An overview of 2008 diesel cars, and what’s coming after that

Don’t miss our updated overview of 2009 diesel cars!

And don’t miss our updated 2010 diesel cars overview!

As diesel technology gets greener and greener automakers are starting to take notice. In Europe many cars are offered with a diesel power plant as an option, while here in the US we are still using diesel motors primarily in pickups, buses and trucks. As fuel prices rise and environmental concerns grow we are finally starting to see some of the manufacturers take notice.

The following is the rundown of the passenger cars that will be available in the USA in the 2008 model year. A re-occurring theme with many of the manufacturers I contacted seemed to be that while they do plan to offer at least one diesel, it won’t be until later in the year.



Don’t miss our previous post, an introduction to biodiesel.

bluetec

Mercedes Benz

The 2008 E320 BLUETEC Sedan

MSRP $52,675

Acceleration1 0 – 60 in 6.6 seconds.

Fuel economy

EPA estimate 23 mpg

Highway estimate 32 mpg

It seems like Mercedes Benz has always been into Diesels. The fabled W123 chassis diesels, such as the 300D and 300TD regularly break the million mile mark with surprisingly little maintenance. So it’s no surprise the E320 tops most of the reviewer’s lists for diesel Sedans sold in the US. Mercedes claims to be the only luxury sedan sold in the US for 2008 that is diesel equipped; and that’s true for the moment as BWM has not announced their entry into the diesel arena for the year. Since they are the only company that could provide me with detail, we’re going to cover them first.

The E320 uses Mercedes innovative Bluetec system for reducing NO2 emissions and soot which is normally the downside to diesels emissions-wise. Mercedes initially entered into an agreement with BMW, VW and Audi to share the technology in order to increase the diesel passenger car market in the US; BMW, VW, And Audi however have announced they will no longer be working with Mercedes on bluetec.

Mercedes states that their diesel cars are NOT legal for sale in California, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, or Vermont. A limited number will be available for lease in California.

The 2008 E320 BLUETEC does not meet the emissions requirements of California, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, or Vermont and is not available in these states.

In California, a limited number of Model Year 2007 E320 BLUETEC vehicles are available for a limited duration and mileage lease only. No purchase option available. Available only to qualified customers through Mercedes-Benz Financial at participating dealers. Not everyone will qualify. Subject to credit approval and inventory availability. See your authorized Mercedes-Benz dealer for complete details on this offer.

Unfortunately for those looking to run biodiesel you may also have to look elsewhere. The new Mercedes engines are only warrantied to run a maximum of B5 biodiesel. Many people have run higher without problems, but it’s a very expensive car to take a chance with.

Audi

An Audi representative stated that they did not have plans for a diesel equipped auto for the 2008 model year. They did say that there would be an offering in 2009, at least in the Q7 SUV.

BMW

Possibly Several Models

It’s hard to say why car companies do what they do. BMW has maintained that it will be releasing a diesel sedan in the US in 2008; but as of this date they have not so much as specified which vehicles will be available with this option. In Europe every BMW vehicle is available with a diesel motor as an option but these vehicles have not been available in the US. When I contacted BWM their representative stated that they wanted to make sure that any diesel they released would pass emissions standards for all 50 states, and that most likely the 3 and the 5 series BWM’s would be the ones offered with the diesel power plant. They stated that they hoped to have the cars available before mid-year.

The BMW diesels in Europe feature a catalytic converter and particle filter in order to reduce the NO2 emissions and soot. Unfortunately as BMW has not announced their 2008 diesel US lineup there is very little data on what engine (They make a 4, 6, and an 8 cylinder diesel). Therefore no emissions or mileage info.

Cadillac

While Cadillac does not have a diesel powered offering for 2008, they do have one planned for the 2009 CTS.

Chevrolet, Pontiac, Buick.

I spoke with a representative from GM who stated that diesel are mostly used in pickup trucks. She stated that they had no cars in the 2008 lineup that would be diesel equipped. I grew up in a GM household where buying a foreign car, or even a ford, was a right up there with treason and using beans in chili (this was Texas, afterall). I had the opportunity to own one of the diesel equipped autos that GM produced back in the 80’s and I’ve watched over the years GM shoot themselves in the foot by throwing out the baby with the proverbial bathwater.

