2013 Chicago Auto ShowJust the Facts:
- The 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel will start at $25,695 when it goes on sale in the U.S. in May.
- The new turbodiesel is $1,910 more expensive than its closest competitor, the 2013 Volkswagen Jetta TDI.
- The Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel will come with a two-year maintenance plan that includes such things as oil changes and tire rotations.
CHICAGO — The 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel will start at $25,695, including an $810 destination charge, when it goes on sale in the U.S. in May. The Cruze diesel model debuts at the 2013 Chicago Auto Show.
The Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel is $1,910 more expensive than its closest competitor, the 2013 Volkswagen Jetta TDI. The base 2013 Jetta TDI starts at $23,785, including a $795 destination charge.
The Cruze diesel model is $7,755 more expensive than the base 2013 Chevrolet Cruze LS with a manual transmission. It is $5,205 more expensive than the base 2013 Chevrolet Cruze Eco with a six-speed manual transmission. The 2013 Cruze LS starts at $17,940, including an $810 destination charge. The 2013 Cruze Eco starts at $20,490, including shipping.
GM has not yet priced the standard 2014 Chevrolet Cruze.
The Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel will come with a two-year maintenance plan that includes such things as oil changes and tire rotations.
The EPA has not announced fuel economy numbers on the 2014 Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel, but General Motors said the car is expected to deliver 42 mpg on the highway. In comparison, the less expensive Cruze Eco with a manual transmission returns 28 mpg in city driving and 42 mpg on the highway.
The Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel, the first diesel model for Chevrolet in the U.S. since the 1986 Chevrolet Chevette diesel, debuts at a time when diesel fuel prices are outpacing gasoline pricing. The AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report this week pegged the average price for a gallon of diesel fuel at $3.98 versus $3.53 for gasoline.
In a media conference call earlier this week, GM officials were asked how they would sell a diesel Chevrolet under those circumstances.
"We have seen that diesel has been above gas," said Cristi Landy, director of Chevrolet small car and electrified vehicle marketing. "It's just something that we're going to have to work with. Customers will get past it. It's a difficult thing to predict these prices."
GM is pitching the Cruze diesel as "another fuel-efficient alternative to the portfolio."
Landy described the car as "more efficient than a hybrid and it doesn't compromise on performance."
The Cruze diesel is fitted with a 2.0-liter turbodiesel engine that produces an estimated 148 horsepower and an estimated 258 pound-feet of torque. The engine is linked to a six-speed automatic transmission, with no plans on tap for a manual-transmission version, the automaker said. GM said the car sprints from zero to 60 mph in 8.6 seconds. It has an "overboost" feature in which the maximum turbo boost pressure increases for about 10 seconds for "an added burst of acceleration."
GM has not released an estimate on the range of the Cruze diesel. Diesel vehicles typically have a better range than their gasoline-engine counterparts, meaning that buyers will spend less time filling up at the pump.
GM said it will gradually roll out the Cruze diesel throughout the U.S., starting in about 13 markets, including California, Oregon, Baltimore, Washington, D.C. and Boston.
"A lot of them line up with where we sell (Chevrolet) Silverado diesels," Landy said. "There is some correlation between those who would drive a diesel truck and have a diesel car in the garage. We've picked a few markets that are key. But that will be the first month or two and then we'll roll out (nationwide)."
She said the typical Cruze diesel buyer is expected to be "a person who is predisposed to diesel or aware of the benefits of diesel."
"They tend to be more male, higher educated, a little older," Landy said.
The Cruze diesel will be offered in one model only. Details include 17-inch alloy wheels, a rear spoiler, Aero Performance package and leather-appointed seating.
Edmunds says: GM brags that the 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel is the only domestic diesel passenger car in the U.S. It is also a great experiment for the Detroit automaker as it continues to study the diesel market in general, especially in terms of luxury vehicles.