Car Tech Video
2014 Chevy Cruze DieselChevy goes greener with the 2014 Chevy Cruze Diesel, but is it cleaner than its sister car, the Chevy Cruze Eco?
They may have already seen my video on the Chevy Cruze Eco. But this is the Chevy Cruze Eco, much more fuel-efficient turbo diesel. Let's drive Chevy is entering in the field of power plant America's love to hate and check its efficiency tech. Now, spotting a Cruze diesel is not easy. It looks just about like every other Cruze. They tell me it's got a subtle aero kit. I guess the chin's a little different. Beyond that, you gotta look with this little teeny tiny tidy badge on the romp that makes the VW TDI logo look huge. In other words, this car doesn't screen, "I'm Green." But that matters to you. Now, I'm not gonna spend a ton of time inside this Cruze because we've shot the Cruze Eco, check out our in-depth video on that. Also the 2014 Impala is a great deep-dive on the Chevy MyLink Radio. I'll let it suffice to say that navigation is optional though the display radio is standard with Pandora and Stitcher, rear cameras also optional on this guy, which I find a little disconcerting, and beyond that the fit and finish is nice, leather comes on the diesel as well. That's gonna be an interesting factor later in the story. But the big story is up there under the hood. Now, of course, the diesel engine is a big part of the story here. You don't often see diesels in America, let alone from an American car company. Two liter turbo diesel. The turbo parts really obvious. [unk] unit right up there, very pointing to see. They also have direct-injection going on here which is what modern diesels all do. The numbers-- 151 horse, 264-foot pounds of torque that last one is the whole point gets this roughly 3,400 pound vehicle at the 60 at about 8.6 seconds that sounds pretty class average. Notice the mileage is what's interesting, 2746. Hello Neem, and that's a nice number. A Cruze Eco gas gets 2639, average of 31. Cruze turbo diesel gets 27, a big 46 on the highway but only averages 2 miles per gallon more average 33. Annual fuel cost is only $50 on the turbo diesel. But the MSRP is over $5,000 more because the diesel has 4-wheel ABS, remote start, leather interior, available on the sun roof, heated seats and even more. So if you don't care about the extra equipment the mess is pretty harsh. It's $5,000 delta paid off at 50 bucks a year over a century. Okay, so driving a little Chevy diesel, what's it like? Well, first of all, you don't hear most of that diesel clatter we heard under the hood. It's a much better managed inside so you're not gonna find it, it's, you know, a rattle box. The torque is very muted. Once you get spooled up, it's there. But it's rather muted because I think this car is heavily tuned toward economy and you're not getting a huge amount of great oomph down low just the way this car's engineered. That said, it has ample or at least sufficient power. I don't feel like this car is gutless especially if you all worked the gear box a little bit. But that's not the idea, right? We're doing a really nice average MPG and all of us on the car tech team were able to see at least the cars calculated 50 MPG on the highway pretty easily. Ride qualities real nice but it's way is quite a bit more than a gas-engine car and that does wonders for suspension planted in this, which I always like. Nice and quiet. Side lines are good on this car. It's a very livable everyday vehicle that is a little bit sluggish in transitions on the throttle because that diesel is not giving up its torque as much as it is being tuned for economy. I find that a little disappointing but they are getting some good numbers though in this car. So, in some, what I say about this car on the road is that it's absolving a lot of sense that General Motors committed in the 80's. I mean, they are largely the reason the Americans hate diesels, they did some horrendous diesels back in the day that American swore them off. Back then you could get either a Mercedes diesel that was expensive and for the rich people. But now with these American diesels that were like-- will this sets the record straight and the motors to make a real nice decent car and a nice--. All right, pricing our Cruze diesel, you gotta know this guy does not start off real cheap. They have positioned it as a high-trim model as we discussed a little earlier. So, 257 is your entry level. And then on top of that, a number of things to get CNET-style, one of which is this convenience package that's how you get the rear camera and a bunch of self-adjusting mirrors basically. I normally would bristle at a camera being an optional cost. But it's only 380 for the whole package, so I'll give him a pass. If you want driver-assistance, rear sensors, cross traffic alert and blind-spot indicators, it's 800 bucks-- sunroof, another 900. Navigation as I mentioned is extra 795 if it's not gonna break the bank and they do a pretty good job on this one, all in worth just about $29,000 on the nose. It's not bad. But notice, you've gotta care about the high equipment level on this car to make it work out. Otherwise, you can never earn back the additional cost of this versus the Cruze Eco gas car. It's just doesn't gonna happen unless you got a century on your hands.