2014 Chevrolet Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel: Full Details

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It's been a long time coming, but the wraps are now off Chevy's first diesel-powered passenger car since 1986.

The 2014 Chevrolet Clean Turbo Diesel model is being unveiled today at the Chicago Auto Show, and will go on sale the summer in the U.S. and Canada.

The 2.0-liter direct-injected and turbocharged diesel engine is rated at 148 horsepower and puts out 248 lb-ft of torque at 2000 rpm. It's paired with GM's six-speed automatic transmission.

The company quotes 0-to-60-mph acceleration of 8.6 seconds, which is says is quicker than the automatic version of the Volkswagen Jetta TDI--the other mass-market compact sedan offered wtih a diesel.

Chevy estimates the gas mileage from the Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel at 42 mpg highway (it did not offer projected city or combined ratings), although diesel cars often deliver better real-world fuel economy than their EPA ratings.

The 2013 Chevrolet Cruze Eco, the most economical gasoline model, is rated at 33 mpg (28 mpg city, 42 mpg highway) with a six-speed manual gearbox, though the Cruze Eco with an automatic (a better comparison to the Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel) delivers 31 mpg combined (26 mpg city, 39 mpg highway).

The car delivers up to 650 miles of range from its 15.6-gallon fuel tank, highlighting one of the major selling points of small diesel engines: the ability to travel long distances very economically at highway speeds.

Chevy also notes that the Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel has an overboost function that can raise torque to 280 lb-ft for up to 10 seconds when needed for passing or sudden acceleration.

The diesel Cruze is one of two new U.S. diesel models arriving for 2014; the other is the Jeep Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel. Mazda is also expected to offer clean-diesel versions of its Mazda6 sedan and CX-5 compact crossover.

By some estimates, including those of parts maker Bosch, diesels could take up to 10 percent of the U.S. passenger vehicle market by 2015.

Chevrolet has long sold diesel-engined cars in Europe, where emissions standards are somewhat less stringent. There, four out of every 10 Cruze models are sold with diesels.

The Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel uses a urea exhaust after-treatment system to meet the tougher U.S. emissions standards, known as Tier 2, Bin 5.

An exhaust-gas recirculation system and the urea after-treatment cut emissions of nitrous oxides and particulates to roughly one-tenth the level of earlier diesels without those systems.

The 4.5-gallon tank for liquid urea on the diesel Cruze supplies enough to last roughly 10,000 miles, and is intended to be refilled with every oil change.

Last year, General Motors said it sold half a million diesel cars in Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America.

2014 Chevrolet Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel

2014 Chevrolet Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel

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The 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel will be built in Lordstown, Ohio, alongside all other U.S. Cruze models. Its engine is imported from a GM plant in Europe, and is warranted for five years or 100,000 miles.

Equipment on the new diesel Cruze includes a beefier alternator and battery, 17-inch alloy wheels fitted with ultra-low-rolling resistance tires, and four-wheel disc brakes.

It also comes standard with leather-appointed seats, an aerodynamics package, a rear spoiler, and the Chevy MyLink infotainment system.

The price of the 2014 Cruze diesel sedan starts at $25,695, including a mandatory destination charge of $810, and includes two years of maintenance. That's more than $4,000 pricier than the base 2013 Cruze Eco with an automatic transmission.

The starting price of the 2013 Volkswagen Jetta TDI base model is $23,785, which includes a $795 destination charge.

That VW diesel model, however, is fitted with a six-speed manual transmission; the Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel does not offer a manual gearbox option.


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Comments (62)
  1. Glad to finally see a U.S. produced car with a clean diesel option. The cost appears competitive to a Jetta TDI with the same options. The disappointment for me was the highway fuel economy. I thought this would weigh in at the high 40's at least, maybe even 50 mpg for Highway. It is going to be a tough argument to get Cruze Eco shoppers to go diesel.

  2. @John: Actually, the first U.S.-built passenger car with a clean diesel option was the 2012 VW Passat TDI, which is built in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Just for the record.

  3. +1 John Voelker! I guess I meant to say Detroit based corporation making a diesel car in the U.S.

    On a side note...the Passat TDI is a much larger car than this Cruze diesel, and gets practically the same mpg. How did GM miss the mileage target so much with this?

  4. @John: Before we slam GM for mileage numbers, let's wait until the final ratings come out. I variously heard "up to 42 mpg" and "at least 42 mpg" for the highway figure, and they're obviously still certifying the city number.

    Once we can compare apples to apples, then have at it.

  5. "Glad to finally see a U.S. produced car with a clean diesel option."

