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  1. #1
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    will the US ever get a small diesel suv or ute?

    Dear American Car CEO,

    As much as you love that your full size truck is the size of an elephant, can tow a ship, weighs 7000lbs, gets 12mpg and has a comfy leather interior, I am not a construction foreman and perhaps do want want to be Mr Excessive.

    I want something real world practical that is the swiss army knife of vehicles that can do everything. You offer it overseas, bring it here!


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  2. #2
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    Sucks thats vehicles like that will probably never be brought here, beside most people think they need a yuppy sized suv/truck to haul a briefcase to work, god forbid they need to haul something more that 50 pounds cause they would buy a 3/4 or larger for that.

  3. #3
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    Agreed. Till then, I'll be driving my 14 year old, 212000 mile corrola into the ground. And then I'll ride my bike the rest of the way. Still get's ~30mpg highway (used to be 35+ back when she was younger). I'm not parting with my money till I get something with better mileage and more room. (secretly eye-ing the Sonota 2.0T and a tow hitch for carrying the bike.) And features, like functional seatbelts.

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    I had asked this same question on another forum. All we got are VW/Audi TDIs.

    Personally, I wanted the VW Sirocco; but it didn't make it over because the VW-US president said it would compete with the Golf and VW headquarters said it wouldn't be able to make a profit.

  5. #5
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    No, never, and you can thank hybrids plus tighter diesel emissions controls. Somebody was lobbying for batteries...Follow the money and you will find the answers.

    We were supposed to get the Accord Diesel
    We were supposed to get the Subaru diesel

  6. #6
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    The Touareg is available with VW's excellent turbo-diesel. Not cheap tho...

    VW Touareg TDI Clean Diesel < Volkswagen of America

  7. #7
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    We are American! We are afraid of diesel engines! We think they are noisy, stinky, and make big black clouds of smoke when you take off. Plus we prefer to subsidize corn and pursue an alternative fuel that cannot ever be a good alternative.

    I really wish there were more options for us besides a couple VW's and full size trucks. Stick a diesel in a small car based SUV and you can easily get mpg's deep into the 30's.

  8. #8
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    Jeep Liberty in 2005 & 2006. 2.8L VM CRD.
    Jeep Grand Cherokee in 2007 & 2008. 3.0L Mercedes CRD.
    Now owned by Fiat, Jeep will likely start seeing oil burners in a couple years.

    Where the heckfire is my Wrangler Diesel?!

    You can get new 2012 cars with diesel from VW, Mercedes, BMW & Audi.
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  9. #9
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    Yep when I bought my Tacoma new in 2001 I was wishing for a diesel version!!!
    "Ya can't argue logic with ignorance.''

  10. #10
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    Yeah, I really hate all of the politics involved with cars, it amazes me people still buy suv's that get terrible gas mileage and then don't use them for anything you'd need a truck or suv for. Maybe take a look at a Suberu outback? My friend has one, and with a bike rack on the top its quite versetile... works for camping, skiing, biking, hauling friends with gear. He threw a hitch rack on the back and with the rack on the top he can haul 4 guys with 4 bikes and gear quite comfortably. Good luck in your search.

  11. #11
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    I am not holding my breath, but Mazda still hasn't decided (according to reports) whether or not to bring the Skyactive-D (diesel) to the US in the CX-5.... I would be sold (almost without a test drive) if that happens!
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    You forgot to mention that most other countries in the world, often Canada, have the US models available with diesel engines.

    In Europe they have a mini-Cooper diesel that gets around 65 mpg. They also have a VW Sharan (it's a minivan that seats 7 and gets 40+ mpg; I drove one for two weeks this past summer and it was excellent), the Nissan Navarro (same as Frontier, with a diesel engine 30+ mpg), BMW 1 series (50+ mpg), and virtually every other vehicle available or not availalbe in the US with efficient diesel engines.

