When Chevrolet unveiled the 2017 Cruze Diesel, it hoped the car would achieve a 50-mpg EPA highway rating. Well, it did, and then some.
The 2017 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel sedan will achieve 52 mpg on the highway, according to the EPA. It's the highest highway fuel economy of any car that isn't a hybrid or EV. Chevrolet estimates that a full tank can provide up to 702 miles of range with its six-speed manual transmission.
It's been a long time since an internal combustion engine produced such high figures. One of the last to do so was the 1989 Honda Civic CRX HF, which has an EPA-estimated highway fuel economy of 49 mpg. There's also the Geo Metro XFI, which busted through the 50-mpg ceiling with an EPA rating of 52 mpg highway.
The number drops a bit when the manual transmission is swapped out in favor of a nine-speed automatic. In that case, the Cruze Diesel achieves a still-commendable 47 mpg on the highway. City fuel economy stands at 30 mpg with the manual, and 31 mpg with the automatic, which is on par with or barely above the. The hatchback has not yet received EPA-estimated fuel economy figures.
Chevrolet's Cruze Diesel gets its thrift from a 1.6-liter, turbocharged diesel I4 that's good for 137 horsepower and 240 pound-feet of torque. Like many other Chevrolet products, it comes available with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot. Its starting price is $23,795, which doesn't include destination.
The automaker still won't give a firm on-sale date for the Cruze Diesel, but a spokesman at Chevrolet told us the diesels are on trucks to dealers right now. The hatch variant will follow later this year as a 2018 model.
Update, 11 a.m. Eastern: Added Geo Metro XFI information and information regarding Cruze Diesel delivery.