Two diesel engines are available in European Cruze models. One is a 2.0-liter turbocharged diesel with 127 horsepower and 227 lb-ft of torque. The other is a more powerful version of the same engine with 163 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque, more than any Cruze sold in the U.S. While EPA fuel economy numbers won’t be available for some time, the more powerful European-spec Chevrolet Cruze 2.0 VCDi with a six-speed manual transmission achieves 53 mpg in Europe’s extra-urban cycle, roughly equivalent to the EPA’s highway fuel economy number.
By comparison, the 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI, the only compact sedan in North America currently sold with a diesel engine, returns EPA-rated gas mileage figures of 30 city/42 highway with a six-speed manual transmission. It produces 140 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque from a 2.0-liter turbocharged diesel engine.
No matter what fuel economy figures the EPA awards the Cruze diesel, it’s undeniable that Chevrolet aims to have the new diesel model overtake the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco for its most-efficient compact sedan. Rated at 28 city/42 highway mpg, the Cruze Eco currently serves as the most fuel-efficient gas-powered sedan in its class.