“2014 Chevrolet Cruze Clean Diesel”
Delivering a class-leading 46 mpg HWY
The Chevrolet Cruze was a big hit across Europe and Asia before coming to the U.S. as a 2011 model. Chevrolet has sold more than 2 million Cruzes globally. The Cruze challenged the status quo as a tangible example of Chevrolet’s effort to bring to market new products ranging from gas-friendly to gas-free, joining the Chevrolet Volt. The 2011 Chevy Cruze came to our shores offering two engine choices and three transmission alternatives. It was initially available in five levels of trim: LS; 1LT; 2LT; LTZ; and Eco. All models were 5-passenger, 4-door sedans, and shared the same basic external dimensions. Now, there’s a new sheriff in town – the 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel.
Initially, the engine lineup consisted of a naturally aspirated 1.8-liter DOHC, 16-valve inline four cylinder that delivered 138 horsepower and 125 pound feet of torque found in 1LT, 2LT or LTZ; or a 1.4-liter turbocharged DOHC, 16-valve inline four-cylinder that powered the Eco, that made 103 ponies while generating 200 pound feet of torque at a lower rpm level than the 1.8-liter motor. Both engines required only regular unleaded gasoline.
Transmission assignments were as follows: the 1.8-liter engine could be coupled to either an M32 six-speed manual or a Hydra-Matic 6T40 six-speed automatic; while the 1.4-liter powered Eco mated only to the six-speed manual gearbox.
The 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel is powered by a transverse front-mounted engine that delivers 151 horsepower at 4,000 rpm, while generating 264 pound feet of torque at 2,600 rpm. Its advanced turbo-diesel engine is the cleanest diesel engine produced by General Motors generating at least 250 lb.-ft. of its torque between 1,750 and 3,000 rpm, with an overboost feature capable of increasing torque to an estimated 280 lb.-ft. for short bursts of stronger acceleration when needed. It is bio-diesel compatible. The engine connects to an Aisin AF40 Six-speed automatic transmission designed to handle the car’s higher torque, which directs the engine’s energy to the front wheels, while delivering an EPA estimated 46 mpg on the highway.
Appearance-wise, the 2014 Chevrolet Cruze diesel sedan wears Chevrolet’s universal signature two-tier grille, sporting a gold bowtie logo. The arching roofline connects a steeply raked windshield and fast-sloping rear pillars that serve up a sporty, coupe-like image and proportion. Prominent headlamp housings wrap around the corners and sweep upward into the fenders and hood, and the rear deck is short – something generally found only on sport coupes. Wheels are positioned at the corners with minimal front and rear overhangs, making the car appear longer. IN terms of trim, the new Cruze diesel is based on the 2LT level, adding Meridian leather-appointed front bucket seats, a six-way power driver seat and heated driver and front passenger seats. Cruze Diesel also includes an uplevel instrument panel cluster and chrome trim rings. A Driver Convenience Package is available, which comes with driver and front passenger illuminated vanity mirrors; auto-dimming inside rearview mirror; rear vision camera and outside heated, power-adjustable mirrors, 17-inch alloy wheels. There’s also an integrated rear spoiler and Aero performance package.
Moving to the inside, the twin-cockpit theme is matched with high-quality interior materials and fit and finish. Grained, soft-touch components and low-gloss trim panels impart a level of quality uncommon for the segment. The instrument panel features detailed instruments, backlit with LED technology. The integrated center stack houses the infotainment display, climate controls and radio controls, blending harmoniously with the instrument panel. The interior pillar and other moldings are color and grain-matched to the headliner, while seat inserts are color-matched to the instrument panel accent trim, giving the cabin the flavor and ambience of a larger, more upscale sedan.
Cruze offers more standard safety features than any vehicle in its class. Safety begins with a unitized body structure that incorporates high-strength steel in key areas to enhance strength and crash protection by helping to prevent intrusion into passenger compartment. Underbody main rails extend from the front of the structure all the way to the rear, further enhancing the body’s strength and stiffness. A cross-structure beam behind the instrument panel supports the body in the event of a side-impact crash. An available Enhanced Safety Package includes crash-avoidance technologies such as a rear park assist, side blind zone alert, and rear cross-traffic alert.
