Diesel Chevrolet Cruze Hatch to Arrive with an Extra Helping of Sportiness

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 six-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.

Comments