GM had in 1985 a full sized luxury car (Pontiac,Olds, Buick, and Cadillac) that got anywhere between 26 and 30 miles per gallon out of a diesel v8 motor. These motors had problems, primarily with seals and leaking, but instead of fixing and improving on them they stopped production after a few years. It’s not enough to innovate, you have to follow through and capitalize on your innovations. And once you try something and fail you can’t just throw your hands up and let your competitors pick up the ball and run with it.

Chrysler

While they offer diesel options in several of their trucks and SUV’s, they have no diesel cars in the 2008 lineup.

Ford, Lincoln and Mercury

Not offering any diesel powered vehicles, other than trucks, in 2008. Sadly, Ford offered a diesel powered escort back in the 80’s that got a whopping 52 MPG! One does not have to look far to see why our auto industry is in trouble today.

Honda

A Honda representative stated that they had no information available at this time on a diesel powered Honda car for the US market. But we’ve read elsewhere and even seen a photo of an Accord that is being tested with new clean diesel technology here. 62 miles per gallon, and in the United States by 2010? We’ll see!

Toyota

While there has been a lot of speculation about a Toyota diesel car for 2008, there are none listed for their 2008 lineup.

Nissan

No Nissan diesel cars available for the 2008 model year.

Volkswagen

Volkswagen stated that they plan to offer a diesel version of the Jetta, the Jetta Wagon, and the Toureg some time in mid 2008. They stated that no specifications have been released at this time. Volkswagen until recently offered a diesel, and over the years they had diesel Rabbits, Jettas, Microbuses, and the new Beettle. They proudly proclaim their diesel heritage on their website.

Volvo

I spoke to a Volvo representative that stated that Volvo has no plans to offer a diesel automobile outside of Europe at this time.

So, there you have it. Of all the car manufacturers out there only Mercedes has any solid data on a diesel automobile for release in the United States for 2008. Many of these same manufacturers are offering full diesel lineups in Europe but because of tighter emissions standards here in the states we can’t get most of these cars imported.

Marc November 30, 2007 at 9:21 pm

Not only are diesels available as an option in Europe, from what I’ve seen it seems that at least half of the cars on the road there are diesels. I’m hoping that the manufacturers come out with more clean diesels here soon so that I can buy one for my next vehicle.

Barbara December 7, 2007 at 12:50 pm

I am the owner of a 1985 Toyota Corolla diesel that is still running and running well at 50mpg. I call it my energizer bunny…it keeps going and going. Toyota only offered it for two years. I’ll never get rid of this car and since I resently fueled it up with the newer low sulfer fuel, it doesn’t smoke like it used to do. I also have a Ford 250 diesel truck (because Ford in it’s infinite (stupidity) doesn’t offer it as a V6 on the F150. Toyota also offers in Europe a diesel RAV 4.
When are the big three going to wake up and smell the coffee. Diesels are not only more efficient and longer lasting but don’t put as much CO2s into the air. Plus, with the advent of biodiesel fuels could run vehicles more cheaply. My biggest pet peeve is that it costs less to refine diesel but it costs more at the pump. GRRRR.

maxwell December 12, 2007 at 5:02 pm

Barb has it right! Wake up and smell the coffee CA, NY, and the rest of the NE block! I have a 1 ton commercial diesel vehicle and my fuel economy is regulary 25 mpg if I am careful. Thats what I got in my old tiny gas Honda! The Europeans are a bit smarter than we are in the ol’ USA since they include CO2 in their pollution reguirements for new cars! As far are diesel pollution being worse than a gas vehicle, a simple study of europe would convince anyone that diesel is the way to go.

