As some of you already know, we provide a list of things we enjoy in vehicles we examine up close, or spend some seat-time with. And just as well, we list a few things we don’t. The 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel that was revealed during this week’s Chicago Auto Show is no exception. So, without further adieu, here are the five things we believe will be a challenge for the Cruze TD when it launches in a few months from now.
1. No Manual Transmission
Diesel passenger cars make up a smidgen of the overall vehicle market in the United States. So a manual diesel vehicle is especially niche. Though there is no denying the enthusiast’s preference of rowing through the gears by hand and foot, and that more often than not, it’s the stick shift that provides superior fuel economy.
2. No Basic Model To Make Things More Affordable
At a starting price of over $25,000, the Cruze TD might give potential buyers a case of the sticker shocks. Especially when looking at the Volkswagen Jetta TDI, which has a base price that’s $1,500 lower. However, the Cruze TD is generously loaded, but those who would rather simply have a frugal model with cloth seats will have to browse other Cruze models.
3. The MCE Still Eludes Us
From what’s been rumored, the all-new Chevrolet Cruze is roughly two years out, which means GM is most likely gonna be riding the current generation model out for as long as it can. In fact, it’s rather surprising we haven’t seen a mid-cycle-enhancement at all.
4. Overly Cautious Buyers May Shy Away From The DEF System
While the Volkswagen Jetta TDI was launched in North America before U.S. government regulations really started cracking down on diesel emissions, the Cruze TD is forced to comply, and thus requires an extra system to operate. GM engineers tell us that the system is good for 10,000 miles at the very least before the DEF tank needs a refill, but it could be argued that the market will need some time to warm up to this mandatory technology.
5. It Doesn’t Surpass The Cruze Eco In Estimated Fuel Economy
Yes, thanks to a larger tank than the Cruze Eco, the Cruze TD is expected to have the longest range of all variants offered in North America. Yet at an estimated 42 miles per gallon on the highway, the highway fuel economy of the Cruze TD with an automatic transmission is equal to that of the Cruze Eco with a manual transmission, while being pricier. This puts the Cruze TD in a funky spot, with buyers only being those who are willing to pay extra for a power upgrade that the diesel engine provides while retaining the same mileage as the cheaper, though less powerful, Cruze Eco. If the Cruze TD could even touch 45 miles per gallon on the highway officially, customers might find the deal to be much sweeter.