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    Quick Drive: 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Turbodiesel


    • A Challenger To The Volkswagen Jetta TDI Appears!

    For the longest time, the Volkswagen Jetta has had it all to itself. I’m of course talking about the diesel compact sedan marketplace. Since the first Jetta came over the to the U.S. in the eighties, Volkswagen has offered a diesel engine as an option. Within the past few years, the popularity of the Jetta diesel has skyrocketed. But this past year, another contender has come in to challenge the Jetta’s dominance in this small niche. That would be the Chevrolet Cruze Turbodiesel. How does it stand up to the Jetta?

    Much like the Jetta TDI, the Chevrolet Cruze Turbodiesel doesn’t scream out that it's a diesel at all. The only clues that reveals its true identity are a set of seventeen-inch aluminum wheels and a new Eco badge that says 2.0 TD. Inside, the Cruze Turbodiesel comes fully loaded with leather seats, steering wheel controls, six-way power adjustment for the driver’s seat, remote start, and much more. To get even close to that in a Jetta, you’ll have to go for one of the higher trims. One disappointment I had with the Cruze’s interior were the seats. I found myself squirming around in them to make myself comfortable. Also compared to the the Jetta TDI, the Cruze’s back seat doesn’t provide enough legroom.

    Powering the Cruze Turbodiesel is a turbocharged 2.0L DOHC diesel four-cylinder with 151 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic is your only transmission choice. The Turbodiesel is quite the performer as torque peaks at 2,600 rpm and a majority of the torque is available between 1,750 and 3,000 rpm. This means the Cruze can very much hold its own when leaving a stop and there is always power in reserve when you need it. Fuel economy isn’t bad either with EPA ratings 27 City/46 Highway/33 Combined. Compared to the Jetta TDI economy, the Cruze beats it on the highway by four MPG, but the Jetta gets 30 MPG in the city. My average for the week landed around 37 MPG.

    However, all is not perfect with the 2.0L diesel. For starters, the 2.0L diesel engine sounds like it is from the eighties to early nineties with a loud clattering noise coming under the hood. Diesel engine technology has gotten much better to where the clattering noises are toned down by a fair amount, but you wouldn’t know it by standing next to the Cruze. Now I should at this point that when you’re inside the Cruze Turbodiesel, almost none of the clattering makes it in. This is a testament to noise reduction work done on the Cruze’s interior. It’s a shame that it wasn’t extended to the engine bay.

    2014 Chevrolet Cruze Turbodiesel 14

    The other problem with the Cruze Turbodiesel’s powertrain is the automatic. There are times when it seems to know what its doing and there are other times where it holds onto gears far too long before upshifting. I don’t know if this is an issue with this particular car or Turbodiesel models in general, but it wasn’t pleasant.

    Ride and handling characteristics are still the same as the Cruze I drove back two years ago where it has big car characteristics of smoothing over road imperfections and not letting in road and wind noise. As for cornering, the suspension keeps the vehicle steady and steering is quick, though somewhat numb.

    At the end of the week, I found the Cruze Turbodiesel to be equal to the Jetta TDI. Both models have different strengths and weaknesses, so trying to pick one that is better than the other is difficult. I would say if you’re looking for power and a impressive amount of kit, then look at the Cruze. If you want space, powertrain refinement, and a lower price, then the Jetta TDI is for you.

    Disclaimer: Chevrolet Provided the Cruze Turbodiesel, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas

    Year: 2014

    Make: Chevrolet

    Model: Cruze

    Trim: Turbodiesel

    Engine: Turbocharged 2.0L DOHC Diesel Four-Cylinder

    Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, Six-Speed Automatic

    Horsepower @ RPM: 151 @ 4000

    Torque @ RPM: 264 @ 2600

    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)

    Options:

    Audio System W/ Navigation - $795.00

    Enhanced Safety Package - $790.00

    Pioneer Sound System- $445.00

    2LT Driver Convenience Package - $380.00

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

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    nice write, but I disagree that the Cruze diesel is 'clattering', when i test drove it, it did not seem obnoxious. Or not really all that different from a VW. I did find it to be tomb quiet inside and I never really find the noise outside the cabin to be a big deal. As far as the tranny, there were times it didn't seem to know what to do, but I've always disliked the VW diesel with automatic.......moreso with the dual clutch especially.

    http://www.cheersandgears.com/topic/81799-2014-chevy-cruze-diesel/

    For me, the only way the VW has an edge is city FE and rear seat room. More or less it's probably a draw, like you infer. I'd rather have a GM than a VW. Your chances are tougher in a VW I feel.

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    The other problem with the Cruze Turbodiesel’s powertrain is the automatic. There are times when it seems to know what its doing and there are other times where it holds onto gears far too long before upshifting. I don’t know if this is an issue with this particular car or Turbodiesel models in general, but it wasn’t pleasant.

