By on May 19, 2017

[Image GM]

General Motors seems to hope buyers of its upcoming diesel Chevrolet Cruze hatchback are interested in both fuel economy and tossing around their new purchases with reckless abandon.

When it goes on sale this fall, the 2018 Cruze diesel hatch will offer a standard six-speed manual transmission, as well as something you won’t find on its diesel sedan sibling — the RS Package. It looks like “fun diesel” is the new “clean diesel.”

According to car shopping site CarsDirect, entry-level diesel hatches will pile on the goodies, possibly in a bid to attract wayward Europhiles. Both the RS Package — which adds 18-inch aluminum wheels, a rear spoiler and body kit — and the Convenience Package come standard on the “base” diesel hatch, which is actually an LT model. The mandatory add-ons pair with a 1.6-liter turbodiesel making 137 horsepower and a TDI-like 240 lb-ft of torque.

Pricing for the 2018 Cruze diesel hatch starts at $26,310 (after destination charge) for the manual transmission, rising to $26,740 if buyers opt for the nine-speed automatic. It’s the stick shift that garners the diesel sedan a 52 mile-per-gallon highway rating.

The extra standard content is reflected in the $1,640 gap between the manual diesel LT hatch and its four-door equivalent (which carries a $24,670 sticker). Moving up to the automatic diesel hatch amounts to pocket change, as the loss of the third pedal also means the disappearance of the RS Package. The Convenience Package, which brings keyless entry, keyless start and power heated seats, remains.

Selling diesel cars in the U.S. remains an iffy proposition, but GM is probably encouraged by the speed at which newly legal 2015 Volkswagen TDIs are flying off lots.

[Image: General Motors]

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42 Comments on “Diesel Chevrolet Cruze Hatch to Arrive with an Extra Helping of Sportiness...”

  • avatar

    C segment cars should be $16000, not $26000.

    How is that going to be reflected in Canadian pricing?

    • 0 avatar


    • 0 avatar

      Well that didn’t take long.

      A stripped 200 starts at $22.2K, with 20% off sticker and $1.5K on the hood if financed through Chrysler – even with all that, you’re not to $16K

      A stripped Corolla starts at $18.5K
      A stripped Civic starts at $18.8K
      A stripped Impreza starts at $18.3K
      A stripped Mazda3 starts at $17.9K
      A stripped Jetta starts at $17.9K
      A stripped Cruze starts at $17K
      A stripped Sentra starts at $17K
      A stripped Elantra starts at $17.1K
      A stripped Forte starts at $16.6K <— close!
      A stripped Focus starts at $16.8K

      All of the above prices are for the cheapest possible C-segment offering the maker has. For example, a 5-door Focus starts at $19.8K – so a $3K premium for the hatch.

      There isn't a single new C-segment vehicle sold in America with a sticker of $16K – not one.

      • 0 avatar

        Mr. Yellen, we need warp deflation!

        I just can’t do it Captain…. I don’t have the power!

      • 0 avatar

        Stripped? You mean vinyl seats, crank windows, no AC, and no radio? Base model doesn’t mean stripped.

        • 0 avatar

          Congrats. You’ve won Pedantic Internet Post of the Day!

          Anyway, if you want vinyl, I”m sorry high quality leatherette, errr, leather seating surfaces, err front seat leather seating surfaces, aka nice looking vinyl – you have to pay extra for the privilege these days.

          If you’re loathe to fancy options like power locks, you can get a Spark without them – well the driver’s door has a hidden power lock for OnStar…

      • 0 avatar

        Up until this year many / most compacts in Canada were about $15,995. Of course this gave you no A/C, the choice of 1 or 2 colours, and was before destination charges approaching $2,000.

  • avatar

    Too bad that the reviews I can find of a 6-speed manual Cruze generally say that the manual transmission is pretty terrible.

    Hey Mazda, I got a partnership idea for you. Start selling manual transmissions to GM for use in their compact and subcompact offerings.

    • 0 avatar
      Silent Ricochet

      Haven’t found much about shift feel on the M32 Manual Transmission but I found plenty of info about how heat basically destroys them. It’s recommended by plenty of enthusiasts to change the factory gear oil at 15k to something like Amsoil Synchromesh and then change it in 50k intervals afterwards. Apparently the M32 gets hot due to its compact 3-shaft design.

      • 0 avatar
        Jeff Weimer

        And we recommend putting in 2.32-2.5 quarts of Amsoil Syncromesh or 75W-90 GL-4 (for “extreme use”) instead of the factory 1.9 quart fill to help the 6th gear shaft bearing that can get oil-starved. The extra oil also helps with heat.

        Here’s a good discussion of the M32 transmission and its issues and mitigation in the 1st gen Cruze:

    • 0 avatar

      I don’t know what the reviews say about this, but I’d like to add from personal experience. The steering is god awful. It’s precise, but there is literally (I actually mean literally) zero feel coming through the steering wheel. It also has no desire to return to center. You can let go of the wheel mid corner and it’ll just stay there.

