Chevrolet’s engineers went to a lot of trouble to get the 2017 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel an official EPA rating of 52 miles per gallon on the highway. This gave the new Cruze Diesel bragging rights to a 702-mile range on its 13.7-gallon tank – about enough to get from New York City to Richmond Virginia and back on a single fill-up.
But what if we told you that, given the right circumstances and a judicious right foot, the Cruze is capable of going nearly 1,000 miles before having to return to the pump?
In a recent instrumented test by Car and Driver, the diesel Cruze returned not 60, not 65, but 70 miles to the gallon. That’s motorcycle-like fuel economy. Of course, your mileage may vary; to achieve that lofty number, the C/D folks had to hush the Cruze’s 137-horsepower, aluminum turbo-diesel along as gently as possible. The cruise control speed was set to an efficient 55 miles per hour, and no passes were made.
The entire test was 159 miles of California highway, and during that time, the Cruze Diesel sipped just 2.257 gallons of fuel. Thanks to the torque provided by the diesel engine, which peaks at 2,000-rpm, the car was able to stay in ninth gear for the majority of the trip.
This study further solidifies our belief that a hatchback, diesel Cruze with a manual transmission would make for a truly awesome daily driver – provided you’re the sort of person who enjoys making infrequent stops at the pump.