It's coming to the U.S. in 2013, so that means it's time to start figuring out what to expect of the diesel Chevrolet Cruze.

To find out, Detroit News reporter Scott Burgess set out on a journey with a simple goal: To see if the oil-burning Chevy Cruze diesel could make its way through eight European countries on a single tank of fuel. Chevy's diesel four-door completed the trek with fuel left to spare, but there's more to the story.

First, a look at the numbers: 14.0 gallons of diesel were consumed over the 587-mile journey, which translates to 42 miles per gallon. While that's not bad for a Cruze, we'd reckon a Volkswagen Jetta TDI could match that mark.

In all fairness, the diesel Cruze that Burgess drove was a Euro-spec version, not one of Chevy's U.S.-bound oil-burning compacts. But, as Burgess points out, his Euro-spec diesel Cruze was a noisy machine, with fuel injectors that "click with authority and volume." This should be addressed before the oil-burning Cruze arrives at dealerships in the States. Does Burgess' real-world diesel Cruze road test make you more or less giddy for its Stateside arrival? Drop us your thoughts in Comments below.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 47 Comments
      Gordon Chen
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm just gonna mention this, because a lot of people are looking at the real world figures for this diesel vs the EPA figures for the cruze eco. This is unfair. You need to compare real world vs real world. http://www.fueleconomy.gov/mpg/MPG.do?action=mpgData&vehicleID=30989&browser=true&details=on According to this link, from an average of 12 drivers, the average of mixed driving is 42.6 mpg. This means the diesel's 42 mpg is the same, except 1) it costs more upfront 2) pollutes more since it's diesel 3) costs more since diesel costs more 4) urea tank is an additional cost. If they want the diesel Cruze to succeed in the US, the must implement the Cruze Eco technology to this car. Otherwise it'll get cannibalized by the Cruze Eco.
      mexicanjetta
      • 3 Years Ago
      Why is the diesel fuel economy so awful? I thought diesels were supposed to be more efficient and cheaper to run. i guess not.
        Rotation
        • 6 Months Ago
        @mexicanjetta
        42mpg combined isn't awful. It's about 50mpg in imperial gallons (what you're used to hearing European cars measured in) and is good for a car that size.
        EVnerdGene
        • 6 Months Ago
        @mexicanjetta
        EGR - Exhaust Gas Recirculation - recirculate exhaust gas to further burn NOx and particulates SCR - Selective Catalyst Reduction - restriction on the exhaust filtration systems - again restricting exhaust, and clogging. Needs periodic maintenance. Most systems clean themselves somewhat - clog, and then poop of soot cloud - most excellent smokescreens in intersections urea injection - doesn't cut efficiency like the rest, but is an added cost and maintenance item. Emits ammonia into the air - you know the pig piss smell of bums - we all love it. Add up all this krap - and diesels are getting less efficient every time more stringent pollution standards are placed on them. Gasoline (petrol) engines will soon pass diesels in efficiency; and with lighter, less expensive engines, and cleaner output.
          Rotation
          • 6 Months Ago
          @EVnerdGene
          Your Touraeg comparison isn't apt. The hybrid Touraeg is much more capable than the Diesel. We're talking about 380HP (hybrid) versus 225HP (Diesel). Particle filtration does not reduce particulates from Diesels to below the level of gas engines. You use fuel consumption as a proxy for efficiency. But Diesel fuel contains 15-20% more energy than gas does. You're comparing volume of fluids, not efficiency. I dunno where you got the idea the 535i is slower than the 535d. It's just not true. And saying the CO2 is far lower on the Diesels is way off. Let's look at the C350. The Diesel is 154g/km. The gas version is 159g/km. Even though the Diesel uses less fuel, the fuel has more energy and carbon in it per unit volume.
