Despite this, I once got regular coffee after dinner, and was up all night. So now I neurotically always check, “are you sure this is decaf?”
I felt the same way when I gassed up the Chevrolet Cruze. I checked and rechecked that I was getting diesel fuel, not wanting to destroy the engine of the car I test drove (the gas cap is also bright green, alerting you to use the green diesel fuel pump). However, once I was fully ensconced in the idea that I was driving a diesel—and wouldn’t forget that fact—I could relax and enjoy the benefits of this increasingly popular engine technology.
The first great benefit was that I didn’t need to visit many gas stations. The eco-friendly Cruze gets over 40 mpg; driving on highways to my sister’s house in Pennsylvania, we got an eye-popping 44 mpg.
So that green also serves a visual reminder that you are making a green, eco-choice. And you are saving money (green) to boot.
And unlike an electric car that needs to be plugged in to recharge, the Cruze has unlimited range – as long as you can find diesel fuel. That was easy to do in the New York area; in the hinterlands of Pennsylvania, we wanted to top off the tank, and the closest gas station didn’t have diesel. But there was another gas station just down the road.
A Smooth and Fume-less Ride
Except for that green gas cap, there was no noticeable difference in the ride. Acceleration was smooth, the engine was quiet, and the car was loaded with all the high-tech toys drivers of new cars expect. And unlike diesel cars of the past, the Cruze is quiet and does not produce heavy fumes or smoke.
The seven inch LCD touch screen has a back-up camera, with close car/curb alert, an easy to use GPS, Sirius satellite radio and Bluetooth streaming.
The roomy trunk had plenty of luggage space – no large battery robbed us of space.
Who Should Drive the Cruze
With its low base price, the Cruze is a great first car. But it doesn’t drive like a budget car; it feels solid, and luxe touches like leather seats make it suitable for those looking to economize on both monthly payments and gas charges.
It is also an excellent choice for small families, or a family with small kids. While the back seat had enough leg room for 2 adults and a child, three large teens might feel cramped.
The Cruze is Chevrolet’s first diesel car since the 1986 Chevette. The NY Mets last won the World Series in 1986. Is there hope that 2014 will see them both as champs again?
What We Loved
Comfortable leather, heated seats
Adjustable steering wheel
The fuel economy – with no sacrifice in space or comfort
Safety first – 10 airbags, anti-lock brakes, stability control, rear view camera
The standard shiny metallic finish; no extra cost
What You Need to Know
Base price: $24,885
With the enhanced safety package, premium sound system, and navigation system, the car I drove was $28,105.
Five passenger seating
5 year/100,000 mile warranty
MUST use diesel fuel, which can be more expensive than regular unleaded gas (often about the same price as premium; we actually paid the same price as regular)