2014 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel
2.0L I4 Turbo Diesel
151 @ 4000 rpm
264 (280 o.b.) @ 2600
6-Speed Auto with Sequential Mode
5.0 / 7.0 (tested)
The Chevy Cruze is one of the best selling compact sedans in Canada. Its simplicity and capabilities tailored to everyday needs have made it one of the most popular picks. For 2014, with a diesel engine under the bonnet, it is giving the VW Jetta some serious cut-eye.
The diesel version of the Cruze is reasonably priced at $24,945 (MSRP plus $1,550 destination freight charge). Standard equipment includes leather appointed seat trim, heated front seats, 17” alloy wheels, 6-speed automatic transmission, MyLink audio system with 6 speakers and Bluetooth connectivity, manual air conditioning, leather steering wheel with audio controls, cruise control and trip computer. On the safety front you get an assortment of airbags including knee protection, antilock brakes and stability control. Our test vehicle was also equipped with the optional Enhanced Safety Package ($885) that added the rear parking assist, cross traffic alert and blind spot monitors.
Mostly unchanged since its initial launch, the Cruze still manages to look fresh and carries the aura of a North American product. Its looks are hardly a factor affecting sales, but the widely accepted design eliminates most of the haters. Inside the cabin, the cloth trim on the dashboard is the first thing you’ll notice. While personally not a fan of it, I need to acknowledge that it is a unique approach and makes the interior interesting. The rest is very Chevy like, the instrument cluster is clear and easy on the eyes with the pale blue tone, the centre stack is really well laid out and ergonomically the only two complaints are the accessibility to the bottom of the touch screen and the trip computer controls that are on the turn signal lever.
The driving position helps you feel perfectly in command of the vehicle and visibility will never be a problem. The seats have decent support and are plush enough to be considered comfortable. Roominess up front is good but the back seat can get a little cramped if the driver or passenger are taller than 6ft. Headroom is good but legroom really depends on the positioning of the front seats. Despite the floor of the cargo area being quite high, the capacity is still good at 376L and the shape helps utilize it to the maximum. The rear folding seats are also nice to have.
The 2.0L 4-cylinder Turbo Diesel engine outputs 151HP and 264 lb-ft of torque (280 lb-ft for 10 seconds with overboost) and its operation characteristics are overall very smooth. A cold morning start will make it feel a bit rough but thankfully it warms up fast. On the highway it is where it feels mostly at home as it revs low, remains quiet and packs plenty of passing power. Stuck in traffic and when operating temperatures tend to reach the red end of the line, it can occasionally clutter and get a bit rough producing some vibrations. However that is all within the realm of its diesel nature. Put your foot down and 0-100km/h comes in 10.4” seconds. Overall, performance is good as from a rolling start the sprint is much quicker. Working very well with the 6-speed automatic gearbox, expect highway fuel economy to be as low as 5lt/100km, while driving in the city will cost you two additional points. Our combined average of 6.2lt/100km was the result of our 45:55 highway/city driving.
The independent front suspension has been tuned to brake loose just before the weakness of the rear torsion beam becomes evident, which means that road holding is made safe rather than tricky. Emphasis has been given to make the handling progressive and forgiving. Overall it does a great job considering the comfort levels it provides and realistically losing the handling edge is not that important. However, the steering is light and responsive and the brake pedal is linear. From 100km/h it came to a complete stop in 44m while putting up a pretty good fight against brake fade.
The strongest selling point of the Cruze is that there is absolutely nothing wrong with it. Add an excellent drivetrain to it and the equation results in a seriously alluring product that you must consider.
Great on fuel
Slow off the line
Noisy cold starts