The diesel engine is the king of mass-market fuel economy. Hybrids have become some pretty incredible machines in the last decade, but if you want fun, power and fuel economy, you still can’t beat the old oil-burning engine. Now that Volkswagen is essentially shut down on the diesel production front, General Motors has stepped in to take the crown of compressive combustion. In a show of fuel-economy dominance, the Chevrolet Cruze sedan just snagged an impressive EPA-rated 52 mpg on the highway cycle.
Fifty. Two. And all without any help from batteries. That equates to an estimate highway range of more than 700 miles. This is the new king of college road trips.
The fancy new diesel motor under the hood is a 1.6L unit that produces 137 horsepower and 240 lb-ft of torque. For those familiar with the VW TDI family, that is nearly identical power to the 2.0L at the center of the emissions problems.
This mighty 52 mpg number only belongs to the manual transmission model, however. If you refuse to row your own gears, there is a nine-speed automatic available, but it only manages 47 mpg on the highway cycle. Pricing starts just under $25,000 for the sedan. The hatchback variant will be coming later this year, but no pricing has been released yet.