By on July 11, 2011

GM still won’t comment on the matter, but a recent rumor that the Cruze’s two-liter diesel engine will be federalized for the 2013 model-year has been confirmed to the AP [via the DetN] by “two people briefed on GM product plans.” That motor, designed by VM Motori and built since 2006 by GM-Daewoo, was recently updated to Euro 6 standards, and according to the Holden website, the Australian-spec version makes 160 HP (at 3,800 RPM) and 236 lb-ft (at 1,750 RPM), while returning 42 MPG (combined with manual transmission) or 35 MPG (combined, automatic). Of course those aren’t EPA numbers, and they could easily change by the time the engine is certified for US emissions standards.

With VW capacity-constrained in its ability to sell more diesels in the US market while enjoying take rates near 75% on the Jetta Sportwagon, GM clearly thinks there’s room to jump into the diesel game and offer efficiency that the AP says “would rival the the popular Toyota Prius gas-electric hybrid.” But will those numbers, and more importantly the VM’s notorious roughness (Australia’s The Motor Report notes “It’s pretty clattery from outside, and an old-school diesel rattle can be heard inside the cabin when accelerating”), be as attractive two years from now as a VW TDI is today? Just as importantly, does this herald the coming of the Cruze wagon as well?

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55 Comments on “Cruze Diesel “Confirmed” For 2013...”


  • avatar
    FloridaSteve

    About time. Fuel efficient diesels should have been flooding the marketplace five years ago. They never should have been legislated out. The Europeans have had the correct policies on this from the get-go. Better late than never I suppose.

  • avatar
    Acubra

    For all ya small Eurodiesel buffs out there a kind reminder – when you start punching numbers and calculate your savings, do not forget to throw the maintenance costs in the equation.
    Like replacing the particles filter and replacing the fuel additive (once in 60K or so). Or synthetic oil every now and then. Or when the fuel pump or injectors go kaput. Or whatever.

    According to my contact in Europe (Ireland) who spanners for a Renault/Nissan dealership, replacement of the said filter and the additive runs to the nice tune of 1000 Euros or so, labor included.

    • 0 avatar
      th009

      @Acubra, smaller cars (like Golf TDI, Jetta TDI and Audi A3 TDI) do not require the use of urea additive (Touareg and Audi Q7 do, on the other hand). It should be possible for the Cruze to pass emissions without the help of urea as well.

    • 0 avatar
      Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

      So how does that compare to regular valve jobs, spark plugs, distributors that go kaput, synthetic oil for high-revving sporty engines (and premium gas for high-compression motors)? Howabout on modern direct-injection turbocharged gasoline engines (only a decade or so later than diesel)?

      Diesels cost more up front due to their construction and relative rarity, but they historically are more reliable and last far longer (into the multilple kilohundred miles) than gasoline engines.

      • 0 avatar
        Acubra

        Valve jobs – ever heard of hydraulic lifters?
        Spark plugs – fraction of cost of any diesel injector or a glow plug.
        Sporty engines – so what is the percentage of these in the market?
        Premium gas is only 10-12% over the regular (at least in our neck of woods).
        Direct injection for gas engines – not a good example in terms of reliability or longevity.

        Diesels that lasted for “multilple kilohundred miles” without ingestion of tons of cash are a thing of the past, I’m afraid (I wish I were wrong though) – if EU experience is anything to go by. And remember, EU cars are _in general_ better maintained than here.

      • 0 avatar
        jaje

        Not all gasoline engines use hydraulic lifter mechanisms – most still use camshafts with rocker arms. The drive to make gasoline engines more efficient and powerful is to add more expensive technology from forced induction, direct injection technology (what diesels have had) and hybrid powertrains.

        If you want to laugh at something – laugh at the use of e85 gas engines that get 33% less fuel economy than normal gasoline…the same delta diesel enjoys over normal gasoline engines. You can’t deny that diesel fuel packs a greater punch and is much more reliable for compression ignition which there still are not any production compression ignition piston powered gasoline engines out there.

        Where did you get the proof that cars in the EU are treated / maintained better than in the US? Curious where that statement came from.

      • 0 avatar
        Mark45

        Gas engines are lasting over 200k, much longer than most people keep the car. Also 42 mpg is not exactly stellar, the Cruze Eco is rated for that now.

    • 0 avatar
      Truckducken

      Good points, but…Torque FTW!

    • 0 avatar
      Toad

      Diesel passenger car economics have probably changed with new emission requirements. In the trucking world the new (post 2010) diesels have turned out to be maintenance nightmares thanks to re-engineering to meet new emission requirements; if that experience carries over to passenger car (and pickup) diesels the economics may no longer work.

