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I hate to say it but if we are competing against the the MiniS and Veloster turbo for a peppy car this may be a battle we cannot win, as much as I like my Cruze. When considering the diesel keep in mind that a lot more work went into it aside from just adding the engine; the brakes were upgraded for the additional weight, and a number of higher quality parts (mostly sourced from the Volt) were used to decrease the noise of the car. I think it is the best diesel on the road currently.

That said, if you want something peppy I would suggest looking at these four additional vehicles:
Buick Verano (same platform as the Cruze but the engine options are much better)
Ford Focus ST
Subaru BRZ (rear wheel drive is hard to find in this compact segment)
Mazda 3 (actually all engines are impressive. The 2014 year received some major changes and our Cruze petrol engines haven't received any attention for a while. If you wait a year or two I think the new Cruze will finally have a refreshed engine)

I hope I don't get chased out of the forums for this post. We are of course biased towards the Cruze. One added bonus of the Cruze over the Hyundai and Mini is that we are an American made high volume vehicle, so if you have mechanical troubles in the future you will be able to head to Autozone and get what you need almost always the day of.
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