Richard December 16, 2007 at 7:32 pm

The Honda Accord will be offered in diesel for the 2009 model year. See http://www.autosavant.net/2007/10/honda-accord-diesel-and-new-hybrid.html

Mike Hewlett January 3, 2008 at 9:42 am

It really is ridiculus the whole thing. I own the Mercedes 320 CDI and love it. I get 37mpg hwy. Diesel would solve so much of the energy problem with 33% more efficiency then gasoline. I think gas needs to goto $5 or $6 per gallon before Americans figure it out. I would like to get an SUV that is diesel, but they are hard to come by.

TF January 4, 2008 at 9:34 am

Diesel won’t be widly available here untill the oil companies get the last penny out of you for regular gas. The technology exists to put 50MPG SUV’s on the road TODAY – but we don’t have them…

Read about the guy in Wichita who has a Hummer with a GM Duramax/Allison multi fuel that goes 0 to 60 in 6.7 sec and gets 60 MPG! GM won’t sell him engines…

Tom January 10, 2008 at 8:17 pm

I have a 1996 MB E300 diesel and love it. Unfortunately the US is run by big business which means the bottom line rules. A hard learned lesson is that of coffee. In the early and middle part of the last century Americans drank a little over 12lbs.per family of coffee per year. Then, after WWII as the big coffee house names began to die off and the “bean counters” took over; the coffee changed. To increase the bottom line more Robusta beans were added to the roast which should have increased profits but for some reason coffee consumption started to decline (Robusta is a cheaper less flavorful bean)- taste rules. Perplexed, even more Robusta beans were added to uphold the porfit margin. The result: coffee consumption in the US has not returned to pre WWII figures. It now stands at about 9.5 lbs. per person.
We need someone to infuse a little passion into our auto market. Someone to convince us that we are important, our safety is important (Volvo), our desire for good mpg. (diesel-Mercedes) is important. Where is market research conducted that puts Toyota ahead of GM in America? I only buy foreign cars because I am convinced that the only concern here in th US is for my money and not for me and my family.

Steve Watkins January 11, 2008 at 2:26 am

I wouldn’t call robusta less flavorful. Harsher more offensive flavored bean is more accurate. But yeah, it did major damage to the coffee industry. In addition, people started buying pre-ground stale beans in cans (coffee loses most of its flavor after two weeks, and within less than an hour after grinding). I personally throw away better coffee than you can buy in a grocery store.

So go diesel, whatever the brand and go to your local coffee roaster and get real robsusta free coffee.

Woodburner January 12, 2008 at 9:14 am

As far as the high mileage cars go, it seems that the government will not permit them because that would reduce the amount of tax they get from fuel. They say we need to be energy independent and we all agree but it comes down to fuel tax dollars.

Higher Mileage Vehicles = Less Tax Dollars

btw, I am not one of the ‘conspiracy theorists’

Joe February 13, 2008 at 5:25 pm

This country definetly needs diesels cars, small trucks, etc. Most diesels get 30-50% better milage, so that means you get almost twice as much for your money on the road. The USA should require immediately any/all manufactueres that already make available diesels to other countries to also make it available here. We ultimately must get away from the oil all together, and stop stuffing the pockets of countries who hate us. Once there is an alternative to oil they all will go back to camel hearding, etc. and our great country will be much safer again.

I believe in green, but without china, india and other 3rd world countries who’s enconomies and associated oil consumption are growing complying with the new rules, the air will still be polluted. Many of those country’s industries are atleast 50 years behind us, which means there is so much growth ahead of them that its scary to think of the amount of pollution they generate.

Lets allocate 50% or better of nasa’s budget and people to the sole goal of alternative fuels that can be created completely inside the USA.

Kim February 29, 2008 at 8:24 am

I’ve just returned from India and saw the extent to which they relay on cars, trucks, motorbikes and busses for all their transportation plus the growth of their economy. Traffic and congestion are worse than Los Angeles, where I work. Any analysis of the future prospects of petroleum supply have to be very pessimistic – consumption is growing so fast in these developing economies that we MUST find other ways to reduce our dependence on petroleum, increase fuel efficiency and grow the range of alternative and bio-fuels available to fuel our vehicles today, not tomorrow. Time is running out and it takes several years to make the changes that are needed. The end of oil as our fuel of choice is coming soon, and the Europeans are far ahead of us on every path away from this problem including widespread availability of alternative fuels, windpower and thoughtful conservation. Let’s wake up America ! This is in our national interest.

