $22-23,000 for a diesel Cruze, with the six speed manual. That would be a great setup, and would make Chevy a real competitor in this segment.

  31. As long as they do not get excessive on the premium for the diesel engine over the gas this should drive a lot of interest in diesel for automotive.

  32. I am hoping GM puts the 1.7 litre diesel in the cruze also. It would get a LOT better mileage than the 2.0 litre, but I will only buy the cruze IF Gm puts in the 1.7 litre diesel.

  33. @Thomas: Our information is that GM will fit the more powerful 2.0-liter diesel, not the 1.7, to U.S. Cruze diesels. Out of curiosity, why are you so adamant about buying only the 1.7?

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