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Diesel Chevrolet Cruze coming to U.S. in 2013

Rumors of a diesel-powered Chevrolet Cruze have been floating around the Intertubes ever since the sedan’s launch last year, but now, we have the official word straight from General Motors: A diesel Cruze is definitely coming to the United States. Unfortunately, we won’t see the oil-burning Cruze until sometime in 2013, likely as part of the car’s mid-cycle refresh.

As of this writing, GM has yet to confirm any powertrain details, though earlier rumors had suggested that a 2.0-liter engine with 147 horsepower and 235 pound-feet of torque could be the powerplant of choice. In Australia, though, under the hood of the Holden Cruze, the 2.0-liter diesel is good for 160 hp and 265 lb-ft.

Since GM is using the new diesel model as a way to “bolster the already fuel-efficient Cruze lineup,” we wouldn’t be surprised if a less-powerful but more-efficient engine was offered. Currently, the Cruze Eco with a 1.4-liter turbocharged inline-four is good for 138 hp, 148 lb-ft and up to 42 miles per gallon on the highway.

What say you, readers? Could a diesel-powered Cruze hit the lofty 50 mpg mark? Give us your best fuel economy estimates in the comments, and hit the jump for GM’s official press release.

Chevrolet Confirms Diesel Variant for Cruze in 2013

DETROIT – Chevrolet confirmed today it will add a diesel variant to the Cruze lineup in North America in calendar year 2013. Diesel versions of the Cruze are currently being sold in Europe. Additional details on the Cruze diesel for North American markets will be released at a later date.

The diesel will bolster the already fuel-efficient Cruze lineup. Cruze Eco with a standard six-speed manual transmission, is the most fuel-efficient gas-powered/non-hybrid vehicle in America, with an EPA-rated 42 mpg on the highway.

Cruze recorded a total of 24,896 sales in the United States in June, the fifth consecutive month sales have exceeded 20,000. The success of the Cruze has increased Chevrolet’s total share of the compact-car segment from 9.5 percent a year ago to 11.9 percent for the first five months of 2011, even as the segment size grew 19 percent.

Founded in Detroit in 1911, Chevrolet celebrates its centennial as a global automotive brand with annual sales of about 4.25 million vehicles in more than 120 countries. Chevrolet provides consumers with fuel-efficient, safe and reliable vehicles that deliver high quality, expressive design, spirited performance and value. The Chevrolet portfolio includes iconic performance cars such as Corvette and Camaro; dependable, long-lasting pickups and SUVs such as Silverado and Suburban; and award-winning passenger cars and crossovers such as Spark, Cruze, Malibu, Equinox and Traverse. Chevrolet also offers “gas-friendly to gas-free” solutions including Cruze Eco and Volt. Cruze Eco offers 42 mpg highway while Volt offers 35 miles of electric, gasoline-free driving and an additional 344 miles of extended range. Most new Chevrolet models offer OnStar safety, security and convenience technologies including OnStar Hands-Free Calling, Automatic Crash Response and Stolen Vehicle Slowdown. More information regarding Chevrolet models can be found at

Skeptical about this. On one hand, it may bring about a small diesel “revolution” in the US, on the other hand, it could be a total flop. Older buyers will think back to the Chevette and other small diesels of the 1980s and/or think of the semis that line our freeways.

I’d be happy if it’s close tp 50 mpg. It’s also about time the U.S. got dieseled in a domestic passenger car.
I hope people will keep an open mind and not equate this to the converted diesels of the 70-80’s

As do I, but that’s also why I mentioned people relating new diesels to semis and the diesels of yore.

I’ll let you know in 2 weeks what the mileage works out to. I’m going to london next week and have reserved a Cruze diesel .

I don’t know the price of diesel elsewhere, but given the cost around here and the initial investment and without govt. support, I see no reason to consider one. It will have to do way better than 50 mpg. I take that back. It may actually be a better performance car, tow vehicle or plow truck. Wonder where this American car will be made ?

"Wonder where this American car will be made ?"
Lordstown, Ohio. That’s in the United States.

Baseball, apple pie, and Chevrolet . . .

Why The Long Face ?
July 12, 2011 Detroit Free Press - "The 2011 Cruze compact sedan creates a stir at the GM plant in Lordstown, Ohio, which would build the diesel Cruze. Sales could be as early as 2013. / DAVID MAXWELL/Bloomberg

I wonder how much the weight difference between a 1.4l gas vs 2l diesel affects the handling.
I would think the diesel has an iron block.

Am I imagining things, or did Chevrolet once offer a diesel engine in the Chevette?

May not have been the Chevette…but they were offering Diesels in some of their vehicles…I think it was the Oldsmobile division that built the Diesels (V6 and V8). But they were extremely unreliable. Crankshaft bearings was a very common problem if I remember correctly.

One rumor was that GM converted gas engines to run on Diesel…Not sure if that’s true…but it wouldn’t surprise me.

“…on the other hand, it could be a total flop.”

