By on February 7, 2013

 

Some rough, back of the napkin calculations based on available information suggest that the Chevrolet Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel has a break-even point fit for Methuselah

Rather than blindly buy into the “rah-rah Europe” hype that surrounds so much of the diesel discourse, we decided to analyze just what kind of cost savings can be had by picking the diesel over an equivalent Cruze 2LT with the 1.4L Ecotec turbo engine. For argument’s sake, we used TrueCar’s formula of driving 15,000 miles per year, though we used Chicago, IL as our sample for gas and diesel prices. The lowest prices found on GasBuddy was $3.50 for regular and $3.80 for diesel respectively.

Since city and combined figures haven’t been announced yet for the Cruze diesel, I decided to only use the highway figures for a similarly equipped 2LT . As the calculations show, the Cruze diesel does use a smaller quantity of fuel annually, but that’s offset by the price premium one is required to pay for diesel. The significant delta in the MSRP of the two vehicles is another blow against the oil-burning Cruze. With a mere $22 in annual fuel savings and a $2,550 price gap, it would take over a century -roughly 115 years – for a potential owner to “break even” on the Cruze diesel.

GM has only released the highway mpg figure (42 mpg) so far. But even if one repeats the exercise using the Jetta TDI’s fuel economy numbers (30/42/34 mpg) for the Cruze diesel, it would still take roughly a decade to break even and save about $255 annually over a gasoline Cruze. Green cars aren’t necessarily about the financial proposition (see: Toyota Prius for the best example), but the Cruze diesel is attempting to lure away extremely loyal buyers in a niche segment with very low opportunities for “green status signalling” (i.e. letting everyone know you’re saving baby polar bears via your consumption choices, ala the Prius). In light of all this, it seems that the Cruze Diesel is facing a dim future of slow sales and plenty of cash on the hood to help move them.

Edit: The data is in the photo gallery below, but commenter redav created this chart as well showing the cost-per-mile breakdown.

 

 

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165 Comments on “If You’ve Got 115 Years To Spare, The Chevrolet Cruze Diesel Makes Sense...”


  • avatar
    xflowgolf

    Diesel drivers generally do a lot more than 15K per year. Anecdotally I drive my TDI ~35K/year. Given that, the highway # also becomes a lot more meaningful than the average, of which EPA estimates tend not to favor TDI’s.

    Secondly, the diesel gives a premium driving experience. Gobs of torque make for effortless commuting. The mistake most people make is in assuming that choosing a diesel is a zero sum game based solely on saving $$ at the pump.

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      +1 – also bear in mind that the real world fuel economy needs to be assessed as the Jetta TDi seems to out perform its EPA figures more readily than the gasoline model.
      Depreciation may be less so that would reduce the price difference.
      And lastly driving fun and performance with all that torque means it doesn’t have to make economic sense, just not be ruinously more expensive. A 10% premium ($2500 out of $25K) may be OK for some people.

    • 0 avatar
      nic_mach

      You’ve totally nailed it. Diesels are bought by people like turbos, for irrational reasons but also just because they’re preferred. If people pay an extra $1k for a special color, why not for an engine that is actually a different, possibly better, experience? Why do people buy Lexuses instead of Toyotas, after all?

    • 0 avatar
      Landcrusher

      It can’t be inconsequential to the 30k a year crowd how much time is lost stopping for fuel. Diesel manufacturers would be smart to consider larger tanks.

      • 0 avatar
        MeaCulpa

        That’s the second best thing about diesels, most diesels have a 1000km+ range, a diesel is also the closest thing to a US style V8 you can get with only 2l of displacement.

    • 0 avatar

      That’s me. I drive 30k/yr. My 25 mpg car wasn’t a pig, but my 40 mpg TDi is significantly less money out of pocket on a weekly basis. Yes, the TDi cost more than a base golf, but a better comparison for equipment levels is the GTi.

      A TDi is very quiet-amazingly so. (I had an A1 and A2 diesel). The torque makes highway work like old school v8. You don’t win drag races, but in normal driving, it is fast enough, and in city traffic, the biggest issue is wheelspin.

      Choice is limited. Small Car, Tdi. Medium car, 335d and large car, E class. It’s almost like they had a beer somewhere in Germany to make this decision. Competition in this space would be welcome.

      I drove a week in Europe, and friends followed in a 318i. Our 320d, over that week, was almost $200 less in fuel-If you ever can, see Southern Germany, and the Bodensee. We drove fast, because we could, so our mileage was poor…but it was vacation gas.

      Diesel is the opposite of Hybrid. Hybrid is good if you drive set distances or short trips. Diesel is better if, like me, a 200 mile day is normal, and that hybrid battery pooped out 150 miles back.

      Yes, I bought a manual diesel almost wagon. Do I get a TTAC Badge ?

  • avatar
    Remi

    The price difference for the VW is about the same (give or take $2500 more for the diesel engine), yet they sell very well and with a lot less incentive.

    So your whole argument rests on VW customer being extremely loyal rather than not having any other choices for diesel vehicles (other than other, more expensive german cars…).

    I also find that diesels tend to do better than EPA whereas smaller turbo gasoline engines do much worse.

    • 0 avatar
      icemilkcoffee

      Agreed. VW has been the only game in town for affordable diesel passenger cars. It’s not a matter of loyalty so much as ‘captive audience’. I bet there are plenty of buyers who would consider diesels, but are scared away from VAG’s legendary reliability.

  • avatar
    jjster6

    I’ve never owned a diesel car but drove a diesel Volvo S40 in Europe for three weeks and about 3500 KM. I found that real world fuel mileage was very good and seemed better than a comparable gas car (but I don’t have any hard numbers). Also, I enjoyed the car as a highway driver. At home at the time I had a Mazda 3 (GT model) and I believe the cars were closely related. The Mazda 3 drove better but it seemed like I was getting better mileage out of the S40.

    So what do the diesel Jetta owners say? Is real life experience better than the back of the envelope calculation?

  • avatar
    Advance_92

    For years VW has had the lower priced diesel market to itself and done pretty well with it. I’d think we should all welcome the Cruze diesel if only to see if there is the opportunity for competition in what has so far been VW’s exclusive domain.

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      You took the words right out of my mouth. How can more choice be bad?

      Granted, this may not make sense for certain types of drivers, nor does it give the greens status signaling, either.

      But for the folks who really pile on the miles, another choice in diesel cars can’t be bad. I know several who have long circuits (mostly sales), and they generally own TDI’s of some vintage. If this car can compete effectively with them, this may be a gateway to more (inexpensive) diesel cars for us in North America.

  • avatar
    magicboy2

    Isn’t this sort of disingenuous without accounting for the extra features that come in the diesel car’s trim?

    Furthermore, if actual tests reveal that the diesel has a meaningful advantage in the real world (as opposed to the estimates your’e working off of here), will you be publishing a retraction?

    • 0 avatar

      1) They are both 2LT trim levels

      2) Yes, I will do this exercise again once the official numbers are out. I would have rather had them available right now, but I don’t, hence the “back of the napkin” approximations here.

      • 0 avatar
        Rental Man

        We can probably add the new Mazda 6 oil burner into this calculation.
        When going Diesel we should double the Miles per year to 30,000 and maybe get an estimated cost over 6 years / 180000 miles. And residual. A high miles Diesel has more demand vs. the gas version.

  • avatar
    ToxicSludge

    I was at one time looking into buying another diesel but since I no longer drive to much I no longer see the point.Too bad they came out with to little to late in my case.

  • avatar
    SV

    An important point to consider is that the 1.4 turbo in the Cruze performs below its EPA ratings in the real world, whereas the diesel is likely to do the opposite.

    I’m considering this car, but not being a wagon is hurting its case – plus I don’t think I could live with that C-pillar DLO fail.

    • 0 avatar
      jaje

      Profit: First off GM is likely including more profit in the Cruze TD as it is considered a premium option for the car. VW does the same thing and admits that its TDI models make a higher margin than all other models. Thus, the MSRP is higher and will continue to be so until there’s ample competition to bring down costs of both the vehicles and the cost of fuel (diesel costs more mainly b/c of lower supply and less competition).

      EPA ratings for a diesel and a gas don’t work well. The Cruze should easily hit 50 mpg highway whereas I’d expect the gas 1.4 turbo to not hit its perfect EPA rated 42 mpg. The funny thing is EPA ratings for gas engines seem higher than reality (meaning you won’t likely get close to EPA), whereas with diesels the EPA rating is very low (meaning you get much higher ratings).

      Diesel really shines when the going gets tough. Under heavy load (hard acceleration / high speed / car is loaded with passengers and stuff) the diesel really shines as its mpg doesn’t get affected as much as it makes its maximum torque at low RPM. The Audi R8 LeMans diesels got ~ 45% better mpg than the gas engine it replaced but at the same speed – which made ALMS limit their tank size (to 13 gallons) which was almost half that of their gas competitors.

      • 0 avatar
        nikita

        Interesting, in that light truck diesels tend to be most economical when lightly loaded and approach gasoline engine thirstiness when heavily worked.

        Our Honda Fit is one of the few gasoline cars that easily exceeds EPA in the real world. I think this is due to the long-stroke plus variable valve lift that makes plenty of torque at low rpm.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears! For I have come to bury the Cruze not to praise it!

      In the Consumer Reports story the margin of difference over the EPA sticker MPG and what Consumer Reports got was 8%. Not impressive but not exactly scandalous either. Stopping and starting technique, tire pressures, weather, altitude, and the quality of the gasoline surely could wiggle things up to 5%. So it’s out of the range of error, but barely.

      For comparison, the Kia Soul’s difference (not in the most recent CR story, but when the “scandal” broke out) was off by over 20%. You can’t carve out any argument on something is rotten with that kind of difference.

      While the Cruze LT and LTZ with the 1.4 have under performed at MPG, I have yet to find anyone saying the Eco has under performed. Almost every story I have read showed the Eco blowing away its highway number in particular, with reviewers getting 44 to 46 MPG with the manual equipped version. GM reported earlier last year that 55% of Cruze Eco’s sold were with manuals, not slush boxes (for what ever that is worth). I will happily be corrected if there are stories showing the Cruze Eco under performing in MPG.

      The point being, the stories of the Cruze not delivering MPGs (especially at say the level of the MPG disaster that the Equinox is) are a touch exaggerated.

      To the point of the diesel – I agree it will likely over perform but it has a ton of other black marks against it according to the DFP that wasn’t reported here.

      Its 0 to 60 time? Slower than the Cruze with the 1.4 by a full 1/2 second at 8.6 seconds. That puts it basically “class competitive” if on the faster side in the C segment.

      It’s weight? Over 400 pounds heavier – hence any benefit of all that extra torque is robbed.

      It’s trunk? Loses two cubic feet of space.

      $25,000 is going to buy you an awful lot of Cruze and unleaded gasoline – and it will get you a darn nice Verano, or a Jetta, or a Mazda3, or a Civic Si, or for that matter a Camry LE, Hyundai Sonata, a Malibu (if you’re cross shopping on the same floor), or…

  • avatar
    NormSV650

    For me it would be about $500 savings per year just in fuel difference. Savings would be left over after Rotella T6 and urea maintenance.

    If a Passat can see almost 60 mpg then the Cruze will be right there and then some.

    http://www.autoblog.com/2012/12/19/2013-volkswagen-passat-tdi/

    Stop by the neighbor’s restaurant for some B20 mix and you could be floating near the 100 mpg mark.

  • avatar
    Pete K

    Based on this guy’s logic…we should ALL be driving $9,995 Nissan Versas because anything else just wouldn’t make economic sense…

    • 0 avatar
      dts187

      Welcome to The Truth About Cars. Everyone will complain about boring cheap cars. Then everyone will tell you you’re a fool if you buy something other than a boring cheap car.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        It’s a double standard.

        If you’re buying the kind of car they like, then they’ll tell you you’re a fool for considering economics.

        If you’re buying something that they don’t like, then the economic calculations come out.

        I fall prey to this from time to time, but I try to compensate. But the problem is that I personally *like* boring cheap small cars, just so long as they have some innovative (expensive) technology under the hood…

        If the Cruze Diesel had been released 5 years ago, there would be one with my name on it. I owned a VW TDI and, while I’ll never own a VW again, I loved the high-MPG high-torque driveability. But it’s too late for me because I married the woman for whom I was putting on the miles, and now we need a minivan. :-)

  • avatar
    dts187

    Maybe the guy who drives his diesel Chevy truck down the interstate at 100mph blasting black smoke all over will buy a diesel Cruze for his wife.

    • 0 avatar
      Landcrusher

      You forgot it’s a dualie he is driving. And no, his wife doesn’t get a car, or shoes either. She only drives when he is too tired or drunk to do so.

      Speeding trucks are only topped by the ones tailgating at 80 plus behind a car with double the stopping power who is already too close to the bandit in front of him.

  • avatar
    RV1458

    I think it’s worth noting that not all diesel’s take that long to break even. For example, my calculations show that a Passat TDI would only take 5.5 years to break even…and that doesn’t account for the fact that the TDI will likely have held it’s value much better over that 5.5 year period.

    I’m interested in the analysis because I’m looking foward to the Mazda6 diesel and hoping that it also has a break even around 5 years. Assuming that it also offers an upgrade in power vs the 4 cylinder (in lieu of a V6), the diesel would be a pretty compelling engine upgrade.

    • 0 avatar
      jpolicke

      Yes, but in my experience by that time you will be well out of warranty and the high cost of inevitable repairs on the VW will eat up all your savings and then some.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      Because of diesel’s higher price in the US, I see them as a way to get that extra torque more than a way to save money.

      People pay more for bigger engines that have worse efficiency. Why wouldn’t they pay more for engines that drive like they’re bigger, but don’t have a fuel cost penalty?

      If the diesel Cruze doesn’t feel like it has a bigger engine, then it ought to be a failure.

  • avatar
    Felix Hoenikker

    THe inversion of diesel and regular gas prices killed my enthusiasm for oil burning commuters years ago. I had an 82 MB 300TD that I used to commute from 2002 to 2004. At that time, there was only a slight (5%) price premium for diesel fuel over regular gas. However, the MB delivered 31 mpg highway for me. Since then, the comparable sized sedans with 4 cylinder engines deliver the same or higher mpgs. But, the price premium for diesel where I drive has increased to $0.50 per US gallon. This is about a 16% premium to regular gas and eats most if not all of the better efficiency of the diesel without accounting for the higher purchase price of the diesel option.
    A major attaction of the old MB diesels was their durability. The 5 cylinder turbodiesel was considered a 500K miles engine in the days when a regular, cast iron Detroit gasser would not make 100K without at least a valve job. The durability of the new generation of diesels is an unknown at this time.

  • avatar
    jz78817

    well, if it flops then maybe all of those “enthusiasts” will realize that the mass market doesn’t want the same things they do.

    nah, they’ll still gripe.

  • avatar

    I believe we may be very premature in our analysis of the cruze diesel.

    Most data I have seen tells us that diesels have especially good fuel economy in the city, where other forms of propulsion do not, so we should not be premuturely analysing highway only consumption and dissing the car before it even reaches the showrooms.

    Let’s give it a chance to evolve into the market and see what happens.
    There are a lot of people out there that bought VW TDi because there was no alternative, now there is.

    I too would prefer a wagon, the VW TDI wagon was my next possible choice. If GM brings the wagon I am sure as others would, consider the cruze diesel as an option. Even the sedan shoud see market potential.

    Its not always about fuel consumption

  • avatar
    Speed3

    Obviously they should have put it in a manual wagon and sold that instead ;)

    But, do we have power/torque figures yet? One of the best things about diesel is stomping on the pedal :)

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    One thing you’ll definitely miss about gas engines, is not having to hunt for a gas station that serves diesel. In my area it’s about 1/5 of the filling stations, but then subtract all the shady operators and you’re at what, 1 out of 12 you pass?

    It’s entirely frustrating when you’re tired and just want to get home or late for something. OK, once you get to your filling station, miles out of your way, it lacks the convenience store and the coffee of your usual gas station. They also don’t stock the (adult) beverages, potato chips, etc, you’re supposed to come home with (or the cookout), so you’re making another stop. Got time to kill???

