Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
September 5th, 2013
Welcome to the era of diesel. From pick-up trucks to compact sedans there will be more diesel powered choices in the next few years than ever before. Chevrolet’s first foray back into the forbidden realm of diesel powered cars is the 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Turbo Diesel. Chevrolet didn’t choose to launch its first light duty diesel in an all new vehicle; instead it hid the diesel engine in plain sight under the hood of the unassuming Chevrolet Cruze.
Unfortunately it’s very obvious that Chevrolet is new to the world of passenger diesel engines. Compared to modern Volkswagen TDIs the Cruze diesel is reminiscent of diesel engines from the early 2000s. For some, the noise might be endearing, but in North America refinement is the name of the game and this engine needs a little more work. Another issue with the Cruze Turbo Diesel is a significant amount of lag on initial take-off that can be a bit disconcerting when you’re turning left against oncoming traffic.
But what is the rest of the car like? On to page 2!
On the outside the 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Turbo Diesel looks just like any other Cruze on the road. Only a small green badge with, “2.0 TD,” on the trunk lid and unique 17 inch 5-spoke alloy wheels set it apart from the rest of the pack. Chevrolet also equipped the Cruze Turbo Diesel with the same aerodynamic package as the Cruze Eco with a smaller radiator grill and shutters that close at high speed to reduce drag.
General Motors does quiet very well and the Cruze is a temple of solace on the highway. If you spend most of your time on the highway then the Cruze Diesel is the perfect companion. Any 2.0 liter gasoline engine might feel a little strained at high speed, but the Cruze really makes it feel like you’re going 20 miles per hour slower than you really are. Around town the Cruze feels heavy and the diesel engine really feels wasted. Don’t drive the Cruze hard, just don’t, this is a road trip and commuter car and that’s just fine. Enjoy the 46 miles per gallon you’re getting on the highway while you relax to your music and podcasts.
Infotainment and technology is really where the interior of the Cruze suffers. Chevrolet’s MyLink is wonderful in other models, but suffers from unresponsive redundant buttons that are confusing. Not once did I touch the cluster of buttons below the touch screen radio. Deleting all but the most essential buttons on the center stack would go a long way in bringing the Cruze into the modern world.
The bottom line is this is a car that is really something to lease. The Cruze is starting to show its age and you don’t want to be stuck in a car that already feels five years old. Leasing the Cruze shows General Motors that there is a demand for more and even better diesel engines in the future. Leasing the Cruze Turbo Diesel will let General Motors know that Americans are ready to take a chance on diesel, but that it’s not good enough to own out right. Chevrolet wants to know whether or not consumers are serious about diesels here in the United States. The future of diesel powered cars rests in your hands.
Disclaimer: Chevrolet provided the Cruze Diesel, insurance, and one tank of fuel.
Model: Cruze Turbo Diesel
Trim: Diesel Automatic
Engine: 2.0 Liter Common-Rail Turbocharged Intercooled Diesel
Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, Six-Speed Automatic
Horsepower @ RPM: (Diesel) 151 @ 4,000
Torque @ RPM: (Diesel) 264 @ 2,600
Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 27/46/33
Curb Weight: 3,475 lbs
Location of Manufacture: Lordstown, Ohio
Base Price: $24,885.00
As Tested Price: $28,105.00* (Includes $810.00 destination charge)