Clean diesel models are just starting to make their ways into the North American market, and to everyone’s surprise, they do quite well. For example, in the first quarter of 2012, sales numbers were up 35 percent when compared to the same period of 2011 and things continue to improve.
From all diesel units sold in the USA last year, a total of 44 percent where the Jetta TDI, a pretty astounding result, considering this is about half of a market that offers about 25 clean diesel models, which experts say will double by 2017.
The first step into this direction was made at the 2013 Chicago Auto Show where Chevy unveiled the new Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel - not a big surprise considering Cruze is Chevrolet’s hottest-selling sedan.
The model will be put on sale at a starting price at $25,695, which is about $2,500 more than the Jetta TDI priced at $23,055.
UPDATE 6/12/2013: This review has been updated with the official drivetrain specifications. Surprisingly, they are significantly better than GM originally estimated.
Hit the jump to read more about the 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel.
On the exterior the new Cruze Diesel is basically identical to its gasoline-powered brother. It gets a two-tier grille with Chevy logo, prominent headlamps, a sculpted hood, as well as a short rear deck typically found on sports coupes.
Still, it received some features specific to the diesel model, including a unique dash mat, hood blanket and more. As standard features the model is offered with a rear spoiler and an Aero Performance Package. To further distinguish it, Chevy placed a 2.0 TDI logo right next to the Cruze badge at the rear.
|Wheelbase (in / mm)||105.7 / 2685|
|Overall length (in / mm)||181 / 4597|
|Overall width (in / mm)||70.7 / 1796|
|Overall height (in / mm)||58.1 / 1476|
|Leg room (in / mm)||front: 42.28 / 1074 ; rear: 35.35 / 898|
|Curb weight (lb / kg)||3475 (1576.4)|
On the inside, the new Cruze diesel will once again offer the same features as the gasoline-powered version. There is a Corvette-inspired twin-cockpit motif, high-quality materials and leather-appointed seating.
Under the Cruze Diesel’s hood, you will find a 2.0-liter turbo-diesel engine that delivers an impressive 151 horsepower and a peak torque of 258 pound-feet (280 pound-feet with 10-second overboost) achieved between 1,750 and 3,000 rpm. The engine will be mated to a six-speed automatic transmission and, according to the initial details, it will deliver an impressive EPA-estimated fuel economy of 27 mpg in the city and 46 mpg on the highway.
This power and torque translates out to a rather stout-for-a-compact-diesel 8.6-second burst to 60 mph - 0.5 seconds faster than the Jetta 2.0 TDI.
Highlights of the new turbo-diesel engine:
- Dual overhead camshafts with four valves per cylinder and maintenance-free hydraulic lifters with low-friction roller-finger followers
- Quiet belt-driven cams/valve train with high-strength belt material and tensioner rated for 100,000 miles
- High-strength aluminum pistons with reinforced top ring and integral combustion bowl design
- Central direct injection, with the injector positioned in the middle of the cylinder, with the bowl in the piston serving as the combustion chamber
- 16.5:1 compression ratio that enhances power and combustion efficiency
- Variable-swirl intake manifold design, which optimizes air charge mixture motion in the cylinders for a more-efficient combustion that enhances performance and reduces emissions
- Common-rail fuel system with Piezo fuel injectors that create multiple injections per combustion for greater performance, combustion efficiency and quietness
- Variable-nozzle turbocharger that broadens the engine’s torque curve, particularly at low rpm, and supports greater high-rpm horsepower
- Intercooling system produces a cooler, denser air charge for greater power
- Piston oil jets that help reduce friction and optimize piston temperature for greater performance and efficiency
- Turbocharger bearings are oil-lubricated and cooled via oil cooler
- Variable-displacement oil pump helps save fuel by optimizing the oil pressure, which reduces friction
- Vacuum pump designed for lower engine friction
- Ceramic glow plugs, which provide greater cold-start performance over conventional metal glow plugs (an engine oil heater is offered for cold climates)
- B20 bio-diesel compatibility.
|Displacement (cu in / cc)||2.0L (119 / 1956)|
|Fuel delivery||direct injection|
|Horsepower (horsepower / kW @ rpm)||151 / 110 @ 4000|
|Torque (foot-pounds / Nm @ rpm)||264 (280 w/ Overboost) / 350 @ 1750 - 2000|
|Fuel Economy (EPA estimate)||27 city / 46 hwy|
Suspensions and brakes
The new Cruze Diesel will be offered with front MacPherson struts combined with an advanced Watts Z-link design for the rear. This combination ensures symmetrical handling responses on both left-hand and right-hand turns.