    I have a little over 1000 miles on my Cruze diesel now. My initial test drives of a different car plus the exact one I bought fell in line with what I had read about the transmission shifting being odd. The strange thing is, once I actually picked my car up and started driving it, it has exhibited little of that past odd behavior. I'm not sure if they have a new transmission calibration that was flashed in it between when I test drove it and when picked it up or what changed. I also wonder if it doesn't have adaptive shift logic and having so many different drivers in the press cars causes problems. All in all, the transmission isn't really something I would complain about.

    I have put two tanks of diesel in mine so far with both averaging right around 35 mph calculated. This is actually better than the vehicle information center in the cluster stated. Also, at least 75% of my driving has been on surface streets so I'm pretty happy with the mileage so far (especially considering my heavy right foot) and it should only get better as it breaks in and the weather warms up.

    nice write, but I disagree that the Cruze diesel is 'clattering', when i test drove it, it did not seem obnoxious. Or not really all that different from a VW. I did find it to be tomb quiet inside and I never really find the noise outside the cabin to be a big deal. As far as the tranny, there were times it didn't seem to know what to do, but I've always disliked the VW diesel with automatic.......moreso with the dual clutch especially.

    Mine clatters quite a bit on a cold start but once it warms up it is much quieter. As stated in the review, even on the cold start, not much of it makes it into the cabin. Once it is warm, you wouldn't know it is a diesel sitting in the cabin.

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    Look at the pictures and remember that it was obviously quite cold when he had this car. diesels usually clatter more when cold

    Fuel economy tends to take a huge nosedive in such cold weather as well...

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    my last VW diesel drive (Jetta) was in winter so that may have jaded me some but the Passat TDI I drove previously didn't overwhelm me. I really don't think the VW is any more refined than the Cruze.

    "No indication to the masses that this car is a diesel in ride and drive or noises. Almost completely devoid of diesel personality. The only diesel rattle you hear is outside the car and even then it just isn't a fully committed rattler."

    that was just my take when i drove it. The inside was a tomb. All the sound deadening paid off but the Cruze diesel's one achilles to me is its weight. If they can trim 300 pounds off the Cruze diesel next go round, that'd be cool. It's hard to tout the Cruze's diesel achievements when its 3500 pounds plus and the Cruze Eco manual is like 500 pounds less. All that weight really has an effect on ride and drive and steering and suspension I figure. That's why for many, I think the Eco manual is almost a diesel killer in the Cruze lineup. Real world mpg's in combined driving can't be far apart and purchase price is so much less. Diesel prices are so volatile.

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    Yes, Cruze Eco manual is really the deal killer for the Cruze diesel. People are getting 44-45 mpg quite often.

    The average fuel economy for the Eco and Diesel are 35 and 36.5 mpg, respectively. That 1.5 mpg delta with a ~$0.60 price differential in fuel prices is really hard to overcome. And we are not even taking into consideration the price differential between the two models.

    As much as I love diesels, if I were in market for Cruze I would buy an ECO.

    Cruze Diesel really needs a manual transmission. Another blunder from GM.

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    What a ridiculous statement to say that the diesel engine sound at idle is not awesome. I love the sound of my VW diesel, standing outside of it, listening to it clatter away, be it winter, spring, summer or fall.

    A little bit of warm weather and my mileage is shooting up significantly. Very nice.

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    I would have to say my cruze diesel has been great so far! Only 1400 KM on it but its roomy enough and gets amazing mileage.. even when it was -20C at the beginning of March. The Clatter? What clatter.. I can't hear it idiling next to my Cummins!

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    GM absolutely needs to advertise this thing! I don't know why they have not done a better job. It's almost old GM like in that they release a new product but don't bother to tell anybody about it. I guess they just hope the car mags will do the trick for them. The problem is, its not really an enthusiasts car and enthusiasts tend to be the ones that read the car magazines. It seems like every person I tell that I bought a Cruze diesel always replies "Oh, I didn't know there was a diesel Cruze."

    As far as value goes, I've assumed all along that for the 2 - 3 years I will own the car, I will not save enough money on fuel to justify the purchase. Since diesels typically have better residual values, I am hoping I get more of my money back when it comes time to sell. Of course, if they don't ever let people know they make it, there may not be many people looking for a used one in a few years.

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    Probably would be a great car for you if you could find a slightly pre-owned one. You keep your cars forever and with a diesel, you'd be looking at a good level of reliability for an extended amount of miles.

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    $25-28k for a Cruze seems like a lot to me. If it were a Verano or Malibu diesel for $28k, I think it would be a better deal. That being said, I think they should put the diesel in more vehicles, and perhaps some powertrain and transmission refinement needs done also. Should they get an 8 or 9 speed transmission for front wheel drive cars, that might solve some issues and add to the mileage.

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    Probably would be a great car for you if you could find a slightly pre-owned one. You keep your cars forever and with a diesel, you'd be looking at a good level of reliability for an extended amount of miles.

    all the unsold ones will become demos or will get titled and driven a couple k miles and put back on the lot as used....... once the 15's come out you will see a flood of used 14's. There's actually already quite a few used Cruze diesels across the USA on autotrader. No real price advantages yet tho.

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