Richard Poor March 27, 2008 at 1:58 pm

Even “clean” diesels are not all that clean compared to gasoline. The nano-particulates from diesels exacerbate inflammatory disease from lung disease to heart disease and even arthritis. Widespread biodiesel as with ethanol increases the cost of food. Better cities reclaim used cooking oils and sewer grease and oil for biodiesel for municipal vehicles and the rest of us go mostly electric-solar electric-wind electric with a little help from domestic gasoline.

Steve Watkins March 28, 2008 at 11:44 pm

Richard, it is true diesel put out more particulate polution but they are cleaner in other, more important areas…especially when run off of biodiesel.

xxx April 1, 2008 at 2:34 pm

Woodburner
As far as the high mileage cars go, it seems that the government will not permit them because that would reduce the amount of tax they get from fuel. They say we need to be energy independent and we all agree but it comes down to fuel tax dollars.

Higher Mileage Vehicles = Less Tax Dollars
————————
You have this wrong. The tax on a gallon of diesel is already higher than on a gallon of gasoline to compensate for mileage difference. Read the sign on your local gas pump. Fed Gas tax=~$0.18/gal, Fed Diesel tax =~$0.24/gal.

Higher milage vehicles = little difference in tax dollars

hicastle April 15, 2008 at 5:07 pm

Diesel engines are not only more economical. They are a lot more durable. As a truck driver and certified diesel mechanic, I can tell you that it’s not a rare thing to see a truck, that pulls 80.000 lb’s loads everyday run a million miles on a same engine without any major problems. Try to achieve the same thing with gasoline powered plant. I am looking forward to diesel powered cars and already set my sights at VW Tuareg 2 TDI. The only problem is VW’s overall reliability. Will see what the future will bring. Right now I’m making 22 mpg. overall in my Subaru Outback H-6, that has only 70K on it. So I’m not desperate, but the future one will definitely be a diesel. Thank You.

S-TDI April 26, 2008 at 5:37 am

Money. The government and oil companies want it/need it. It has kept us from getting the mileage we “could” for years. Almost every Euro car is available with 3 different diesel engine models: A) economy, B) standard and C) performance. I have 200k on my Jetta TDI. I almost died in it twice, but didn’t because of the build quality. My mileage has dropped a little over the years and maintenance is a little more than a gas but I average >45mpg (despite bumper to bumper traffic + “fast” highway driving;-). Let me see you get that in a petro! Love my diesel and will keep this one running until I can have another. Yeah diesel is a little more but do the math. Unfortunately, the gov and oil companies will continue to artificially keep the price of diesel high to discourage any type of widespread acceptance… My point, like stated before by others, we have the ability to exceed 50mpg in just about any vehicle we could buy… “No one” wants us to get off that cheap! Sincerely, Your diesel proponent.

S-TDI April 26, 2008 at 5:49 am

Here is a solid example for you!

Turning to diesel power in the late ’70s and early ’80s was easy. A 1977 VW Rabbit engine could travel over 50 miles on a gallon of fuel. But it was loud, didn’t offer much performance and belched smoke.

Today’s clean diesels, such as this engine from a Euro-spec 2007 VW Polo, can offer better fuel economy (74.3 mpg) and produce fewer greenhouse gases than some gas/electric hybrids.

The above are excerpts from Popular Mechanics: http://www.popularmechanics.com/automotive/new_cars/4237945.html

Sam April 27, 2008 at 7:22 am

If diesel is going to be our short-term savior, while we develop the long-term solution, both the auto companies and the Feds will have to commit themselves to a joint effort to make it happen. And an important first step should be education of the US driving population. Diesel technology has been misunderstood – still looked at in its Detroit 1980’s form and simply dismissed. I understand that in Europe, the price of diesel fuel is gov’t subsudized to encourage consumers to go diesel. Here, we do just the opposite! So, to my way of thinking, diesel’s biggest obstacle is attitude.
I have been driving diesels cars since 1981, first a Datsun Maxima – the body was falling off – the 6cyl. diesel was going strong. After that, it’s been Mercedes turbo diesels, with low cost of ownership, comfort, reliability and safety. Unfortunately, their diesel models are now too expensive relative to their reliability and maintenance costs. But Volvo, GM, Ford and the Japanese/Koreans should do a better job at creating reasonably priced, safe and reliable diesel cars for the US market. Here’s hoping for the sake of the next generation or two that they will.