The Chevy Cruze was the first in its segment to provide 10 standard air bags, including frontal driver and passenger air bags, roof rail-mounted head curtain side air bags that help protect the front and outboard rear seating positions; seat-mounted side-impact air bags (front and rear); and front knee air bags. Other safety features include: a front passenger seat occupant sensing system and rollover sensing and protection system; a collapsible pedal assembly to help protect against lower-extremity injuries; three-point safety belts for all five seating positions; safety belt retractor pretensioners and lap pretensioners in the driver and front-passenger positions; and safety belt load limiters (with pretensioners) in the front safety belt retractors; LATCH child seat latching system in the rear seat; a tire pressure monitoring system; daytime running lamps; and automatic headlamps.
My test 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel sedan was base priced at $24,885. While the power sunroof, oil pan heater and Destination charge raised the final count and amount to $26,695. The exterior wore a finish coat of Blue Ray metallic, and featured a two-tone interior done in Cocoa and Light Neutral (Beige).
SUMMARY: The Cruze clean diesel sedan is attractive in its styling execution – not ravishing necessarily, but visually pleasing. Essentially it bears the same overall design as other Cruze trim levels, and except for the familiar diesel note on startup and at idle, the fact that it is a diesel isn’t readily discernable at higher speeds. Bottom line, the Cruze diesel also drives and handles much like its stablemates.
Acceleration, with the higher torque level, is much quicker than its counterparts, and the ride quality may seem somewhat stiffer due to the low-rolling resistance tires, but it remains compliant and comfortable.
Of course, the most attractive feature of the Cruze diesel sedan is the EPA estimated 46 mpg hwy and the fact that it is capable of traveling 717 mile on a single tank of fuel, which equates to roughly 10 hours of highway driving.
With its starting price of $25,695 plus the $810 destination charge, the Chevrolet Cruze Diesel represents a better value than a similarly equipped Volkswagen Jetta TDI automatic (42 mpg hwy). Compared with Jetta, Cruze Diesel also offers more standard equipment including the Chevrolet MyLink infotainment system, larger 17-inch alloy wheels, leather-appointed seating, a longer five-year 100,000-mile powertrain limited warranty, and a two-year maintenance plan that includes oil changes, tire rotation and diesel exhaust fluid top-offs.
The Cruze diesel meets tough North American diesel emission standards, while generating 90 percent less Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) and particulate emissions compared to previous-generation diesels.
Does the 2014 Chevrolet Diesel sedan make good sense? For the economy and style conscious, you bet it does, and it does so in an affordable, attractive, comfortable and efficient package.
SPECIFICATIONS: 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel Sedan
|Price as Tested:||$26,695.|
|Engine Type and Size:||2.0-liter, DOHC, 16-valve, Direct Injection clean turbo diesel|
|Horsepower (bhp):||151 @ 4,000 rpm|
|Torque (ft./ lbs.):||264 @ 2,600 rpm|
|Transmission:||Aisin AF40 Six-speed automatic|
|Drive Train:||Transversely mounted front engine / Front-Wheel drive.|
|Suspension:||Front – independent, MacPherson strut-type with side-loaded strut modules, specifically tuned coil springs, direct-acting stabilizer bar (hollow); hydraulic ride bushings.
Rear – Specifically adapted compound crank (torsion beam) with double-walled, U-shaped profile at the rear, Z-link.
Brakes: Power-assisted four-wheel discs with ABS and ESC.Tires: Goodyear Assurance 215/55 R17 All-season mounted on 5-slotted spoke (1 thin, 1 wide) alloy wheels.Wheelbase:105.7 inchesLength Overall:181.0 inchesWidth:70.7 inchesHeight:58.1 inchesCurb Weight:3,475 lbs.Fuel Capacity:15.6 gallonsEPA Mileage Estimates:27 mpg city / 46 mpg highwayDrag Coefficient:Not listed.0 – 60 mph: 8.6 seconds