Chicago 2013: 2014 Chevrolet Cruze TD (Diesel)

GM announced back in 2011 that there would be an oil-burning Chevy Cruze would eventually make its way to the U.S. market to compete against the likes of the Volkswagen Jetta TDI.  The future is now the present, and Chevy has pulled the wraps off of the 2014 Cruze TD, which of course stands for turbo diesel.

Originally there was a mid-cycle refresh scheduled for the Cruze for the 2014 model year, but as you can see, that idea was put on ice.  The 2014 Cruze looks basically the same as the original 2011 Cruze that first landed at dealers’ lots.  The only changes for the 2014 TD model are an aero kit and model-specific 17 inch wheels.

The good news – the little 2.0 liter turbodiesel generates 148 horsepower and an impressive 258 lb-ft of torque.  Even better, it features an overboost function that allows torque to climb to 280 lb-ft for up to ten seconds.  By comparison, the 1.4T gasoline engine in the current Cruze Eco produces 138 horsepower and 148 lb-ft of torque.  So, though the power curves are completely different between the engines, the new diesel will likely be the quickest Cruze by
But the bad news is that the Cruze TD will be expensive.  Though it comes with standard leather seating surfaces and an automatic transaxle, it starts at a hefty $25,695, including an $810 destination charge.  More bad news is that its fuel economy number is not all that impressive (GM only released the estimated EPA highway number of 42 MPG, which matches the Cruze Eco 6MT’s number and only beats the Cruze Eco automatic by three MPG.  The Jetta TDI has the same 42 MPG highway number, by the way.  The Jetta TDI earns a 30 MPG EPA city rating; the city number is really the one to pay attention to, since that’s most likely to match the real world more closely than the highway one.a decent margin, especially off the line.

It makes one wonder why GM decided to go with the 2.0 liter diesel in the Cruze TD and not something smaller.  Does the Cruze economy leader need to be the fastest one?  Wouldn’t a 1.6 liter turbo diesel deliver equivalent performance vs. the gasoline-fueled Cruzes while improving the numbers on the fuel economy label by a few miles per gallon?

GM claims that the Cruze TD has the cleanest passenger-car diesel engine that the company has produced in its history.  That’s nice, but I’ve ridden behind one too many Oldsmobile diesels in the 1980s to be fully impressed by that claim.  In all seriousness, the engine meets strict Tier 2 Bin5 emission standards; much of that is thanks to a urea injection system.  Of note, VW’s 2.0 liter TDI engine does not require urea injection to meet emission standards.

I applaud GM’s chutzpah in bringing a passenger-car diesel to North American consumers, and hope that enough people buy one so that diesel offerings become more prevalent on these shores.  Don’t forget that we’re getting a Mazda6 SkyActiv-D(iesel) here soon as well.  We look forward to going for a spin in the new Cruze TD and enjoying a ride on that wave of torque.

Author: Chris Haak

Chris is Autosavant's Managing Editor. He has a lifelong love of everything automotive, having grown up as the son of a car dealer. A married father of two sons, Chris is also in the process of indoctrinating them into the world of cars and trucks.

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