Maxima April 28, 2008 at 11:58 am

So If you buy a diesel car and get 30% better gas mileage, but pay 30% more for the fuel due to taxes, why would someone buy a new car with a diesel engine?

Seem like government needs to come up with a different revenue stream and make the tax for diesel and gas identical.

Tom McNeil May 1, 2008 at 7:41 am

A recent article in one of the leading newspapers, indicated that a switch to diesel powered trucks and cars in the USA would reduce oil imports by 30%. Last year while in Ireland we leased a small SUV with a diesel engine, it was, quick, with plenty of power and it got 45 mpg. We were impressed. However that model car is not sold in the US.

B.ANDERSON May 1, 2008 at 8:12 pm

Hello, I noted a lot of comment on Big Oil and Government conspiring against Diesel sales and ownership. I’ve worked for Big Oil for 30 years, so I would like to clear up a bit of mis-information. First, Ultra low sulfur diesel is not cheaper to produce than most gasoline. U.S. refineries had to spend Billions of dollars to add hydro-treaters and other sulfur handling equipment to handle the mandate to create ultra low sulfur diesel. Next, as far as I know none of my fellow workers are plotting with the government to supress anything. Big Oil makes stuff you put in your tanks. The demand for the stuff will drive the price paid, so whether you pay for gasoline or diesel makes no difference, overall the revenue will be the same. Big Oil invests in Bio-diesel, ethanol, and yes solar because we think those technologies have a future. Finally, most of my co-workers hate our energy dependence on other countries. We have to buy gasoline for our cars too. Many of us are waiting for the arrival of European and Japanese diesel autos. Peace.

Karen May 15, 2008 at 7:37 am

I have a 1997 Passat diesel, over 200K with more mileage per gallon than anything I’ve ever owned. My big gripe is with rising costs in fuel, why is diesel rising faster than gas? Is there some conspiracy behind this?

Paul May 18, 2008 at 12:25 am

I wouldn’t doubt it if oil and gas industry is giving the big three a kick back not to produce diesel power plants to get all they can squeeze out of us. It is funny how every fuel efficient diesel engine has been removed from the market place after only a few years in production. and now no small car is being manufactured in usa to date.

B.ANDERSOHN May 24, 2008 at 8:18 am

Karen, to answer your question diesel fuel is not rising faster than gasoline. In fact the gasoline to diesel fuel price ratio has contracted recently. The high cost of diesel is attributable to the massive investments that refiners had to make over the last 5 years to meet the mandated ultra low sulfur diesel spec that went into effect in 2006. The other issue is that most American refiners are geared up to produce gasoline not diesel. You may be too young to remember, but in the late 70’s and early 80’s, American automakers produced a number of very bad diesel engines. That experience soured Americans on diesels. Not to worry, with the new generation of European and Japanese diesels things will change. As far as conspiracies go, why on earth would refiners conspire against a fuel? They want to produce the highest margin fuels in the highest volume the market will bear. In fact refiners are incentivized to emphasize diesel sales to help recover the investments they made in equipment to strip sulfur out of diesel. The more diesel they sell, the faster they pay for the equipment investment.

B.ANDERSOHN May 24, 2008 at 8:31 am

Paul, I work for Big Oil Trading commodities. Haven’t seen any of my co-workers licking envelopes stuffed with cash, for “the big three”. Call the FBI or your local States Attorney General if you have specific knowledge.

Please tell me what small diesel car or engine has been removed from the market? Do you speak of the VW TDI? Well it was removed temporarily due to hi demand in Europe, low demand in the U.S., and a need to re-tool for the new engine design, which is now available in all 50 states.

