Chevy Cruze Diesel Gets First Finance & Lease Offers

By

Senior Pricing Analyst

Alex Bernstein is the Senior Pricing Analyst for CarsDirect.com. Each month he studies immense volumes of pricing and incentives data in search of trends that are useful to car shoppers. In the process, he often breaks industry news stories -- his analyses and insights have been featured on websites such as Automotive News, The Detroit News, Autoblog, The Truth About Cars and The Car Connection.

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, Senior Pricing Analyst - March 28, 2017

The 2017 Chevy Cruze Diesel is set to make waves with impressive performance amid a dearth of similar alternatives. With an EPA rating of 52 mpg highway, the car offers up to 702 miles of range on a single tank of fuel.

After a long wait, dealers are finally starting to receive their first diesels, roughly 7 months after the regular Cruze went on sale. However, a close look reveals a surprise: the diesel appears to be eligible for the same cashback, finance and lease deals as other Cruzes.

So what's the big deal with the Cruze Diesel? What kinds of offers should you expect to see? And what makes this month unusual?

Here's what you need to know.

Unique Alternative

Ever since VW exited the diesel market in 2015 here in the U.S., there has been a hole in the hearts of drivers accustomed to the unique mix of sportiness and brag-worthy fuel economy that hybrids arguably can't match.

Hybrids have advanced quite a bit, with the Prius earning up to 58 mpg with the Two Eco and the recently introduced Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid hitting up to 59 mpg with the "Blue" variant.

At 52 mpg highway, the new Cruze Diesel ranks as the most efficient non-hybrid car on the market. At least on paper.

The 52 mpg rating is for the car equipped with 6-speed manual transmission. The 9-speed automatic is rated at 47 mpg. Both actually have the same overall rating of 37 mpg. For reference, a 2017 Honda Civic with 1.5-liter turbo and CVT comes in at 36 mpg. So does the Honda Fit.

The Cruze Diesel uses a 1.6-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel rated at 137 hp with a hearty 240 lb-ft of torque. It also offers the latest connectivity and optional driver assistance tech. Prices start at $24,670 with destination for the manual and $26,270 for the automatic.

What's interesting is that GM doesn't appear to be excluding the diesel from other Cruze incentives. We find that rather surprising considering this is an all-new model.

Deal Overview

In addition to no exclusionary language in program fine print, a Chevy dealer has verified that the diesel is eligible for the same incentives as the regular Cruze. That's big news considering most Chevys boast impressive discounts at the moment.

The best deal is a $3,000 conquest bonus for current lessees of any 2011 or newer Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Scion, Subaru or Toyota vehicle. The offer, which can only be used toward leases, was introduced earlier this month to target Asian brands.

Otherwise, the standard rebate is a paltry $500. However, you can ramp this up to $3,000 by stacking it with a $1,500 bonus for lessees of a non-GM brand and a $1,000 down payment assistance bonus for taking out a loan through GM Financial.

The conquest offers don't require you to ditch your current car, and can be transferred among members of the same household. So if your significant other is leasing a Prius, the discount can technically be shared so long as you reside at the same address.

Financing is pretty lackluster with an advertised deal of 3.9% APR plus $500 bonus cash. We aren't seeing an advertised lease offer yet, but we think it's a matter of time before one is introduced.

Technically, there's also a Bonus Tag worth up to $2,500 on select Cruzes in stock the longest. The amount was actually $1,500 all throughout March, until today when it was boosted by $1,000.

However, since the Tag can only be applied on pre-selected inventory based on its age, we think the chances are close to zero of seeing a diesel eligible for this incentive.

Current offers are set to end March 31.

Our Take

If you've been patiently waiting for the new Cruze Diesel, now's your chance to contact your dealer to confirm local availability. There's no guarantee that current offers will be extended, especially the bonus for those coming from an Asian brand.

That said, shoppers should be aware that initial availability is extremely limited and dealer prices could be at or near MSRP. Prefer the versatility of a hatchback? You're in for a wait. That version is in the works, but won't be introduced until the 2018 model year.

For the latest pricing and deal insights, be sure to check out our Deals page.

See the best green car deals this month »

, Senior Pricing Analyst

Alex Bernstein is the Senior Pricing Analyst for CarsDirect.com. Each month he studies immense volumes of pricing and incentives data in search of trends that are useful to car shoppers. In the process, he often breaks industry news stories -- his analyses and insights have been featured on websites such as Automotive News, The Detroit News, Autoblog, The Truth About Cars and The Car Connection.

Follow On: Google+ | Website