  • avatar

    Nothing about this post tells me that this is a sporting option. As posted above, the manual in these appears to be economy-biased. In addition, GM knows how to make a sporting package with their Colorado zr2 offroad package, and the perrennial bargain z07 corvette package. This is strictly an appearance package, even the “euro” chevy lumina was better, with it actually including a larger engine.

  • avatar

    Interesting. 240 ft-tq in a 3,000lb model vs 210 ft-tq in a 3,800lb model powered by the LORD.

    Models: 2016 Chevrolet Cruze L, LS, LT and Premier … Curb weight (lb / kg):, 2932 lbs.

    Park Avenue remained part of the Electra model family though 1990 however, Electra …. Curb weight, 3,778–3,884 lb

    Other than the Forces of Evil, makes me wonder why all of these micro engines are not diesels.

    • 0 avatar

      1.6-liter turbodiesel making 137 horsepower and a TDI-like 240 lb-ft of torque

      Honestly 28, that’s very close to the published numbers for the Olds 307 V8 that powered my G-body Cutlass. That’s one of the reasons I’m so intrigued by the potential of these little torque monsters.

      • 0 avatar

        You are correct, I want to say the 307 was 140bhp. The complete irony would be if a RWD G-body’s curb weight were about 3,000lb.

        Ok now this is sick:

        MY 86 Regal

        “1986 buick Regal Grand National 3285”

        They have literally recreated your Oldsmobile sans RWD.

        • 0 avatar

          According to “” the curb weight of a coupe was 3203 lbs.

          Mine was a sedan and BROUGHAM but definitely a fair point of comparison.

          Interestingly the interior volume and trunk volume on a Cruze (sedan) are close to the A-body Celebrity that was my first car. That sucker though made 92 hp and 121 lb ft of torque from the Iron Duke.

          • 0 avatar

            This is too weird. If a Cruze Brougham is introduced I think it might destroy the universe (and I am OK with that).

      • 0 avatar

        “Olds 307”


        ugh, I think it was ’87-’88 when GM must have been trying to get rid of those, and stuffed them under the hoods of all their brands. I don’t know how many parts jobbers I had to fight with back then who insisted that the ’88 Caprice Wagon I needed something for had a 305. No, sir, I can see the oil fill neck up front, it’s a 307.

        • 0 avatar

          @JimZ, I still have much resentment against GM for taking SO LONG to TBI their passenger car small blocks.

          The Windsor 302 was fuel injected by 1985 but the SBC doesn’t get TBI in the Caprice until 1991. WTF?

          I also saw the 307 as inferior to the 305 from a driveablity standpoint. My Dads mid 80s Caprice Estate with 305 would bury the needle no problem if you kept the pedal mashed, my Cutlass on the other hand ran out of steam at just above 65 mph.

          I’m simply intrigued by that much hp/torque and MPGs in something roughly the size of my first car.

          • 0 avatar

            Well, the 307, by its inherent design, produced less emissions and got decent mileage with a carb, so GM kept building them that way until the end of the line in 1990.

            Think of this, by the early 1990s, Ford’s were MPFI, where as GM had TBI (spider injection) on their truck V-6 (4.3L) and V-8 engines until 1999.

            Ford had a DOHC 6 cylinder engine in the 1995 Contour and offered one in every FWD car (that offered a V-6) released since. When did GM begin widespread use (beyond limited premium offerings, and foreign brands like Opel and Holden) of a DOHC V-6? Not until the “High Feature” was introduced about a decade later.

            They are frequently behind the times. GM can be innovative, it can also be damned stubborn, to its own detrement.

    • 0 avatar

      When taking max torque into account, you also need to consider the gearing. If a small gasoline turbo engine made a bit less torque at the crankshaft but was capable of revving higher, you could design the gearing of the car to be lower yet still hit the same top speed in each gear. In this case, the less-torque engine could conceivably put the same torque to the ground at any given travel speed.

      Try this thought experiment: imagine an engine where you put a 2-to-1 gear reduction inside the engine and called the engine+reduction “the engine.” Then you put a 1-to-2 gear multiplier in the differential. Other than putting all sorts of stress on the clutch/transmission/driveshaft, the new setup is going to drive the same, but you could magically claim your engine has 2x as much torque! (and 1/2 as high a redline)

  • avatar

    The tail lamps look cheap.

    There are hardly any Chevrolets that I find attractive. The Colorado is handsome. The Bolt is good enough for an EV. The new Equinox and Traverse are good enough, but that’s about it.

    Every Chevy sedan or coupe/ 2 door are not attractive. Is GM using dull paint again to mask panel gaps and poorly aligned body panels? The general problem is that on a looks alone basis not a single GM product would be best in class for looking most premium and/or quality built.

    • 0 avatar

      At least GM did the right thing and kept the amber turn signals. I won’t buy a Cruze hatch, the cargo area is crazy small. However, if there was a Cruze wagon I might change my opinion.

  • avatar

    Nearly $27k for this? GTFO

  • avatar

    I’m just really happy that we will get another few years of awkward chevy commercials featuring condescending bearded guy and hip millennial real people that say things like stepping up their game.

  • avatar

    In other words GM is building the unicorn wagon that the commissariat always claims they would buy in mass quantities.

