VW Emissions Debacle Opens Door for Chevy Cruze Diesel

By

Automotive Editor

Armaan Almeida no longer works for CarsDirect. He was an Automotive Editor who produced buying guides and sneak previews, in addition to publishing daily news stories and tracking monthly deals, incentives and pricing trends from Toyota, Nissan and Lexus.

 

Follow On: Google+ | Website

, Automotive Editor - September 23, 2015

Shoppers pining for the allure of diesel still have an affordable option.

Nearly a week has passed since Volkswagen confirmed that it had indeed cheated on its emission exam, tainting the brand equity of the automaker and their TDI lineup, including popular models like the Golf, Beetle and Passat. But the real pain will be felt via the brand's best-seller, the Volkswagen Jetta and its TDI variant. Before the catastrophe took place, the Jetta lineup offered one of only two diesel sedans on U.S. soil under $27k. Moreover, the TDI version not only featured impressive fuel economy (31/46 mpg) and torque (236 lb-ft), but earned high praise for its handling prowess and spacious rear seat—something hybrids like the Prius just couldn't match.

VW Emission Scandal: What You Need to Know »

Plan B

But with every fall from grace sprouts a brand-new opportunity. And this time around, the opportunity rests with the lone diesel sedan on the market: the 2015 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel. Granted, BMW offers their 328d, but it costs roughly $13k more. The Cruze Diesel is a direct competitor to the Jetta TDI, and offers a little more of everything that made the latter so popular. Shoppers who were ready to spring for the Jetta TDI might initially feel like their caught in the lurch, but the Cruze Diesel does present a viable option.

MSRP Engine Horsepower Torque Fuel Economy
2015 Volkswagen Jetta TDI (SE) $25,995 2.0L Turbo Diesel 150-hp 236 lb-ft 31/46 mpg
2015 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel $26,485 2.0L Turbo Diesel 151-hp 264 lb-ft 27/46 mpg

Here's why. It produces the same horsepower, more torque and the same highway fuel economy at a competitive price. And remember, the Cruze Diesel comes with a well-appointed leather interior—not the "leatherette" interior featured in the Jetta. Lastly, it's larger 15.6-gallon fuel tank is good for up to 717 miles of driving range. Perfect for those Los Angeles to Las Vegas road trips where around $45* affords round-trip fueling cost.

Chevrolet Cruze Rear

Limited Availability

The only caveat is that the Cruze Diesel is not stocked by all Chevy dealerships. That being said, dealers should be available to locate and transfer a Cruze Diesel for purchase.

Current Incentives

This month, the deals and incentives on the Cruze Diesel are solid. Currently, you can get up to $2,000 cash back on the Cruze Diesel. If you currently lease a competing vehicle, you can also get another $1,500 in Lease Conquest Bonus Cash, sweetening the deal even further.

In Closing

For shoppers who still yearn for a Volkswagen TDI-powered vehicle, it's important to note that there is currently a stop-sale on 2.0L TDI models, including inventory that likely includes both 2015 and 2016 model years. Will that change soon? We really don't know for sure. A wait-and-see approach might be your only alternative. In hopes of moving the brand forward, Volkswagen's CEO Martin Winterkorn resigned.

*Based on AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report avg. of $2.85/gallon of diesel fuel.

, Automotive Editor

Armaan Almeida no longer works for CarsDirect. He was an Automotive Editor who produced buying guides and sneak previews, in addition to publishing daily news stories and tracking monthly deals, incentives and pricing trends from Toyota, Nissan and Lexus.

 

Follow On: Google+ | Website