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Old 08-23-2011, 11:35 PM   #51 (permalink)
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So, I see the Cruze was mentioned in here, which is what I chose to rent in Milwaukee this time around. It has the 1.4L Turbo that seems to be what we were asking for not that long ago -- small displacement, with available extra power from forced induction.

I'm shocked at this drivetrain. From 35 MPH, I did a quick test of acceleration response in manual-forced 6th gear. The turbo gently spooled and it began to pull to 55+ rather quickly (further, it outperforms engines twice its size). At civil cruising speeds and overall averages, this is accompanied by instant FE readings worth writing home about. It feels light and more responsive. Compared to the Ford, it is a smooth operator, but has some cheesy components on the interior (except for the radio display and MFD from the Camaro). Compared to the Cobalt, it's not even in the same ballpark, league, or even the same game -- it's much more. More on driving impressions later...

Just a thought -- this engine and transmission with the gearing and programming from the Focus, in the Focus, might be a winning combo.

Arragonis, to answer your question, one has to look into the marketing disasters and images of Diesel fuel here. First, GM severely ruined the reputation for decades (see AutoWeek article). Since then, the smoke claered literally, but not figuratively. There are so many Diesel trucks/lorries on our roads, that we are often outnumbered as car drivers -- and they have the telltale Diesel smoke, smell, and noise that paints the picture. The price per gallon is often much higher than petrol (not to mention the upfront cost of a Diesel engine).

There is one group that has embraced the torque/efficiency, and that is Pickup Truck Buyers. Ford has offered a variety of non-turbo and turbo engines for many years in their F-Series pickups and E-Series vans. The Cummins Inline-6 is a big draw for Dodge/RAM buyers, and GM offered a smattering of Diesels, mostly from Isuzu, as mentioned.

Mercedes and Volkswagen survived here with their oil-burning options, yet represent a small percentage of their overall sales.

Enter Ultra-Low Sulphur Diesel in MY 2007 (the EU offered it first). Some makes skipped a year or two to develop the stringent emissions requirements, which was much needed. Small particulate matter is a problem for many illnesses, including chlidhood asthma. We may be ahead there, since Diesel emissions (especially in London) are at very high levels. But GHGs were likely saved -- so, pick your poison.

So that's the crash History course. If more were offered, more people would likely buy them, refer friends, etc., etc.

-RH77

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