    Also my chosen station has the diesel/gas combo pumps nearest the entrance so big trucks and motorhomes can get in and out easy. Guess who also loves getting in and out easy? EVERYBODY!!! I have to sit and wait for the one of the 2 diesel/gas pumps while the rest of the station is empty. Then the 1st guy to finish hangs up the pump and goes in for lotto scratchers, scratches them and cashes winners in for a couple more. Car still sitting there with my diesel still running.

    Live with a diesel long enough and you’ll learn to hate it.

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      Very valid point about the lack of stations selling diesel. This could be a big issue depending where you live/work. But people can work that out as they make the choice.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        When I owned my TDI, I was doing a lot of highway driving. Diesel is available wherever tractor-trailers drive.

        The availability of diesel wasn’t a problem for me, given what the diesel cars are good for and what I was trying to use it for.

        The worse fuel-finding problem I had was Indiana. They tax diesel for private owners, but commercial operators are exempt from fuel taxes. Most diesel buyers are commercial truck drivers, so the advertised price is the commercial-operator price. So, if you pull up to a truck stop diesel pump in a private car in Indiana, prepare to be jerked around o the price. Fortunately, when that happened to me, I had 1/8th of a tank, which in a high-MPG diesel car was more than enough fuel to drive to another state with fairer tax rules.

        Take that, Indiana.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      This is very much a YMMV thing. I’d have an easier time counting the stations that *don’t* sell diesel, plus I always hit up the same 2 or 3 stations for fuel unless I’m on a long trip. Availability is not a big deal.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        Diesel fuel seems readily available, but stations that sell diesel are often out of diesel (or the pumps are down). This may be only 5-10% of the time, but it can screw up your whole program especially if it’s the only station that carries diesel on an isolated hwy. I know plenty of diesel owners that have been stranded. I’m one of them. Some stations stop carrying diesel without a public service announcement. If you know of any city that has anywhere near 50% diesel station coverage, let me know!

        All I’m saying is, explore every angle before you buy. Also you’ll want to stay with name brand stations and avoid the hole-in-the-wall carriers. Ask me how I know…

      • 0 avatar
        jaje

        Get the gasbuddy app on you phone as I’ve used it multiple times (you can set it to diesel and it works well when I’m traveling / towing long distances).

        One thing I found is that as I get further out of the city / suburbs I see more stations that have diesel (for trucks and farmers). I’m also happy to see Qwiktrip is now adding diesel pumps to many of its local stations.

      • 0 avatar

        Agreed. In the NY area, I know a bunch of stations where diesel is a bit less than premium. It’s no issue to get.

    • 0 avatar
      Brian P

      Hmmmm … I’ve been a VW TDI owner for about 13 years and almost 800,000 km between two cars.

      Both of the two filling stations closest to my home have diesel. Both of them have it at normal pumps, no issue getting in or out or of being messy. The normal driving range of the car is such that I seldom have to ever fill it up anywhere other than the filling station around the corner from home. And if I do, every filling station on main roads has diesel and signs are well marked for other stations that have it. The most I’ve ever had to do in order to find diesel, was to stop at a station that didn’t have it and ask where the nearest one was (and the answer was something like “Go down there and turn right at that light and go about a mile to the Marathon station” – nothing of any great difficulty).

      Diesel availability is a non-issue.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        No doubt it depends on the user’s driving habits and habitat. I’m always on the road to different places and the stations that sell diesel closest to home are far from convenient. Filling up with diesel can be a major inconvenience, depending, and if you were a potential 1st time buyer I’d remind you to weigh all the pros and cons.

    • 0 avatar
      Wheatridger

      Is Denver your former home, DenverMIke? ‘Cause I live there now, and my decade of experience driving TDI in the Mile High City shows that most all stations besides the big red giant Conoco serve diesel fuel. Well over 50% of the total have it. In practical use, it’s a non-issue. Unless you’re devoted to your favorite gas station because you use it as a grocery store, which is a whole other issue. I like to think that diesel’s less-frequent fill-ups helped me avoid paying the “Twinkie tax” of small tasty purchases that give gas stations their margin of profit.

      I just sold a TDI and bought a 2.0T GTI gasser. Diesel fuel availability had nothing to do with it. The problem was a lack of available lightly used TDIs in the ’06-’10 model years. Plus the high cost of diesel fuel, which is running $.80 over regular at many local stations. I’m surprised you didn’t complain about that, DM.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        The price difference is crazy, but someone already pointed that out. That alone should keep anyone from buying a diesel car so I was just covering a pertinent issue no one else had brought up. There’s few more disadvantages to diesels, but I don’t want to harp.

        I still own property in Aurora, but I’ve lived in So CA for decades. I’m still known as Denver Mike, however.

        Yeah I spend more time in my company vehicle than at home and I know I’m lucky in a way, but I am all about ‘conveniences’ at the gas station. Oh well, regrettably or whatever, but I know I’m not alone.

    • 0 avatar
      Onus

      Here in CT and the town i live i can choose from 5 stations for diesel. Not too bad. I know where the two cheap ones are and go to them.

      On a side note right now people have run the stations out of gas. Guess what isn’t run out. Diesel!

    • 0 avatar
      dolorean

      “It’s entirely frustrating when you’re tired and just want to get home or late for something. OK, once you get to your filling station, miles out of your way, it lacks the convenience store and the coffee of your usual gas station. They also don’t stock the (adult) beverages, potato chips, etc, you’re supposed to come home with (or the cookout), so you’re making another stop. Got time to kill”

      Definition of First World problem. Sounds like Homer Simpson whining about the Kwik-E-Mart.

  • avatar
    doctor olds

    Since you know neither the price nor the fuel economy of the car, don’t you think it premature to calculate the value?

  • avatar
    benzaholic

    If they market it primarily for fuel economy, then they will probably help repeat the old GM diesel thing and sour the general public.

    Instead, think of it as an engine performance upgrade for certain types of driving.

    We haven’t driven this one, but I would expect it to be much peppier in normal daily driver situations with the extra torque.

    Also, just as the EPA mileage estimation process has a hard time accurately assessing hybrids, it seems to also be less accurate for diesels than for gassers, so the pure numeric comparison in this article is built from shaky assumptions.

  • avatar
    Type57SC

    ALG gives the Jetta TDI 56% 3yr residuals versus 53% for the 2.5L gas engine version.

    • 0 avatar
      Opus

      Yeah, the payback calculations always seem to forget the retained value. Same thing with hybrids.

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        But if you drive the thing for the number of miles needed to break-even, it won’t be worth anything, so residual value = $0. (And if you buy/sell often, you’re wasting enough money through each of those transactions that fuel is not the worst cost.)

      • 0 avatar
        Wheatridger

        I just sold a 200,000-mile Beetle TDI for $5400. That was $3500 less than I paid for it used, five years ago. With that kind of residual value, there was no diesel premium to pay. And I got the car and the engine I wanted, which is the whole point — unless you’re proclaiming The Truth About Accountancy.

        Not trying to attack a certified TTAC authority, but Krindler’s incessant negativeness about virtually everything is really wearing on me.

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        That’s awesome you could get that much for it. I wonder if it was due to the scarcity of the TDI, and if so, would more diesels on the market remove that value?

  • avatar
    Topher

    @DenverMike: Haven’t had that problem in either CA or LA (the state).

    @xflowgolf and @mike978: Better than advertised fuel economy is my experience too. Keep in mind though, that a diesel engine takes longer to warm up, so max fuel economy only occurs on longer drives.

    Also, as gas prices swung up this past time, diesel held relatively steady. There’s something to be said about the ability to effectively budget without too much concern about the price volatility of the fuel you purchase.

  • avatar
    Truckducken

    I love diesel torque, and am glad to see Chevy is giving this a go! I just hope this thing has a wider power band than the Opel diesel I rented a few months ago. ‘Twas quite a challenge to stay in the band but below redline, making it a much more stressful drive than the A3 I had driven the previous trip. Based on how well the 1.4T is tuned in the Cruze, I am guardedly optimistic that the boost engineers can get it right.

  • avatar
    carguy

    @Derek: You may be missing the point of this car. Sure you’ll get near 50 MPGs on the highway but the reason why folks buy is because 240 lbs of torque (with 280 over-boost when needed) make this car a pleasure to drive – particularly around town. That in itself is worth the extra cash – the extra mileage is just a bonus.