          • 6 Months Ago
          @EVnerdGene
          Not all diesels require urea injection. My 2011 Golf TDI does NOT need it to meet emissions requirements.
          wxman
          • 6 Months Ago
          @EVnerdGene
          Particle filtration ABSOLUTELY DOES reduce particulates from Diesels to below the level of gas engines. If you do a little research, you see that's a fact. As far as CO2 emissions are concerned, I'm fully aware that diesel fuel contains more carbon than gasoline. Actually, it's more like 10%-11% though, so you're embellishing. Furthermore, there are more CO2 emissions produced by the refining (well-to-pump) of gasoline than there is diesel, even according to Toyota. CO2 emissions produced in the well-to-tank phase are just as much of a concerned as CO2 emissions from the tailpipes (tank-to-wheels). The 535d is faster (0-100 km/hr) than the 535i according to BMW data (http://www.bmw.com/com/en/newvehicles/5series/sedan/2010/showroom/compare.html?model_1=520i&model_2=520i), and BMW also says that the 535d is faster 0-100 km/hr than the ActiveHybrid 5 (http://www.bmw.com/com/en/newvehicles/5series/sedan_active_hybrid/2011/showroom/technical_data/index.html).
          wxman
          • 6 Months Ago
          @EVnerdGene
          EGR is used on gassers as well. SCR and urea injection are used in the same emission control system on diesels. You're probably thinking of NOx storage catalysts (NSC) that are used on smaller TDI models like the Jetta. The filtration system (DPF) is so effective that it results in diesels having FAR lower particle emissions (at least an order of magnitude) than the best gassers. Even during regeneration, the particle emissions are about the same as the best gasser, and that's for a relatively very short duration. And I doubt gassers will ever match the efficiency of diesels unless technology like HCCI becomes practical. Here are a few current European models comparing the diesel version with the petrol version (with the same or nearly the same 0-100 km/hr performance per manufacturers' data)... Audi A8 3.0 TDI – 6.6 l/100 km (6.1 sec) (27.5% lower FC) Audi A8 3.0 TFSI – 9.1 l/100 km (6.1 sec) MB E250 CDI Blue Efficiency - 4.9 l/100 km (7.8 sec) (25.8% lower FC) MB E250 CGI Blue Efficiency - 6.6 l/100 km (7.8 sec) MB S350 CDI BlueTEC L -6.2 l/100 km (7.1 sec) (19.5% lower FC) MB S350 CGI Blue Efficiency L -7.7 l/100 km (7.1 sec) MB C350 CDI Blue Efficiency -5.9 l/100 km (6.0 sec) (15.7% lower FC) MB C350 CGI Blue Efficiency -7.0 l/100 km (6.0 sec) MB C250 CDI Blue Efficiency -4.8 l/100 km (7.1 sec) (28.4% lower FC) MB C250 CGI Blue Efficiency -6.7 l/100 km (7.2 sec) Audi A3 2.0 TDI – 4.9 l/100 km (7.6 sec) (24.6% lower FC) Audi A3 1.8 TFSI – 6.5 l/100 km (7.5 sec) BMW 520d – 4.7 l/100 km (8-speed auto) (8.1 sec) (26.6% lower FC) BMW 520i – 6.4 l/100 km (8-speed auto) (8.0 sec) BMW X3 35d – 6.1 g CO2/km (8-speed auto) (5.8 sec) (30.7% lower FC) BMW X3 35i – 8.8 g CO2/km (8-speed auto) (5.7 sec) BMW 535d – 5.4 l/100 km (8-speed auto) (5.5 sec) (28.9% lower FC) BMW 535i – 8.1 l/100 km (8-speed auto) (5.9 sec) All of the diesel versions of these models have DPF and most if not all of the petrol versions are GDI. Also, the CO2 emissions are far lower than the petrol versions based on the European (NEDC) official tests. Even the hybrid versions of some of these models can't match the diesel version in either fuel consumption or CO2 emssions... BMW 535d – 5.4 l/100 km (8-speed auto) (5.5 sec) (15.6% lower FC) BMW ActiveHybrid 5 – 6.4 l/100 km (8-speed auto) (5.9 sec) Even in the U.S. EPA 5-cycle fuel mileage tests, the hybrid versions of models which also have a diesel version can't match the diesel... http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/2008seleeng4f.jsp?year=2012&make=Volkswagen&model=Touareg%20Hybrid The 2011 Mercedes-Benz ML450 hybrid (discontinued for 2012) was certified 20 mpg city/24 mpg highway and the 2012 ML350 Bluetec is certified 20 city/27 highway.
