2014 Chevrolet Cruze diesel returns 27 miles per gallon in the
city and 46 mpg on the highway.
an aversion to diesel-powered cars that’s not shared by the rest
of the world. Visit Germany, and you’ll find most cars burn
diesel. Here in the States, diesel cars are as rare as hens’
Part of it has
to do with diesel’s emergence during the 1970s and ’80s, when
the OPEC oil embargo forever established fuel economy as an
overriding concern among car buyers. The diesel engines from these
years were smoky and noisy, and the cars they powered were very slow
off the line.
have passed. Now turbochargers have solved acceleration problems,
while a host of emission controls have erased their propensity to
emit stinky, sooty fumes.
believe me? Try the 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Turbo Diesel.
If you didn’t
know any better, you wouldn’t know that the Cruze is a diesel
until you looked at the fuel economy rating: 27 mpg city, 46 mpg
highway. And, according to the EPA, the annual cost of fueling the
Cruze TD is between $50 more to $150 less than other Cruze models.
that’s not the whole story.
typical gasoline-powered car has a range of a little more than 300
miles, the Cruze TD has a range of as much as 717 miles — on one
tank of fuel. My own measurements saw the Cruze easily return 50 mpg
in highway driving. Overall mileage was an impressive 37 mpg.
go the turbocharged double-overhead-cam 2.0-liter four-cylinder
diesel engine and six-speed automatic transmission. A manual
transmission is not offered. The engine is rated at 151 horsepower
and an impressive 264 pound-feet of torque.
mill’s power is impressive, with little turbo lag off the line.
You will hear some diesel engine clatter around town, but the cabin
quiets down at higher speed.
Cruze models, the Cruze TD is very fun to drive. It remains fairly
flat through corners, and there’s enough grip to keep things
interesting. The steering is light, but doesn’t feel lifeless.
Bumps are absorbed without commotion. Braking is average.
The Cruze is
loaded with safety gear, including 10 air bags, electronic stability
control, rollover sensors, pre-tensioning front belts, traction
control, anti-lock brakes and rear ultrasonic parking assist.
ambience is as nice as you’ll find in this class. The
instrumentation is lit in a cool blue light, and has markings that
resemble those on an upscale watch. Soft-touch materials are
sprinkled throughout the cabin.
space is very good; rear-seat space is a bit tighter, especially
when it comes to legroom. Still, I was able to comfortably carry
touch-screen radio features Bluetooth audio streaming and is
compatible with Pandora and Stitcher.
Cruze ably competes with the diesel-powered Volkswagen Jetta TDI.
Yes, the VW has a larger trunk, more rear-seat room and can be
fitted with a manual transmission, but the Cruze feels more upscale,
has a higher-quality interior and handles better. Most important of
all, the Cruze goes farther on a tank of fuel and returns better
If you thought
diesel was a dirty word, you owe it to yourself to try the Cruze TD.
It’s a welcome addition to Chevrolet’s already strong small-car
Turbocharged DOHC diesel 2.0-liter four-cylinder
space: 13.3 cubic feet
(city/highway): 27/46 mpg
consumption: 37 mpg
base model: $24,985
test model: $24,885
including destination charge: $25,795