War of commuters II: Model 3 vs Cruze diesel

War of commuters II: Model 3 vs Cruze diesel

No brainer which is the winner for a typical commuter driving about 80 miles/day to get to work:

Model 3 with fed tax credit and state sales tax discount:US$33K for the 220 miles + premium
Interior experience: 5 (5 is the most positive)
Fuel economy:5
Maintenance costs:5 (expected)
Snow handling:4

Cruze hatch diesel manual:US$29K

Interior experience: 3
Fuel economy:2
Maintenance costs:4
Snow handling:1

Coastal Cruiser. | 09/11/2017

Tough call. | 09/11/2017

I had a diesel Oldsmobile once upon a time. It had only one positive feature. If someone was tailgating me, I could floor the accelerator causing the dog to downshift and spew a great oily cloud of diesel droppings all over the cretin.

andy.connor.e | 09/11/2017

Diesel? More like Weasel.

Coastal Cruiser. | 09/11/2017

Was that your father's Oldsmobile George?

dave.m.mcdonough | 09/11/2017

throttle response: 5 vs -5

ölbrenner | 09/11/2017

I just went to GM build and price, and a Cruz diesel manual sedan starts $23K msrp +ttl (and fully optioned out about $3k above that). One can usually haggle and get this down easily to well below msrp out the door. Not sure where $29k came from.

$10k difference would buy a lot of diesel (for now anyway until the next petro gouging happens, arghhh which reminds me I need to fill up my big diesel truck this morning), but I would go for fast fun cheaper to run RWD myself.

andy.connor.e | 09/11/2017

What reasons would you ever choose a diesel cruz over a regular gas cruz

Syruspicarus2016 | 09/11/2017

Georgehawley, that outdated view of diesel would make a fair comparison against the Chevy EV1. Do you want to go there? Read about contemporary diesel engines and you will see it.

Olbrenner: $26K for the hatch manual + 10% taxes is rounded to $29K. In my case taxes are important since we pay $0 taxes for the first $35K in my state (EV sales tax).

Driving a diesel manual is way too much fun. Old school but car enthusiasts love it. I would give a “fun factor” of 5 to Chevy Cruze.

Shock | 09/11/2017

1) It looks like nobody (certainly few) will get the $7500 credit for the model 3, few will also even get half of that

2) Cruz will have a much lower total cost of ownership over its life, I am guessing

3) The cruz is a cruz. It will be like driving a civic or a corolla. The model 3 is more in the premium market. Much nicer car, better drive. It is almost like comparing a bmw 3 series to an accord.

andy.connor.e | 09/11/2017


#2 is void. Guesses are not reliable facts.

finman100 | 09/11/2017

GM... plus diesel? Lower TCO than Model 3? wait, it's a diesel? aren't those illegal now? Why in the world would anyone in their right mind choose diesel if they know the cheating that has to happen just to make them barely legal to drive (it's the emissions, duh). Why go backwards? what is wrong with people? Do we not need better solutions (sustainable, clean) than old-school diesel? It's still diesel no mater how you burn it. I really don't get it. Maybe that's why there needs to be some rule enforcing (again, it's the emissions, duh. you like to breathe, right?) to drag people kicking and screaming out of last century. Yeah. Too many diesel trucks in my area roll coal when they see me in my Leaf. It's pathetic. Get 'em off the roads. Elon can't get e-trucks here soon enough.

nadurse | 09/11/2017

if you've ever driven or been near a running Cruze diesel, there is a audible/noticeable 'diesel tick' . No thanks, if i was in the market for that kind of vehicle I would definitely get a gas Cruze those are great vehicles.

Comparing a Cruze to a Model 3 is dumb and useless. 2 different completely different vehicles meant for 2 very different purposes and markets.

Syruspicarus2016 | 09/11/2017

Finman, read about clean diesel. I understand in the US it is not popular. That is all we drive in Europe.

Nadurse, there is nothing dumb in comparing for the specific application of job commuting similarly priced. I got one of the most fuel efficient cars and fun to drive out there. I know the Chevy is a Chevy, but the comparison here is focused on price and fuel economy. As much as I despise Chevies, the new Cruze hatchback has at least improved quite a bit. You are another that doesnt understand diesel technology and dont know what you are talking about.