    Honda won't do diesel in the US, and Toyota is leaning towards hybrids. From what I've read, the RAV4 may be available as a plug-in hybrid in the next couple of years. Nissan isn't developing diesel for the US, BMW is releasing their 335D to the US market but not the ultra-efficient, smaller 1 series or Mini. Mazda and Hyundai are both rumored to be considering diesels, but it's only rumors, so it probably won't happen.

    I've been looking at this because I know eventually my 91 Civic will need to be replaced. I'd like to get a small 4WD capable machine, such as a Subaru or even a RAV4, but there's nothing on the market at this point. In the real world, Subaru's average in the low 20's MPG, and the RAV4/CRV isn't much better.

    VW makes nice diesels, but have you ever noticed that 3/4+ vehicles with a brake/tail light out are VWs? Makes me think their electrical systems aren't what they should be.

    Mercedes... they went to crap after Chrysler bought them. If I was looking to buy today, they wouldn't even be on my radar. In my opinion, they're one step up from Daewoo.

    The BMW 335D is $40k+, so it's definitely not a serious contender for me.
    Last edited by J_Hopper; 10-11-2011 at 10:38 PM.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom93R1 View Post
    We are American! We are afraid of diesel engines! We think they are noisy, stinky, and make big black clouds of smoke when you take off. Plus we prefer to subsidize corn and pursue an alternative fuel that cannot ever be a good alternative.

    I really wish there were more options for us besides a couple VW's and full size trucks. Stick a diesel in a small car based SUV and you can easily get mpg's deep into the 30's.
    I dunno. Here in NorCal there are tons of modern VW TDIs running around. The older ones before the emissions pinch still fetch top dollar on craigslist. Maybe were in a little bubble around here, but seems to me there is no shortage of demand for diesels.

    I think if VW ever released a Tiguan TDI here in the states, it would sell really well.

    *edit*

    Looks like it won't be imported due to the 'chicken tax', a 25% tariff put in place in the 60s and left there to protect american light truck mfgs.
    Last edited by pimpbot; 10-12-2011 at 01:54 AM.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by J_Hopper View Post
    I've been looking at this because I know eventually my 91 Civic will need to be replaced. I'd like to get a small 4WD capable machine, such as a Subaru or even a RAV4, but there's nothing on the market at this point. In the real world, Subaru's average in the low 20's MPG, and the RAV4/CRV isn't much better..
    I don;t know how capable of 4wd you need but the Nissan Juke may work.

  15. #15
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    You would see a lot more diesels if ethanol was able to be added to it. Follow THAT corn money too, all the way back to every Iowa Caucus for either party.

    Jeep Liberty CRD is a great car, and you will pay a premium for it. (It is not really a Jeep, but it will still go most anywhere that you dare)

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by J_Hopper View Post
    Mercedes... they went to crap after Chrysler bought them. If I was looking to buy today, they wouldn't even be on my radar. In my opinion, they're one step up from Daewoo.
    .
    Uh, Mercedes bought Chrysler not the other way around Agree about them being plagued by reliability. BMW and VW have similar issues...and have had them for years! VW makes several models I would consider, but not with the reliability ratings they continue to post up year after year. And then they have the nerve to expect a premium for their product??
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  17. #17
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    VW is large enough and has enough money they can push forward into the diesel market, which I commend them. Its not exactly a revelation. Its a matter of beating the stranglehold auto unions and our government has on our freedom of choices and innovation.

    The new diesel mixture laws for emissions coupled with California's nazi emission laws both make America a huge cost deterant. These special blend diesel fuel for America cost much higher to manufacturer then elsewhere. Every car sold also must pass Cali's nazi emission laws, and being such a huge market, most manu will pass and just stick to gas. Just like anything in business, It CAN be done, as long as car makers are willing to push for it. Pushing typically equals money though, which VW has spades of.

