GM Goes German: Chevrolet Cruze Diesel to Offer a Manual Transmission

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
gm goes german chevrolet cruze diesel to offer a manual transmission

The Chevrolet Cruze Diesel returns in 2017, packing a smaller oil-burning four-cylinder and more torque than the first-generation model, but there’s another major change from its predecessor.

According to GMInsideNews, the next-generation Cruze Diesel will offer both a manual and automatic transmission. Clearly, GM wasn’t lying about its plan to romance former Volkswagen owners.

GM Canada product manager Paul Hewitt confirmed today that the diesel/stick shift option will be available in both sedan and hatchback body styles, and with every trim level except the top-flight Premier (which is automatic-only). Chevy doesn’t plan to offer the hatchback variant in base LS trim.

For the 2017 model year, Chevrolet introduced a new Pepperdust Metallic color to its paint palette, meaning auto journalists will be able to buy a new brown, manual, diesel hatch — from America, no less! Sure, it’s not a wagon, but close enough.

For 2017, Chevy ditches the old 2.0-liter diesel in favor of a new “whisper quiet” (we’ll see … ) 1.6-liter four-cylinder unit. The mill makes 137 horsepower, a loss of 15 horses, and 275 pounds-feet of torque, a gain of 11 lb-ft.

Hewitt didn’t mention if the diesel and manual transmission availability carries over unchanged into the U.S. model range. Regardless, the automaker’s take on the new diesel Cruze is in direct opposition to its approach with the previous model, which was offered with a single transmission, in uplevel trim only.

Since the previous model bowed, almost all of its foreign small car diesel competition has been wiped out by scandal. To capture as many jilted diesel-loving Volkswagen owners as possible, it makes sense to offer the Cruze Diesel in as many variations as possible.

Pricing hasn’t been announced for the diesel-powered Cruze.

Join the conversation
2 of 74 comments
  • Seth1065 Seth1065 on Oct 04, 2016

    I am sure they will sell a decent amount bc there is really no competition for a oil burner w a stick now that VW is out of that game, but I hope the interior is a step up from get one, I have rented some cruz and they are not bad but the interior is step or 2 down from a golf. understand it is the B&B's right to bitch and moan but Chevy is giving the ex VW folks what they want mostly, not sure how much room there is in one of these, give them some credit.

  • Brettc Brettc on Oct 04, 2016

    It's good that GM is realizing that they need to offer a lower-trim level option because the original Cruze diesel was pretty much $26k and it went up from there depending on options. I looked at the Cruze hatch over the weekend and was disappointed. Very little cargo space behind the rear seat, especially compared to what the C-Max offers. And the cars aren't much different in length. Nice looking car overall, but the lack of space killed it for me. Either way, I hope the hatch does well and I also hope the diesel option has a good take rate. Offering a 6 speed manual will definitely help lure annoyed VW owners, and they'll be available just in time for people coming in with large amounts of money from VW.

  • Jerry Hightower I'd like to see a true hardtop.
  • Jerry Hightower I'd like to see a true hardtop
  • 28-Cars-Later "Six-thousand dollars get you in the door."You just cost me six thousand dollars! And one Cadillac.
  • 28-Cars-Later Kudos to the Mazda team on the attractive front end, though the lack of front bumper is still detention after class. Rest of it is also visually appealing, its shocking me how good this looks and how bad Honda (and to an extent Toyota's) styling is in comparison.
  • Slyons My guess is they keep the 2.0 liter they have now with minor tweaks, and shoehorn in the 48V mild hybrid system that just debuted in the CX-90. Should allow for all the regular fun of wringing out the 4 cyl and bump the fuel mileage up at least a couple points. I don't think we'll see a major evolution of the drivetrain until the next next model (NF?).