Driving Notes

2015 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel

August 31, 2015

by Mike Antich - Also by this author

Photo by Vince Taroc.
Photo by Vince Taroc.

Introduced in 2011, the Chevrolet Cruze is a front-wheel-drive compact sedan that, in the past five years, has done well in the commercial fleet market. The most recent addition to the Cruze was a diesel engine option. This was significant since there is only one other model in the compact passenger car segment that offers a diesel engine, which is the Volkswagen Jetta TDI sedan. With the introduction of the diesel option, the Chevrolet Cruze offers six trim levels – L, LS, LT, LTZ, Eco, and Diesel.

Automotive Fleet had an opportunity to test drive the Cruze Diesel model and we were impressed by its excellent fuel economy, expanded cruising range, spirited engine performance, wealth of safety features, and its ability to contribute to corporate sustainability goals with its low NOx emissions.

The powertrain for the Cruze Diesel is the four-cylinder 2.0L turbocharged diesel engine mated to a 6-speed torque converter automatic transmission, which is different from the transmission offered on other Cruze models.

The Cruze Diesel’s 2.0L turbodiesel engine is based on a proven Opel engine used in the Opel Insignia and Astra models, and meets U.S. diesel emission standards for NOx and particulate emissions. As an added bonus, the 2.0L turbodiesel is capable of running on B-20 biodiesel.

During our driving test, the Chevrolet Cruze Diesel demonstrated solid acceleration while merging into traffic from freeway onramps and during passing maneuvers. The engine generates 151 hp at 4,000 rpm and 264 lb.-ft. torque at 2,600 rpm. During these driving situations, a variable-nozzle turbocharger expands the turbodiesel’s overall torque curve.

What contributes to the performance of the Cruze Diesel is a common-rail fuel system with Piezo injectors, which make multiple injections per combustion resulting in improved engine performance.

Excellent Fuel Economy

The EPA fuel economy for the Cruze Diesel is 33 mpg combined (27 mpg city/46 mpg highway). Also contributing to the Cruze Diesel’s excellent fuel economy is that it offers the same aerodynamic enhancements and low-rolling-resistance tires as does the Cruze Eco model. In addition, the Cruze Diesel sits on lightweight 17-inch wheels.

Another strong selling point to the Cruze is its excellent cruising distance due to its 15.6-gallon fuel tank, which allows a range of 700-plus miles per tank.

Photo by Vince Taroc.
Photo by Vince Taroc.

Driver Comfort & Safety Features

The overall dimensions for the 2015 Cruze makes for a comfortable driving experience. There is interior headroom of 39.3 inches for the front and 37.9 inches for the rear. Legroom is 42.3 inches front and 35.4 inches for the rear. To accommodate drivers of all sizes and shapes, the Cruze includes a six-way power driver seat, and for those working in colder climates, there are heated driver and front passenger seats.

As a fleet sales vehicle, the Cruze Diesel offer has a large trunk, with 13.3 cubic feet of storage space, providing plenty of room to carry a wide array of point of sales materials.

Wealth of Safety Features

In NHTSA crash testing, the Cruze earned a top five-star rating for overall safety performance, with five stars for total frontal-impact protection and five stars for total side-impact protection.

The Chevrolet Cruze offers 10 standard air bags, roof rail-mounted head curtain side air, seat-mounted side-impact air bags (front and rear), and front knee air bags. The pedal assembly is collapsible to help protect against lower-extremity injuries.

There is also an available Enhanced Safety Package that includes side blind zone alert, rear cross-traffic alert, and rear park assist.

All 2015 Chevrolet Cruze models come standard with stability control and antilock brakes. Also standard is OnStar, which includes automatic crash notification, on-demand roadside assistance, remote door unlocking, and stolen-vehicle assistance.

In the 2016 model-year, an all-new model Cruze will be introduced.


  1. 1. John Dunn [ September 16, 2015 @ 12:45PM ]

    Had a 2014 Cruze Diesel. Put 26,00 on it and got rid of it. It was in for warranty work four times in two years. Once for electrical malfunction, twice for issues related to the pollution control, and once for code issues. It did get great mileage with a high of 56 on a 100 mile freeway trip in Oregon doing 60mph. Usually mileage was less but was always good on highways.

Comment On This Story

Email: (Email will not be displayed.)  
Comment: (Maximum 10000 characters)  
Leave this field empty:
* Please note that every comment is moderated.



Fleet Management And Leasing

Jack Firriolo from Merchants will answer your questions and challenges

View All

Author Bio

sponsored by

Amy Winter-Hercher

Senior Editor

Amy is an associate editor for Auto Rental News and Business Fleet.

» More

sponsored by

Andy Lundin

Assistant Editor

Andy Lundin works on Automotive Fleet and Fleet Financials.

» More

sponsored by

Chris Brown

Executive Editor

Chris is the executive editor of Business Fleet Magazine and Auto Rental News. He covers all aspects of the fleet world.

» More

sponsored by

Eric Gandarilla

Assistant Editor

Eric Gandarilla works on Automotive Fleet and Fleet Financials.

» More

sponsored by

Mike Antich

Editor and Associate Publisher

Mike Antich has covered fleet management and remarketing for more than 20 years and was inducted in the Fleet Hall of Fame in 2010.

» More

sponsored by

Paul Clinton

Senior Web Editor

Paul is the senior web editor for Automotive Fleet, Fleet Financials, Government Fleet, Green Fleet, Vehicle Remarketing, and Work Truck. He has covered police vehicles for Police Magazine.

» More

sponsored by

Thi Dao

Executive Editor

Thi is the executive editor of Government Fleet magazine. She is interested in maintenance management and alternative fuels.

» More

Grants & Subsidies

Alternative Fueling Station Locator

Alternative Fueling Station Locator

Find your closest station or plan a route. Locate biodiesel, electric, ethanol, hydrogen, compressed natural gas (CNG), liquified natural gas (LNG), and propane across America.

Start Your Search