Compact and midsize sedans sales are falling fast. So are diesel sedan sales. Why not combine the two and do a compact diesel sedan?
Chevrolet must have a good market for the diesel Cruze, since it’s been making them for quite some time. The 2019s get a 1.6 liter version, with 240 pound-feet of torque. Diesels are good for going up steep hills with the air conditioner on and four passengers — in short, they generate lots of torque at low rpm. That also makes cars more responsive, generally, even if sprint times aren’t quite as good as equivalent gasoline-powered cars. Finally, they can achieve superb gas mileage in city and highway cycles alike; the 2018 Cruze boasts 52 mpg (highway) with the diesel.
The base engine of the 2019 Cruze is a 1.4 liter gasoline turbo four. The diesel is not just the only other option, but it’s the only way to get a manual transmission in the 2019 Cruze. If the diesel’s horsepower seems low, consider it roughly matches the Toyota Corolla — but with over 100 more pound-feet of torque, and probably better mileage.
The 2019 Cruze has subtle styling changes, including new and revised LED accents; the hatchback form continues from 2018, and is expected to get around a fifth of the car’s sales. A seven inch touch-screen will be standard.
If Chevy can sell the diesels at a profit and keep regulators happy, the Cruze should make many customers happy, too.