Here's a question for you: when was the last time you could buy a diesel-powered passenger vehicle from a domestic automaker? Answer: the late eighties. Blame poor performance and tailpipe emissions that could give coal-powered trains a run for their money in terms of black smoke. This damaged the perception of diesels, almost to the brink of extinction. Now, however, with diesels seeing a modest increase in popularity, a U.S. automaker has decided to step back into the ring. That automaker is General Motors with the 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel.
Under the hood is a 2.0L turbocharged diesel engine producing 151 horsepower and 261 pound-feet of torque. This goes through a six-speed automatic transmission, sending power down to the front wheels. The EPA rates the Cruze Diesel at 27 City/46 Highway/33 Combined. That highway number beats the other diesel compact sedan, the Jetta TDI, by 4 MPGs.
The Cruze Diesel also features a number of clever tricks to help improve fuel efficiency. Behind the front grille is a set of active grille shutters that open and close. You also have a new body kit that improves aerodynamics. Underneath sits a set of belly pans that improve air flow beneath the vehicle.
Pricing for the 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel starts at $24,885, which is $1,830 more than a base Jetta TDI. There is a reason for this as the Cruze Diesel comes standard with a lot more equipment, such as seventeen-inch alloy wheels, leather seats, three-level heated for the front seats, remote start, and Chevrolet's MyLink infotainment system.