    Another part of the problem is supply chain (IE unions) - existing contracts and suppliers. Folks are unwilling to risk breaking existing relationships, especially in tough times and when costs are rising. Its not about what is best for consumers, its about what sells the most, and is best for stock prices, and what keeps inflated wages up. It may cost more at first, but pushing for diesel electric hybrids is the best interium solution until Audi can figure out their new sustainable fuel e-gas. Its just sad that even at minmium, we do not have the choice to import Mexican and Canada vehicles without insane costs and paperwork.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by motard5 View Post
    It may cost more at first, but pushing for diesel electric hybrids is the best interium solution until Audi can figure out their new sustainable fuel e-gas. .
    Why wait for Audi to figure anything out, Honda already has an Accord on the road in CA that runs on a hydrogen cell. Now if the government would subsidise that technology rather then wasting money on subsidies to the fuel and ethanol industries we would be moving forward.
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  19. #19
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    I work on marine diesels here in Seattle, and right next door is a VW lot. I used to love VW. but apparently their quality is subpar now compared to Ford or GM, go figure! That's according to the guys here who work on them, not a Car and Driver survery, btw.

    Sigh....I vote for the diesel-hybrid option!
    Good friction shifting is getting hard to find nowadays....

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by unicrown junkie View Post
    I work on marine diesels here in Seattle, and right next door is a VW lot. I used to love VW. but apparently their quality is subpar now compared to Ford or GM, go figure! That's according to the guys here who work on them, not a Car and Driver survery, btw.

    Sigh....I vote for the diesel-hybrid option!
    From what I hear in the industry there is some truth there. VW's top vehicles are still quality like their Audi counterparts, but Ze Germans are taking a page from the American book and targeting lower quality higher volume.

    Its simply ironic what is going on in the Auto world right now. Foreigh auto makers are placing their production facilities in America, and we are finally starting to do the same. Just look at GM's new huge diesel engine and production plant in Thailand to make the new Colorado.

    Bottom line though is that the BRIC countries are BOOMING and have bucko demand. American auto makers can take advantage of this demand coupled with increasing our domestic exports, as overseas markets place a premium on American made products.
    Last edited by motard5; 10-17-2011 at 07:36 PM.

  21. #21
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    Subaru was teasing bringing over their diesel to the U.S. over the past few years, but it's not happening. A diesel Forester would have been sweet.

    I sell Subarus, and I love them but I was very close to considering a Jetta TDI wagon as my next car, up until the new Jetta platform ended up sucking ass and being a decontented crap box compared to the prior version- and even with the prior version I was leery of quality.

    Oh and please don't get me started on the lack of diesels in the U.S... you can thank our emissions issues with our government, and also California, plus American ignorance towards diesels.

    What I don't get is how VW will sell them left and right but everyone else is afraid to. Sigh.

    The Mahindra small pickup would have been SWEET because there are zero small pickups available in America, but that appears to not be happening, and earlier in the 2000's there was supposed to be that Crosslander venture with that Romanian company whose name I forget, which was a neat looking small SUV (poor man's Defender 110), but that turned into vaporware.

  22. #22
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    The Mazda Skyactiv Gas 4 cylinder will be available in the US late 2011/early 2012. The Skyactiv diesel is soon to follow. The Skyactiv-G (gas) is reported to see over 40mpg in the Mazda 3 Hatchback on regular 87 octane producing 155hp through a 6 speed manual gearbox. Through the same gearbox in the same car, the Skyactiv D (diesel, twin turbo 4 cyl diesel btw) is reported to make over 50mpg. What I would love to see, and would purchase in a heartbeat. Would be the return of the Mazda B series truck in a crew cab with the Skyactiv-D. But I wont hold my breath. We are getting them in the Mazda 2's and 3's though, I can assure you.
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    Pretty sure Jeep liberty have them as an option and according to a google search grand cherokee will also in 2013..

