2014 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel Goes On Sale, To Pull New Buyers To Brand

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2014 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel, test drive in Hell, Michigan

2014 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel, test drive in Hell, Michigan

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The 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel went on sale this week at a handful of top Chevy dealers, and company executives said two of its first three buyers were new to diesel cars.

The new diesel Cruze, fitted with a 151-horsepower 2.0-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder engine built in Germany, is GM's first diesel passenger car sold in the U.S. since 1986.

 Two of those first buyers had not previously owned diesel cars, but were attracted by the 46-mpg EPA highway rating for fuel efficiency.

One had just switched jobs and had a 100-mile daily roundtrip commute with lots of highway miles, GM marketers said, making the diesel's highly efficient high-speed operation very attractive.

The third buyer was more familiar with diesels, with a Volkswagen Jetta TDI already in the household (which remained, Chevy officials said).

The diesel Cruze is being launched initially in 13 metropolitan markets that already have a higher-than-average penetration of diesel passenger cars.

Cristi Landy, the brand's small-car marketing director, said that it would use "lots of digital targeting" in its marketing, which she said was "the best way to reach that consumer" interested in diesel vehicles.

Those buyers, she said, are somewhat older, more educated, and have higher household incomes than Cruze buyers overall.

And, she said, they will contain a higher proportion of men than the "almost 50-50 split" among men and women among Cruze owners to date.

Chevy is pitching its Cruze Diesel directly against the Volkswagen Jetta TDI, which Landy called "the benchmark" in diesel compact sedans.

The diesel Cruze has more horsepower--151 vs. 140--and more torque, 264 lb-ft against 236 lb-ft, than the VW Jetta TDI.

2014 Chevrolet Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel, 2013 Chicago Auto Show

2014 Chevrolet Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel, 2013 Chicago Auto Show

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Chevy also produced a chart noting that the Cruze has a higher highway fuel-efficiency rating (46 mpg vs. 42 mpg), a longer total range (700-plus miles), more standard equipment, and a lower starting price than the Jetta TDI.

Marketing themes will stress the "cleanest diesel ever" nature of its engine, to counter the perception among older buyers that diesels emit large volumes of visible soot and other pollutants, and its 46-mpg highway rating.

The company believes that the diesel Cruze will attract new buyers who had not previously considered the Chevrolet brand, Landy said, just as its Volt range-extended electric car, Spark minicar, and Sonic subcompact have done.

Green Car Reports will publish its drive report of the new 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel within a few days.


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Comments (22)
  1. Sure, but have they prevented users from accidentally putting gasoline in the tank. :)

    Actually, well done Chevy. Great to see options out there.

  2. A diesel Impala would be ideal for my parents.

  3. John, I may be mistaken, but I thought I'd read (more than once) that the Cruze Diesel was going to be priced pretty high, yet it seems competitive, if not better than the Jetta TDI. To be clear here, I don't mean as an overall vehicle since I haven't driven the Cruze Diesel, of course. I specifically mean the pricing, HP, torque and mileage are all listed as better.

    Is my memory playing tricks on me again...? Or is this just because the base Cruze is so cheap that this seems too expensive? That's what I'm guessing. A comment on pricing would have been good, IMHO, although I do know you've covered that before, too. Memory not so good, etc...

  4. @Robok: Nope, fair point. The pricing is laid out in detail in the drive report I'm drafting now, so I probably forgot to put it into this.

    Here are the base prices for each vehicle before the mandatory delivery fee:
    - 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel: $25,695
    - 2013 Volkswagen Jetta TDI (Premium Automatic): $26,325

    Note that there is no manual offered on the Cruze, so this is compared to the Jetta TDI with a DSG. Also note that the Jetta TDI Premium compares somewhat better on equipment than does the base-level model.

    All that said, it should be noted that the base price of the least expensive 2013 VW Jetta TDI (base trim, 6-speed manual) is $23,055. Hope this helps.

  5. Thanks, John, and helpful. I just remember thinking this was going to be pretty good, but a little too expensive to sell in any volumes. Let's see how the reviews go, especially yours, of course...!

    Although I think EVs, and PHEVs, are the long -term approach to take, it's better to have several alternatives for now while the technology improves for all the options.

    As John B. noted, very well done by Chevrolet/GM, or so it seems thus far, anyway.

  6. It's made by Government Motors-everything that comes from them are LIES, don't trust the EPA to give you a good number.

  7. Flagged... Keep your political nonsense out of a non-political topic.

  8. The numbers come from the car makers , because we cut the budgets of most environmental agency's

  9. if the pricing statement is correct, I am afraid Chevy may have a winner here. my only hope is regulations will keep it far from my neighborhood

  10. @David: Not entirely sure what you mean there. The Cruze Diesel will be sold in all 50 states, if you're in the U.S.

  11. Government-stinkin-Motors. They STOLE all the equity and gave it to the Union THUGS in the fake bankrupcy. NEVER have a GM again.

  12. How about a Diesel with a plug in electric drive train?

  13. Chevy needs a technology leader besides the Volt. A plug-in diesel/hybrid would do the trick.

  14. I'd buy this car at $22k for the base model. And if they put in better seats.

  15. It is still made by Government Motors and contains tracking chips and listening devices. WOULD NOT BUY ONE.

  16. Please be sure to adjust that tin foil helmet, rocket scientist... Yawn...

  17. Don't trust the EPA ratings, remember that the EPA is controlled by the Obama/Soros machinery and will be a LIE, as is everything coming from this administration.

  18. Each automaker do their own EPA testing. So, it is NOT controlled by anyone despite the little voice in your head that tell you so.

    That little voice in your head is a lier and don't believe anything that little voice tell you. Seek some medical help....

  19. I'll wait until Ford bring out their diesel.

  20. @Peter: Unless you're buying a large pickup truck, you may have a long wait.

    I've repeatedly asked Ford over the years whether they'll sell diesels in the States, and they are very firmly convinced that it's not a business for them. GM and Chrysler-Fiat are now offering one passenger diesel each, but it may be many years before Ford follows suit.


  21. If one is driving a Cruze, any Cruze, halfway across the desert in Arizona, late at night, and something slices the sidewall of a tire, a can of sealant will not repair the tire. So, do Chevy dealers sell a mini spare, even though there is no space provided for it in the trunk? Anyone???

  22. Where is a Dealer with inventory?

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