    • 0 avatar
      kenzter

      +1. This is the performance Cruze, for now.
      The Holden version has 160hp & 265ft/lbs, while returning 5.7L/100km, whatever that is.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      According to the DFP if is a full 1/2 second slower than the 1.4L turbo equipped Cruze. I had the exact same thought – at least it will be faster.

      Any benefit of that extra torque is destroyed by 400 extra pounds of weight on the already heavy chassis and low rolling resistance tires like those found on the Cruze Eco.

      You also lose two cubic feet in the trunk for the “diesel emissions fluid” tank.

      This offers nothing but a cashectomy. For the same cheddar you could be in a mid-equipped Verano or a fully loaded LTZ with cash left over (or there abouts)

      • 0 avatar
        Patz

        The 0-62 comparison is totally pointless, expecially when it’s done between a gas vs a diesel.

        It’s actually pointless at all, as I wonder how many people do often start from a traffic light and get directly to 62mph.

        Where the diesel wins vs gasoline is at gaining speed while rolling – so 30-50, 45-60 and so on.

        This diesel’s torque output is very close to a 3.5 V6 naturally aspirated gasoline, and such strenght won’t really be influenced by the extra pounds as you mentioned.

        Let’s wait to see some road tests, before assuming the results basing on a very few published values.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Epic fail. Complete, total fail.

    42 MPG, same as the Eco (yet to see a city number) and only 3 MPG better than an LTZ Cruze. Yes, the diesel premium also gets you leather seats and other content, and it gets you 400 extra pounds and two cubic feet lost in the trunk. So you can’t even say it’s faster with the up to 280 pound of torque under the right foot (258 normally up to 10 seconds of 280 pound feet in an overboost situation, whatever that means).

    And you can have it all for the starting price, roughly, of a well equipped Buick Verano. Oh, and did I mention the Cruze Eco, the Cruze LT and LTZ, and Buick Verano are also faster.

    Epic, epic, epic, epic, fail. These will never sell.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      “42 MPG, same as the Eco”

      No, the Eco has a highway rating of 39 mpg. But the Eco is also slightly quicker, so the diesel also comes with a performance loss.

      • 0 avatar

        Auto gets 39 highway, EPA lists the manual as 42 mpg highway

        http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/PowerSearch.do?action=noform&path=1&year1=2013&year2=2013&make=Chevrolet&model=Cruze%20Eco&srchtyp=ymm

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        Thank you Derek — the Eco does get 42 MPG with the manual – I should have fully stated “with manual”

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        Also, a 7.7% increase in fuel economy from an engine with a large price premium isn’t much incentive. Add in the additional cost of diesel over gas, and that savings evaporates.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        The press release for the US Cruze Diesel notes that it comes equipped with an automatic. Accordingly, I am presuming that the 42 mpg figure claimed in that same press release is for the slushbox.

        http://media.gm.com/media/us/en/gm/news.detail.html/content/Pages/news/us/en/2013/Feb/13-chicago-show/0207-cruze-diese-ovr.html

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        @Pch101

        No manual option for the Cruze diesel – another mistake on GMs part if they are going after the VW…

      • 0 avatar
        jaje

        It is hard arguing against ignorance of diesels. The fact is a gallon of diesel has over 30% more energy density than gasoline (remember gasoline has a lot of additives and detergents to keep the engines clean from carbon build up). OTOH a gallon of gasoline has ~ 30% more energy density than a gallon of ethanol (ethanol was a failure from the start and only made inroads due to quadruple subsidy and using food to produce).

        In the US diesel gets a bad rap from previous attempts with GM in the 80′s (now that was truly an epic fail – the Cruze TD is in no way an epic fail) and the poorly regulated heavy truck industry and rednecks with their lifted, big tired, chipped & straight pipe Cummins pickups that go 90 mph belching black smoke and acting like they own the road.

        As a diesel engine is a compression ignition it has to withstand much higher compression ratios and use more material to make the block (often carbon steel or iron). This makes the engines heavier. However ignored is the fact that most cars that come with diesels are considered premium and are often laden with option packages adding more weight. So it might be 400lb heavier than the Eco but it also comes with leather, auto transmission (usually 50lbs heavier), etc.

        Then let’s not take away the OEM who charges more profit on a diesel engine powered vehicle as it is considered a premium option. As I’ve noted before VW claims the cost of a TDI engine over a 2.0T is only $800 but VW can get away with charging a much higher profit on the TDI (versus $2,500 for a hybrid drivetrain).

        I would suggest driving a diesel someday and realize where it’s power is. Maybe realize they were not made for ultimate acceleration but pulling power and twist. Diesels shine where you need torque immediately and cannot wait for the engine to reach high rpms to deliver. In fact the worlds’ transportation industry has long ago standardized on diesel. In fact railways went straight from coal / steam to diesel.

        Take a Cruze Eco and a Cruze TD and load up the car full of passengers and gear (yes 2 cubic feet less in the trunk in the TD). Then go on a journey through the mountains doing 80 mph and the Eco will be working within a hair of its life and the TD will cruze (pun intended) along nicely and with its high compression engine give great engine braking down the slopes.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        That’s a pretty romantic view of diesels, but nowhere do you discuss how much sense they make, financially. In that case, yeah do it!

        Trains and big rigs have no choice but to run diesels, but ask fleet owners/managers about medium duty trucks and below, and they tell you gasoline engines are by far the most cost effective choice, every time. The rule of thumb is, if you can get it with a gas engine, you do. Don’t take my advice as both a fleet owner and manager, but look to companies like So Cal Edison. They run gas powered boom & bucket trucks all the way to F-650s. I think they’ve done the math for us.

      • 0 avatar
        jaje

        Wow – an electric company uses gas engines for their fleet. Maybe b/c of their infrastructure setup as I’m not knowledgeable about your local utility company. This maybe due to the fact that gasoline prices are much lower than diesel in Cali b/c of CARB that pretty much makes gas the only fuel you can use reliably.

        However to you this is bonafide proof that gas > diesel in heavy trucks and the rest of world’s railroad and trucking and shipping industry want gas but are “forced” to use diesel.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        The rest of the world can enjoy their diesels if it works for them. In the US, diesel cars are a fetish. The ridiculous price of diesel fuel is just part of the problem.

      • 0 avatar
        corntrollio

        “Don’t take my advice as both a fleet owner and manager, but look to companies like So Cal Edison. They run gas powered boom & bucket trucks all the way to F-650s.”

        Lucky for us, there are tons of pictures of SoCal Edison trucks available on the internets because SCE sent a ton of trucks to the east coast on military transports for repairs after Hurricane Sandy. They have diesels too:

        www dot fema dot gov/blog/2012-11-03/sandy-update-6-registering-assistance-over-100-million-already-approved-disaster

        Also, here’s one that has a diesel tank and a gasoline tank for some reason (on-board generator?):

        www dot flickr dot com/photos/navymailman/5841807282/sizes/o/in/photostream/

        “Trains and big rigs have no choice but to run diesels, but ask fleet owners/managers about medium duty trucks and below, and they tell you gasoline engines are by far the most cost effective choice, every time.”

        The one time I’ve rented a big box truck (Penske, I think), even the Penske guy said there was a cost advantage to me, at least, to using diesel. He said the typical gas big box truck is around 6 mpg, whereas the diesel ones can be 9-10. If you’re going long distances, that’s a big difference. Methinks you are exaggerating a bit, and that you don’t actually know that much about fleet management.

    • 0 avatar
      GMis4GoodManners

      Your arguments are all over the place. People don’t buy diesels for 0 to sixty. I still haven’t figured out why people buy diesels at all, but I know that’s not the reason.

      Yes, it’s slower than the Verano, but it gets 10 mpg better than the Verano. The Cruze TD gets 4 mpg better than the LTZ (not to nit-pic); 38 Highway for the LTZ, 42 (as stated) for the TD. The Eco gets 39 Highway, and is SIGNIFICANTLY less equiped than the TD, and you can’t GET much in the line of options to make it better. The TD, as equiped, may COST more than than the Jetta TDI, but the TDI is significantly less equiped, and even if you COULD equip the TDI as the Cruze TD (and you can’t – No onstar or Chevy MyLink), it would cost MORE.