    While it might be assembled in the United States, the engine is of Italian design, made by VM Motori S.p.A. GM owns 50%, and the other 50% of the said company is owned by FIAT. The company is a diesel engine contractor for several major European car brands.

    The engine is likely to be shipped to the United States for final assembly, and is unlikely to be made here.

    I am actually curious to try that engine out.

  6. If my Golf TDi got the fuel economy listed by the EPA, I would drop it off at the shop because something would be wrong with it. I imagine the Cruze diesel will suffer the same issue.

  7. "Cleam Diesel" is an oxymoron and doesn't exist. A lot like the term "Friendly Fire".

  8. I meant "Clean" but you get the idea.

  9. You are clearly wrong. Anyone who knows anything about automechanics knows that clean diesel is the future until there is sufficient electric car infrastructure... which is a long, long time away.

    Do not pick on clean diesel. That is cutting edge technology, improved upon and optimized for the last twenty years. All the cutting edge research and development is done on clean diesel engines first, then maybe on gasoline engines afterwards.

  10. You are clearly wrong. Breath in the particulate matter from a "clean" diesel for an hour, then come back and respond.

  11. It seems to me that GM don't want this to succeed, this type of car should typically be a 6 speed manual and it will achieve 50 mpg highway in that spec.
    Where is the basic 6 speeder at 22K USD for fleets etc that will be sweet spot for this car

  12. That is correct; not offering a manual transmission, GM is sending a very clear, unmistakable signal that the management and marketing seriously misunderstand the contemporary U.S. market for clean diesel vehicles.

    But that is OK; they will learn soon enough, or fail.

  13. Automatics make the torque generated from diesels more manageable. Read up on BMW's first dabble into the US diesel market with the 335d. The 335d was only available with an automatic because BMW did not have a manual that would withstand the torque of the engine.

  14. If they had wanted to, they could have designed a manual transmission for it; most of the other diesel BMW's for sale in Europe offer it.

    And, as Dodge RAM trucks prove, having a diesel engine with monstrous torque paired with a manual transmission is perfectly feasible. One need not look further than a 24-wheeler truck, and those have "slightly more" torque than a 335d.

  15. Feasibility is one thing...cost effectiveness rules, though. The car was a niche car at best. The Ram trucks come with a 6 speed manual transmission if desired. The 1st gear is used for towing only. If one is hauling a heavy trailer and starts out in second gear, the excessive load generated by the engine can damage the transmission. The designing of manual transmissions for high torque diesels is not trivial. Dodge can justify designing a manual transmission because of the established market for diesel powered trucks. BMW doesn't have the justification for the US market.

  16. OK so my EV is powered by "clean coal" now right?

  17. "That VW diesel model, however, is fitted with a six-speed manual transmission; the Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel does not offer a manual gearbox option."

    Ah, nice, another fiasco on the way. And then, GM will wonder why the diesel will not sell. No wagon, no manual transmission, I could not imagine why it will be a fiasco!

  18. Well, you have to admit that manual transmission do NOT sell well in the US in general.

  19. True, but no one here is referring to transmissions in general but rather specifically how much better manual transmissions are for small/mid size passenger diesel vehicles here in the USA. Sales of these vehicles with manuals, I think, are much higher then their gasoline counterparts. Diesels w/ manuals get far better mileage both in terms of epa ratings n most certainly w/ user reports.

    Check the fueleconomy.gov website for details.

  20. I agree. But isn't that usually due to the difference in gearing between manual and auto at hwy speed? An automatic transmission has "lockups" during hwy speed and it shouldn't be any different than a manual transmission except for the gearing/final drive ratio at hwy speed...

  21. While this is true and you are right, the clean diesel U.S. market is very specific. Right now, and until clean diesel achieves recognition and appreciation it deserves, the U.S. market is comprised mostly of enthusiasts like myself, and that crowd mostly wants the same things I want: a sportwagon diesel which looks good, is loaded with luxury, and has a manual transmission.

    That is just the way it is right now. That is also not to say that once diesels penetrate the mainstream market, automatic sedans will not be in the majority; they likely will be -- but for the time being, most people who want a clean diesel car want a sportwagon chassis with a manual transmission, and detest SUV's and pickup trucks.

  22. GM is playing it safe by only offering an automatic transmission.

  23. We will see how that strategy works out for the company.

  24. Yeah thats really high tech with a maintenance prone turbo charger,No doubt a cam belt with idler,serpentine belt with idlers, an expensive particulate filter,an expensive maintenance prone dual mass flywheel. Also to mention a favorite from the hybrid non believers how long is the payback over the conventional Cruze.

