Chevy has released a brand new diesel into the US Market that is going to give the VW TDI powered cars a run for their money!
I had the opportunity to drive this exciting, new car from Chevy, which is the 2014 Chevy Cruze Turbo Diesel, and was really impressed! The car was very peppy, has great acceleration, and was very nimble in traffic. It did have a bit of turbo lag off the line, but once it kicked in, wow, it REALLY kicks in and pulls hard! It feels a lot like a 2 stroke motorcycle hitting it’s power band!
The 2.0 liter turbo diesel motor is supplied by VM Motori and is a well proven design that GM has been using in Europe for several years. It delivers a powerful 151 horsepower with 264 ft/lbs of torque.
VM Motori is the same supplier of the now famous diesel engine that Chrysler used in their 2005 & 2006 Jeep Liberty CRD. Word on the street is that the engines are very reliable and hold up extremely well in day to day use. Many of our customers also rave about how well they hold up to Biodiesel too!
Chrysler likes the VM Motori engines so much that they now use them in their 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee (3.0 liter V6 VM Motori diesel engine) and they’ll soon be planting one under the hood of a 2014 Ram 1500 pickup truck too!
What’s amazing about these engines is the amazing amount of fuel mileage they can crank out! The EPA mileage rating of the Cruze is rated to get up to 46 MPG on the highway! That means you could technically drive it 700 miles on a single tank of gas! That’s hybrid territory and one ups the VW TDI Jetta mpg numbers!
You know what else is cool? It’s rated to handle B20 (20% Biodiesel) too! That makes it THE ONLY diesel powered car in the United States rated to handle that high of a blend of Biodiesel! (Although, I’d imagine VW will be following up soon!)
The car felt very well planted and was easy to move through traffic. The throttle took a little getting used to as it took about a second for it to react, but man, when it did react, wow! The thing takes off like a rocket!
I drove it in town and also did a short jaunt on the freeway too. Merging into traffic in the Cruze was a breeze! It took right off & went for it! The powerful little engine is mated to an all new 6 speed automatic transmission, which allows it to still have plenty of get up & go while still being able to put up incredible fuel mileage numbers!
The engine is fitted with a Diesel Particulate Filter and all the other modern diesel emission equipment, which means it also uses Diesel Exhaust Fluid. The tank sits in the spot where the spare tire would sit; which means if you get a flat things could get tricky, but they do include a flat repair kit and air compressor to let you hobble it into a shop somewhere, but it’s still odd that there’s no spare.
The car itself was a lot of fun to drive. Inside it had leather seats that were comfortable, had a full navigation package on it, and more gadgets & gizmo’s to play with than I had time to investigate.
One cool feature is the remote start option. As I was standing at the dealership waiting for the salesman to come back with the keys to the car to drive, it started itself up! (The salesman had activated the remote start on the car and it had fired right up). Once inside, you just put the key in the ignition and turn it like normal and the dash comes to life and you’re ready to go. Pretty cool!
As I said before, it’s rated to handle B20 right out the gate, so those wanting to run Biodiesel in it can do so right off the dealer lot (although, the verdict is out on how well it’ll handle higher blends than 20%).
Overall, the car is a really nice package! It definitely will give the VW Jetta TDI a run for it’s money as it has a larger engine, more torque, a longer driving range, and even a better warranty. It’ll be interesting to see how well it sells in the United States.
The dealership I was at only had one on the lot as 4 of the 5 that they’d gotten in had already sold and they indicated that they didn’t sit on the lot very long at all.
Speaking of dealers, I was really impressed with the dealership and salesman where we drove the car. We test drove the Cruze at John Watson Chevrolet in Ogden, Utah. The salesman was extremely gracious, wasn’t pushy at all, and was great to let us test drive the car! He even remembered selling Chevy Luv diesels clear back in the day, which are the same thing as the Isuzu Diesel Pickups that I’ve owned before and am a huge fan of (the salesman earned mega bonus points for that!)
If you have a chance, stop by your local Chevy dealer & take one out for a test drive, I think you’ll be surprised at just how nice of a car it is and how well it handles. I’m still in shock at the awesome fuel mileage rating too! 46 MPG in something that peppy and that well appointed is awesome!
Official Chevy Cruze Diesel Website
Diesel Power Magazine Drives The New 2014 Chevy Diesel Cruze
Car & Driver Chevy Cruze Diesel vs. VW Jetta TDI comparison
Piedmont Biofuels is running B100 in their new diesel Cruze!
900 Miles On A Single Tank Of Fuel
New York Times Chevy Cruze Diesel Review
Green Car Blog Chevy Cruze Diesel Review
Extreme Tech’s in-depth review
Yahoo Motoramic article on the Cruze’s Turbo Lag