The run up in fuel prices and higher fuel economy standards will force auto-makers to create more hybrids and diesels for our market. If you would log off of the conspiracy sites and log into other auto blogs, you would see that FORD, GM, and even Chrysler have diesels and hybrids planned over the next few years.

I’ll report back if I get a whiff of payoffs to the Big Three.

Cheers

Leo Rieser May 25, 2008 at 9:39 pm

Having grown up in Europe I can give you at least three reasons Diesel is more popular, and 2 and 3 don’t apply in the US:

1) You go further for less
2) As some people have stated the fuel is subsidized
3) Cars are taxed based on engine displacment (at least in Austria), and diesels get more perfomance out of less displacement.

On a personal note, being in the market for a diesel right now, there are not a lot of attractive choices out there. And the choices that are available come with a “diesel premium”, higher purchase price, higher maintainance costs … add that up and I’m wondering how long it will be until my fuel savings off-set the purchase / maintainance cost. Has anybody done some calculations around that?

Thanks, Leo

CeeCee June 12, 2008 at 6:53 pm

This mess with U.S. automakers and the U.S. government has moved beyond stupid to criminal. A diesel Mini is offered in the U.K. and it gets 60 mpg. Who cares if deisel fuel is $5/gallon if you can go 60 miles on a gallon of it. Besides, people have forgotten that the diesel engine was invented to run on vegetable oil, not pertoleum based fuel. With the number of hamburger joints in the U.S. today, we could drive the wheels off diesel vehicles running them on used vegetable oil. Are you reading this, Obama?

Topper June 16, 2008 at 8:51 pm

There’s nobody to blame besides the redneck attitude of the North Americans who like the frickin big SUV’s that they keep buying. And from the perspective of an odd North American who hated vehicles from the Big 3, it just makes me wonder why all the fuss now since if you’re able to afford to buy a 4×4, you should be able to afford the frickin’ high gas prices, right? I don’t think diesel will soft the North American green house gas problem. As we put more cars on the road that uses more fossil fuel, we’re all still going to deal with pollution and over-crowding in large metropolises. I think if people are really serious about reducing emissions, then we should seriously consider vehicles of transportation that don’t use fossil fuels at all. Think about having a healthier lifestyle by riding bikes or buy/demand electric cars. I just think North American’s, especially Americans, have a mental problem where they feel that size is everything; and for most part super-sizing and obesity is blind-siding your decisions to go smaller, lighter, and with less consumption. Don’t worry about other countries as rising consumers of fuel and other goods. Worry about what’s at home first because if you rednecks don’t clean up your mess, you’ll just deal with it more at home – with hurricanes and tornados! ‘nuf said!

Ron June 17, 2008 at 2:20 pm

My 2 cents: I drive a 2006 Volvo Cross Country Wagon 5 cyclinder and love it. The secret is more gears / better transmissions. Ford in their wisdom redesigned the car for a 6 cyclinder. I would love to see a 5 cyclinder diesel hybred in it. There is more interior carrying space than many midsize SUV’s.

Jerry June 21, 2008 at 9:08 am

As an owner of 2 diesel powered pickup trucks, I’ve enjoyed much better fuel milege than most people with similar gasoline powered trucks. My 1/2 ton 4WD regularly gets 28 mpg in city. Thats 1983’s technology! It surprises me that as we become more tech savy, we haven’t become much more fuel savy. I believe the big 3 have the ability to put small diesels in auto’s now. Why won’t they??

James June 23, 2008 at 12:08 pm

We have owned a Mercedes Benz 320 CDI for three years and love it! We are now shopping for the new 2008 BlueTec which is even cleaner. We get 29 mpg in town and 37 mpg highway.

Thanks for your list. I couldn’t find this data else where.

James

Frank Shaffer June 30, 2008 at 9:35 pm

I have owned Diesel cars since 1970 and even tried to order on in Germany in 1958, but had to take a gas 190 instead. My newest is an 05 CDI and it’s great compared to the 220-D and 240-D. I’d buy a Smart CDI in a minute, but what do we get a Japanese gas job. Canada has the Smart Diesel, but not here. Why????