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    Quote Originally Posted by XJaredX View Post
    ....Oh and please don't get me started on the lack of diesels in the U.S... you can thank our emissions issues with our government, and also California, plus American ignorance towards diesels.
    While you might be partly right, I don't think this is accurate about emissions. Emissions are often the scapegoat. If that really was the case, then:
    1- how does VW do it, but no other small diesel can?
    2- how can BMW meet US and CA emissions standards with their 3 series diesel, but not their 1 series and mini-Cooper?
    3- How can Ford, Chevy, and Dodge do it in their full size trucks, but not their small trucks?

    You see, the emissions argument doesn't make any sense. Sure, they may not be able to take something off the shelf and make it work, but with some effort it could be done.

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    Quote Originally Posted by motard5 View Post
    Dear American Car CEO,

    As much as you love that your full size truck is the size of an elephant, can tow a ship, weighs 7000lbs, gets 12mpg and has a comfy leather interior, I am not a construction foreman and perhaps do want want to be Mr Excessive.

    I want something real world practical that is the swiss army knife of vehicles that can do everything. You offer it overseas, bring it here!
    As the owner of an 11 year old GMC truck that has been absolutely reliable, consistently gets 17mpg, and has room to spare, I agree with you. I would love to find decent smaller truck that gets better fuel economy that still manages to merge onto the freeway. The 4 cylinder compact trucks don't get it done, and the v6 trucks don't manage much better fuel economy than my Z71. Oh well, They'll never listen. The problem is that the compact trucks end up costing within ~$50/month of a fullsize, and with little difference in fuel economy, they just don't have a market.

  26. #26
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    Man, that Toyota HiLux looks sweet.

    Neat...
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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by J_Hopper View Post
    You see, the emissions argument doesn't make any sense. Sure, they may not be able to take something off the shelf and make it work, but with some effort it could be done.
    It becomes a case of diminishing returns and the cost effectiveness of marketing a diesel in a country with limited diesel experience and some of the most stringent diesel emissions standards in the world. Diesel has been 50 or so cents more per gallon than regular unleaded (for at least the last 5 years) all the while the costs of meeting the continually increasing emissions requirements adds cost to the vehicle as well as diminishing the mileage advantage that diesels have. The U.S. has more stringent diesel emissions standards than just about all European countries. The fuel costs more, the diesel option adds expense to the initial purchase, and the MPG's are suffering as a result of added emissions equipment/additives.

    The argument about the domestic manufacturers diesel options is not valid when relating it to small diesel pickups, the HD trucks are held to different standards due to their GVW class. For SUV's look what happened when Jeep did offer a diesel option in their SUV's, it came in went in about 2 model years. VW intermittently offers an SUV with a diesel, which I think is on again for this model year. At this point Mahindra will likely have a diesel SUV or truck ready in time for the 2112 model year.

    I love diesel vehicles and have a Jetta TDi as well as a 3/4 Dodge diesel, but the cost of fuel has changed drastically from the time I bought the truck in '96. The mileage for a current model similar truck has also decreased nearly 20% due to added emissions equipment (and bragging rights in the torque wars).
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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by J_Hopper View Post
    You forgot to mention that most other countries in the world, often Canada, have the US models available with diesel engines.

    In Europe they have a mini-Cooper diesel that gets around 65 mpg. They also have a VW Sharan (it's a minivan that seats 7 and gets 40+ mpg; I drove one for two weeks this past summer and it was excellent), the Nissan Navarro (same as Frontier, with a diesel engine 30+ mpg), BMW 1 series (50+ mpg), and virtually every other vehicle available or not availalbe in the US with efficient diesel engines.
    The way mpg is calculated in Europe is VERY different from the US and there really isn't a direct conversion.

    Focus ECOnetic: Ford's 80-MPG car? - Driver's Seat - WSJ

    There are NO 80mpg Ford Focii by the US testing measures.... comparing the two really is apples to oranges.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knight511 View Post
    The way mpg is calculated in Europe is VERY different from the US and there really isn't a direct conversion.