      You have to save an awful lot in fuel consumption to make up for the price of new fuel injectors, EGR valves, VGR turbo’s, or an exhaust catalyst. In a vehicle using 300-400 gallons of fuel yearly the numbers probably can’t work. Only if you are a very high mileage user can the purchase & maintenance cost be offset by the fuel savings.

      Too bad.

      • 0 avatar
        outback_ute

        Direct injection gasoline motors look to have similar maintenance issues and replacement parts costs unfortunately.

        Mark45 – note those economy figures are combined cycle, not highway. The highway figures are 53.5mpg manual and 45.2mpg automatic.

  • avatar
    azmtbkr81

    Screw the Cruze, put this engine in a small-ish pickup, please!

  • avatar
    HoldenSSVSE

    But will it come with a hand stitched ostritch leather interior too?

  • avatar
    mike978

    More choice for consumers – always a good thing. I hadn’t seen in any market a wagon version. Any news on that?

  • avatar
    Jimal

    I finally got a chance to drive a Cruze a couple weekends ago. A very nice car but the 1.4T has all the turbo lag of an old Saab 900 and its power is somewhat lacking once the boost is up. It is a car that cries out for a Diesel motor, especially if they can get close to those numbers. I like my TDI, though at 195k miles I have a hankering for something with a VR6. That doesn’t say I wouldn’t be interested in one of these in a couple years if the oil burner becomes available.

  • avatar
    MikeAR

    Just a question, is the Cruze the kiind of car that the original owner will want to own long enough to get any benefit from the diesel payback? Wouls a 1510-200k mile Cruze be something that would be possible or attractive to the new car buyer?

  • avatar
    BoredOOMM

    Will it be California Emissions Certified?

    I remember when the TDI was banned due to higher certs from California Air Resourse Boards.

  • avatar
    aristurtle

    Diesel’s fuel economy advantage starts falling apart if you measure the fuel by mass rather than volume.

  • avatar
    tced2

    Lack of refinement aside, is the VM Motori diesel reliable? reasonable to maintain?
    According to the VM Motori website, the 2.0L diesel is used in a Chevy Captiva.

    • 0 avatar
      HoldenSSVSE

      Nope, its as noisy as a Singer sewing machine, it is as stinky as a skunk, it vibrates like a bed in a cheap hotel, and you’ll be lucky to go 20,000 miles before the turbo needs replacement.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadEd

        I have no knowledge of reliability, but I spent about a week with one while on vacation about a month ago (diesel Captiva, automatic). Yes, you could tell it was a diesel on start-up, but it wasn’t very noisy. The powertrain was very well matched to the vehicle, which was generally carrying 4 or more passengers (you can get a 3rd row in this asian market Equinox…nice package). I thought it pulled well, and was quite zippy. It certainly didn’t feel like an inline 6, but vibration in this installation was not an issue.

        Forget installation in the Cruze, which is already efficient. Chevy needs this engine in the Equinox now!

  • avatar
    MarcKyle64

    Chevrolet needs to bring back the S-10 and put this motor in it.

  • avatar
    stryker1

    so the jetta tdi is going to have some competition? Cool…

  • avatar
    alexndr333

    Does anyone wonder if GM will introduce this car the old GM way: They’ll ignore all the new expectations people have for diesels and offer a product that clatters and shudders because that’s what diesels do. Ignoring all the recent work done by the Europeans to produce smooth, quiet oil-burners, Chevy will tout their new diesel Cruze and then wonder why it gets a bad writeup. The latest diesel engines have moved the needle on NVH but I fear that GM won’t have gotten the memo. I hope it doesn’t turn out that way, but it’s hard not to think so.

  • avatar
    Russcar

    I’m hoping that this diesel Cruze will then open the flood gates for other manufacturers to do the same, especially Honda.

    • 0 avatar
      Mark45

      If the exhaust fumes out of the cars is anything like the fumes from the new diesel pickups I don’t want them. I hate getting behind diesels.

      • 0 avatar
        th009

        Ever been bothered by Jetta/Golf Wagon fumes? Those are probably 75% diesels.

      • 0 avatar
        mazder3

        The trucks are stinky ’cause the BUFF behind the wheel has “modified” everything for “moar power!!!” or to “really piss off those enviroweenies”.

      • 0 avatar
        MikeAR

        Mazder3, as opposed to the BUFF behind the wheel of your car? I’d rather hang out them than a snob like you.

