GM Engineer Drives 2013 Chevy Cruze Diesel 900 Miles On One Tank

Follow Antony

Chevy's Cruze diesel is one of the more significant cars arriving this year.

It's not just economical by Chevy's own standards, but at 46 mpg highway it comfortably takes the fight to the class-leading Volkswagen Jetta TDI too,

With a 15.6 gallon gas tank, that 46 mpg should be enough to get you over 700 miles at highway speeds--717, to be precise. But one GM engineer has gone even better, with an astonishing 900 miles on a tank.

Reversing the math, that works out at just shy of 58 mpg, if she ran the tank dry--so potentially a little more.

How on earth do you get that from a Cruze Diesel? According to Tessa Baughman, the energy engineer in question, it simply involved traveling at 5 under the speed limit on a family visit to Arkansas.

Even on the return journey, with more traffic, she achieved over 800 miles to a tank - just over 51 mpg.

Now at this point we do have to highlight that the video you see above is a GM promotional video--so there's more than an element of "well, they would say that" about it. The Cruze's official EPA figures are a more modest 46 mpg highway and 27 city, for a combined rating of just 33 mpg.

But you only need look at the EPA's site or sites like Fuelly to see that it isn't unusual to see diesels comfortably exceeding their EPA ratings.

Not everyone will get nearly 60 mpg from their Chevy Cruze diesel--in fact, it's likely that very few owners will.

But drive like a GM energy engineer and there's every chance you'll get that figure on some journeys, at least.


Follow GreenCarReports on Facebook, Twitter and Google+

Follow Us

Comments (32)
  1. I managed 600 miles in an Alfa 147 diesel on a trip to Cornwall and back in the UK 6 years ago. Smaller tank, similar efficiency. Not hard.

  2. What was the speed they were going?

  3. I'm not really a diesel supporter, for a variety of reasons, but I am open to change based on new data, and this is pretty cool. Will be very interested to see the fuelly average in the future.

  4. Driving the speed limit or just under will do amazing things for fuel economy. At 60mph is see 60+mpg in my Prius. I ran tests on our daughters 2001 Civic LX and at 60mph it was steady at 41mpg. Now if I could only get her to maintain the lower speeds....

  5. I got 40 in my 09 Camry hybrid at 65mph

  6. if she ran the tank dry"...
    Since when does anyone check mileage by running a tank dry? The figure she got would have been exact, since she is an engineer.
    fill the tank; drive a long ways; fill it again and divide by miles driven.

  7. I think you've missed the point of that sentence, Doug.

    The engineer said she drove 900 miles on a tank. Not extrapolated it, not calculated, simply 900 miles from point A to point B. My wording assumes she didn't drive 901 miles and then run out of diesel, so the actual MPG is likely more than the 58 mpg I calculated by dividing distance by tank gallons.

  8. Hypermling is dangerous and it sucks!

  9. Tom - driving five under is hardly the most extreme of hypermiling techniques, and a long way from being the most dangerous.

  10. Terrible blanket statement. There are way too many techniques that fall under the hypermiling umbrella that are not dangerous. In the case of the Cruze, how do you know she was hypermiling? Or do you consider driving just under the speed LIMIT hypermiling?

  11. Driving under the speed limit is extremely dangerous! Most people tend to drive over the limit and running up on slower cars is dangerous

  12. Sounds like those breaking the law are the dangerous ones. Call me loco. lol

  13. Driving less than the speed limit is impeding the traffic flow.......which is unlawful several folks have been ticketed lately in our state for that and of course it made the news Drive anyway you want

  14. Alright. You're loco!

    - Justin Case

  15. Please explain to me what Hypermiling techniques are not dangerous? I encountered a guy this morning and almost rear ended him and I was simply driving the speed limit! I love diesels! But just bought a Hybrid and it already gets better gas mileage than my last Diesel did and Thats driving normally !

  16. Hypermiling is an incredibly broad term, Tom.

    It can mean everything from extreme - and *genuinely* dangerous - techniques like drafting trucks, to simple stuff like lifting off the gas a little earlier instead of slamming on the brakes (dangerously) at the last minute before a stop light.

    It's inaccurate to describe the whole sphere of hypermiling as "dangerous".