Shock | 09/11/2017


"#2 is void."

Void; you are guessing my guess is wrong.

"Guesses are not reliable facts."

Correct, they are guesses.

Shock | 09/11/2017

I will say I share some cynicism of diesel. I think there is a reason very few manufacturers stateside bother with it. Remember also the cost of diesel is often (in my part of the country always) higher than gas, and the price of the car to begin with tends to be higher as well. In the US at least I think in passenger cars those looking for fuel economy should look at a hybrid or a pure EV.

andy.connor.e | 09/11/2017

Idk. If your guess was correct facts, it wouldnt be a guess.

finman100 | 09/11/2017

clean diesel? just as accurate as clean coal. yay? not.

and wasn't a certain european company (or is it plural now, companies being investigated) trying to sneak diesel crud past the legal limits by installing cheating software? hmmm, thought so. I think the initials were V and W if I'm remembering right.


Glad I am not a diesel fan. it would be embarrassing to promote such disregard of breathable air.

rxlawdude | 09/11/2017

Acceleration on a Diesel 3/5? M3 5/5.

IWhat is the 0-100km acceleration in the Cruse that it meets a 3?

andy.connor.e | 09/11/2017

I think oil companies have made enough money. Time to shift the industry, for the greater good of the planet, and not maintain the same unsustainable environment so that a few people can stay rich.

Syruspicarus2016 | 09/11/2017

Andy, people dont use combustion engines to enrich anyone and they dont build engines to stay rich. They do it because they need a vehicle that covers all use case scenarios, not only a $80K+ for city driving. Hopefully it will improve in the years ahead. I also advocate for combustion engines ban right now for recreational boats. That can be done today. If people want to enjoy watersports, sail.

Syruspicarus2016 | 09/11/2017

Rxlaw, I dont think you are understand about cars. You have no idea what it is like to drive a turbo diesel in manual. Nice torque. Acceleration way below Model 3, but in my opinions on as fan to drive.

Syruspicarus2016 | 09/11/2017

In my opinion it is as fan as the model 3, i meant.

andy.connor.e | 09/11/2017

If you follow the trendlines, cars did not become more fuel efficient until government mandated it. They have not really gotten better since then. Economy cars (majority driven) are 25/35mpg today as they were 20 years ago. Or even 30 years ago. Its a pretty big industry to disrupt when you're told the fuel for your car can come from the sun, and does not need to be supplied by a company. Oil got the entire infrastructure in a vice grip right now. Nearly everything runs on oil. The incentive to switch has to come from the consumer, because theres too much money being made to change if left in the hands of the companies profiting off it.

rxlawdude | 09/11/2017

@Syrus what is the 0-100km/hr acceleration?

Your insult is not appreciated. I understand cars, and Teslas, just fine.

Syruspicarus2016 | 09/11/2017

Sure, I am updating it:
Model 3 acceleration:5
Model 3 fun to drive:5
Model 3 max range:2

Cruze acceleration:2
Cruze fun to drive:5
Cruze max range:5 | 09/11/2017

Does the Cruze start up a -10 degrees F? My ancient Olsmobile didn't because the fuel froze in the line from the tank to the engine. Good, bad or indifferent, the time for diesel is past.

Tesla2018 | 09/11/2017

I had a 81 Rabbit diesel that got over 50 mpg. Cant figure out why they cant get better mileage out of diesels now since gas cars back then only got in the upper 20s if they were lucky.

ReD eXiLe ms us | 10/11/2017

¿Habla, emissions?

[FOUL] diesel. There is no 'cleanliness' to be had with it. Even GM is being sued for diesel violations. Not just Volkswagen.

PaceyWhitter | 10/11/2017

Why not go with the Chevy Spark? Save you even more money. No diesel though but I’m sure you could spray some sulfur around to get the same effect.

andy.connor.e | 10/11/2017

Wow @george.

Diesel is garbage. Why would anyone choose diesel if they had a choice.

