Poor support for GM diesels

gopher

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 10, 2005
VW TDI enthusiasts have apparently failed to support in significant numbers the laudable efforts by GM to make available in the US a modern and highly efficient alternative to VWs former diesel cars. It is apparent from the paucity of new light duty GM "whisper" diesel vehicles in dealerships that this is the case. The chevy cruze diesel production will cease after March 1 when the factory closes but this powerplant will live on in the chevy Equinox and GMC Terrain as well as the chevy Maiibu (available only in S. Korea at present). GM should be supported, especially by VW TDI owners past and present, for keeping this highly efficient diesel powerplant option available to us in the U.S.
 

akjdouglass

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2013
Location
Jefferson City, Missouri
TDI
2012 Jetta w/premium (sold to VW); 2014 Jetta Value Edition; 2015 Jetta SEL
Are you one of those people in the TV ads where they pretend they are being shown expensive luxury cars of some unknown origin, then OOH and AHH when they find out the vehicles are affordable junk made by GM?
 

IndigoBlueWagon

TDIClub Enthusiast, Principal IDParts, Vendor , w/
Joined
Aug 16, 2004
Location
South of Boston
TDI
'97 Passat, '99.5 Golf, '02 Jetta Wagon, '15 GSW
I could make a similar post for BMW or Mercedes. Both have had excellent diesels in NA, and neither appears to be offering them in 2019.
 

cevans

TDIClub Enthusiast, TDI Parts Ninja Vendor , w/Bus
Joined
Sep 24, 2002
Location
Hingham, MA
TDI
2015 Jetta TDI 6spd // 2015 Bettle Conv. 6-Speed
Agreed that GM diesels have received much support, but disagree as to why.

The sad reality is that these were not compelling vehicles. The Cruze is small, the hatch helps but the Cruze as a vehicle is no match for a Mk7 Golf. I was happy to see they offered manual transmissions for a while, too.

The Equinox/Terrain has the same problem - it just isn’t very compelling. The 1.6 IMO is too small of an engine for that platform. I typically enjoy smaller engines but this went too far and the acceleration was borderline laughable.

Furthermore, Chevrolet did nothing to promote them. In hindsight it looks ridiculous, but VW did a LOT of “clean diesel” TDI marketing - everything from sports show sponsorships to big ads in newspapers. Chevrolet? Anyone who isn’t a car guy know Chevy had diesels in these things? I don’t recall any advertisements - other than a web add for 40mpg Equinox. Dealerships were even worse - diesel what? Zero enthusiasm, zero advertising, zero support.

I’d wager that VW sold more 2015 Mk7s than Chevy ever sold Cruze/Equinox diesels. I see a LOT of Mk7 Sportwagen AllTracks - it is a compelling vehicle, especially for those with a penchant for wagons (present company included).
 

gulfcoastguy

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Nov 25, 2012
Location
MS Gulfcoast
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TDI sold, Mazda 3 purchased
I actually went and looked at one in February 2017 when I sold back my 2013 Jetta Sportwagen. Only sedans were available for the next 6 months. I found the sedan to be cramped and the interior to have cheap plastic covered controls that looked like they would sun crack within a couple of years. The service by the sales department was so horrendous that I posted the details including the name and address of the dealer on cruzetalk.com where I am also a member. Chevrolet management monitors that site. From what I have seen on that site the Cruze mania transmission has problems. Over all the quality was not there.
 

Ol'Rattler

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Jul 3, 2007
Location
PNA
TDI
2006 BRM Jetta
VW TDI enthusiasts have apparently failed to support in significant numbers the laudable efforts by GM to make available in the US a modern and highly efficient alternative to VWs former diesel cars. GM should be supported, especially by VW TDI owners past and present, for keeping this highly efficient diesel powerplant option available to us in the U.S.
That is one of the most bazaar statements I have heard in a long time. So what if Chevy puts a Diesel in a horrid little car or even the horrid Equinox? Why would the VW TDI community even care?

If it says Chevrolet on the nameplate, move along, there's nothing to see here.
 
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Powder Hound

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Joined
Oct 25, 1999
Location
Under a Bridge, Crestview, FL, USA
TDI
'00 Golf 4dr White 5sp, '02 Jettachero 5sp, Wife's '03 NB Platinum Gray auto(!)
That is one of the most bazaar statements ...
If all you are interested in is spewing vitriol toward GM in general and Chevrolet in particular, the least you can do is to spell correctly. Just so you know, a bazaar is a wide open marketplace where many different things are sold, such as is most famously and originally found in Istanbul, Turkey.