    Focus ECOnetic: Ford's 80-MPG car? - Driver's Seat - WSJ

    There are NO 80mpg Ford Focii by the US testing measures.... comparing the two really is apples to oranges.
    While I'll agree that MPG may be calculated different by the government agencies assigned to calculate MPG, I can tell you my cousin had a Navarro in Ireland that got 30+ MPG for the kind of driving he was doing. I don't think the way he personally calculated it is any different from the way I'd calculate it.

    The other vehicles (mini-Cooper diesel, BMW 1 series diesel, etc. may be up for argument).

  30. #30
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    I call BS

    Quote Originally Posted by motard5 View Post
    VW is large enough and has enough money they can push forward into the diesel market, which I commend them. Its not exactly a revelation. Its a matter of beating the stranglehold auto unions and our government has on our freedom of choices and innovation.

    The new diesel mixture laws for emissions coupled with California's nazi emission laws both make America a huge cost deterant. These special blend diesel fuel for America cost much higher to manufacturer then elsewhere. Every car sold also must pass Cali's nazi emission laws, and being such a huge market, most manu will pass and just stick to gas. Just like anything in business, It CAN be done, as long as car makers are willing to push for it. Pushing typically equals money though, which VW has spades of.

    Another part of the problem is supply chain (IE unions) - existing contracts and suppliers. Folks are unwilling to risk breaking existing relationships, especially in tough times and when costs are rising. Its not about what is best for consumers, its about what sells the most, and is best for stock prices, and what keeps inflated wages up. It may cost more at first, but pushing for diesel electric hybrids is the best interium solution until Audi can figure out their new sustainable fuel e-gas. Its just sad that even at minmium, we do not have the choice to import Mexican and Canada vehicles without insane costs and paperwork.
    Don't blame the Unions. Unionized workers are basically making the same as just about everybody else did 30 years ago... it's just that everybody else's wages have slipped while Unionized workers wages remained flat.

    You know, cars from just about everywhere else in the world are built with Union labor.

    And I welcome the 'California Nazi' emissions standards. I lived in the Bay Area all my life, and I remember the brown air of the 70s and 80s, and how much cleaner it is today. I live in Oakland now, and if you have ever been down to the Port of Oakland on a workday, you can breathe the brown wind of death from all the idling trucks. I also remember how dirty diesels were, working at VW shops since the 80s. I'm glad they took most of the sulphur out of diesel, even if it did cause issues early on.

    If VW, BMW and Chrysler can do it, I can't see why other mfgs can't, especially when European emissions standards aren't that far behind California's. I think the reason is that the car mfgs don't think the demand is there, and I'm not convinced they are wrong. I mean, do the math: The VW TDis cost a couple thousand more, but probably won't save you those thousands in fuel savings until after your car loan is over.



    Quote Originally Posted by XJaredX View Post
    I sell Subarus, and I love them but I was very close to considering a Jetta TDI wagon as my next car, up until the new Jetta platform ended up sucking ass and being a decontented crap box compared to the prior version- and even with the prior version I was leery of quality.
    Keep in mind the Jetta Wagon is a completely different car than the current Jetta sedan. The wagon is based on the European A chassis, while the new Jetta is a US only platform, similar to the US only new Passat.

    Yeah, the new Jetta sedan is completely cheaped out. I don't know what they were thinking. It even looks like something Chevy would make, not a VW.
    Last edited by pimpbot; 10-15-2011 at 09:39 AM.

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    Think we all want the same thing, a functional vehicle that gets 30+mpg. Yet keeping politics out of this discussion is like trying to find a budget hotel room today w/o bed bugs - difficult to impossible.

    As far as real MPG, non-emission controlled diesel's are impressive. While in Costa Rica, 8 of us rented a Toyota Hibus (van) to explore their country. For 2 weeks, we beat the hell out of it on all the mtn roads, dirt roads, made big stream X-ings, etc. and overall got 30 mpg. With only 94 HP it managed to haul us and all our gear up some amazingly steep pitches. Until I find something similar, I too will be driving my Accord wagon until she dies.
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  32. #32
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    Diesel is too expensive now for it to make sense most of the time now.

