2013 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel Test Drive
January 4, 2013
So, before the diesel revolution hits the Chevrolet dealers, we went to Europe for a preview of the diesel Cruze. After a week with the car one clear theme has emerged: those who take control will be in charge of the diesel revolution. That means a manual transmission will help drivers get the most out of the engine. In the case of an automatic, like our tester, the manumatic function that allows for selecting the driving gear is more than just a novelty.
One of the better examples of this occurred while traveling on the highway at about 60 mph. At this pace, the diesel motor is in an economy mode and is not making enough revs for the turbo to instantly deliver passing power. Mashing the accelerator and forcing a transmission kickdown does not create the instant passing power gas-engine drivers are used to experiencing. So instead, the solution is using the manumatic function to drop down one extra gear, and raise the rpm above 1,800 before making a move. That’s when the little diesel rally comes to life.
Plus, currently across the U.S., diesel fuel is about $0.62 per gallon more expensive than gasoline. This means that someone who drives 20,000 highway miles per year in a Cruze Eco (averaging 39 mpg and $3.30 per gallon) will now have to average 46 mpg highway across the same distance in the Cruze diesel to break even on the fuel cost.
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