      • 0 avatar
        mazder3

        Name calling, mikeAR, really? Are you that thin skinned? I’m a snob??? I’m a blue collar worker who drives truck and mower for a living. Red neck, white socks, and blue ribbon beer, buddy. What do you do besides yelling at people online who don’t agree with your worldview? Get out of your basement and get a life, troll.

      • 0 avatar
        Acubra

        I’ll take a trucker “buff” any time (there aren’t too many of them) over retards in battered civics, preludes and just about any rice-cooker on wheels with loud exhaust and lowered suspension, with hoodies firmly glued to the driver’s heads. These “youths” seem to recently breed like rabbits (and having an IQ level of one).

        OK, rant over.

      • 0 avatar
        mazder3

        @Acubra Same mindset, different vehicles. They are as common in my area as slammed rice is in yours. And equally annoying.

      • 0 avatar
        MikeAR

        Well, I apolgize, obviously you’re a very special person who has special dispensaton to judge people you don’t even know. Got anymore wisdom to impart to the rest of us? Look jerk until you started you’re little rant this was pretty civil, but you just had to screw it all up just t show how superior you are didn’t you? If you look up internet troll, you fit the definition.

      • 0 avatar
        mazder3

        MikeAR

        I went to school with these people. I have worked alongside these people. You don’t know me and you don’t know them.

        Come off it. Go argue with Psar or PCH. I come to TTAC for a laugh not an argument.

      • 0 avatar
        rpn453

        Settle down boys. Can’t we just agree that the fart-pipe ricers and smoke-belching rednecks are equally annoying, especially those who subject us to the horrible monotonous drone that comes with an automatic transmission? Of course, the Harleys are far more abrasive than either . . .

      • 0 avatar
        Advance_92

        There you go; something we can all agree to hate.

      • 0 avatar
        srogers

        Sorry to continue this, but can tell me what BUFF stands for?

      • 0 avatar
        mazder3

        @srogers BUFF stands for “big ugly fat fella”, if you’re being nice.

  • avatar
    Steve65

    If they don’t design the emissions system to allow using biodiesel, I’m uninterested. As will be a fair chunk of the diesel car buyers I know.

  • avatar
    FromaBuick6

    I don’t believe it. A closer inspection reveals mediocre mileage and lousy NVH. There’d be zero reason to choose this over the Eco model. And for GM, who single-handedly killed the U.S. market for diesels with the Black Plague that was the Olds LF9, to even ponder such a move just isn’t plausible.

  • avatar

    Sheesh… what a cranky bunch on the comment boards here at TTAC.

    Between the gang-up on the X-cars (roundly deserved) and the speculation about the inferiority of a product that’s not even for sale yet, GM can’t catch a break. Maybe this tells us all we ever need to know about managing a portfolio of brands. In the summer I use a Porsche 928 as a daily driver and I can assure all who will listen that this car is wonderful, but only so after the expense of THOUSANDS of dollars above the purchase price. So it’s not perfect (surprise!) but I like it.

    Chevy has a really nice car with the Cruze. It could never be the pile of junk that a Citation or Cavalier was, nor the embarrasment that the Caddy Cimmaron was – 320i beater my a%s! The Cruze is nicely finished and up-to-date. What Chevy in any other segment offers this? Diesel makes sense. Your experience with this car, should you choose to buy one, will be determined by the dealer. Choose well, and drive happy. Choose poorly, by price alone, and suffer. It’s that simple.

  • avatar
    vento97

    >Of course those aren’t EPA numbers, and they could easily change by the time the engine is certified for US emissions standards.

    In other words, expect lower numbers after EPA “certification”…

  • avatar
    brettc

    Awesome news if they actually sell it. Like I said before, I’ll believe it when I see a diesel Cruze on dealer lots.

    As for the maintenance costs, no one really knows what current diesels will cost to keep going. But in the VW world, the current 2.0 litre TDI that’s being offered in the U.S. will likely get expensive as the years pass by. Even without having to use urea, there are a lot of emission devices that can fail and cost a lot to replace. That’s why I’m keeping my VW ALH TDIs for now… There is a lot of knowledge out there about that generation of engine, and there’s no crazy emission controls on it (just a basic catalytic converter). Plus some new TDIs have been suffering from self-destructing fuel systems and no one is quite sure of the root cause yet. Although it seems to happen more commonly if someone puts gas in the tank.

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    In 2006 you could buy a Jeep Liberty in the US with a 4 cylinder VM Motori diesel that made 160 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. It wasn’t the same engine used in the Cruze, as it was DOHC instead of SOHC and larger in displacement. It was a common rail turbo though. It returned 20 mpg in actual use, and it wasn’t terribly slow. It was coarse and rattly though, generations behind the Germans in refinement.


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