Last month, we told you that GM's next small car, the 2010 Chevy Cruze, would reportedly achieve 40 mpg. That report was based on GM's own statements -- no one outside the company has driven, or for that matter even seen, the Cruze. Since that report, Ford has stated that its new Fiesta small car will get nearly the same rating. Now a small mention in an AP story has bumped the Cruze's numbers up again.
The AP, in a story detailing GM's plan to use small car sales to recover from a historic slump, reports, "One model, the sleek new Chevrolet Cruze due out in 2010, is the replacement for the clunky Chevrolet Cobalt small car. GM plans to power the Cruze with a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, allowing it to get around 45 miles per gallon." [Emphasis added]
Detroit News columnist Scott Burgess repeats the claim, writing " Details of GM's projected products are vague to avoid tipping off competitors, but some bright spots are clear: The 45 miles-per-gallon Chevrolet Cruze shines as the biggest potential homerun out of the box."
It's a stunning claim. The hybrid-powered 2008 Toyota Prius, we should note, gets 45 mpg on the highway. Now, several major media outlets are claiming that GM's next small car can equal that feat with a conventional gasoline engine.
We'd caution, however, that none of the media sources making that claim have driven a Cruze. The small car will make its debut to the world at the Paris Motor Show in October, but even then the media won't get to drive it. We promise updated mpg numbers as soon as someone gets behind the wheel of the Cruze. Until then, we're a little skeptical of the incredible growing mpg rating…but in a world of $4 gas, let's hope it's true.