Fuel economy numbers don’t seem to make quite the splash they once did. General Motors boasted recently that its Chevrolet Cruze Diesel was given a 46mph highway fuel economy rating, which is the highest of any passenger non-hybrid vehicle, and we all yawned.
When Chrysler announced its Jeep Grand Cherokee Diesel could go 725 miles on a single tank, we leaned in for a better listen.
The Chevy Cruze Diesel is rated to achieve 717 miles on a single tank and that’s all well and good but recently a GM engineer, Tessa Baughman, was able to go 900 miles on a single tank of diesel in her pre-production Cruze Diesel.
Baughman was on her way to Arkansas to visit some family and wanted to achieve optimal fuel economy. Rather than “do like the normal hypermiler and drive 45mph,” Baughman opted to drive just “five below the speed limit” instead. And on the way home – this time going with the speed of traffic – she was able to achieve 800 miles.
While her results won’t be commonly replicated, we wager, they do represent a recent growing phenomenon of drivers easily meeting or exceeding EPA fuel economy scores in their diesels. The same, sadly, cannot be said for turbocharged gasoline engines no matter how small the displacement.
Interestingly, this is not the only thing garnering the Cruze Diesel attention. Recently, Biodiesel Magazine went so far as to instruct its readers to “tell GM thanks” for fitting the Cruze Diesel with hardware allowing it to burn B20 biodiesel. Fueleconomy.gov does point out that with B20, drivers will see a two-percent drop (or about 1 mile per gallon) in fuel economy over standard dino-based diesel.
So what will the miles-per-tank rating of B20 in the Cruze Diesel look like? We’ll have to wait and see.
Check out Chevy’s interview with diesel engineer Tessa: