A diesel-powered variant of the strong selling compact sedan is headed to our shores in less than two years. Already a huge success for General Motors and the Chevy brand, the Cruze has provided a dramatic sales improvement versus its old and outdated predecessor, the . In June, the Cruze notched up sales of more than 24,000 units and officially became that month's best-selling car in the U.S. Production delays caused by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami have caused Japanese rivals, like the and , to slide in terms of sales, and help boost the Cruze's sales numbers. Yet there is no arguing that Chevrolet has hit a homerun with this handsome, spacious and quiet compact sedan.
In 2013, Chevrolet has decided to add an optional diesel engine to the Cruze lineup here in the States. The bowtie brand already sells a 161-bhp 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder diesel in Europe. That engine, or a very similar variant, is almost guaranteed to make the jump across the Atlantic. Fuel economy on the highway should fall in the mid-40 mpg range, comfortably better than the 42-mpg offered in the current Cruze Eco model – presently the most frugal fuel-sipper in the Cruze family tree. Transmission choices should include a 6-speed manual and 6-speed automatic. We suspect Chevy might add extra fuel-saving tech – like a stop-start system – to take the fuel economy fight to hybrids (like the ) and other diesels (like the VW Jetta TDI).
With pricing for the 2011 Cruze ranging from $16,500 to $22,200, expect the 2013 Cruze Diesel to fall somewhere around $21,000 – depending on trim level and options.