      It (the TD) still makes no rational sense, but if we ONLY bought cars for rational sense we’d all drive Camrys, and that would make the world a sadder place.

      But anyone – ANYONE – who argues the merit of a car by 0-60 measures is living in the 70′s and needs to pull their head out of the sand. You can’t build cars like the 70 muscle cars anymore – you can’t legally and even if you could no one would buy them as they got 9 mpgs and they were amazingly unsafe!

      Those who do not move forward with technology are condemned to wear Mullets and listen to Classic Rock.

      Oh, and finally, the manual has at most 5 years to live. They increasingly account for less and less of the US market, and have even started to disappear in Europe (go rent an Astra in the UK and see if you can FIND one with a Manual!). They have become SO rare that it makes no sense money-wise to develop cars with them, and so rare that the BEST way you can prevent your car from being stolen is by getting a manual, because young car theives today HAVE NO IDEA HOW TO DRIVE ONE!

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        Lets not get crazy.. The manual trans may die out in A to B cars, but will live on in pony and sports cars plus Miatas and so forth, indefinitely. Corvettes of course.

        The current GT500 and Boss 302 don’t even offer an automatic or even floppy paddles. Posers take a hike.

    • 0 avatar
      doctor olds

      On the other hand, the Cruze Diesel has the same 42 MPG rating as its closest competitor, VW Jetta, and appears to be $695 less than a comparably equipped Jetta automatic. Cruze $25,695 and Jetta $26,390.

    • 0 avatar
      jaje

      It’s hard arguing with people completely ignorant of the subject matter because of some internal bias and then their arguments are what they “see around them”.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        Whether it takes 10 years or a 100 for a payback, it’s completely irrelevant. That’s what people are telling me by saying that if it was just about efficiency or payback, we’d all be driving Mopeds. OK, I get, but why not just call it what it is? A fetish!

        Those that protest the loudest have never had a diesel, and that just points to the curiosity or novelty of diesels. They want something unique or different, so OK, just say that. If you don’t want to hear or know the trends around you concerning gas vs diesel, from a commercial, light to medium-duty perspective, then don’t. But again ENJOY!

  • avatar
    redmondjp

    Having owned a 1981 Rabbit diesel, a 1981 Datsun 720 diesel pickup, and a 1997 Passat TDI, I am really looking forward to test-driving one of these.

    As stated many times above already, the turbo-boosted low-end torque is a real kick in the pants and makes the TDI a fun car to drive. I enjoy driving my 1997 Civic as well, but you have to spin that 1.6l up to get the power out.

    And my TDI still beats my Civic by about 10mpg city and highway.

  • avatar
    icemilkcoffee

    If you’ve ever looked into the resale value of used TDI’s, or even ancient rust riddled diesel Rabbit pickup trucks, or diesel Vanagons which are slower than skateboards, you wouldn’t b writing an article like this.

  • avatar
    redav

    Dammit Jim! Report break-even points in miles, not years.
    You are adding a completely unnecessary factor into the equation. And you didn’t even publish the values you used in your calc so that people could check and/or modify it so it would be applicable for them.

  • avatar
    solracer

    It may make even less sense depending on where you live. Here in the Seattle area the price difference between regular and diesel is more like $0.60 a gallon normally and during the 2008 price run-up it rose to $1.00 because of the lack of local diesel refineries. This makes the gas version even more sensible than it is in Chicago.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      I’m in the Seattle area and I have a friend with a TDI Jetta and his wife has a gas powered car. He tracked the price paid for fuel for both of them and he found on average that he paid just under 15% more per gallon for Diesel than his wife did for gas. That was averaged over a year so it included summer when the spread is typically lower and winter when it is typically higher.

  • avatar
    Summicron

    I’ve never even considered a diesel before, but all this talk about low-end torque is getting me worked up.

    What would a TDI’s RPM be at 75 mph? Are diesel’s geared differently from other 4-bangers?

  • avatar
    GMis4GoodManners

    It is posts like this why you have had to defend yourselves in the past as being Anti-GM. I have -NEVER- seen you take this exact same argument against the TDI (however, in fairness, since the Jetta 2.5 gets crappy gas mileage compared to the Cruze’s 1.4 gas turbo, the numbers and years-to-recoup would come out quite differently).
    I drive over 25K a year, and still couldn’t make the numbers work out to justify the TDI over a similar gasoline version. I agree that the Cruze TD makes no sense IF (and ONLY IF) your argument is ROI (and nothing BUT ROI). But the _exact_ same argument holds for the TDI as well, and for the Prius Hybrid. ROI is _not_ the measure by which these cars are bought (or not bought).
    A similar argument was made by your guys RE: buying the Sonic with the 1.4 turbo versus the standard normally-aspirated 1.8. The ROI just wasn’t there, you say. NO ONE WOULD BUY THE SONIC 1.4 turbo because of the slight improvement in MPG’s – on that you’re quite correct. However, 90% of the comments on that article said “you buy it for the torque”.
    And that is exactly why you would buy either the TDI or the Cruize TD – for the torque. While the 1.4 turbo is well suited for the much lighter Sonic, and passible (it seems, I haven’t driven one yet) in the mid-way between weight of the Buick Encore, in the portly Cruze it just doesn’t cut the mustard – especially in high altitudes and extreme heat. The Cruze TD has 10 more horsepower and 110 (if I got the numbers right) more torque; that should nicely over-compensate for the overweight car. The added plus of 4 mpg’s is nil considering the price difference between Diesel and 87 Octane (although, again going to the high altitude/high temp driving, 91 Octane overcomes much of the turbo’s issues, and closes much of the price gap between the fuels).
    Ultimately, again, I agree with your argument, and I wouldn’t buy the Cruze TD (or the VW TDI) because it just doesn’t make sense. But people DO buy the TDI, DO buy the Prius, and WILL buy the Cruze TD. Remember, you said the Verano wouldn’t sell because it didn’t make sense…. I’m sure Buick exec’s have that posted on a wall somewhere and LAUGH AT YOU every time they pass it.

    • 0 avatar
      Patz

      +1 – you really got the point. I understand TTAC had problems with GM, but today got too far I think – Two arcticles in a row blaming the same vehicle, not having even yet driven it….

    • 0 avatar

      As far as ROI goes, the Sonic 1.4T seems to fare well

      http://blog.truecar.com/2012/04/12/fuel-economy-packages-make-sense-depending-on-vehicle-according-to-truecar-com/

      • 0 avatar
        GMis4GoodManners

        I agree entirely Derek – the Sonic 1.4 turbo has a great ROI.

        However, my point, when first introduced TTAC’s _sole_ condemnation of the Sonic 1.4 turbo (and they made it a MAJOR POINT) was that “no one is going to pay $700 more for a few MPGs better”. At that time, the bulk of the comments pointed out that – dude, no one is buying this car for the MPGs, they’re buying it for the torque.

        I’m sure history (that car is still rather fresh) will show that the re-sale of the 1.4 far exceeds a similar model with the 1.8 – even as much as $700!

        • 0 avatar

          Well, I dissent from that opinion. One thing you have to understand is that we are not a monolith and we all have different opinions. I think Panthers are awful cars, despite the mandated love for them on this site, for example.

          With that said I would buy it for the ROI and the improved driving experience – BUT- with respect to the Cruze, and the 1.4T models and the Ecos, it would be difficult for me to justify opting for the diesel. With the Sonic, your choices are either the wretched 1.8 or the 1.4T for not much more money. There is a night and day difference between the two engines.

          On the other hand with the Cruze, the price gap is wider and the performance/mileage gap isn’t as great. I drove from LA to San Diego on I-5 and used a bit more than 2 gallons of fuel. I’m not sure I would want to pay another few thousand dollars for a slight increase in economy and some more torque.

      • 0 avatar
        corntrollio

        From where in the SD area to where in the LA area? If you put SD, CA and LA, CA into Google maps, you get 123 miles, so if it’s a little more than 2 (2.25?) did you get almost 55 mpg in the Cruze?

  • avatar

    You’re right; this is silly. Were I looking to save money, I wouldn’t buy the diesel; I would buy the Cruze Eco with the 6MT. Hopefully Chevy’s marketing is touting the Cruze Diesel as a fun alternative to the VW Jetta TDI…and hopefully it can live up to such marketing.

