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