Journalist Independently Verifies 816 Mile Range / 54 MPG For Chevy Cruze Diesel

We’ve already seen stories from General Motors that its Cruze Diesel intended to take market share from Volkswagen has the goods when it comes to beating the 46 mpg highway rating the EPA gives the Cruze.

On Saturday, an independent road trip was documented by GM Inside News effectively saying more of the same: Alex Villani wrote a personal and detailed account of an out-and-back road trip from New Jersey to Ohio with the more-then-$25,000 Cruze that saw 53.6 mpg on average and above 56 mpg on the return trip.

The EPA estimates the 15.6 gallon tank should allow for 717 miles, but Villani went 99 more than that at 816.

“So what does this mean? It means to us that the Cruze diesel can walk the walk, proving that it can pull down considerably higher fuel economy numbers than the ones that the EPA published,” wrote Villani. “It means that Volkswagen no longer has the market cornered when it comes to affordable diesel options.”

He said that also considering the Cruze incorporates lessons learned in the Cruze Eco, and though it’s much pricier than entry level Cruzes, it comes packed with nearly every option.

Outwardly, the car appears much like any Cruze except for badging. Under the hood, it has a 2.0-liter turbo diesel – the same displacement of a Jetta TDI.

Villani said he did not resort to hypermiling tricks, nor did he shed any weight that came standard in order to get his travel distance and mileage.

Average speeds were legal, and the trip did include up and down grades, construction traffic, and stormy weather.

Source: U.S. EPA.

Source: U.S. EPA.

“Even though the car and I had to put up with both topographical and environmental hurdles, the Cruze managed to record a fantastic 52.6 miles per gallon!” Villani said of a first leg of his round trip journey to the Lords town Assembly Plant in Ohio. “Mind you, this was with moderate air conditioning use and doing anywhere between 55 and 62 miles per hour, as I found the 60-62 mph range produced the best numbers while maintaining speed up hills.”

His story finished with a hopeful note, having been satisfied the car is competitive.

“This could open the floodgates of acceptance for diesel engine technology at GM and make it something viable for the US market in more than one car,” wrote Villani. “This could be the start of something different for GM’s North American arm and something that could help separate GM’s entries versus the competition in their respective markets.”

To read the whole account in detail, go to GMInsideNews.