GM official says the Cruze diesel's highway mpg rating will likely begin with a "5."

Despite the never-ending scandal at the Volkswagen Group concerning cheating TDI-powered models, the diesel engine still has a life in United States. Case in point, the Chevy Cruze is about to get a thrifty diesel for both the sedan and hatchback body styles, and it might just become the most economical model fitted with a turbodiesel engine since the late 1980s. The 1987 Honda CRX HF was rated back in the day at a still very impressive 51 miles per gallon on the highway.

In an interview with Automotive News at the ongoing 2017 Detroit Auto Show, General Motors’ product development chief, Mark Reuss, hinted EPA will rate the diesel Cruze with a highway mpg of at least 50 mpg. His exact words were: “I think it will start with a 5.” That doesn’t come as a big surprise seeing as how the 2016 Cruze fitted with the turbocharged 1.4-liter gasoline engine is already doing 42 mpg on the highway.

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The diesel-powered 2017MY Cruze will have a newly developed 1.6-liter engine featuring an aluminum cylinder block, so it’s going to be lighter than the previous 2.0-liter diesel engine that had a cast-iron block. Speaking of the old diesel Cruze, it was rated at 44 mpg on the highway.

The 2017 Chevy Cruze diesel will provide 137 horsepower (102 kilowatts) and 240 pound-feet (325 Newton-meters) of torque and is going to be available with a standard six-speed manual transmission or an optional nine-speed auto. Those mostly interested in fuel economy will want to go for the manual since Mike Siegrist, chief engineer for the Cruze diesel, says the Cruze will be more frugal with the six-speed ‘box. He went on to specify most of the engine’s power will come in the low rpm range and that Chevy has made efforts to boost the engine’s refinement, so expect less noise and vibrations compared to the old one.

Chevy will have the diesel Cruze on sale this spring.

Source: Automotive News

Gallery: 2017 Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback: Review