The addition of a diesel engine option is the biggest change for the 2014 Chevrolet Cruze, but the Cruze also receives a few minor cosmetic revisions, including a pair of new paint colors...
Chevrolet's small-car attempts have always trailed competitors in style and substance, but the Cruze, which launched in late 2010, was a conscious effort to break that cycle. Although North American models are built in Ohio, the Cruze was largely designed and engineered abroad, namely in Germany and South Korea. Overseas, the Cruze is offered in attractive hatchback and station-wagon forms, but North American models are sold only as four-door sedans.
As it's now approaching its fourth birthday, it's easy to forget about the 2014 Chevrolet Cruze -- but it's not quite so easy to dismiss it from consideration. Sure, there are newer, flashier -- and perhaps more enjoyable -- compact sedans available these days, but the 2014 Chevrolet Cruze is handsome, well-behaved, and rides quite nicely.
Perhaps the addition of a diesel-engine option will help the 2014 Chevrolet Cruze stand out from the ever-increasing crowd of compact cars. The 2.0-liter turbo-diesel I-4 cranks out 151 hp and 264 lb-ft of torque and helps the Cruze Diesel earn EPA ratings of 27/46 mpg city/ highway. That highway rating is 4 mpg better than the Cruze Diesel's lone competitor, the Volkswagen Jetta TDI. The Chevy's diesel isn't a silver bullet, however -- the engine commands a $3000 premium over a comparable Cruze 2LT model, and despite the inclusion of upscale interior appointments, the diesel engine is incredibly noisy, especially from outside of the vehicle.
Buyers who don't take the diesel plunge will likely find themselves choosing between the base 1.8-liter four-cylinder or a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-banger. The latter makes the same 138 hp as the 1.8-liter but delivers more torque while returning improved fuel economy. Although it needs to be wound up to deliver all of its power, we've found that it is fairly quiet and refined at highway speeds.
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