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Over 1,357 Mostly Highway, Miles, We Get 42 MPG

Over 1,300 miles in a diesel-powereed Chevy Cruze between Michigan and West Virginia, our columnist find a deeper appreciation for oil burners.

Tessa Baughman didn't exactly set any speed records on a recent visit to her Arkansas family from Michigan, unless you factor in the time saved on not filling up a few times.

As if one of the world's largest automakers needed additional advertisement, General Motors now is getting big-time support from biodiesel advocates for being the first US automaker to have made one of its light-duty models be able to run on diesel with a 20 percent biodiesel mix, i.e. B20. The National Biodiesel Board calls GM "proactive and progressive" for making its 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel B20-ready. Biodiesel Magazine even goes so far as to instruct its readers to "tell GM thanks."

General Motors has announced the 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel will return 46 miles per gallon highway based on Environmental Protection Agency estimates, besting original projections by some 4 mpg. As GM points out, the figure is better than "any non-hybrid passenger car in America," including the Volkswagen Passat TDI at 43 mpg and the Volkswagen Jetta TDI at 42 mpg. The Toyota Prius, meanwhile, still bests the Cruze Diesel thanks to the hybrid's 48 mpg highway rating.

The 2014 Chevrolet Cruze will have three different engine options soon, including the new 2.0-liter diesel powerplant that is debuting here at the Chicago Auto Show. The other powertrain choices include the made-in-Toledo 1.4 turbo gas engine used in the Eco and upper trim models and the 1.8-liter gas engine (made in Toluca, Mexico; it is also built elsewhere for other vehicles). The diesel is made in Kaiserslautern, Germany. In short, this is an example of GM's global network, and the oil-burne

Ever since General Motors confirmed plans to produce a diesel-powered Cruze back in 2011, we've been eagerly awaiting its arrival. And as part of the 2013 Chicago Auto Show, Chevrolet has pulled back the cover on its oil-burning compact sedan, set to go on sale in the near future with a starting price of $25,695, not including $810 for destination.

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