Chevrolet is entering the US and Canadian diesel car markets this summer with a 2.0L turbo-diesel version of its Cruze.

Chevrolet says it is the cleanest diesel passenger car engine General Motors has ever produced and that 'clean diesels' generate at least 90% less nitrogen oxide (NOx) and particulate emissions when compared to previous-generation diesels.

Built in Lordstown, Ohio, Chevrolet says that the 2014 Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel delivers a combination of segment-leading features and efficiency. Based on GM testing, GM claims 'best-in-segment range and 42 mpg on the highway with spirited performance and the durability diesel owners' value around the globe'.

"Chevrolet has a diverse portfolio of products and technologies to meet the needs of the most discerning customer, whether it's driving across town gas free in a Spark EV or cross-country  in a clean turbo diesel," said Chris Perry, Chevrolet vice president of marketing.

The compact sedan's new 2.0L turbo-diesel engine produces an estimated 148 horsepower (110 kW) and estimated 258 lb-ft torque (350 Nm) with 0-60 performance of 8.6 seconds, which GM says is better than the Volkswagen Jetta TDI automatic and competitive with German diesel cars that dominate the US market.

Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel's emissions will be below stringent US environmental standards including Tier two Bin five emissions standards.

"Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel fills an important role in Chevrolet's diverse four-cylinder line up, and is primed to win over diesel devotees and compact car buyers with its performance, torque and fuel economy," said Perry. "We leveraged engineering expertise from around the globe to develop a world-class, low-emissions engine to give US and Canadian customers a car that's both fun to drive and practical at the pump."

The starting prices is US$25,695, including a $810 destination charge (excludes tax, title, license, and dealer fees).

Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel comes with a six-speed automatic transmission, four-wheel antilock disc brakes, 3.20 final drive ratio, 140-amp alternator, 800 cold-cranking amps battery, 17-inch alloy wheels, ultra-low-rolling resistance all-season tires, rear spoiler, Aero Performance Package and leather-appointed seating.

Other standard features include Chevrolet's infotainment system MyLink, a two-year maintenance plan, and a five-year 100,000 mile powertrain warranty.

"Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel is the most sophisticated passenger car diesel engine GM has ever produced," said Jens Wartha, GM global programme manager and chief engineer for the Cruze's diesel engine. "We merged European diesel expertise with the real world driving preferences of North American consumers."

GM has sold nearly two million Chevrolet Cruze models globally since it was launched in mid-2010.  GM produced more than half a million small diesel-engine cars across Europe, Asia, Africa and South America last year, including Cruze. In Europe, approximately 40% of Cruze models are diesel-powered.