DailyXY has a word-count, so let’s be succinct: forget what you think you know about diesel engines and fuel. The 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel is a winner at the gas pump and nobody’s fool out on the roads.
First the power: the 151hp from the turbo diesel four-cylinder engine may invite derision. But this compact weighs just 1,576kg. And the torque is that of a beefy V-6: 264 lb-ft. That’s more than enough to take on competitors for a lane change — even if you’re still hoping for good fuel economy despite some occasionally ‘enthusiastic’ driving.
Segue: back to the pump. The Cruze diesel’s Energuide ratings are 7.5 L/100km in the city. Your narrator, a competitive bitch in urban traffic, often did better. But on the highway, its rating is a jaw-dropping 4.2 L/100km. I never got that but was rarely over 5, which is still very good.
Inside, that rattling diesel engine noise is barely detectable. At speed, you can’t hear it. Furthermore, the handling is quite good. So if you regularly spend hours on the highways—say, a cross-town commute—consider a test drive.
This Clean Turbo Diesel line starts nearly $9,000 higher than the entry-level Cruze LS. So also consider how long you’ll take to cover the investment. On the other hand, diesels are maintaining their resale value very well these days.
And if you’re a green carpooler on that long commute? (Note: modern, ‘clean’ diesel contains 99.9% less sulfur than the filth you picture being belched from ‘70s-era 18-wheelers.) Invite your passengers on the test. See how they like getting into the rear and riding there. With 898mm of legroom, it’s tight.
Mind, that’s the back. The ride for the driver was a good balance between comfort and sporty accessibility to feel of the road—the leather bucket seats adjust well and offer decent views.
Of course speaking of views, there’s its looks. Yes, the Cruze is a bit of a plain Jane. That was fine even three years ago, but lately designers in the compact category have really started earning their paycheques. However, driver comfort, resale value and savings at the pump, should trump appearances. Besides, you’re on the inside.
2104 Chevrolet Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel
Model Base Price: $15,995
Trim Base Price: $24,945
As Driven: $27,810
Though a co-owner and former editor of DailyXY, Steven Bochenek is actually an advertising writer who does some journalism on the side. In 2011 he was accepted into the Automotive Journalists Association of Canada. His other interests include playing music, long-distance running, skiing and writing in the third person.
Photo courtesy of Chevrolet.