    If this is the future as one contributor thinks I don't want any part of it. I suggest he takes a look at the current Prius engine and drive train if he wants to see a modern system with no troublesome and noisy belts,idlers,turbo or other add ons required by the diesel. One last thing the last time I looked the auto transmission was dominate in America so why does he think GM is wrong to offer it?

  25. "I suggest he takes a look at the current Prius engine and drive train if he wants to see a modern system with no troublesome and noisy belts,idlers,turbo or other add ons required by the diesel."

    The technology in the Prius is 16 years old now; it is also extremely complex when compared to the ultramodern clean diesel engines, and it still uses ignition timing, spark plugs, and gasoline.

    There can be no comparison. The Prius is the butt of jokes: small, obsolete, automatic transmission, no power, no acceleration, no speed, and ugly.

    Who in their right mind would pick that over an ultramodern, luxurious, fuel-sipping, clean, powerful, fast mazda6 sportwagon, which can be had with a manual to boot, is beyond me.

  26. @Annatar: Toyota is on track to sell more than a quarter-million Prius vehicles in the U.S. in 2013. That compares to exactly zero "ultramodern, luxurious, fuel-sipping, clean, powerful, fast mazda6 sportwagon(s)" since Mazda will not be selling a 6 sportwagon in the U.S.

    How many clean-diesel vehicles do you predict will be sold in 2013 (including all VW/Audi TDIs, the Jeep Grand Cherokee, the Cruze diesel, and the Mazdas when they arrive)?

    Different people buy different types of cars for very different reasons. You prioritize some things, other buyers have different priorities. Your sheer disdain & contempt for people who do not happen to share your automotive preferences is grating.

  27. I agree. Isn't this why VW is offering both clean diesel and hybrid?

  28. What, shock that somebody does not think Prius is simply phenomenal? Come come Mr. Voelcker, anyone who takes cars apart and puts them together again knows that Prius is horrible. And yes, that car, for me, is beyond contempt. It is not even a car as far as I am concerned. These people need a little bit of shock to shake them out of the dream world they have been living in. Prius is a sorry excuse for a vehicle!

  29. Over $27K for this freaking think??!!

    The leather seats n auto trans are still not worth that much on a diesel that doesn't even meet, let alone beat, its bigger VWs competition in mileage costing thousands less.

    Yes indeed this a big screw up for GM n stinks of a compliance car similar to some EVs being sold today. Why did GM not build a base Cruze diesel w/ a manual for 22K?

    This car may eventually sell ok but why would a high mileage car shopper pay for this thing when they can get a much higher mpg, lower fuel cost, lower purchase price, bigger, more practical, and one of the best damn reliability records cars in the new Prius.

    This is horrible half ass first attempt by GM to reintroduce the great possibility of diesels to the US

  30. Well, I believe the emission system by itself is expensive. That is why many "non-diesel believers" think about the diesel as a "slow pay back" technology no different from hybrids...

    As far as diesel vs. hybrids arguement, I think another GCR article has stated that VW feel that buyers for diesel and hybrids are two completely different groups. They will never cross-shop each other's product. So, that is why VW is offering diesel and hybrids in trying to capture both segment.

  31. I agree.

    There was a study conducted by Carnegie Mellon University (I think) a few years ago that concluded that while fuel economy was a factor, it was not the only factor, or even the primary factor for most of the diesel buyers they surveyed. Fuel economy tended to be the most important factor for hybrid buyers.

  32. Both you and Xi are wrong. That study u mentioned is old. Fuel economy is now among, if number 1, the highest priorities for most all new vehicle(all fuel types) buyers within a given vehicle segment.

  33. Got off the crack Xi. I never mentioned VW once and those groups are not different as you think. A growing number of people are learning that the long term operational costs of a vehicle are the real costs to consider, economically, when budgeting for a new vehicle. Most full hybrids n diesels now are far more economically smart purchases, even w/ fuel at $4/gal let alone $5, over a 5+ year period then most of their conventional counterparts.

    If not a full hybrid like the Prius then one of the clearly bigger, more frugal, time tested VW diesels are better choices then this new, expensive die Cruze.

  34. "those groups are not different as you think"

    It is NOT what I think, it is what VW thinks in their research as stated in the GCR's article.


    "Because, Volkswagen says, the audiences for the two cars are actually very different--and there's very little crossover from one to the other."

    It is talking about the hybrid group vs. diesel group. As you can tell from some of the diesel fans here, they will NEVER touch a hybrid... So using a Prius to gauge the interest on a diesel is pointless b/c they are two different groups of buyers.