    It's also a little presumptuous to assume the engineer in question was "dangerously" holding people up by going 5 under. On a clear stretch of highway, going 5 under is no more dangerous than going 5 over. And the 10mph difference is only dangerous if nobody is paying attention to other traffic - which is far more of an issue than small speed differences.

  17. read the article twice and missed the "hypermiling" part. Can you elaborate? no, guess you cant.

    I drive my LEAF on average 5 mph below the posted limit on the freeway nearly all the time. the extra 5 minutes it takes to get somewhere is much better than walking

  18. driving below the max speed limit is okay on the right lane, but NOT so in the left lane.

  19. Step forward, but it still pollutes, as do all ICE vehicles.

    We need to be investing in all electric vehicles. (I notice they have no tailpipe!!)

  20. Who is "we"? Pretty poor "investment" to spend $40k on a normally $20k car to save $10k in fuel/energy costs. Hybrids and electrics almost always have smaller trunks, limited range, and other isues, yet cost 2x more. What will we do when we run our of lithium? And of course the energy doesn't come out of the sky, it comes from burning fuelds in power plants...cleaner, but nowhere near perfect.
    Finally, instead of everyone being forced to spend an extra $10k on their next car, imagine what good all of that money could do elsewhere. Liberals like to spend on everything, but there is only so much money. Or should we cut cancer research, or veterans' benefits?

  21. And where does the electrical energy come from? From a power plant which pollutes the environment somehwere else or for ever like in Fukushima.

  22. Did any one notice that chevrolet does not use these stats ? I wonder why ?
    Probably because the engineer began his trip at the top of the rockies and was traveling down hill most or all of the way !

  23. @S M: If you'd read the article, you might have noticed that the engineer was a woman ....

  24. There was another article that covered the reason why. Automakers aren't allowed to advertise "non-EPA" mpg to their customers...

  25. Yep. Right here:

  26. This just proves the FACT again that diesels easily outperform the EPA hwy rating if driven "properly"...

  27. Seems the message has got lost.

    Diesels are very economical on fuel in a Highway situation, consistently out perform Hybrids. Their use in these circumstances should be actively encouraged.

    BUT put them in a city stop start traffic pattern and they are not good and Hybrids are much better.

    So if you have a regular 50 + Mile commute with little stop start traffic then Diesel will fit the bill (an EV might also if you have charging facilities at work)

    If you are commuting in the city use a Hybrid or better yet take the train !

  28. you are so correct!! I recently sold my beloved 2010 Jetta Sportwagen TDI 6 Speed manual I truly loved the car my commute is now 3.5 miles one way!! lifetime average on the car was 33.8 best ever was 47mph on a Jetta Hybrid so far in 38.7 with a best of 42.7 and rising with each tank and NO HYPERMILING!! so imagine what I could get if I went 5 under the limit??

  29. My 1981 VW Diesel Rabbit gets 53mpg at 65 mph, and with a 4 speed rather than a 5 speed , it gets up to speed quite well, It is also easy to maintain!, Just did it's 1st repaint and new interior , total investment under 5K thats with new brakes new shocks and springs , now this is a great commuter car and was made in USA ,Westmoreland Pennsylvania!

  30. I could get 1,000 miles per tank full with this car.

  31. Not unbelievable. EPA highway sticker numbers are adjusted down from the actual test data, so if you drive the same way the government performs the test, you could see a 10-12% increase. Also, if you keep the speed steady (no acceleration or deceleration - cruise control is best on flat road), you can get more. Finally, since the fuel on a steady highway speed mostly goes to pushing aside air, and the energy required to push the air is proportional to the velocity CUBED, decreasing the speed from 65 to 60 reduce the energy required by 21%! It would be very easy to get a 25% increase in fuel economy by using cruise control on flat road, and doing 5 under the speed limit.

  32. i wonder how much better mph SHE would have had or could get if AMSOIL synthetic was used. i get up to 37.4 in my 2011 equinox on highway w/cruise set @ speed limit.

Commenting is closed for old articles.

Get FREE Dealer Quotes

From dealers near you

Find Green Cars


© 2015 Green Car Reports. All Rights Reserved. Green Car Reports is published by High Gear Media. Send us feedback. Stock photography by izmo, Inc.