Tesla2018 | 10/11/2017

Diesels det better mileage than gas cars and their engines are simpilar and longer lasting. And they have more torque. Most pickup trucks used for work purposes are diesel.
Bavkin the 80s diesel was cheaper than gas and a lot of people had home heating oil tanks. You could siphon it off of the tank since it was basicallt the same and it was a lot cheaper since diesel for cars and trucks at a gas station had state and federal taxes added to them. I thonk I paid about 50 cents a gallon back then since I filled up at a home heating supply company that sold it wholesale. They had large corporate accounts but a classmates dad owned the company so he gave me a card so I could use the pumps. Only bad thing was getting stuck behind Tractor Trailers and Greyhound buses and the town fire truck when they were filling up 100 gallon tanks.

MKM3 | 10/11/2017

I don't know when you've last seen a diesel car, but the last time I've checked, they were extremely complicated, turbo charged, chemistry laboratories to "clean" their emissions.
Currently you'll have to take failing turbo chargers, failing diesel filters, failing engines due to extreme pressure in the common rail system into consideration.
I drive a 14 year old diesel, never failed me once (doesn't have a useless filter), but the new engines are prone to fail.

The only scenario they're good for is high speed commute. And the simple fact that you can't buy mid sized cars in Europe without a diesel. The gas engines sold here are total and utter cr@p.
At gas prices at USD 6.20 per gallon / €1,40/liter you can't afford to buy a gas guzzler, so the lesser evil is a relatively efficient diesel.
Just FYI, I'd never buy a diesel again or pure ICE ever again.

bj | 11/11/2017 - as an outsider, I always thought it was hilarious that a manufacturer would actually choose to call a car an "Oldsmobile". Was it intended to be some kind of insider joke? An ironic statement? Or was it genuinely gormless? Seriously, how did the marketing department ever let than one get out the door? | 11/11/2017

@bj: the car was named after the founder of the Olds Automobile Co. In 1897. It was called the Olds Automobile which was contracted to Oldsmobile. It was the first mass produced car. GM bought the company in 1907. Over 30 million Oldsmobiles were built and sold until the division was shut down. My first car was a used 1952 Olds 88 sedan. It was a great car until I totaled it in a blinding snowstorm. Later I bought a new 1980 Oldsmobile Cutlass sedan with a Diesel engine. It was arguably the worst car ever made. It was a compliance car to bring down the GM fleet mpg. The engine was a gasoline V8 modified for diesel fuel. The transmission was the infamous Turbohdydromatic that was so bad that it gave birth to two big companies: AAMCo and Lee J. Myles just for the Oldsmobile transmission replacement business. :-((

milesbb | 12/11/2017 I purchased new a 1980 240D Mercedes. Best car I ever owned. It would reliably start at -5 deg F and -50 deg F if plugged in (block heater and battery heater). I lived in Fairbanks AK so I tested the cold weather starting. I understand earlier years would have starting problems below +20 deg F without plugging in. At 64 hp the engine was very smooth and responsive, unlike all of those terrible gasoline engines from 70's.

@Syruspicarus2016 the Cruze diesel stands out in highway driving, city driving not so much. If your commute is relatively stop and go free highway driving it could be a good choice. I believe the front wheel drive Cruse snow handling would compare well with the rear wheel drive Model 3. | 12/11/2017

@miles:I lived in New Jersey where it got down below -10 F that first winter. I had a block heater but no place to plug it in. I envy your MB experience. My Olds not so much.
I have rented a Cruze with gas engine. No way does it drive and handle like a Tesla S or X, not even in the same universe. I expect the 3 to at least be in the same Galaxy. No comparison.

tstolz | 12/11/2017

Depreciation is the biggest cost in car ownership. Teslas are looking like they will greatly outlast ICE-age cars .. but pricing on the used market still more closely reflects typical car depreciation (this means buyers have not yet caught on that Teslas last a lot longer than ICE). As more data comes in, I expect the used EV market (for makes that have good battery tech at least) will start to reflect this advantage. Used Teslas right now are a steal IMHO!! | 12/11/2017

Not quite sure why some people prefer a shorter life and higher cancer risk with diesels and gas cars, now that EVs are available that perform better in just about every measurable way. Diesel and gas vehicle owners have to breath carcinogenic fueling fumes, and then pollute the environment with exhaust and dripping toxic fluids over the life of the vehicle. Glad most countries are working to outlawing these toxic machines. Smart buyers also realize the resale value could be zero at some point with gas/diesel vehicles, especially if the country outlaws them!

