I test drove a Cruze Diesel today. I drove it in town, on the highway and in a residential area. I put about 20km on the odometer.
The car was brand new with only 60km on the odo. It had just been PDId yesterday.
I've previously test driven a 2011 and 2013 when they were also brand new.
The diesel changes the character of the Cruze in ways that I found pleasing.
First it feels heavier; more substantial. This is a feeling that I like as I've always driven large vehicles. I felt this mostly through the steering wheel and when going over bumps like rail road tracks.
Second there was substantially more power. For my personal driving technique, which is not to modulate the accelerator pedal but simply depress it slightly and let the engine and transmission do their work, it felt as powerful as my Northstar powered DTS.
The interior was exceptionally quiet. Rivalling my DTS. Only the slightest of engine sound could be heard at highway speeds. Whereas the DTS's engine cannot be heard at all. However, if you were to turn the radio on, or the fan to three or higher, you could not hear the engine.
When stopped at idle there was a slight vibration through the seat cushion. It was not objectionable.
Outside and at idle the Diesel engine is very quiet. While it makes a different noise, the L33 5.7 in my Tahoe makes the same level of noise at idle as does the LUZ 2.0 in the Cruze.
On coastdown the Aisin transmission noticeably downshifted. I'm not really used to feeling this but the whole Powertrain was as green as grass and quite frankly I'm unfamiliar with the feel of anything other than a four speed Hydra-matic.
There was also about a 0.5 second power lag from a standing start. I suspect this was due to the turbo.
Overall I was impressed and suspect that Chevrolet will sell many of them as long as they let people test drive them against a 1.8 or 1.4T Cruze.
It would make a great taxi. And I say that as a very high complement.