For the past year there has been plenty of speculation that GM would be bringing a diesel-powered Chevy Cruze to the U.S. market. The target date appears to be 2013, though there is an uncertainty when it comes to which diesel engine GM will opt for. In Austrailia, a 2.0 liter turbodiesel returns up to 49 mpg highway. But a new 1.7 liter diesel Cruze model in the UK delivers up to 72.4 Imperial MPG, which translates to about 50 mpg in the U.S.
Is America really going to get a 50 mpg diesel Cruze? I can’t say for sure, especially since MPG translations from one country to another are rough estimates at best, and wildly inaccurate at worst. For comparison’s sake, the 2012 Toyota Prius is also rated at 72 mpg in the UK, which translates to about 50 mpg U.S.
That is still mighty impressive for a non-hybrid, and will give those looking for an alternative to hybrids a viable option. Unlike most commercial hybrids, diesel cars can provide a more performance-oriented driving experience thanks to lots and lots of torque. The 1.7 liter turbodiesel in the UK Cruze is rated at 128 horsepower and 221 ft-lbs of torque, which is about the same horsepower but more than twice the torque of the Prius. That helps the Cruze diesel go from 0-60 mph in about 9.4 seconds and reach a top speed of 124 mph.
As far as pricing goes, the Cruze diesel has a starting MSRP of £16,725 (about $26,800) compared to the 2012 Prius, which starts at £21,350 (about $34,200). That’s a fair chunk of chedder, though what that will translate to over in the U.S. is anybody’s guess.
If it came down to choosing between a diesel and a hybrid, what would you choose?