Introducing The Diesel Driver’s Next Long-Term Car: the 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel

By Jonathan Spira on 3 February 2014
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The Diesel Driver’s new Chevrolet Cruze Diesel

NEW YORK—A Chevrolet Cruze Diesel is the newest member of The Diesel Driver’s long-term fleet.  The Tungsten Metallic Cruze was delivered to Jonathan Spira, the magazine’s editor-in-chief, and Bas Alferow, the associate editor, at a Chevrolet dealership in New York on Monday.

Because the Cruze – with the exception of its engine – is made in the U.S., it was easy to arrange delivery at a nearby dealership, East Hills Chevrolet.

The Cruze is part of a wave of new diesel-powered vehicles that have been put on sale for the first time in the 2014 model year.  Indeed, as evidenced by the ballot for the Diesel Car of the Year, that number has almost doubled since the previous year.DSC_0025

The Chevrolet Cruze Diesel is the first diesel to appear in the U.S. from one of the Big Three automakers, and hence, is the first non-German diesel offering sold here.

That having been said, it still has a strong German heritage. It was globally designed and developed and General Motor’s Opel unit in Germany played a leading role in its evolvement. In addition, its engine is built at GM’s Opel components factory in Kaiserslautern (Opel Motoren Kaiserslautern GmbH).

In a recent online poll, 12.2% of The Diesel Driver’s readers correctly guessed that our new car would be the Cruze.  (Admittedly, more readers picked the Mercedes-Benz E250 BlueTec and Jeep Grand Cherokee Diesel than any other.)

Visually, there’s little to distinguish our new Chevrolet Cruze Diesel from its petrol-powered cousins other than diesel-specific 17” five-spoke alloy wheels and a small green 2.0 TD badge on the rear deck lid.  Not as noticeable are the active grill shutters and underbody panels that come from the Cruze Eco, as well as the sound deadening materials borrowed from the Buick Verano including a hood blanket and heavier dash mat.

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