The upcoming 2018 Chevrolet Cruze hatchback diesel could become the industry’s only non-hybrid car with a fuel economy rating of 50 mpg on the highway.
AutoNews reports that earlier in the week, officials from General Motors confirmed the Cruze hatchback will be offered with its new 1.6-liter turbodiesel available alongside a six-speed manual or nine-speed automatic transmission.
GM sells a similarly powered and sized model in Europe badged as the Opel / Vauxhall Astra and in numerous independent magazine tests, 55 mpg UK or 45.8mpg US (5.1l/100km) has been achieved when equipped with a six-speed manual. On paper, the nine-speed auto should return an even better figure so even after factoring in the differences in the imperial gallon used in Britain and the U.S. gallon, a figure around 50 mpg is certainly possible.
Such a rating would be significantly better than GM’s current most efficient non-hybrid model, the Cruze sedan, which can return 40 mpg on the highway. It could also make it slightly more efficient than the Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid which has a 46 mpg highway rating.
While diesel engines appear to be getting even more efficient, not everything is rosy for such powertrains. Recently, Renault revealed that it will phase out diesel for many of its models in the coming years and Volkswagen may never sell a new diesel vehicle in the United States again.