Maybe not. GM has been providing small diesels around the word for some time now. And the management is not the stodgy group that brought us the cars of the early 2000s. GM listened to a growing community of drivers that want diesel options in small cars. I think the glass is more than half full instead of 1/4 empty.

I owned an early 1980s Chevette diesel that was equipped with an excellent 1.8 Isuzu diesel that was not a converted gasoline engine. The car itself was an Americanized Opel City that probably was a great handling German car as an Opel but with a softened suspension for GM marketing peoples’ tastes at that time that left it with vague steering that needed constant correction on the highway. It was good for about 42 mpg on a long freeway trip at around 70-75 mph.

Older VW diesels were based on their gasoline engine design and were done well.

I expect the new Cruze diesel to be a novelty for those that want a diesel but overall hardly more economical than a similar size gasoline car as it is for VWs now and in my view, a Prius vs a Corolla.

First Chevette I ever saw…didn’t have a back seat…I asked my friend what happened to the back seat…It was OPTIONAL equipment…That just shocked me.

“First Chevette I ever saw…didn’t have a back seat…I asked my friend what happened to the back seat…It was OPTIONAL equipment…That just shocked me.”

My Father-in-Law would have bought it. When my wife went to college, she commuted. Her dad bought a car for her. He went to the Dodge dealer up the street and asked what the cheapest car he had on the lot was. She ended up with a red Duster with Armstrong power steering. If the Chevette had been available that summer for less than the Duster, it would have been hers.

bio diesel oil and fuels has made a great impact on engines for reliability extending rebuild times. Requires a rebuild. Any trucker running the bio engine option can tell you same.

Who ever posted about the gm diesels for cars is correct. All makers offer a diesel motor options on trucks. still but those old diesels on converted motors were not bad but it takes changing the oil more regularly than gas motors like every 1000 miles maybe 1500 but not 3500.

This why the bio diesel oil is important and cheap to grow usable crop.

Wha Who?

Thank you for providing the information that there was indeed a Chevrolet Chevette diesel. In my advanced age, I sometimes think I imagine things that really didn’t exist. I do remember that the Chevette Scooter model did not have a rear seat. However, I don’t think that this was a cheap as Kaiser’s Henry J making an outside trunk lid optional equipment. On the cheap Henry J, you reached the trunk through the back seat;

GM like any global marketer has provided diesels around the world…manufactured in China and elsewhere. So like “What Who” reminds us, if they decide to have the motor built by Isuzu again or use the Chinese diesel they do now in Europe models, it could be “worth a look”. If they decide to change the head only on an American made gas engine, oops again. Assembling it in Lordstown from foreign derived or cosponsored drive train components, puts it right in line with the Fusion and many other makes and models Including everyone you can think of.

. . . if they decide to have the motor built by Isuzu again or use the Chinese diesel they do now in Europe models, it could be “worth a look”.

Asian cars and technology good
American cars and technology bad

While this was perhaps more true at one time I think it’s time to move beyond this type of thinking. I have owned cars with American built, German Built, and Asian (Isuzu) built engines, and I have learned to keep an open mind. The nation of origin didn’t predict reliability.

The Cruze is selling like crazy. Take a look at the Australian version and see how cool and popular they are there (they’ve had them for a while). If I was looking for a little car or a little car with a diesel I’d have no qualms buying a U.S. built Cruze (with a diesel, too), regardless whether the engine was Asian, German, or U.S. built.

The times they are a changin’ or rather the times they have changed. Welcome to modern era. Many folks with their heads in the sand will have to learn.
Asian cars and technology good
American cars and technology good

The biggest problem I have with foreign cars (German, European, Asian brands) is the total lack of dealer support in my area.


“American cars and technology bad”

Your assumption is incorrect. Please don’t read too much into it. GM made a poor decision putting it’s name on the IMO, poor Asian Aveo amoung other things. It’s decision making that has led to the bailout, not capability. It has nothing to do with Asian technology what ever that means when anyone can partner with anyone else. See John Deere and GM and their decades long partnership with foreign manufacturers. It isn’t new; just finally realized by some.

GM has long partnered with Isuzu with mixed results but has done well with their diesel motors.That decision was a good one. So good, the best plow trucks in the 3/4 ton and less I feel is a Chevy/GMC with them. So good a decision, it has left Toyota scratching their heads and loosing sales regardless of how potent they make their gas engine. So good they are doing the same and partnering with Isuzu as well to perhaps power the first American diesel Tundra as their own diesels they feel can’t match them in the American market.

If GMC decides to use one of their “already” safe subcontractors, foreign or not (I believe Isuzu has a domestic plant) to supply their diesels, that would be a good decision for those looking at the new models. The politically correct " I would have no qualms" buying one means little. It means more if I hear, " I just bought a new model from GM because I trust them now".

The difference is, I don’t recognize a difference among all manufacturers regardless of their Asian, German or American sounding names. They buy from each other without reservation, why shouldn’t I ?

Isuzu is NOT strictly Asian…40% is owned by GM.