Cheers,

PH
 

Matt-98AHU

Loose Nut Behind the Wheel Vendor
Joined
Apr 23, 2006
Location
Gresham, OR
TDI
2001 Golf TDI, 2005 Passat wagon, 2004 Touareg V10.
I like the idea of the 1.6 diesel and the crazy efficiency it can achieve. Just a shame the car it comes bolted to isn't very compelling. Time will tell how the timing chains hold up on them among other things.
 

Ol'Rattler

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Jul 3, 2007
Location
PNA
TDI
2006 BRM Jetta
If all you are interested in is spewing vitriol toward GM in general and Chevrolet in particular, the least you can do is to spell correctly. Just so you know, a bazaar is a wide open marketplace where many different things are sold, such as is most famously and originally found in Istanbul, Turkey.
Cheers,
PH
All I can say is ask the man that's owned one (Chevy). So the context I used "bazaar" in gave you no clue that I meant bizarre? There is a lot more to written language than spelling.

What I thought was bizarre was the notion that the TDI community should support GM's Diesel efforts. The Vitriol? An opinion tempered by Chevrolet ownership.
 

ToBiN

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2017
Location
Colorado
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2013 Sportwagen TDI/M6; 2006 Dodge 3500 Cummins/M6 Mega Cab; 2011 Jetta TDI/M6 (sold)
I bought one of the 2015 Chevrolet Cruze Diesels (LUZ engine code). I had to travel across states to get it. I liked it. I didn't understand why Chevrolet didn't advertise this flagship Cruze. Even on KBB it shows the Diesel as being the "highest priced" of all the trims. I think that's mainly because all of the diesels came loaded. Backup camera, moonroof, heated seats, climate control, Pioneer entertainment, Navigation, remote car starter from key fob, blind spot sensors, parking sensors, and even LED Daytime running lights.

My Cruze averaged 40-42 mpg at interstate speeds. The most mpg I received with the cruze was almost 50 right after I bought it. I can't say I ever had a problem with it except the front shutter door, which I think someone at the dealership broke before I took possession. It was a door that would block off the grill over 45 mph for improved drag coefficient and mpgs. The broken door caused a transmission code be set but in reality, once I had the shutter door fixed the codes never came back. I put 35k miles on the car before trying to sell it.

I liked the car with the exception of where they put the heater controls. I'm 6 foot guy and could move the seat far enough where I couldn't touch the pedals. There's something to be said for that kind of leg space. However the problem was where I needed the seat set to be able to reach the pedals, my knee could and would adjust the temperature of the climate control. Besides that and the Chevrolet dealership charging me for a "duramax" oil change ($89) because "it's a diesel", the car was reliable, quieter than any of my VWs, and a good car.

I returned to VW for the mods. When I called Malone about a tune for the LUZ 2.0L VM Motori Italian diesel engine made in Landstuhl Germany that was in the Cruze, they told me I was only the 3rd person to ask about it in a year. No demand meant no tunes. It was a good car if that's all you want it for, driving point A to B, no mods, no frills. About the only mods I was able to put on it besides scheduled maintenance was Window Tint, ClearBra, and mudflaps.
 

ToBiN

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2017
Location
Colorado
TDI
2013 Sportwagen TDI/M6; 2006 Dodge 3500 Cummins/M6 Mega Cab; 2011 Jetta TDI/M6 (sold)
To the original OP, I wish the American Gov't would welcome all forms of diesels. It shouldn't be up to VW or any other manufacturer to support other diesel forms. I'm sick and tired of our US manufacturers failing to install high efficiency diesel engines into family haulers because "they aren't sure American households are ready for everyday diesels."
I would've loved to have a Suburban, Yukon, or Escalade with a Cummins in it. Would last for over 300k miles and make decent mileage doing it. The Excursion was a nice well to do, but just freaking HUGE. That thing will not fit in the newer 19 foot deep garage homes with the 7 foot tall garage doors. Besides, the 7.3L was more reliable than any of the other Navistar creations after 2001. In order to get a great diesel family hauler we either have to turn to the Dodge Mega Cabs, Ford F250+, Duramax 4 door trucks, or build it yourself (VW Bus with 1.9TDI swap. YES!). Finding a 3rd row SUV or family hauler for 6+ with an economical diesel is almost impossible.
US just needs to take notes from the rest of the world and start offering more diesel vehicles. Most of Germany and other countries are diesel. How come US is so addicted to gasoline?
 

