2014 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel: More Details From Chicago Show

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Three years after the Chevrolet Cruze compact sedan was launched as a 2011 model, it gains a new model with a diesel engine for 2014--although there appears to be some confusion over just what that variant is called.

The turbodiesel sedan was launched at the Chicago Auto Show last Thursday. Absent one badge on the trunk and few trim details, it looks just like any other Cruze four-door compact sedan.

The confusion over the name stems from differences among various GM sources.

The press release provided to journalist calls the car the "Chevrolet Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel," though presentation slides at the launch event and the trunk badge showed it as "Chevrolet Cruze 2.0 TD."

In questioning after the press event, marketing director Christi Landy told reporters the new model would actually be called the "Chevrolet Cruze 2.0 Turbodiesel."

Whatever the name, discussions with Chevrolet executives after the unveiling brought a few more details of the diesel Cruze to light:

  • The trim level of the Cruze diesel is roughly equivalent to the mid-level 2LT package
  • It also uses several of the aerodynamic modifications developed for the Cruze Eco, including active grille shutters and smooth undertray panels
  • The 4.5-gallon tank for Diesel Emission Fluid (DEF, or urea liquid) is located at the bottom of the trunk
  • Cruze diesel buyers receive two years' worth of free maintenance, including refills of the urea liquid every 10,000 miles when the engine oil is changed
  • The car will start to ramp down its performance when it calculates there is only enough DEF for 400 miles, just as GM's commercial DuraMax diesel trucks do
  • Chevrolet clearly sees the diesel Cruze competing for the same set of buyers as the Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • But it also feels that current owners of GM trucks with DuraMax engines may want a diesel Cruze as well--an audience VW has little direct access to
  • GM has tested the diesel Cruze down to -40 degrees C (-40 degrees F), but proper operation at that temperature requires an accessory block heater
  • While the diesel version of the Chevrolet Cruze will be built in Lordstown, Ohio, its engine is imported from a plant in Kaiserslautern, Germay
  • The last diesel passenger car produced by Chevrolet was the 1986 Chevette subcompact

2014 Chevrolet Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel, 2013 Chicago Auto Show

2014 Chevrolet Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel, 2013 Chicago Auto Show

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Based on the diesel Cruze sold for several years in Europe, the 2014 Cruze is fitted with a direct-injected and turbocharged 2.0-liter diesel engine producting 148 horsepower and 248 lb-ft of torque.

The only transmission option at launch will be a six-speed automatic, though Chevy officials said they would "assess demand" to see if a manual gearbox was something requested by a significant number of buyers.

Chevrolet estimated highway fuel economy at 42 mpg, but refused to discuss potential city ratings, saying the car was still in the certification process.

It's worth noting that diesel cars often deliver better real-world fuel economy than their EPA ratings.

Compared to the Volkswagen Jetta TDI, the only other mass-market diesel-engined compact sedan, the Cruze diesel has a quicker acceleration from 0 to 60 mph of 8.6 seconds, Chevy says.

The 2014 Chevrolet Cruze diesel (whatever it's supposed to be called) will arrive at Chevy dealers in "early summer," which we presume means around June.


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Comments (8)
  1. By the time you load it up the thing will be well over 30,000 dollars.

  2. "Chevrolet clearly sees the diesel Cruze competing for the same set of buyers as the Volkswagen Jetta TDI"

    That is funny, hilarious. I can get a Jetta sportwagon diesel with a manual transmission. The only Cruze I can get here is a sedan automatic.

    As mediocre as Volkswagen is among diesel cars, Chevy Cruze in the configuration as sold here in the United States cannot compare. And it is more expensive. Volkswagen being a wagon with a lot more space provides better value, in addition to being loaded to the gills with every conceivable option Volkswagen has on offer.

  3. "But it also feels that current owners of GM trucks with DuraMax engines may want a diesel Cruze as well--an audience VW has little direct access to"

    I would buy that Cadillac sportwagon in a heartbeat if it came with a manual and the 6.0L V8 Duramax diesel and cost $30,000 USD. I would buy not one, but two, replacing my current cars, yesterday, if only GM offered it in such a configuration!

  4. @Annatar: First, Cadillac offers no vehicle with a Duramax diesel--and I'm not sure what sportwagon you're referring to, since you're the first person to mention Cadillac at all here.

    I note you've now posted 9 comments in a row on our 2 Cruze diesel articles.

    Many of them talk about how you would like to buy cars that we specifically have said are not being offered--and predicting dire failure for the manufacturers because they do not offer exactly the model configuration you desire. Which, as we all know very well by now, is a diesel-engined, manual-transmission station wagon.

    Perhaps I can encourage you to comment on another theme? This is getting really, really repetitive.

  5. There is a reason why it is repetitive: it is called lobbying vehicle manufacturers. They read car websites, bu they do not comment. Are you surprised they do that?

  6. John, he/she is referring to the CTS wagon, which you are correct in stating is not available in a diesel. It also sells pretty poorly overall, so a diesel variant makes little sense, of course.

    Let's see, a vehicle which seels about 8K annually now... If Cadillac could sell 20% as diesels, which is doubtful, that would be only 1,600 annually, not even close to worth the costs necessary to make & sell it. Then, of course, we need 5-10% manuals for Annatar.

    Voila, Cadillac could sell a whopping 80-160 annually of those great Cadillac Sportwagons with diesel engines and manual transmissions. Yeah, I'm sure GM will get right on it...

    Of course, sales of the CTS Wagon in N. America were so bad that GM will end production completely instead.

  7. Most Americans will not buy a diesel when they do the math and realize its 50 - 60 cents a gallon MORE expensive than gasoline.

  8. With the free maintanence, it is probably a good lease car if you aren't sure about the diesel.

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