      Gordon Chen
      • 6 Months Ago
      The 42+ for the Cruze Eco is mixed too.
      skierpage
      • 6 Months Ago
      @Gorden Chen, No it isn't! fueleconomy.gov says 2012 Chevrolet Cruze Eco: 28 mpg city / 42 hwy / 33 combined. (Slightly worse than the Golf/Jetta/A3 diesel, which are all 30 mpg city / 42 hwy / 34 combined.)
      Rotation
      • 6 Months Ago
      Auto companies don't hammer each other with patents like (say) cell phone companies do. VW doesn't have the market cornered on Diesel. A lot of the emissions technologies are driven by the trucking companies (Cummins) anyway. Large Diesel engines generally need urea, even from VW. As this is a small engine it probably won't need it to make US & CARB emissions.
      Tweaker
      • 6 Months Ago
      So-called "real world figures" are meaningless because you cannot control all the variables. Different fuel/tires/roads/surfaces/styles etc. The EPA shines at giving us a true comparison between models, even if our actual numbers are different.
      Gordon Chen
      • 6 Months Ago
      Does it matter if it needs a urea tank? The car is not worth it. Why would u get the diesel if the gasoline Eco gets the same mileage, while costing less up front, and better emissions, not ot mention slightly cheaper price of gas.
      imoore
      • 3 Years Ago
      Yesterday GM announced it was bringing the Colorado to the states (we're still waiting to see if the diesels are coming, too). Today, the Cruze diesel is coming here too. At least GM is bringing cars that make sense to the US. So what does that say about Ford? (No Ranger? No diesel Focus? Come on!)
      Ben Gaieck
      • 6 Months Ago
      My biggest worry is that GM will ruin the American Cruze diesel with a watered-down, and untested engine and automatic transmission combo and the performance will be lacking. I really do hope they offer the Euro-spec version, at least as an option. What other car can you get that will give you 42 mpg in mixed driving with 161 hp and 266 lbs of torque??
      Paul Bruce
      • 6 Months Ago
      A Volkswagen TDI Jetta should beat those figures slightly. I thought economy would be better than 42MPG because there were claims of 50MPG from one source. My former 2000 VW Beetle TDI would get close to 50MPG in favorable conditions and that was older technology. Of course it did not have emission devices choking down power and economy.
      mexicanjetta
      • 3 Years Ago
      42 mpg? Thats the same as the gasser. Whats the point?
        Pete K
        • 6 Months Ago
        @mexicanjetta
        His 587 miles weren't all on the highway...42 mpg mixed driving is pretty good IMO. Now, if only they would offer this with the Cruze Eco light-weight bits, active front grill and the start-stop tech from the overseas diesel Aveo...
      Paul P.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Stick or Auto? How much highway vs. city? If he's getting 42mpg in mixed driving with an auto, that's significantly better than the Eco. If he's getting 42mpg, all highway, with a stick car.......it's not as impressive.
        Rotation
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Paul P.
        Good question about the stick or auto, it's probably a stick but he doesn't say. As to city or highway, he drove 12 hours straight, and seemingly 587 miles in 2 days. That's going to be mostly highway miles.
        Gordon Chen
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Paul P.
        A lot of drivers report above the highway rating of 42 on MIXED driving for the Cruze Eco. The only way 42 mpg on this diesel is impressive is if it's all city.
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