Tesla2018 | 12/11/2017

But the power plants that will produce the extra electric power needed for the cars still cause pollution. Not all of them run on solar, wind, or hydroelectric power. A lot of things around me run on nuclear but after 3 mile Island and Chernobyl and Japan that isnt looking safe either and coal and gas fracking sucks but makes us more competitive against foreign oil and creates American jobs until we can find a cheaper way to develope solar power panels.

DTsea | 12/11/2017


Thw thermal efficiency of a power plant is far better than an ICE and concentrates emissions at one more easily scrubbable source, which is also remote.

Only reason diesel is cheaper in Europe is lower taxes- a subsidy for trucking.

MKM3 | 13/11/2017


Easily scrubbable source? Like nuclear waste? Hmm... yeah... some countries will phase out nuclear power plants and coal way before combustion engines. The problem is the centralized grid. Currently there is too much energy loss when transporting electricity from the power plant to the customer.
That's where Tesla's *really* big game changer is, not necessarily the cars, which are simply too expensive (no government grants here) for the vast majority of private customers.

dave.m.mcdonough | 13/11/2017

Also, that old VW had the weight of a golf cart compared to today's cars.

Kenz | 13/11/2017

No Emissions vs Emissions.
Solar power or fossil fuels.

nadurse | 13/11/2017

*yawn* diesels are lame, Elon is about to show you that again on Thursday.

DTsea | 13/11/2017

I was referring of course to fuel burning power plant vs fuel burning engine.

But if we are worried about climate change base should be nuclear with daytime surge from solar.

dave.m.mcdonough | 13/11/2017

next up: fuel savings calculations when compared to ICE car that happens to be the cheapest FWD econobox we could find.

MKM3 | 13/11/2017

Yeah, me too. Going for nuclear electric production is extremely short sighted, just saying... ICE, nuclear and coal have to go, no doubt about it. The worse problem IMHO are old nuclear power plants that fail, contaminating the environment for millennia as well as unclear storage for nuclear waste (the US still doesn't have a solution for that the last time I've checked). Off topic, but electric cars running of extremely dirty electricity won't help anyone.

ReD eXiLe ms us | 13/11/2017

The problem with Nuclear power is that it isn't... 'nuclear' so much as nuclear fired steam engines. The radioactive waste material stays that way long enough to effectively be considered 'forever'. The security expense involved in guarding that stuff to make sure it doesn't fall into the hands of someone that wants to build and distribute dirty bombs also is eternal and everlasting. It isn't a 'bury it and forget it' problem, but one that must be kept under lock and key and constant guard for all time. Solar panels and wind turbines are already developed to the point where they cost considerably less than any new nuclear power plant per kWh generated.

rxlawdude | 14/11/2017

Fusion power would in theory reduce risks, but a controlled fusion reaction still seems beyond current technologies.

Rocky_H | 14/11/2017

@Tesla2018, Quote: “I had a 81 Rabbit diesel that got over 50 mpg. Cant figure out why they cant get better mileage out of diesels now since gas cars back then only got in the upper 20s if they were lucky.”

Well, that last part wasn’t true either. Small cars like the Rabbit in the 80’s did not get sucky gas mileage like 20’s as you claim. There are several aspects of car building that were different back then that made cars efficient, and most have to do with safety and performance progression. Have you seen the width of tires on older cars like that? They are about half as wide as on modern economy cars today! That makes a huge difference in gas mileage, but it’s quite a detriment to handling/cornering. Also, the addition of more mandatory safety equipment, like several air bags, and more structural reinforcement to fare better on crash testing adds a lot of weight to the cars.

Quote: “But the power plants that will produce the extra electric power needed for the cars still cause pollution.”

Ah yes, the “still cause pollution” FUD. You aren’t even trying to understand that things have different amounts. This is just like saying, “A Ford Fiesta still uses gas, so it’s not any more efficient than an F-350.” Something can be bettER and cleanER, without being totally free of pollution.