  • avatar
    wmba

    Back in December, TTAC ran an article on Mazda SkyActiv diesel problems originating in Australia. Oil sump levels rising by themselves due to incomplete regen soot-burning cycles on the DPF.
    The same thing is rampant in the UK.

    The Cruze diesel also has DPF problems.

    Welcome to the modern diesel world.

    Avoid like the plague. Savings of any kind are not to be expected. These diesels are not the 90 hp engine in Jettas from a decade ago, which were great. These are engines trying to meet emission goals they cannot easily be tuned to achieve.

    If you are the type who thinks: I don’t believe GM or Mazda would foist under-engineered diesels on the general public, well good luck to you. In Europe, the new emission regs are causing all sorts of diesel problems, even for Peugeot. And Mazdas have been bad for years, plus they deny it all. Google is your friend in discovering this stuff.

    • 0 avatar

      Wmba,

      I am in the process of researching this, but from what I understand the Cruze Diesel engine in the US is not the same one as the rest of the world. Stay tuned, I’ll have more info on this.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “from what I understand the Cruze Diesel engine in the US is not the same one as the rest of the world.”

        According to GM, it’s a federalized version of the engine used in Europe, with a bit of regional tweaking thrown in for good measure. It’s not a unique motor:

        http://media.gm.com/media/us/en/chevrolet/news.detail.html/content/Pages/news/us/en/2013/Feb/13-chicago-show/0207-cruze-diese-engine.html

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        Derek, I am very interested in what you find. It’s a topic I’m concerned about, but have very little knowledge of.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “It’s a variation of the Family B motor, whereas other world markets use the Daewoo derived Family Z.”

        All of the Cruzes made now have the Family Z motor. That didn’t used to be the case. Family B is part of a Fiat-GM JV, and I would presume that GM is trying to shift some of its engine development to the Koreans.

        • 0 avatar

          Is that a misprint on your part? We just established that the US diesel Cruzes DO NOT use Fam Z, they use Fam B engines made in Germany. From GM’s Tom Read, when I emailed them about the matter

          “The U.S. Cruze diesel is based off the Fam B architecture. This was the best engine family to start from and quickest to be able to adapt the engine for the U.S. market requirements including Altitude calibration, Emissions, Diagnostics and Environmental. This was not a change. Fam B has been the choice since deciding to go with a US diesel.”

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        This was confusing, but I think that I’ve figured it out.

        -The Cruze was launched in other markets with the Family B (Italian) motor. It has since been replaced by the Family Z (Korean). The Family Z motor is itself an adaptation of the Family B motor, but with licensing to the Koreans.

        -The newly-launched US version is now getting a derivation of the Family B motor.

        So we’re getting a variant of an engine that other Cruzes used to get, but no longer do. In so doing, it lost a few cubic centimeters in the process of being Americanized.

      • 0 avatar
        Patz

        Despite the displacement and the fact that those are both turbo-diesels, there is not much more in common between the Family B and the Family Z.
        The Cruze is available in all other markets with the Family Z, the Family B has been never offered on this car in any place. The first time is in the US.
        The family B is instead used on a variety of Opel vehicles.

    • 0 avatar
      Onus

      This happens in regen. The manufactures need to lower the oil change interval. New emissions diesel’s have horrible fuel dilution problems. This is because raw fuel is injected when the exhaust valve is open to heat up the dpf and clean the collected soot out.

      Urea should reduce the needed regens due to having to run less egr which creates more soot.

      An alternative solution is to put an extra injector in the exhaust stream. Chevy did this with the LML duramax. No more fuel dilution problems :).

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    The anti GM bias has become like the seventies UFO craze. People are now seeing bias everywhere. Plenty of articles were written about hybrids not making mathematical savings. Not just the Volt.

    GM is just the largest target for just about anything a car guy might want to rant about. They are huge and not excellent. If they make an excellent product, half the blogosphere will go nuts praising it. Then, a few years later, when the things have proven less than excellent it all starts over again.

    GM needs to over deliver a lot before people’s opinions change and rightly so. If you are a fan, you can’t see it, but that’s not because others are biased.

    • 0 avatar
      GMis4GoodManners

      I’m afraid it’s well documented. Look back at the articles, just about EVERY “new” GM model introduced TTAC has at the very least stated they can’t see the market for it. The Cruze – their argument is most people would just by a Sonata for the money. Yet the Cruze (even with it’s sales down) still outsell the Sonota. No ONE would buy the Verano, yet it sold 3300 models last month (which – I believe – is more than the TSX and ILX combined). Same thing with the Spark – NO American wants a car that small, and yet it outsells ALL of the competition.

      IF the skies parted, and a car came down on a shaft of light, and the voice of God said “I have made this, and it is good” – if the damned thing had a GM Mark of Excellence on it TTAC would declare it DOA.

      • 0 avatar
        Landcrusher

        Is that bias? Or, are these cars that just don’t appeal to car guys? If anyone at TTAC claims expertise in what cars will sell, vs what cars ought to sell, then you could say they blew it. But really, they may not like the product because it doesn’t appeal or meet standards. Why does it have to be anti GM? RF had plenty of ideological reasons, but which of these other guys do? Where is that evidence?

  • avatar

    Came here to say… “so what if the Cruze TD doesn’t made economic sense? The V6 Camry and V6 Accord don’t make any economic sense either when compared to their 4cyl siblings. The Cruze TD will have more torque than a V6 and better fuel economy than an I4.”

    Reading the comments I realize it is actually slower than the 4Cyl.
    Not sure what GM was thinking though props to them for doing something different and taking chances. I am sure it will be a great car that no one cares about, same as the G8. If I were GM, I would first bring the 1.3L and get Americans warmed up to Diesels with 55+ highway MPG.

  • avatar
    mr_min

    Wow six post from APaGttH, saying it will fail… OK we got the message you don’t like it.

    Two Points:
    1. The experience with Diesel in Australia is that the resale value compensates for the increased Purchase price, in some cases the diesel version can be more popular in the used market.
    2. Drive the car, then post, if you’ve bothered to drive the 1.4T, 1.8, and 2.0 Diesel back to back you’ll understand why ~30% of Australian sales are diesels. The Engine and Trans just seem to work better in harmony, maybe its all the torque….

  • avatar
    amca

    Yes, but: diesels are kinda fun to drive.

  • avatar
    NormSV650

    Probably cleaner as result of the sulfur in diesel fuel?

    http://m.green.autoblog.com/2013/02/08/why-gms-2-0-liter-diesel-is-cleaner-in-americas-cruze-than-it/?post=1&icid=autoblog_home_latest_art

  • avatar
    RobertRyan

    @Denvermike said:”The rest of the world can enjoy their diesels if it works for them. In the US, diesel cars are a fetish. The ridiculous price of diesel fuel is just part of the problem.”

    Well it looks like US manufacturers are now quiet keen to spread this fetish going by the new introductions at the Chicago Show.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      “Well it looks like US manufacturers are now quiet keen to spread this fetish going by the new introductions at the Chicago Show.”

      Production is one thing and along with hybrids they won’t be produced in big numbers. Niche at best. They’re likely not even profitable for OEMs, but that not the point of bringing them to market.

      Hybrids and EV are also a fetish and can also take decades (if ever) to see a ROI.

      • 0 avatar
        corntrollio

        “Hybrids and EV are also a fetish and can also take decades (if ever) to see a ROI.”

        Yes, I’m sure this is why almost every non-Panther taxi I see is a hybrid, and why many cities (even in Iowa, land o’ ethanol) spec out hybrid buses when considering fleet purchases. Certainly a company like Freightliner would never consider a hybrid…

        http://www.freightlinertrucks.com/Trucks/Alternative-Power-Trucks/Hybrid-Electric

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        @Denvermike said”Production is one thing and along with hybrids they won’t be produced in big numbers.”NICHE AT BEST”

        Interesting theory: I guess Ford and Chrysler with their Transit and Promaster Vans think otherwise. Well the Transit is replacing the “niche” Econoline and the RAM VAN is pulling Chrysler into the mass Van market.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        “Yes, I’m sure this is why almost every non-Panther taxi I see is a hybrid, and why many cities (even in Iowa, land o’ ethanol) spec out hybrid buses when considering fleet purchases. Certainly a company like Freightliner would never consider a hybrid…”

        New taxis are not mostly hybrids in So Cal and that’s the Mecca for Hybrids. Plain gasser NV200s seem to fill the Panther’s shoes pretty good especially in NYC.