    Maybe you need to lay off the pipe and grow a better memory before you whine about it...

  35. "As you can tell from some of the diesel fans here, they will NEVER touch a hybrid..."

    That is simply not true. I will buy a DIESEL HYBRID, if:

    a) it is offered with a manual transmission
    b) is sold as a sportwagon
    c) looks good
    d) is loaded to the gills with luxury.

    Even though I am a diesel fanatic, I am not against hybrids, but I am VEHEMENTLY against GASOLINE HYBRIDS. And I will fight against them at every turn and opportunity!

  36. @Annatar, gas hybrids with lean burn gas engines will be as efficient as diesel hybrids and the electric motors will provide all the torque you want.

  37. What a joke! But can we be surprised considering its an American car company. The new ML 250 Bluetec coming out later this year will get the same mileage if not better! This is embarrassing to say the least.

  38. Where did you get that "figure" for ML250 Bluetec? Don't quote the "useless" European cycle number...

  39. "What a joke! But can we be surprised considering its an American car company."

    As much as I think that the initial configuration choices for the U.S. market were poor, one has to give credit to GM for being the first United States manufacturer to brave the market with a passenger diesel vehicle. Credit should be given where credit is due.

    If nothing else, I predict that with GM doing this, the flood gates will open because GM is a volume vehicle manufacturer, and in that industry everyone copies everyone else. Eventually, the Japanese will come on board en masse, and then it will be game over.

  40. This car is doomed from the get-go if Chevy MSRP's it at $26k. At least make it competitive with the Jetta Diesel and offer a manual, although these days the mpg's are pretty even for automatics.

    Wait a little longer for the new Mazda3 diesel in 2014 that's lost some serious poundage and should get near the 50's highway mpg.

  41. It will be interesting to see how this new diesel Cruze will be received. Diesels are best used for long commutes or for effortless long distance travel. Their torque is great for driving in the mountains. I would beg to differ with Annatar who mentions the modern diesel being simpler than a hybrid. They aren't that simple any more. Very expensive injectors and high pressure injection pumps and exhaust aftertreatment equipment (except the Sky-D Mazda diesel) make the modern diesel a lot less simple than they once were. The hybrid, though complex, has proven to be pretty darn reliable. The fuel cost disparity between regular unleaded and diesel is a factor to consider, too.

  42. Well, I think one of the biggest thing set them apart for Annatar is the fact that you can have manual transmission for a Diesel, but NO hybrids offer that as an option (it doesn't make sense on hybrids).

  43. Except the early Honda Insight manual...

  44. Insight? I think the current Insight is CVT (with a paddle shifter to give you the feel of "shifting").

    CR-Z is the only one that comes to mind.
    I don't think either gives as good a mileage as the Prius or other "comparable" hybrids.

  45. The 2000-2006 Honda Insight was available with a five speed manual. It got the best mileage of any hybrid in the US. (up to 71/61)

  46. Keep in mind that the 71/61 aren't the same as today's new EPA rating...

  47. The present-day Honda CR-Z can be purchased either with Honda's CVT or with a six-speed manual gearbox.

  48. "They aren't that simple any more. Very expensive injectors and high pressure injection pumps and exhaust aftertreatment equipment (except the Sky-D Mazda diesel) make the modern diesel a lot less simple than they once were."

    Except the mazda SKY-D? What about the Jetta? It needs no after treatment either, and the engine is as simple as they come, to a fault.

  49. "Your sheer disdain & contempt for people who do not happen to share your automotive preferences is grating."

    My "grating" pales in comparison to number of people who are automechanics challenged and think the Prius is all that.

    Since when are crowds right? From what history teaches us, crowds have, so far, always been wrong.

    What is reallt grating is that because we have so many misinformed people in this country who buy the Prius -- we do not get all the advanced clean diesels that the rest of the world enjoys without so much as giving it a second thought.

  50. Annatar,
    John's replies to u r right. Your expressed opinions about the Prius are contrary to the facts reported by CR, JD Power, Prius sales, etc.:
    1) Among the top, if not the top, in CR efficiency, reliability, and owner satisfaction ratings.
    2) Best scoring vehicle in its class n among all vehicles for dependability as well as scoring well in initial quality.
    3) Prius liftback sales have been over 100K annually for almost a decade now. The Prius family of vehicles is likely to sell over 200K vehicles this year n grow in the future.
    4) Used Prii are in high demand as 5 year Prii w/ over 50k miles are easily commanding over $15K prices.