Ol'Rattler

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Jul 3, 2007
Location
PNA
TDI
2006 BRM Jetta
Manufacturers do not understand the Diesel market. What is the point in loading a car down with BS options?
Things I could easily live without.
  • Electric windows.
  • Sun roof.
  • Sat radio.
  • Navi.
  • Heated mirrors.
  • Heated windshield washers.
  • Alloy wheels.
Do not take away 4 wheel disk or ESP.
 

oilhammer

Certified Volkswagen Nut & Vendor
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Location
outside St Louis (where it's safe)
TDI
There are just too many to list....
The Cruze is (soon to be was) a bottom feeder model. It is hard to sell a tarted up version with the diesel engine when the back of the lot rental versions sell for SO much less. And let's face it, most people purchasing a Cruze are NOT car people. They didn't "shop" for that car. They are bowtie brand loyalists after a cheap car. I bet most Cruze owners do not even know a diesel version exists... it even existed in the old original Cruze body.

I do not think it falls upon TDI enthusiasts to try and make these lackluster GM models flourish, even if they are graced with a diesel engine. I would probably buy a gasoline fueled Volkswagen over a diesel Chevy, if push came to shove. But as it stands now, I will keep a cache of the the older TDIs and hope that as time goes on, some of the newer ones will eventually find their way into my stable as necessary. I do not hold out much hope Volkswagen will ever make a return to this market with them, which is a shame. A shame because they KNOW what they have to do to make them 100% compliant, they are just so butt hurt over the event they won't do it. And it sucks. Sucks because for the most part, their gasoline engines offered here are overcomplicated fragile turds.

To be fair, the newer GM offerings do feel much better to drive. They have decent interior fitment, even if there are some cues as to their being built to a price point. The new Malibu is a nice car to drive. And I would argue that back to back, it is nicer to drive than a Camry. It is quieter, it has at least on paper better technology under the hood, and it is roomy even for full sized humans. But the longevity is tougher to gauge. We service a lot of fleet vehicles here, and we see a lot of early on failures because these people drive so much. We have 2018s rolling through here with 100k miles on them already. We see that miserable 1.4L turbo engine that GM has constantly broken (in the Trax). And those felt decent when they were new, too, even if they are a little goofy looking (to me). But shoot, you see 25+ cracked turbo housings, blown up intake manifolds (the crankcase pressure regulator is integral with these), broken breathers on valve covers, etc. you begin to detest them. And the new thing is the breathers on the 2.4L DI Ecotec (previous body Equinox) freezing up in cold weather and causing the rear main seal to blow out. This last cold snap we had a half dozen of those in here!

So yeah, every time I *think* GM has made some improvements and makes some decent models, I am proven wrong. :(
 
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IndigoBlueWagon

TDIClub Enthusiast, Principal IDParts, Vendor , w/
Joined
Aug 16, 2004
Location
South of Boston
TDI
'97 Passat, '99.5 Golf, '02 Jetta Wagon, '15 GSW
One of my co-workers has a Gen 1 Cruze diesel. When vendors visit we always like to point it out. Without fail, they've never heard of it.
 

ToBiN

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2017
Location
Colorado
TDI
2013 Sportwagen TDI/M6; 2006 Dodge 3500 Cummins/M6 Mega Cab; 2011 Jetta TDI/M6 (sold)
Agree. most every person that heard my Cruze asked if it was a diesel, then followed with the aforementioned "I didn't know those came in a diesel."
 

VeeDubTDI

Wanderluster, Traveler, TDIClub Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 2, 2000
Location
Springfield, VA
TDI
‘18 Tesla Model 3D+, ‘14 Cadillac ELR, ‘13 Fiat 500e
Manufacturers do not understand the Diesel market. What is the point in loading a car down with BS options?
Things I could easily live without.
  • Electric windows.
  • Sun roof.
  • Sat radio.
  • Navi.
  • Heated mirrors.
  • Heated windshield washers.
  • Alloy wheels.
Do not take away 4 wheel disk or ESP.
I'm not sure you're representative of "the diesel market."
 

Rob Mayercik

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2001
Location
NJ, U.S.A.
TDI
2002 Jetta GLS, Baltic Green/Beige
I do not think it falls upon TDI enthusiasts to try and make these lackluster GM models flourish, even if they are graced with a diesel engine.
The OP didn't win any points with me for the attitude in the starting post of this thread either - opening with what amounted to an attack for not fawning all over GM the instant the Cruze diesel appeared for sale was not the best approach.

To OilHammer's point, though, consider that GM was also one of the companies that did the most damage to diesel's reputation here in the States - for how many years did virtually every magazine article about a diesel car still slip in that "remember the old, slow, smoky, smelly GM diesels of the 80s?" jab. Doesn't it stand to reason that given the overall GM reputation of "Well, somebody has to build rental cars", most TDIers would want to see a little real-world data on these things? You know, "once burned, twice shy" and all that?
 

