Chevrolet Cruze 2.0 VCDi turbodiesel (Europe)
Here at Family Car Guide we know readers are pretty knowledgeable and up-to-speed on many up-and-coming products and developments in the automotive world. When you love cars, you want to know all about them. Even if you don’t love cars, you need them a great deal of the time. So it’s with more than just a little bit of interest that we’re following a story and multiple reader comments that appeared in Green Car Reports (one of the High Gear Media titles) about GM’s plans to introduce a passenger car in the U.S. with a clean diesel engine – the company’s first since 1985.
Chevrolet Cruze 2.0 VCDi turbodiesel (Europe)Enlarge Photo
That car is the 2013 Chevrolet Cruze compact sedan.
With oil prices spiking amid unrest in the Middle East and North Africa, a logical question is what continued volatility and price increases will do to the automotive market. Following General Motors’ release of fourth-quarter earnings, GM CFO Chris Liddell told Bloomberg and Fox Business in response to questions about higher oil prices affecting demand for its vehicles that oil has been an issue for a long time. That isn’t new, but it is more obvious at times like this. But in terms of the long-term trend, GM has a three-part strategy that it will continue to pursue:
- First, moving toward alternative forms of propulsion, including electrics and hybrids. Liddell cited the recently introduced Chevrolet Volt as the company’s best current example.
- Second, moving to smaller vehicles like the Chevrolet Cruze, and continuing to launch really good smaller vehicles.
- Third, and most important, improving the fuel efficiency of the whole fleet. Liddell mentioned GM crossovers, now achieving the low 30s in miles per gallon, and the Buick LaCrosse, 37 mpg.
How does this relate to reports of a diesel-powered Cruze model? It highlights one aspect of GM’s three-part strategy, for one thing. No, diesels won’t take over the automaker’s product portfolio, but they may take on a larger presence depending on consumer demand.
As reader comments to the Green Car Reports article show, the price of the diesel-powered Cruze needs to be in the $20,000 range and the miles per gallon needs to be better than the 42 mpg highway that Cruze Eco already gets with a turbocharged 1.4-liter in-line four-cylinder gasoline engine. These seem to be reasonable suggestions.
It will be interesting, to say the least, to see how this all plays out. Clean-diesel power in a compact Chevy sedan -- for fans of clean diesel, perhaps it can’t come too soon.
For more information on the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze, see this review in The Car Connection.