Every now and then, resourceful journalists dredge up automotive news before it emerges in a sanitized press release from the maker in question.
So it is with the pricing on the 2018 Chevrolet Equinox Diesel, one of two diesel-powered compact crossover utility vehicles expected to hit the U.S. market this year.
While combined EPA ratings haven’t been published, Chevy projects the Equinox Diesel to hit 32 mpg in the city and up to 40 mpg on the highway.
Opting for all-wheel drive will cost 1 mpg on the city rating up 3 mpg on the highway rating, the carmaker said.
The final ratings could still make the front-wheel-drive Equinox Diesel the most fuel-efficient compact crossover on sale.
Now we know the 2018 Equinox Diesel will start at just above $31,000 before discounts, incentives, and financing deals.
The news comes via CarsDirect, which got an early look at dealer order guides that show a starting base price of $31,495, including destination, for the 2018 Chevy Equinox LT Diesel. All-wheel drive can be added as a $1,750 option.
CarsDirect notes that the LT Diesel costs “$1,345 more than an equivalent LT with the 2.0T engine” and fully $3,740 more than the Equinox 1.5T, the model fitted with the smaller of two turbocharged gasoline 4-cylinder engines.
“The better-equipped Premier Diesel will start from $33,930,” the article continues, “which is $2,195 more than an equivalent 1.5T but actually $600 less than the Premier 2.0T.”
READ THIS: Mazda diesel to arrive fall 2017, it says, in new CX-5 crossover (Nov 2016)
Chevrolet told CarsDirect that the gasoline version of the Equinox Premier, with a more powerful 2.0-liter inline-4, is more expensive because it adds extra features: 19-inch Ultra Bright Machined Wheels, dual exhaust and a tow rating of 3,500 lbs.
A diesel version of the updated 2018 Mazda CX-5 is also expected to hit the market sometime this year, though as yet no specs or fuel-economy ratings are available for that vehicle.
Addressing the inevitable question from skeptical buyers, it’s likely that the Equinox Diesel meets EPA emission regulations.
That would stand in contrast to the half-million-plus VW, Audi, and Porsche cars and crossovers with diesel engines caught up in the long-running Volkswagen emission scandal.
GM launched a diesel option for its Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon mid-size pickup trucks in fall 2015, just as that scandal exploded into the media
CHECK OUT: Diesels Still Needed For Truck Fuel Economy Despite VW Scandal: Advocate (Feb 2016)
They came with a letter from the EPA certifying that in fact the two diesel trucks complied with all relevant emission rules.
Such a letter may no longer be required—there wasn’t one for the Chevy Cruze Diesel compact sedan that’s been on the market for a few months now—but we suspect GM has seen the costs of non-compliance and isn’t likely to risk them.