George M July 9, 2008 at 6:19 pm

I have ownered MB 180D,190D,200D,220D,240D,300TD and 350SD. International Scout with a Nisson Diesel, put a Turbo charged Nisson in a 74 GMC P/U and have a Cummins powered MH. I also bought one of the first GMC diesel pick ups , a 1978 in sept of 1977. I still the MH, 2-300TDs,350SD and the 1978 GMC. I only have 175,000 on the 1978 GMC and it runs perfect and looks good. There were 2 problems with the GM diesel engines that could have been fixed for $1.00, yes one dollar. A plastic drive washer in the injecter pump, which in about 28,000 miles breaks apart. I eliminated that and welded the coupling, no problem in 25 years. The second problem and the largest which caused head bolts to break, crankshafts to break and blown headgaskets was a quality control problem. The pistons all came up different heights. I found a veriation in one engine of .025 in the deck height or the distance the pistons came up above the block. The high ones cause extreamly high compression and the “compression knock” was pronounced. Most engines produced had this problem. The fix was a thicker head gasket which also lowered power some or mark the pistons, measure the height above the block at TDC and take off material from the top of all pistons to equal the height of the lowest. This works and the engine is quiet and smooth. Also the story about this engine being a converted gas engine is not true. There is no GM gas engine block like the 350D or 350DX. Seems like the USA doesn’t and never did want diesel passenger cars. In 1964 when heating fuel was $.008 a gallon the govenment was afraid it would lose all that tax money with people useing heating oil. Now that home heating oil is $4.60 a gallon maybe we will see some diesel cars soon. G.M.

Don September 25, 2008 at 8:14 pm

There is a wide range of very good small and medium size diesel cars available in Europe.

Ford has sold in Europe for many years the highly regarded Ford Mondeo with a 2 Litre turbo charged diesel engine giving over 40 miles to the gallon (US gallons). In 2007 this car was voted the car of the year by the largest selling car magazine in the UK and a number of car experts have stated that the Mondeo is the best car Ford has ever made comparing well if not better than similar priced BBW’s and Audi’s! Don’t be fooled by the Mondeo being described as a mid-sized car its actually very spacious.

The million dollar question is why aren’t these very economical diesel cars available in the USA!

Cheers
Don
Australia

davea0511 October 5, 2008 at 1:34 pm

Because, Don, the diesel cars in europe don’t me the US standards for exhaust emissions.

Kajun Dewd December 22, 2008 at 1:10 am

Alright lol. Lot of you make good points, and some of you make stupid points.

1.) To my friend in the oil company. You are a liar. I haul petroleum products 7500 gallons at a time up and down the Mississippi River. YES, diesel is CHEAPER to manufacture. In fact, it doesn’t really cost anything at all per se, because it is the bi-product of all petroleum. When you finish pulling off butane, propane, natural gas, etc etc, diesel is what’s left at the bottom of the tank. So you have make some modifications to that product, but it is still far easier to produce than gasoline. You either are a really good PR person for the companies, or you simply don’t know what goes on in your plant 🙂

2.) Yes, to my friend who criticized someone for saying that the price of diesel isn’t rising faster than gasoline. News flash here for ya champ, 15 years ago, low sulfur diesel was 10-15 cents less per gallon than low grade unleaded gas. Today in most places, it’s 8-11 cents more per gallon than high grade unleaded gas. You do the math.

3.) The whole “emissions requirement” is a load of horse***t. I know for for a FACT, that certain engines that go in semi-tractors, locomotives, tug boats and farm equipment, that are manufactured right here in THIS country, don’t meet our own standards. But because they are classified as special/commercial and farm equipment, they get through, and the companies make their billions.

Plain and simple. You won’t see the true efficiency of diesel powered engines in this country because this government and its auto industry, is in the hands of the petroleum industry. Understand that for what it is, and argue with me while you watch as the price of fuel drops 2 and 3 dollars per month while the auto industries go bankrupt and we have to give them billions of dollars to keep their greedy asses afloat. Watch and learn.

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