Diesels are quite popular in Europe due to their fuel efficiency and low cost per kilometer, but in the U.S., things are quite different. Americans don’t have great memories of unreliable Oldsmobile diesels or slow and smokey Volkwagen Rabbits and, besides, the cost of diesel fuel is more expensive than gasoline (almost $0.25 more around the corner from us). Still, a small but fervent band of enthusiasts and other consumers are pining for diesels in the U.S. General Motors seems to be listening.
GM vice president of global powertrain, Steve Kiefer, told Automotive News at this week’s Center for Automotive Research Management Briefing Seminars, “The Chevrolet Cruze diesel will be the first of many diesel-powered passenger cars General Motors will offer in the United States. We will continue to introduce more diesels as appropriate and as the market accepts them.”
Right now, other than the Cruze, GM doesn’t have a passenger car diesel in the U.S. GM’s full-size truck line, however, relies on diesels for those requiring heavy payloads. And the new Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon compacts will also have a 2.8L four-cylinder diesel option.
So for which model do you think we can expect GM to release a diesel next? We seem to think SUVs will be the natural progression, with sedans still requiring more demand to be considered, but who knows?