        City aren’t trying to profit from bus lines, but love to look politically correct and Green.
        What private fleet is buying hybrid Freightliners?

        Here’s a random private fleet of gas F-550s I found while looking for distinguishing PowerStroke emblems on 2010s.

        towneastford.com/showroom/2010/Ford/F-550+Chassis/Truck.htm

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      @controllio,
      “Methinks you are exaggerating a bit, and that you don’t actually know that much about fleet management.”

      If only it was just about fuel economy. You’re thinking like a driver/renter, not an owner or manager. There’s too many things you’re not considering.

      “Also, here’s one that has a diesel tank and a gasoline tank for some reason (on-board generator?):”

      Ok, is it a diesel truck with a gas generator or gas truck with a diesel generator? Every truck Edison F-550 I pull up next to is gas and I’m listing to the V10. Pictured is an older truck. These are late model 2011 & 12 gassers. Navistars are of course diesels.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        @Denvermike said:
        If only it was just about fuel economy. You’re thinking like a driver/renter, not an owner or manager. There’s too many things you’re not considering.

        “What like? How do they differ from a Diesel one?

        Ok, is it a diesel truck with a gas generator or gas truck with a diesel generator? Every truck Edison F-550 I pull up next to is gas and I’m listing to the V10. Pictured is an older truck.

        Must be a different company as on their website they are mainly Navistar diesels

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        “What like? How do they differ from a Diesel one?”

        Gas trucks don’t differ other than they cost $8K less and 900 lbs lighter. That’s bonus cash and payload. Diesels are also high maintenance costing 3 or 4X as much to service. The cost of repairs is insane and even if covered by the warranty, there’s still expensive downtime.

        Gassers are virtually bulletproof now while diesel emissions and tech are still evolving. Diesels are highly complicated instruments now and everything is under extreme pressure to produce clean emissions and big power. They need to run very hot for everything to work right.

        “Must be a different company as on their website they are mainly Navistar diesels”

        I’m not talking about the website. Most Edison boom & bucket trucks are F-550s. These are single booms which service most poles. Navistars have the hinged (elbow) double booms like in the picture.

  • avatar
    RobertRyan

    @corntrollio
    A Lot of those trucks are Navistar diesels. So much for the F650 gas engines. Does anyone know if Ford is selling any of these “gas” F650′s?? compared to the competitions diesels?

  • avatar
    RobertRyan

    @PCh101 wrote:
    “So we’re getting a variant of an engine that other CRUZES USED TO GET, but no longer do. In so doing, it lost a few cubic centimeters in the process of being Americanized.”

    Is this due to an inability to be upgraded to Euro VI???
    Like the 3.2 Inline 5 in the Transit?

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      “Is this due to an inability to be upgraded to Euro VI?”

      I would assume not, because Fiat and Opel are still using the Family B motor in Europe in other applications.

      The US also has strict emissions regulations; if anything, the US variant should have better emissions results, not worse.

      I don’t know what the motivation is, although I would guess that the Fiat relationship and/or desire to increase the utilization of Daewoo might have something to do with it with Family Z becoming the mainstay for most of the world. If Fiat is going to use this engine in its US market cars, then it would make some sense to share a common supply chain, given the low volumes that both of them could expect to have. (Whether Chrysler has any plans to use this motor here, I don’t know; I don’t follow them that closely.)

  • avatar
    doctor olds

    To clear confusion:
    The Cruze Diesel engine is a new Family B variation built in Kaiserslautern, Germany.

    The lead engineering center is GM Powertrain (GMPT) Torino Italy.

    Advanced control technology development was led by GMPT’s Global Powertrain Engineering HQ staff, here in Pontiac, Michigan to meet the much more stringent requirements for the US.

    Chevrolet sold 33,000 Diesel Cruzes last year outside the US and GM sold 500,000 small diesel engine passenger cars in the year.

  • avatar
    RobertRyan

    @denvermike said:
    “Gas trucks don’t differ other than they cost $8K less and 900 lbs lighter. That’s bonus cash and payload. Diesels are also high maintenance costing 3 or 4X as much to service. The cost of repairs is insane and even if covered by the warranty, there’s still expensive downtime.”

    I think you live on a very different planet to everyone else I know of who runs trucks in fleets.

    “I’m not talking about the website. Most Edison boom & bucket trucks are F-550s. These are single booms which service most poles. Navistars have the hinged (elbow) double booms like in the picture.”

    Strangely they do not appear on the website. Must be significant vehicle in their inventory.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      “I think you live on a very different planet to everyone else I know of who runs trucks in fleets.”

      OK, where was I wrong? Do do realize it takes 14 quarts of oil to service my diesel F-550s? And A $19.95 MotorCraft filter from Walmart? All there filters must be MotorCraft and they must be changed religiously or else! They take 2 fuel filters at 79.95 for the pair, my labor. On a gas truck you run the original $8 fuel filter for 100K miles or more.

      “Strangely they do not appear on the website. Must be significant vehicle in their inventory.”

      What Edison website? Are you talking their Facebook page?

      I’m talking about reality. Look a your local electric company’s boom & bucket trucks. Do they the run mostly massive Freightliners to service regular city and residential poles?

  • avatar
    RobertRyan

    @Denvermike said:
    “City aren’t trying to profit from bus lines, but love to look politically correct and Green.”

    I hope you were joking when you wrote that? If you are not you should not be anywhere near Fleet Management. I suspect you absolutely nothing to do with Fleet Management anyway from what you have posted previously.

    http://www.towneastford.com/showroom/2010/Ford/F-550+Chassis/Truck.htm

    This is an advertisement for selling Trucks, nothing to do with a fleet of trucks

    Obviously some people buy Freightliner Hybrids.
    http://green.autoblog.com/2011/01/31/daimler-doe-maryland-deploy-143-heavy-duty-freightliner-hybrid/

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      “I hope you were joking when you wrote that? If you are not you should not be anywhere near Fleet Management. I suspect you absolutely nothing to do with Fleet Management anyway from what you have posted previously.”

      What are YOU talking about? I’m looking for you to show examples or ONE example of a private mom & pop fleet that swears by hybrids, NOT cities or huge conglomerates that are publicly traded with millions in their PR budgets…

      “This is an advertisement for selling Trucks, nothing to do with a fleet of trucks”

      Take a closer look. All those gas F-550 are near identical trade-ins from_a_single_private_fleet.

      “autoblog.com/2011/01/31/daimler-doe-maryland-deploy-143-heavy-duty-
      freightliner-hybrid/”

      This is Federally funded campaign put on by DOE and MEA and partnering with Aramark, Nestle, UPS and others. What the heck does this have to do WITH ANY THING???

  • avatar
    RobertRyan

    @Denvermike said:
    “OK, where was I wrong? Do do realize it takes 14 quarts of oil to service my diesel F-550s? And A $19.95 MotorCraft filter from Walmart? All there filters must be MotorCraft and they must be changed religiously or else”

    So???? Do you have any idea what a FLEET MANAGER does?? Not really it appears..

    The Edison Trucks I can see are Navistar Diesels, as I said before. and lighter F450/F550″s?/ No Gas F650′s
    http://www.pe.com/local-news/riverside-county/riverside/riverside-headlines-index/20121101-march-arb-giant-cargo-planes-haul-edison-trucks-to-east-coast.ece

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      “So???? Do you have any idea what a FLEET MANAGER does?? Not really it appears..”

      OK, I’ll bite… What’s more important than managing risk, tracking expenses, saving money, vehicle maintenance, keeping vehicles on the road & roadworthy and preventing vehicle damage/wear???

