2011 Chevrolet Cruze (Courtesy: GM)Enlarge Photo
Diesel’s have had a bad reputation in America, something we actually mentioned during our “Super Bowl Ad Watch” earlier this month. If you didn’t catch it, the subject came up when BMW advertised their 3-Series diesel with an ad depicting older diesels spewing tons of black smoke filled with soot. That dirty, noisy perception of diesels has been hard to break among American consumers, but makers like Volkswagen, Mercedes and BMW have been trying to turn the tide with clean diesel technology that doesn’t produces clouds of black smoke and nearly noiseless operation. U.S. auto manufactures haven’t embraced diesel technology in cars, let alone small cars, since the ‘80s—that is said to be changing in the Chevrolet camp for 2013.
Recently, GMinsidenews.com reported that their sources at the Lordstown, Ohio assembly plant have informed them that Chevrolet will be building a Cruze diesel for the 2013 model year. Current expectations are that the diesel engine production will begin sometime in 2012 and will be a 2.0-liter with the RPO code of ‘LUZ.’ GM has a similar engine in the Australian market in the Holden Cruze CDX. In the Holden version, the 2.0-liter diesel engine produces 147 horsepower and 235 feet-pounds of torque. The Holden is rated at 34 mpg combined, however it would be pure speculation to say that this is the same engine that will come to North America.
Bottom line—Diesels coming back to American made cars would be a long time coming and something that journalist have been asking GM and Ford for several years. The question: Is this the right time? Diesel prices are going up in the U.S. and direct injection turbocharged four-cylinder engines are getting similar mileage if not better. So the question is, would you buy a diesel Cruze? Leave us a comment and let us know if you would and why.