    A manual transmission, diesel wagon (and that is a Euro diesel engine), sporty, wagon/5-door. I hope GM offers it in brown to check off the final box. You can even getting your semi-luxury features.

    Here is your unicorn — now buy it!

    I know about 10 million people online claim daily they would buy it tomorrow if it existed, I suspect about 3 people actually will. Complaints will be:

    1) It’s a Daewoo
    2) It’s too expensive
    3) I’m waiting for it to be CPO
    4) It’s a Chevy and it’s really a Daewoo
    5) I’m waiting for Mazda, or Hell to freeze over, whichever comes first
    6) I’m not buying from Bankrupt motors
    7) I know these will be selling for 50% off next year on dealer lots
    8) It’s a Daewoo
    9) Where is the horsepower? Pfffftttt. I thought diesel was amazing
    10) It’s a Daewoo

  • avatar

    Principal Dan, I considered new Cruze hatch and drove one with a manual trans.

    After my test drive, I would not buy this car. The transmission felt fine to me. The clutch felt fine. But the ratios are awful–very WIDE ratio box. The gaps between 2 and 3, and 3 and 4 are too big. You want to shift, but then if you have to accelerate moderately, the engine (regardless of the advertised torque figure) is gutless.

    This was a big disappointment because a few months earlier, I had drive a RENTAL Opel Astra diesel with a manual trans. The drivetrain was so (relatively) smooth and quiet, I occasionally forgot to upshift. When I did, the engine had plenty of power for all but the most extreme situations. Even 6th was usually fine. In fact, after a week, I really liked the car in general! It was a competent, honest car that was mildly entertaining. For $23,000 or less, I would have bought that car in a minute (that’s what led me to the Cruze test drive).

    I suspect GM will offer the same diesel drivetrain the Europeans get (not necessarily because GM is that smart, but because it wouldn’t make sense to change what they already have–even for them).

    If that is the case, I think the diesel should drive very well. Put some decent front seats in there, and GM, you have a winner!

    It will be too late for me though, since I bought a used Regal–which is a much nicer car (and a nicer Opel) than the Astra/Chev Cruze, and which cost me less than a new Gas Cruze would have.

    Also, $26k is too much, IMO.

    • 0 avatar
      Jeff Weimer

      I don’t know about the diesel ratios, but the ratios for the 2nd gen gas manual are exactly the same as the 1st gen Eco, and yes they are very wide. The 1G LT manual transmission feels better suited to the 1G 1.4T engine (and I imagine it would with the new one too), but the highway revs are much higher in 6th. I have one of each (Eco and LT).

      • 0 avatar

        I think it was “Car and Driver” whom I saw a test of a gas 6-speed manual RS package. Their complaints were LONG throws in the transmission, reverse lockout that gets in the way, disconnected feel.

        • 0 avatar
          Jeff Weimer

          Long throws are a different issue (and can be fixed aftermarket) than wide ratios (and the 1G RS package wasn’t available on Ecos, so they have a closer-ratio box), and the reverse lockout on mine doesn’t seem bad at all, but it is a cable shifter, so disconnected feel is a risk, but it feels fine for me.

          I’ve also owned multiple manual Hondas, and I don’t find this transmission to be unpleasant, but YMMV.

  • avatar

    Yeah but…

    Cruze manuals have the slowest clutch action in the world. I think it is some kind of bleed valve meant to help newbies to the fellowship of “Row your own” have smoother take-offs.

    Here’s how it works: Rev that little turbo brute for all she’s worth, then, sidestep the clutch pedal…and it smoothly feathers onto the flywheel for a non-dramatic take-off.


    If that’s what this Diesel RS is getting….ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

  • avatar

    Awe,come on guys. I’ve put several hundred miles in a Cruze. They’re nice cars whether auto or manual. And the wagon is Going to do just fine. But, I’ve been reading this site since Farago and it’s clear that GM in particular would be leagues ahead by simply running their planing through TTAC before they make any rash announcements. I a GM shill? I could be as my daily driver is a C5 Vette.

    • 0 avatar

      Are you sure you were in a Cruze?…. I drove one for about a week (dealer loaner) and everything about it was absolute garbage. I came away with a strong sense of pity for anyone trapped in that plastic penalty box. I can’t think of one thing that that car did well. I mean.. I guess the doors stayed shut while turning. So it’s got that going for it, which is nice. But really one of the worst cars I’ve ever driven. Right up there with a 2000 Kia Sephia.

  • avatar

    There is nothing in the RS package that would increase one’s ability to “toss the car around”. It is an appearance package only.

    • 0 avatar

      Diesel aside, this car interests me, but I’d deliberately avoid the RS package since it would just hurt the ride quality more than anything.

  • avatar

    I really wanted to like the Cruze Hatch but they chose style over function and made a small opening and space. The thing I dislike most about new Chevrolets are the heaps of plasti-chrome all over and the nauseating blue backlighting. The interior is trying too hard to be faaaaancy. VW and KIA do “cheap” car interiors better, IMHO

  • avatar

    Or, get a sporty Chevy Bolt with incentives… faster accelerating than the Cruze Diesel and far more economical.

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