GM has recently confirmed that from 2013 the Chevrolet Cruze compact sedan will be sold with a turbodiesel engine option, allowing an auto-equipped diesel Cruze to hit low to mid 40s miles per gallon on average.

Even the regular gasoline version is fairly efficient by the standards of many cars though, achieving 28mpg city and 42mpg highway, 33mpg combined. One of the ways this is possible is by using microprocessors to control an Electronic Returnless Fuel System.

Where the fuel pump in a regular vehicle runs at full speed all the time, the pump in the Chevy Cruze is monitored by the electronic systems and the rate of fuel being pumped can be increased or decreased to suit engine requirements.

This reduces the amount of fuel used, and because the pump isn't drawing maximum current at all times it also reduces electrical load on the alternator, in turn reducing load on the engine. All this is said to add up to a 2 percent reduction in fuel consumption compared with a regular system.

Doesn't sound like a lot, but everything adds up and it makes the 2012 Chevrolet Cruze one of the most fuel efficient vehicles in its class.

Terry Wilton, GM's senior manager for fuel system components, says "To a customer, the Electronic Returnless Fuel System technology is seamless. The driver does not notice the changes to fuel pump speed because engine fueling requirements vary during different vehicle driving conditions."

If you can't wait another year or so for the fuel-sipping diesel Cruze, you could still do a lot worse than plump for the regular gasoline version.

The 2012 Chevrolet Cruze starts at $16,525 for the entry-level 1.8-liter LS model.

[Chevrolet In The News via Pikaba]