Driving Notes

2017 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel

September 13, 2017

by Paul Clinton - Also by this author

Photo by Vince Taroc.
Photo by Vince Taroc.

Chevrolet rebooted its gasoline-powered Cruze compact sedan in 2016, and followed that up with a new diesel model and hatchback body style for each in 2017. The diesel model is only available as a sedan.

The welcome changes enhance a vehicle with plenty of fleet appeal that earned our Fleet Car of the Year in 2015 for its low total cost of ownership, impressive fuel economy, and safety features. When we tested the 2015 Cruze Diesel, we were impressed by "its excellent fuel economy, expanded cruising range, spirited engine performance, wealth of safety features, and its ability to contribute to corporate sustainability goals with its low NOx emissions."

What worked well then works even better now.

The 2017 Cruze Diesel benefits from the 2016 redesign, and adds a new powerplant that's sourced from Turin, Italy, rather than Germany. The 1.6-liter turbodiesel engine, which replaces a 2.0-liter turbodiesel, makes 137 horsepower (down from 151 hp). Total range falls from the 700-mile level to the 500-mile level. Where the new Cruze Diesel gives ground in power output, it makes up for it with significantly better fuel economy, more safety features, and an upgraded interior.

Photo by Vince Taroc.
Photo by Vince Taroc.

When driving in the city, the Cruze Diesel gets an EPA-rated 31 mpg. On the highway, it gets 47 mpg when paired with a nine-speed transmission. When paired with a six-speed manual, the Cruze Diesel can achieve up to 52 mpg on the highway.

The gasoline-powered Cruze sedan is available in four trims, including L, LS, LT, and Premier, while the diesel model includes LT content. It's equipped with a 13.7-gallon fuel tank.

Standard safety equipment includes 10 airbags, StabiliTrak electronic stability control, and a backup camera.

The diesel model retails for at least $24,670, which is $6,820 above the base gasoline Cruze. Our tested model would retail for $27,395.

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