When you think of a car that runs on diesel, what are the first three things that come to mind? For me, it was: loud, expensive, and smoky.
For the most part, my thoughts were not positive and they were all based on past experiences with a high school classmate's diesel car. Her diesel car was what drove us all around during lunch hours and after school — and it was all of the things listed above and more. While I thought it was cool (and I was envious!) that a classmate even had a car to begin with, I had my mind made up that I would never buy a car that ran on diesel. Even though I'd like to think that high school was not so long ago...it kinda was, so that thinking was held for a very long time. It was only after I had the opportunity to test drive the 2015 Chevy Cruze Turbo Diesel that my mind was changed — for good.
I've written about some of the things GM and Chevrolet have been doing to make their cars more eco-friendly, so going into the week long test drive, I already knew my thinking was out of date. After all, it had been so long ago, things had to have changed. And they have.
I did find the Cruze Diesel to be a little bit louder than a gas fueled car (and there is a good explanation for why this is the case) but other than that, there were very few differences I found when driving this car. The major thing between driving this car and a gas fueled car was that when it was time to fill up, I had to drive up to the diesel pump and not the regular one. That's it.
So...what is so great and eco-friendly about driving the Cruze Diesel or any other diesel car?
The Chevrolet Cruze Diesel in particular is the most efficient non-hybrid passenger car in Canada (it has about 9 percent greater efficiency than the Volkswagen Jetta TDI, its closest competitor).
Chevy also manufactures a gasoline powered Cruze ECO (which is another smart green choice). The ECO is made eco-friendly mostly by the materials it is built with and the way it is designed. When compared to the ECO, the Diesel will give you 8.7 L/100 km when city driving and 5.1 L/100 km when highway driving. The ECO will give you 8.4 L/100 km in the city and 5.6 L/100 km out on the highway.
The price difference between comparable gas/diesel Vehicles is about $1700. Have a look at this comparison chart to see how similar cars in this class stack up against the Cruze Diesel.
The Cruze Diesel also has dashboard tools to help you determine how fuel efficient the car is based on your driving habits.
Diesel cars today must follow strict standards so they produce low sulpher and less CO2. Specific to the Cruze Diesel (but not all diesel cars), the Cruze features a Diesel Exhaust Fuel system (DEF) and its purposes is to further neutralize contaminants and make the Cruze Diesel a cleaner burning car. This of course, makes it more eco-friendly.
When it comes to other maintenance, there is no real difference between the a diesel car and any other car. It will of course have a maintenance schedule you will need to pay attention to (as with all other vehicles), but other than that, no special maintenance and unusual procedures to be done.
When at the pumps, you may have noticed that diesel is much cheaper than regular gas.
Here was the difference the day I filled up:
If power is something important to you (it should be!), then you will be pleased to know that a diesel vehicle will give you more horsepower (engine power) and torque (turning power) which equals better performance overall. The Cruze Diesel will give you 151 @ 4,000 rpm horsepower and 264 @ 2,600 rpm of torque. To compare, the Volkswagen Jetta TDI offers 150 @ 3,500 rpm horsepower and 236 @ 1,750 rpm of torque and the Cruze ECO will give you 138 @ 4,900 rpm horsepower and 148 @ 1,850 rpm torque.
My mind has definitely been changed when it comes to diesel cars, thanks to the Chevy Cruze Turbo Diesel. I would consider purchasing one when the time comes since it is very obvious that diesel vehicles have changed since my high school days (thankfully!).