Volkswagen fans, Chevrolet is ready to welcome you with open arms. It seems Chevy has a newfound love affair with diesel powertrains, knowing the 1.6-liter CDTi four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine will be present not only in the 2017 Chevrolet Cruze but in the 2018 Chevrolet Equinox, too.
And with good reason. Diesel powertrains are capable of providing a 20 percent boost in fuel economy over gasoline. Not to mention, they provide immense benefits in torque and power. With Volkswagen pulling its long-time diesel models out of the U.S., there’s room for someone to take over that space.
Chevrolet seems keen to do so, as Automotive News reports it’s gunning for 50 MPG highway with the upcoming Cruze hatchback. Chevrolet stated the upcoming Cruze hatchback with the diesel engine will be paired to either a nine-speed automatic transmission or six-speed manual gearbox. The automatic may be enough to clip 50 MPG on the highway.
The Cruze sedan is capable of 42 MPG on the highway with the 1.4-liter turbo four cylinder, but Cruze program manager, David Poniatowski, expects good things with the diesel.
“We expect it to do better than that (40 mpg highway with the gas version) but we can’t talk numbers yet,” he said. However, it’s a part of the Cruze’s long-term strategy. Fuel may be inexpensive at present, but the Cruze has been engineered to withstand spikes in gasoline prices with these kinds of economy numbers.
But, for the diesel variant specifically, Poniatowski reiterated the brand’s plans to fill VW’s vacated niche.
“We’re creating a niche out there for customers who are in love with diesel.”