We’ve been looking forward to the reveal of the Chevy Cruze Diesel for some time now, and finally the day has arrived. Annnd…we’re kind of disappointed with both the price and the EPA rating, at least at first glance. But if you take a step back, the Cruze Diesel still has a lot to offer if you’re the kind of person who buys a car, and keeps it.
First let’s talk price. The $25,695 price tag represents a $2,550 gap over an equivalent Chevy Cruze 2LT with the 1.4 liter turbo engine. The Cruze Diesel comes with a leather interior, 17-inch wheels, a 17-gallon gas tank (that lessens trunk space by two cubic feet) and the Aero Performance Package. The 2.0 liter diesel engine is backed by a six-speed automatic transmission, and gets 42 mpg on the highway, equivalent to the Chevy Cruze Eco.
However, the diesel engine holds a few perks, most notably their ability to consistently outperform their EPA ratings. The Volkswagen Jetta TDI can reportedly reach 50 mpg on the highway with relative ease. Diesel engines also make more torque, with 258 ft-lbs on tap as well as 148 horsepower. Diesel engines are also known for their reliability and longevity, so if you’re in it for the long haul, the Cruze diesel could be a great long term investment.
But if you take things at face value, and factor in the higher cost of diesel fuel, then you could be looking at it taking a century or more to get a return-on-investment. The 2.0 liter diesel can also run up to a 20% blend of biodiesel (B20) but requires a refill on the urea fluid every 10,000 miles to keep that clean diesel clean. Perhaps once GM offers a “stripper” model sans the leather seats and big wheels at a lower cost, the Cruze diesel might make more sense…and cents.