A few months ago I had the privilege of test driving a fuel efficient compact car. The test drive came at a time when my husband and I were trying to decide what to buy to replace our ten year old car. Although we liked the car, it was a little out of our price range. So, when I was recently given the opportunity to test drive a different kind of fuel efficient car, the 2014 Chevrolet Cruze diesel (that’s right, diesel!), I couldn’t resist!
Up until the time of this review, I had associated diesel cars with Volkswagen, but move over Jetta there’s a North American diesel car on the market and it is just as good! The 2014 Chevrolet Cruze 2.0 TD is a very comfortable ride, and while the engine is nosier than that of a non-diesel car, you can’t really hear it from the car’s interior. Please keep in mind, I don’t know cars like hard-core automobile reviewers know their cars (so there won’t be a lot of mentions about torque or horsepower here), but as a mom of an active five year old who likes to ski, snowshoe and skate all in the same day, I can tell you that the Chevrolet Cruze diesel will comfortably sit a small family and all their sports equipment, including skis (thanks to the rear folding seats). My only complaint in regards to the Cruze being suitable for a family is that the seat belts go in on an angle, which made helping my daughter do up her seat belt over her booster seat a bit of a pain.
Despite my issue with the seat belts, the leather seats were very comfortable and given that I test drove the car on days where the mornings were minus 20 degrees Celsius, the heated front seats were a welcome addition. Some other great features were the remote start (which started flawlessly on those same very cold mornings), OnStart, and the very user-friendly MyLink hands-free communications.
Some other features my Chevrolet Cruze diesel had that I don’t think I would hesitate to add to my own car now that I have used them include the 7″ LCD touch screen with SD Navigation, rear park assist, reverse camera, and the Pioneer premium audio system (the bass sound is superior in this car!). My only issue with the reverse camera is that it doesn’t work so well in messy weather, it gets dirty quickly and is therefore useless, especially in messy winter weather, but this is a common complaint of any reverse camera, regardless of what type of car it is on.
One of my favourite features was the Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), which proved very useful when backing out of my driveway. The RCTA system uses the same radar infrastructure used for detecting vehicles in the blind spot and can help to avoid accidents when the car is in reverse. If there is a car coming, a red light will flash on the LCD screen notifying the driver of the approaching car’s location.
Despite the Cruze’s many features, my first thought in regards to this car was how fuel efficient it really is. Chevrolet claims the Cruze diesel will get about 4.2L per 100 km highway and 7.5 L per 100 km city. Although I didn’t get quite that in the week I drove the car (I got about 9 L per 100 km city), it was also VERY cold that week.
The cash purchase price for the diesel model of Chevrolet Cruze I test drove is $28, 095 CDN. Do I think it’s worth it? Well, if you are looking for a compact sedan and want one that is fuel efficient without being a hybrid, I definitely think you should take a look at the Chevrolet Cruze diesel. It comes with a lot of useful features and options, and is quiet, comfortable, and stylish. Overall, the Chevrolet Cruze diesel is practical and is definitely one I will consider once our ten year old car finally kicks the curb.