    Whatever your personal Prius experience has been, the facts r not in agreement with you. Go Prius!

  51. Most diesels are great too but most of think that this Cruze diesel could have been much better in many aspects.

  52. It is easy to write "go Prius!" when one has substandard choices to compete against that product.

    If we actually had the same choice of clean diesel vehicles, engines, and transmissions as people do in Europe, the Prius would not be successful at all, because it cannot compete with superior technology.

    That is clearly evidenced by the fact that in Europe, in spite of being available for many years, the Prius has made no inroads, and clean diesel vehicles dominate the market. The people could have easily bought any Prius they wanted, yet everyone buys clean diesels, and that number is growing year-after-year.

    If you dig around here, you can even find an article, right on this site, writing about it.

  53. I agree somewhat with what you said. But isn't some of that difference between hybrid/diesel in Europe has something to do with diesel and gas prices?

  54. Europe has had a long tradition of driving diesel cars, in part due to less stringent emissions, but the main initial driver to diesel car adoption was inital lower price of fuel (which is not true any more in many European countries, diesel being the most expensive fuel). Meanwhile, the emission laws have tightened up considerably, with the Euro VI norm being as stringent as EPA's Tier II bin 5.

    What has happened though, is that diesel technology has been innovated on, a lot, and meanwhile the Europeans have grown to appreciate the powerful, fast, economical fuel mizers that modern diesel cars are.

    Here in America, clean diesel cars have yet to mass penetrate the market, and the situation is made all the more complex with lack of choices

  55. Annatar contrary to your belief that the Prius has made no inroads across the pond its sales here in the UK have increased every year since it was introduced and I have the figures! So it seems not "everyone" is buying diesel as you state. Diesels have become a popular choice over "conventional" gas cars but due to increasingly complicated systems to clean and refine them future maintenance needs and costs will determine if this continues. I might add I've owned several diesels, my daughter has one, a friend who has a modern one comments every time he rides in My Prius as to how quiet, smooth and refined the Prius is.I would hope with your hatred of the Prius that you would have at least owned one so you would qualify to make those remarks.

  56. In the UK Diesel has 45% of the market, Hybrid less than 1%.

    Enough said.

    I rented a Prius a couple of times in California and it does make sense there but in the UK it is not such a good match.

    The key issue that everyone seems to be missing is that in Europe we have the choice between a vast array of Diesels and all the current Hybrids and EVs, in the US you don't. The number of Diesel options is very small.

    Lets hope that changes over the next few years

    This is a clearly a subject that attracts a lot of differing views !!

  57. So normal Gas cars are dominate with 54%. I'm curious as to why you think the Prius is not such a good match for the UK ??

  58. Prius retail cost 25K GBP in the UK and average mpg about 60.

    For 25K GBP there are some much larger better appointed Diesel cars available that deliver an equivalent mpg.

    The Prius is a niche car for city users in Europe, it is popular with minicab firms for example. Don't misunderstand me it has it's place but numbers do not lie Diesel cars outsell Hybrids nearly 50:1 in Europe. This is mostly due to the compelling financial reasons that a mid size diesel with a like for like MPG to a Prius is 20-25% cheaper to buy. So if good mpg is your main driver then you can see it is a difficult call.

    Dont forget as well that your average Prius purchaser has a clear green motivation and in Europe that is met by much better public transport.

  59. "In the UK Diesel has 45% of the market, Hybrid less than 1%."

    Yep! And elsewhere on the European continent, diesel car penetration is up to 95-99%. Croatia comes to mind as one of the examples.

  60. Croatia has 4.4 million people. The United Kingdom has 62.6 million. The U.S. has 313.9 million people.

    The three markets hardly seem comparable in their impacts on diesel sales.

  61. Diesel has been dominate in a lot of countries for decades this is nothing new. Traditionally its been down to fuel cost, economy and dependability when gas cars couldn't offer the same. I lived in Turkey and Greece in the 60's &70's when Peugeot and Mercedes diesels were everywhere,Africa is another big market.
    Point is they are already well established in the mind-set of these populations and there hasn't been a challenger (Hybrid) until now. Conventional cars are now more reliable and economical so we will have to wait and see the outcome of this especially as we also have the added environmental issues to deal with.

  62. The Chevy Cruze Diesel and gas should really get a CVT automatic. Then the gas automatic may be able to reach 42MPG highway like it’s manual transmission brother and the diesel may be able to reach 46MPG highway like it's manual brother.
    Slushbox automatics really rob power. Why are they still using them?

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