While the Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) is actually a quasi-standard equipment in the European Diesel passenger cars market, an interesting solution to fulfill NOx emission limits for the next EU 6 legislation is the application of a Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system on the exhaust line, to drastically reduce NOx emissions.In this context, one of the main issues is the performance of the SCR system during cold start and warm up phases of the engine. The exhaust temperature is too low to allow thermal activation of the reactor and, consequently, to promote high conversion efficiency and significant NOx concentration reduction. This is increasingly evident the smaller the engine displacement, because of its lower exhaust system temperature (reduced gross power while producing the same net power, i.e., higher efficiency).The proposal of the underlying work is to investigate and identify optimal exhaust line heating strategies, to provide a fast activation of the catalytic reactions on SCR. The main constrain is to limit the potential fuel consumption increase, and possibly to even increase global efficiency, and the chosen application is a small EU5-compliant diesel engine.After an initial investigation, the research has been focused on main combustion control parameters, rather than on post-oxidation processes associated with late injections, in an effort to reduce eventual fuel penalties. The effect of each relevant engine control parameter has been analyzed on the test bench, observing the results in terms of exhaust system temperature and fuel efficiency. After this preliminary identification phase, different calibration strategies have been tested on the vehicle, executing several NEDC cycles. The most relevant comparisons are illustrated and critically discussed in the paper.