DETROIT -- The upcoming diesel version of the Chevrolet Cruze may be General Motors' first non-hybrid vehicle since the 1990s to get an EPA-certified fuel economy rating of at least 50 mpg on the highway.
GM is awaiting EPA certification of the car's fuel economy ratings ahead of a spring launch. The Cruze's new lightweight 1.6-liter turbo-diesel engine will be optional on the Cruze hatchback and sedan.
Asked at the Detroit auto show about the Cruze diesel's highway rating, GM product development chief Mark Reuss said: "I think it will start with a 5."
Mike Siegrist, chief engineer for the Cruze diesel, would not confirm that GM's target is a 50 mpg highway rating. But he said the outgoing version's 44 mpg would be topped. "We don't usually go backward," Siegrist said.
The early 1990s Geo Metro XFi is the last time GM had a non-hybrid car that had an EPA highway rating in the 50s.