My wife and I purchased a '12 Cruze Eco 6mt about 6+ weeks ago. Ended up being quite happy with it, so much so that we purchased a new '14 Eco 6mt. As far as speed, they're never going to be "fast" cars. They have adequate power and move down the highway quite well. Handling is good imho, interior is nicely appointed. The gas mileage is phenomenal for the eco especially. Sorry I can't speak to the diesel version, when we purchased new, we didn't consider it as it is automatic only. For the increased mileage and leather, etc it sounds quite worth the increase in price.