The model will sit on a set of 17-inch alloy wheels combined with four-wheel antilock disc brakes.
|Suspension (Front)||MacPherson strut|
|Steering type||Power, electric, rack-mounted|
|Turning circle (Feet / m)||35.7|
|Brakes||four-wheel anti-lock disc|
|Wheel size and type||17-inch alloy|
Prices for the new Cruze Diesel will start at $25,695, including an $810 destination charge.
Currently, the best-selling diesel model in the U.S. market, the Jetta TDI is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo-diesel with 140 horsepower at 4,000 rpm and 236 pound-feet of torque at 1,750 rpm - about 8 horsepower less than the new Cruze.
When it comes to fuel consumption, both models are pretty much identical as the Jetta TDI delivers 30 mpg on the city and 42 on the highway.
Jetta TDI is a car we have loved ever since we first laid eyes on it. It delivers German quality, looks pretty cool for a model priced under $25k and its fuel economy is also very high. However, the new Cruze Diesel seems to deliver exactly the same, so will it manage to overtake the Volkswagen model? We’ll just have to wait and see.
While the Jetta TDI has been declared as the official competitor for the new Cruze Diesel, it is far from the only diesel sedan out there. Audi, for example, announced a total of three TDI sedans for the U.S. market: A6, A7, A8. Unfortunately, none of them are suitable for a comparison against the new Cruze.
Volkswagen Jetta TDI currently dominates the American diesel market, but, judging by the number of the new Cruze Diesel we are pretty sure things are going to change really quickly.
- Powerful engine
- Impressive fuel economy
- Highly equipped
- A little bit more expensive than competition
- Just an automatic transmission
Chevrolet is entering the U.S. and Canadian diesel car markets this summer with a 2.0L turbo-diesel version of its hottest-selling sedan, the Cruze, featuring the cleanest diesel passenger car engine General Motors has ever produced.
Clean diesels generate at least 90 percent less Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) and particulate emissions when compared to previous-generation diesels.
Built in Lordstown, Ohio, the 2014 Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel delivers a combination of segment-leading features and efficiency. Based on GM testing, the Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel has demonstrated estimated best-in-segment range and 42 mpg on the highway with spirited performance and the durability diesel owners value around the globe.
“Chevrolet has a diverse portfolio of products and technologies to meet the needs of the most discerning customer, whether it’s driving across town gas free in a Spark EV or cross-country in a clean turbo diesel,” said Chris Perry, Chevrolet vice president of marketing.
The compact sedan’s new 2.0L turbo-diesel engine produces segment-leading estimated 148 horsepower (110 kW) and estimated 258 lb-ft torque (350 Nm) with 0-60 performance of 8.6 seconds, which is better than the Volkswagen Jetta TDI automatic and competitive with German diesel cars that dominate the U.S. market.
Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel’s emissions will be below stringent U.S. environmental standards including Tier 2 Bin 5 emissions standards.
“Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel fills an important role in Chevrolet’s diverse four-cylinder lineup, and is primed to win over diesel devotees and compact car buyers with its performance, torque and fuel economy,” said Perry. “We leveraged engineering expertise from around the globe to develop a world-class, low-emissions engine to give U.S. and Canadian customers a car that’s both fun to drive and practical at the pump.”
With a starting price at $25,695, including a $810 destination charge (excludes tax, title, license, and dealer fees) Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel comes with a six-speed automatic transmission, four-wheel antilock disc brakes, 3.20 final drive ratio, 140-amp alternator, 800 cold-cranking amps battery, 17-inch alloy wheels, ultra-low-rolling resistance all-season tires, rear spoiler, Aero Performance Package and leather-appointed seating.
Other standard features include Chevrolet’s infotainment system MyLink, a two-year maintenance plan, and a five-year 100,000 mile powertrain warranty.
“Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel is the most sophisticated passenger car diesel engine GM has ever produced,” said Jens Wartha, GM global program manager and chief engineer for the Cruze’s diesel engine. “We merged European diesel expertise with the real world driving preferences of North American consumers.”