Ladies and Gentlemen: diesel is back. Well really, it never left, but with diesel engines more efficient than their gasoline counterparts, and better fuel economy, auto manufacturers are beginning to bring vehicles to market with the more efficient engines.
Chevrolet is the latest to do so, with its 27/46mpg 2014 Cruze. After first showing up in Baltimore, Denver, Portland, Ore., and Milwaukee, the Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel will spread across the country by year's end.
Automakers are clearly trying to win back the American motorist with their clean diesels, which have certainly come a long way from the noisy, sooty diesels that existed in the 1970's. Gone from reality are the noisy, smelly, slow, and sooty diesels and here today are diesels with gobs or torque, many equipped with turbos for additional power, and all of which consume EPA-mandated ultra low sulfur diesel that burns much cleaner.
The Cruze powerplant boasts 280lb/ft of torque in short bursts for acceleration, with normal maximum torque at a healthy 264lb/ft. However, typical of diesels, the engine has a lower redline- 5,000rpm- and makes much of its power lower down in the powerband than its gasoline counterpart.
The new offering from GM highlights the resurgence of diesel vehicles in the market, as Mazda is soon to release a diesel version of its famed Mazda6, and may even offer a diesel engine in its CX-5, according to rumors.