What makes this near-$30,000 Chevy Cruze special is its engine. A 1.6-liter turbo-diesel 4-cylinder, it employs common-rail fuel injection for quietness and improved performance, a variable-nozzle turbocharger for a broader torque curve, and both an electronic throttle valve and a cooled exhaust gas recirculation system so that General Motors doesn’t run afoul of emissions regulations.
Equipped with a 16:1 compression ratio and boasting B20 bio-diesel compatibility, the Cruze Diesel is churning 137 horsepower at 3,750 rpm and 240 lb.-ft. of torque starting at 2,000 rpm. What this means is that this car doesn’t need to be revved hard to access its power, and that it makes just as much torque as a typical V6 engine. Since torque is what you sense when you accelerate, the Cruze Diesel feels anything but slow.