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How much 'Myth-Busting' will the Chevy Cruze Diesel need?

4926 Views 21 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Beachernaut
Personally, I think there is some pent-up demand for modern small diesels in the U.S. But here's another opinion that Americans will need some "myth busting" on diesels:

How difficult will it be for GM to convince people unfamiliar with modern diesel engines to make a switch from gasoline to diesel?
Our conclusion? It could be as tough as convincing most Americans to switch to plug-in or hybrid cars. Here's why:

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How Much Myth-Busting Will The Chevy Cruze Diesel Need?

Chevrolet Cruze 2.0 VCDi turbodiesel (Europe)
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Aside from the poor image of diesels, a problem with this car will most likely be the performance. The diesels overseas with the 2.0 TDI aren't very fast, and people already bitch about how slow the Cruze is.
IIIRC, diesels are often competitive with gas in the 0-40 mph range, which is where a lot of Americans do their suburban acceleration.
 

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Gonna be a tough sell when diesel is so expensive compared to regular gas.
That's part of the education. Diesel is a tad over premium in most areas, but when you're getting hybrid class fuel economy, people start paying attention.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Gonna be a tough sell when diesel is so expensive compared to regular gas.
Actually, since regular has spiked recently, the gap is closing.

Keep in mind that a gallon of diesel weighs almost a pound more than a gallon of gasoline and has more BTUs of energy. It is more expensive because it takes 16% more oil to make.
 

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Diesel contains about 10% more BTU's of energy than gasoline, so as long as the co$t of diesel fuel is within 10% of gasolines' co$t, diesel is more co$t-effective. But, that doesn't include diesel engines' "additional" co$ts of "urea" additives and more frequent oil/filter changes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Diesel contains about 10% more BTU's of energy than gasoline, so as long as the co$t of diesel fuel is within 10% of gasolines' co$t, diesel is more co$t-effective. But, that doesn't include diesel engines' "additional" co$ts of "urea" additives and more frequent oil/filter changes.
But don't diesel engines also extract more energy out of the oil because of the high compression?
 

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...in the past, the traditional answer was a solid, "yes," but with today's gasoline engines moving toward direct-injection and turbochargers, the compression-ratio "increase" gap is diminishing quickly...for example, Mazda's new "SkyActive" engine's 13.0:1 ratio!
 

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I had a 2007 Dodge pickup with the (then new) 6.7 Cummins. Eventually I had service records for 16 unscheduled visits to the service department - 14 check engine lights and 2 recalls. The turbo had been replaced once, cleaned once after the first replacement and it had another check engine light for the same problem. To Chrysler's credit, they bought it back from me when I complained but it soured me on diesels.

And I understand the BTU value of the fuel but you'll need to get at least 20% better fuel economy to even come close to making it work financially. I still plan on taking a test drive in a Cruze diesel when they come out but mainly to feel how the power difference feels.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
....And I understand the BTU value of the fuel but you'll need to get at least 20% better fuel economy to even come close to making it work financially. I still plan on taking a test drive in a Cruze diesel when they come out but mainly to feel how the power difference feels.
I just got back from a gas station today, and these were the prices:

Regular: $3.99, Mid: $4.14, Prem: $4.24, Diesel: $4.09.

The differential has dropped to 2.5%. !!
 

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I had a 2007 Dodge pickup with the (then new) 6.7 Cummins. Eventually I had service records for 16 unscheduled visits to the service department - 14 check engine lights and 2 recalls. The turbo had been replaced once, cleaned once after the first replacement and it had another check engine light for the same problem. To Chrysler's credit, they bought it back from me when I complained but it soured me on diesels.

And I understand the BTU value of the fuel but you'll need to get at least 20% better fuel economy to even come close to making it work financially. I still plan on taking a test drive in a Cruze diesel when they come out but mainly to feel how the power difference feels.
Keep in mind, there is zero purpose for driving a Diesel truck if you don't need to do any heavy towing. All you'll be doing is spending extra money on maintenance and parts.

I just got back from a gas station today, and these were the prices:

Regular: $3.99, Mid: $4.14, Prem: $4.24, Diesel: $4.09.

The differential has dropped to 2.5%. !!
That's a pretty insignificant difference. If it does get better fuel economy, its a no-brainer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Diesel prices are back to being higher than gas now. Gas is around $3.59 and diesel is around $3.89.

I'm searching the news services regularly but have not found any updates on the release date, yet.
 

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Making the diesel version cost effective isn't just the price difference between the fuel. Last time I shopped for trucks (quite a few years ago) the diesel engine was a $6k option, add that to the price difference for maintenance and you were looking at a huge number of miles before you started seeing any savings.

I'm curious what the diesel option will cost on the Cruze. Buying a $2k option on a $40k car is one thing. That same $2k option on a $20k car is quite another.

IMO they're going to have to meet or beat the VW TDI. The Jetta TDI starts at $22k, if GM can match that I think they'll do ok. If not, they're just shooting themselves in the foot.
 

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Making the diesel version cost effective isn't just the price difference between the fuel. Last time I shopped for trucks (quite a few years ago) the diesel engine was a $6k option, add that to the price difference for maintenance and you were looking at a huge number of miles before you started seeing any savings.
For people like me and you, yeah, but if you need to tow heavy equipment on your job site every day or a very large boat out to the lake, $6,000 is a drop in the bucket. You're buying a tool to do a job, which is really what diesel trucks are designed for.
 

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For people like me and you, yeah, but if you need to tow heavy equipment on your job site every day or a very large boat out to the lake, $6,000 is a drop in the bucket. You're buying a tool to do a job, which is really what diesel trucks are designed for.

I completely agree. I was just using that as an example. I think pricing for the Cruze diesel is going to have a huge impact on its success. The example of the truck will only be magnified since hauling a heavy load (where the diesel really shines over gas) doesn't come into play.
 

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I completely agree. I was just using that as an example. I think pricing for the Cruze diesel is going to have a huge impact on its success. The example of the truck will only be magnified since hauling a heavy load (where the diesel really shines over gas) doesn't come into play.
Unless they offered a Cruze Diesel with a big towing package. Now that would be something...
 
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