IndigoBlueWagon

TDIClub Enthusiast, Principal IDParts, Vendor , w/
Joined
Aug 16, 2004
Location
South of Boston
TDI
'97 Passat, '99.5 Golf, '02 Jetta Wagon, '15 GSW
GM has certainly done more damage to the reputation of diesels than any other manufacturer. And they are the kings of fleet car sales. Remember the Corsica "Classic?" That's what they named it when no one but Avis would buy it. The Olds Achieva went the same route. I used to rent cars almost every week and stopped renting from Avis because I grew so tired of the awful GM stuff they had.
 

Owain@malonetuning

Associate Vendor , w/Business number
Joined
Jul 1, 2016
Location
Vancouver
TDI
335d, 05 jetta wagon, 84 jetta td
Really boils down to market demand and what people plan to do with them. The domestic diesels are well covered by the domestic tuners, so you're facing stiff competition right out of the gate. It's hard to get excited about automatics unless they make silly power like the 335Ds or are heavily modified, but if someone starts talking about porting and overboring sprinters and doing big turbo E320s we're all ears. We're enthusiasts after all and stock motors are... stock. Only so many hours in a day and can only do so many things at once, so it's a fine line of keeping everyone happy and dealing with interesting projects. We'd rather put time into a few weird custom builds to support existing customers than do a lot of R&D to sell 5 tunes to stock cruzes over 2 years.

Surprisingly we've had more requests for just about every diesel out there than for the chevy cruze. Things you'd never expect like range rover evoques, TD6 rovers, volvos, subarus, imported toyotas, R2.8 kit tuning, domestic trucks, industrial Mercedes and fords overseas, tractors, you name it. It's not on the radar to be honest, would like to play around with the duramax 2.8s too but it's hard to find the time.
 

turbobrick240

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Nov 18, 2014
Location
maine
TDI
2011 vw golf tdi(gone to greener pastures), 2001 ford f250 powerstroke
I'd like to see the GM 1.6 crd powerplant in the Sonic chassis. I dunno, maybe the Sonic is garbage, but I think it's a decent looking little hatchback
 
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ToBiN

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2017
Location
Colorado
TDI
2013 Sportwagen TDI/M6; 2006 Dodge 3500 Cummins/M6 Mega Cab; 2011 Jetta TDI/M6 (sold)
More than VW???? Come on.
heck ya. I still remember my uncle pulling the GM diesel out of his Olds Delta88 and changing it over to a gasoline 350.:eek:

I guess when the Delta88 ran, it ran well, but it was plagued with issues. Head gaskets, injectors, rockers, left them on the side of the road multiple times. Once he had to rebuild the top end, while on their way to vacation. did it in about 12 hours in a small barn in the Midwest. Luckily the rancher's house it died at knew the owner of the Napa Auto Parts in town and actually had a key to the store. They were able to go there at 11p, grab a new valve and leave the money by the cash register. You just don't see that kind of person in today's society anymore, and if you do, they are few and far between. Just can't trust anyone anymore. Too many crooks have burned good people.

I also remember looking at a 1997 Suburban Diesel (before the duramax). it only had just over 100k miles! I thought it was a great deal until I spoke to a buddy about it. He asked if it had a new engine. I said, "yes, it does!". He said, "ya, and if you buy it you will put one in it too." :eek:

Yes, GM has left a bitter diesel taste in people's mouths far before VW delivered great MPGs and a bit too much NOx. heck, even the first Duramax's had head gasket and cracking head issues. Unfortunately they still engineer to be "just good enough."

Now that GM started outsourcing their diesels from long time manufacturers like Isuzu and VM Motori, I feel they may be onto something. Seems these long time American auto makers just don't have the diesel experience of European countries.

At least VW TDIs are reliable. They just made the news because they beat the system by following the rules to the letter. The law never stated that it needed to pass emissions on the road, just on the dyno. So whats the difference between what VW did and all the diesel trucks that do the EGR, DPF, Cat, etc deletes immediately following the emissions test? Less work for the consumer. Thanks VW! lol.:D
 
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tikal

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2001
Location
Southeast Texas
TDI
2004 Passat Wagon (chainless + 5 MT + GDE tune)
Let's say GM "provided the logistics" and the "VW hit man" executed the auto diesel with the encouragement of the 'authorities'.
 

vwestlife

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2004
Location
central NJ, USA
TDI
1997 B4 Passat TDI sedan (sold)
When shopping for a new car last year I test-drove a Cruze hatchback with the 1.6L diesel engine and 6-speed manual. It drove fine, but the rearward visibility was horrendous and I was disappointed that I couldn't get the manual transmission version with a sunroof or heated seats. I ended up getting a 2018 Jetta (last year of the Mk6 generation) with the 1.4L TSI gas engine. It has all the features I wanted and averages 38 MPG. With the higher cost of diesel fuel, even if the TDI was still available it probably wouldn't save me anything in fuel expenditure.
 
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