      “The Edison Trucks I can see are Navistar Diesels, as I said before. and lighter F450/F550″s?/ No Gas F650′s”

      What does what you seen in a 1 minute Edison PR video prove about what makes up this Edison fleet? Oh, did you catch that Power Stroke emblem on the door of the F-550? That’s right, it didn’t have it… That’s a V10 my friend. Thank you!

      fordemblemstore.com/powerstroke-diesel-6.7l-chrome-door-emblem-set-2011.html

      • 0 avatar
        sunridge place

        I could care less about this argument..I just think its funny that @DenverMike thinks this link represents a huge ‘trade in’ from a private fleet owner and that those vehicles are for sale.

        Hey Mike….here’s your link

        http://www.towneastford.com/showroom/2010/Ford/F-550+Chassis/Truck.htm

        OMG…somebody else traded in a bunch of 2011′s too!!!

        http://www.towneastford.com/showroom/2011/Ford/F-550+Chassis/Truck.htm

        And look….even some 2009′s!!!!

        http://www.towneastford.com/showroom/2009/Ford/F-550+Chassis/Truck.htm

        @DenverMike…showing his grasp on the automotive business one post at a time.

        You are in the ‘research’ part of that dealers website. Hit the ‘search inventory button’

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        OK, you’re absolutely right. I didn’t look close enough at it. What do you want, a prize??? Again, you’re harping on one single point and missing the greater theme. Of course, it’s what you do best…

        I wasn’t looking for such a site necessarily, but was researching diesel emblems to prove or disprove another question when confronted with a picture of 2010 Edison F-550.

        Good catch though!!! Keep at at..

      • 0 avatar
        sunridge place

        The fact that your brain didn’t question the absolute absurdity of a dealer having dozens of used F550 whatever they are in their inventory is rather revealing.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        Again good point. I stumbled on to that site while looking for something else and I saved it for later. Fleet managers do trade in multiple trucks at one time and that low resolution picture of that dump truck made it look used. And it’s a 2010. Good eye though, but you’re just reading some else’s work. I don’t always take the time to research everything as thoroughly as I’d like, but the devil is in the minute details, apparently. Thanks though!

  • avatar
    RobertRyan

    @Sunridge Place said:”The fact that your brain didn’t question the absolute absurdity of a dealer having dozens of used F550 whatever they are in their inventory is rather revealing.”

    By his rather revealing comments, the closest Denvermike has become a “Fleet Manager” is probably loading hay on his buddy’s pickup.
    His bizarre grasp of what constitutes a “Trucking Manager “is too absurd to believe.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      Thanks, I do what I can. I do wear a lot of hats and part of my day is loading hay. Oh well somebody has to do it and I’m also not too proud to shovel shit too. I happens… I’m not perfect at any one job I do, but try my best and I do get into everything you can imagine. (some things you can’t and I’ll leave it at that!)

  • avatar
    RobertRyan

    @Denvermike said:
    ” I don’t always take the time to research everything as thoroughly as I’d like, but the devil is in the minute details, apparently. Thanks though!”
    Maybe you cannot understand the minute details? I have a feeling the larger overall picture is a bit of a struggle as well.

  • avatar
    Buckshot

    A lot of internet warriors, troll and anti-diesel lobbying here.

    My advice is to go to the cardealer and take a testdrive with a gasoline and a diesel car and compare. Some people like petrol engines, some people like diesel.

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      +1 Buckshot. Probably the best comment about this whole issue.

      If one was to be completely pragmatic about buying a car, we’d drive nothing but the smallest, cheapest, least equipped cars available, just due to the fact you do nothing but lose money on that purchase.

      But as others have noted, different strokes for different folks.

      • 0 avatar
        Buckshot

        I used to be a gasoline head, but i bought my current car (diesel)because economic reasons. Now, i don´t want anything but diesels. I have a small car with a diesel, stock 115 bhp 188 lb ft, currently tuned to 145 bhp 228 lb ft.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      I’m with you Buckshot on drivibility of torque. Gas engine 175 HP/205 trq is now 270 HP/300+ trq. And there’s more with upgraded turbo. Not sure how the diesel would work for stop sign at the bottom of an onramp to highway speeds like they have in eastern PA, but it can’t be as measely as a Prius or Leaf.

  • avatar
    HotPotato

    Derek, I realize a blog requires outrageous headlines in order to get page views, but this is ridiculous. Gasoline engines get considerably worse city MPG than highway MPG, yet you do the comparo based only on highway MPG? Eyeroll. I get it, the thing doesn’t pencil out. But it’s cheaper than a Jetta Diesel, which TTAC seems to love, so…?

    • 0 avatar

      I did it because they haven’t announced a city mpg or combined mpg figure for the Cruze diesel yet. Read the article before you make comments like this. I explicitly stated this fact, along with the preliminary nature of the calculations and that I’d re-do it once the final figures are released.

      • 0 avatar
        HotPotato

        Thanks for the reply. I should have stated it more diplomatically. I’ll try again:

        Invalid methodology yields invalid results. Invalid results don’t merit headline placement. Whether or not you specify justifications for using invalid methodology is irrelevant to that. In your last paragraph, you address the problem by instead substituting a reasonable proxy for the Cruze diesel, the Jetta TDI (similar size, weight, powertrain, known MPG) and come up with a 10 year payback — an unimpressive and unsurprising figure, but it’s an intellectually honest preliminary estimate, and 115 years is not. That kind of thing is fun, but comes at a cost to credibility.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      “Gasoline engines get considerably worse city MPG than highway MPG”

      Diesel engines also have inferior city fuel economy. Internal combustion engines, whether gas or diesel, have a funny way of doing that. If the motor is rated at 42 highway, then it will probably get mid-30′s in town.

      It also helps to understand that diesels get better fuel economy largely because diesel fuel contains more energy. If we bought fuel by the pound, the difference wouldn’t seem so great, but we use liquid measures for fuel for the sake of convenience, not as a representation of efficiency. Gas and diesel motors are both highly inefficient.

  • avatar
    OkayNowWhat

    You can’t really blame the guy. He is like most in that he believes the EPA mileage figures. Figures that the car companies themselves submit without a lot of corroborating proof. Just look at the problems that car companies are now getting in over falsely submitted Hybrid and other supposedly fuel economical vehicles.

    Here are other points to consider:
    1) Diesel does get better gas mileage that the EPA estimates. Simply put, unless you drive only limited commuting miles and/or short trips around town (say 10 miles one way), you will be getting from 10% to 20% higher MPGs than the EPA estimates. Also, to their credit VW / Audi has been honestly following the EPA testing rules and sumitting those results rather than attempting to beef up the numbers improperly as some companies have. However, VW / Audit would likely be more right than not if they did.
    2) Hybrids still have gasoline engines, tiny ones at that. If you drove a hybrid like you would drive a diesel, how long do you think those gas engines would really last? When the tiny gas engines do go you could yank out the used batteries (with perhaps 40 to 50K more miles left) and sell them for $300 on eBay. I don’t think many people would consider keeping the car.
    3) Diesel engines just flat out last longer than any hybrid or electric car out there. Even at an inflated estimate of the life of a purely electric car, it would only last to 180,000 miles. The top 50% of mileage maximums for diesel begins at around 300,000. How’s that for saving the planet? We could reduce the amount of unusable used car parts and metals taking up room in our landfills by half and that doesn’t consider the potentially harmful contaminants of a hybrid or electric battery rotting away.
    4) Have you ever had an emissions test? They hook up your car’s exhaust for 5 minutes or so to a system to read those emissions. They never consider the fact that a diesel will go about 33% farther than gas during that same 5 minutes. So if the actual pollutants from a gas engine as tested would be increased by that 33%, they would most likely not be able to pass. But do the 8 states who reject diesel engines take that into consideration? I don’t believe so.

    I guess you can tell I believe in diesel.

    Thanks for reading my rant.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      I got laugh at battery car owners saying “I’m getting 50 miles per gallon in the city.” I don’t know many cities that are 50 miles long. They are really not saving that much over modern day economy cars that are driven in a similar fashion as some hybrids.

      So are diesel owners the “new smug”? :)

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      “They never consider the fact that a diesel will go about 33% farther than gas during that same 5 minutes.”

      Thanks.

  • avatar
    OkayNowWhat

    Yeah I know. I didn’t really make a sound argument there. What I meant was that gallon for gallon, the pollutants from diesel may be greater than gas but diesel would go 33% farther and actually end up with less pollutants for each mile traveled.


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