2014 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel debuts in Chicago

New Cruze engine is the cleanest passenger car diesel GM has ever produced.

Published: February 8, 2013, 6:00 PM
Updated: April 29, 2018, 3:54 PM

2014 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel

This summer, General Motors will offer a diesel-powered passenger car for sale in North America for the first time since 1986.

It's almost two years since GM announced that it would add a diesel variant of the Chevrolet Cruze to its North American lineup. The 2014 Cruze Diesel made its public debut this week at the Chicago auto show.

The compact Chevy's new 2.0-litre turbo-diesel engine is estimated to produce 148 horsepower and 258 lb-ft torque – down a bit from the European version's 161 horsepower and 266 lb-ft, probably because of measures necessary to meet our stricter emissions standards.

Still, both numbers surpass those of the Volkswagen Jetta TDI – the Cruze's only direct diesel competitor here. In comparison, the Jetta's 2.0-litre TDI engine is rated at 140 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque.

In terms of emissions, the Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel – which is how it will be marketed here – will satisfy the same Tier 2 Bin 5 standards that apply to gasoline-fuelled cars in Canada. GM says it's the cleanest diesel passenger car engine the company has ever produced.

By GM estimates, the North-American Cruze Diesel will accelerate from 0-to-100 km/h in about nine seconds, which will better the time for the Jetta TDI automatic and make it competitive with some more premium German diesels.

Official fuel-consumption figures have not yet been released but according to GM the car is capable of 5.6 L/100 km in highway driving.

GM says the 2.0-litre turbo-diesel engine provides greater fuel efficiency than a comparably sized gasoline engine through greater thermal efficiency, a higher compression ratio and an unthrottled combustion process.

While the diesel is new to North America, GM produced more than half a million small diesel-engine cars, including the Cruze, across Europe, Asia, Africa and South America last year. In Europe, approximately 40% of Cruze models sold are diesel-powered.

"With the benefit of continuous refinement in other markets, the 2.0L turbo-diesel... is powerful, efficient and clean," says assistant chief engineer, Mike Siegrist. "It will change perceptions of what a diesel car can be."

Standard features of the Cruze Diesel include a six-speed automatic transmission, 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, as well as Chevrolet's MyLink infotainment system.

The Cruze is GM's best-selling passenger car in Canada and the fifth-best-selling car in the country, behind the Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra, Toyota Corolla and Mazda3 and ahead of the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Jetta.