    I would rather see the price of E85 come down. It burns clean, is mostly renewable and more of the money stays in the US.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flyin_W View Post
    I too will be driving my Accord wagon until she dies.
    How does your wagon do on gas mileage? I've been thinking about jumping to a cheapo Honda to save some cash lately and these things are cheap compared to others... And they only seem to be driven by old ladies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hammy35 View Post
    How does your wagon do on gas mileage? I've been thinking about jumping to a cheapo Honda to save some cash lately and these things are cheap compared to others... And they only seem to be driven by old ladies.
    With a 5 spd man, w/ 4 cyl. and bikes on roof rack I get 26-28, without 27-29, w/o rack 30-32 MPG. Some have told me that I drive like an old lady too, and I'm okay with that, as I cram it full of gear, stay under 75mph, and it's Mom-mobile look prevents tickets.

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  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by terrasmak View Post
    I don;t know how capable of 4wd you need but the Nissan Juke may work.
    The new Subarus with CTV transmissions are getting very good mileage. The 2012 Subaru Impreza due in a few months is claimed to get highest gas mileage of any AWD vehicle.

    I too would be interested in Jeep JKU with diesel option, and some of the pick-up trucks shown above look pretty interesting. I was also considering VW Jetta SportWagen TDI but there is lots of chatter on the TDI forums about HPFP failures that can end up being $7~8,000 repair if warranty doesn't cover. Scares me off and I wonder if reluctance of Subaru, Mazda, and others to jump into NA diesel market is tied to concerns about our poor fuel quality over here? Possibly tied to expensive failures and warranty charges? Can't speak for the States but her in Ontario VW sells out of TDIs every year, just can't bring in enough! Surprising other brands are not jumping on this bandwagon!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperSlow35th View Post
    The Mazda Skyactiv Gas 4 cylinder will be available in the US late 2011/early 2012. The Skyactiv diesel is soon to follow. The Skyactiv-G (gas) is reported to see over 40mpg in the Mazda 3 Hatchback on regular 87 octane producing 155hp through a 6 speed manual gearbox. Through the same gearbox in the same car, the Skyactiv D (diesel, twin turbo 4 cyl diesel btw) is reported to make over 50mpg. What I would love to see, and would purchase in a heartbeat. Would be the return of the Mazda B series truck in a crew cab with the Skyactiv-D. But I wont hold my breath. We are getting them in the Mazda 2's and 3's though, I can assure you.
    Quote Originally Posted by BlackCanoeDog View Post
    The new Subarus with CTV transmissions are getting very good mileage. The 2012 Subaru Impreza due in a few months is claimed to get highest gas mileage of any AWD vehicle.

    I too would be interested in Jeep JKU with diesel option, and some of the pick-up trucks shown above look pretty interesting. I was also considering VW Jetta SportWagen TDI but there is lots of chatter on the TDI forums about HPFP failures that can end up being $7~8,000 repair if warranty doesn't cover. Scares me off and I wonder if reluctance of Subaru, Mazda, and others to jump into NA diesel market is tied to concerns about our poor fuel quality over here? Possibly tied to expensive failures and warranty charges? Can't speak for the States but her in Ontario VW sells out of TDIs every year, just can't bring in enough! Surprising other brands are not jumping on this bandwagon!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by pimpbot View Post
    And I welcome the 'California Nazi' emissions standards. I lived in the Bay Area all my life, and I remember the brown air of the 70s and 80s, and how much cleaner it is today. I live in Oakland now, and if you have ever been down to the Port of Oakland on a workday, you can breathe the brown wind of death from all the idling trucks. I also remember how dirty diesels were, working at VW shops since the 80s. I'm glad they took most of the sulphur out of diesel, even if it did cause issues early on.

    If VW, BMW and Chrysler can do it, I can't see why other mfgs can't, especially when European emissions standards aren't that far behind California's. I think the reason is that the car mfgs don't think the demand is there, and I'm not convinced they are wrong. I mean, do the math: The VW TDis cost a couple thousand more, but probably won't save you those thousands in fuel savings until after your car loan is over.
    You seriously think the lack of diesel sales these days in the US have anything to do with actual demand? Please. Diesels properly marketed and with the production backing will sell better than gas vehicles, as MPG is the name of the game these days. MPG > HP in consumer eyes these days for their everyday vehicles. But for now it has been about how our existing supply chain is operating, and what is most cost effective to produce. In the past changes in such a complex system take years to overcome, but these days it can be done much quicker. Its a just a matter of time though, especially as global vehicle demand continues to skyrocket.

    and trust me I am all for better emissions, but because California cannot get their act together and reduce their insane suburban sprawl and traffic due to lack of public and bike transportation does not mean the entire country should suffer. The US is subjected to inefficient behemoths with low MPG that sip and burn holistically many, many more gallons of fuel period. Think of the insane amounts of manufacturing and materials that have also gone into engine and exhaust emissions equipment alone, when perhaps streamlining and working with a more efficient engine design that burns less overall from an easier to refine fuel is better? or vehicles that perhaps are not so excessive.

  38. #38
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    Supposedly

    GM is coming out with a diesel version of the Chevy Cruze for 2013. I read it on the internet so it must be true.

    I recently bought a Cruze Eco (1.4L, turbo, gas, 6 spd) and get better than the window sticker mileage because my commute is mostly highway, but only going about 65mph max due to traffic, pretty much hitting the sweet spot for this drive train.

    I am thinking that if the diesel is a success, they would run it in other vehicles as well. GM has a history of using a few engines across most of their fleet (like most auto manfs). So, with some luck, it may make it to the Colorado (or whatever the next small truck is called) platform, where the torque of a diesel would really be handy.

    The problem is, with the little gasser getting similar mileage on regular pump gas, the diesel fuel costing the same as premium gas makes it have a higher operating cost.

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    I really dont understand why its so difficult honestly, especially for GM. My dad has a 03 corvette with a6 speed manual transmission. It makes just shy of 350bhp and almost 400 ft lbs of torque, meanwhile it gets an average of about 27-28mpg and over 30mpg on the highway. Sure it operates on premium gas, but it could be tuned on 87 octane and only sacrifice a little hp. My 02 camaro, even with the 4 speed automatic and 3.42 gearing makes just shy of 350hp, and almost 400 ft lbs of torque, it gets an average of 22mpg aorund town and over 25 on the highway. And thats with an old technology pushrod v8. Its not a matter of it cant be done, its a matter of someone having the intestinal fortitude to do it,.
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  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilkMoneyLove View Post
    GM is coming out with a diesel version of the Chevy Cruze for 2013. I read it on the internet so it must be true.

    I recently bought a Cruze Eco (1.4L, turbo, gas, 6 spd) and get better than the window sticker mileage because my commute is mostly highway, but only going about 65mph max due to traffic, pretty much hitting the sweet spot for this drive train.

    I am thinking that if the diesel is a success, they would run it in other vehicles as well. GM has a history of using a few engines across most of their fleet (like most auto manfs). So, with some luck, it may make it to the Colorado (or whatever the next small truck is called) platform, where the torque of a diesel would really be handy.

    The problem is, with the little gasser getting similar mileage on regular pump gas, the diesel fuel costing the same as premium gas makes it have a higher operating cost.
    I think the bigger attraction of diesel (for me anyway)is for larger vehicles, namely SUVs, Jeeps, and trucks
    like F150 which currently have very poor fuel economy,,,getting these up to an acceptable range.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperSlow35th View Post
    I really dont understand why its so difficult honestly, especially for GM. My dad has a 03 corvette with a6 speed manual transmission. It makes just shy of 350bhp and almost 400 ft lbs of torque, meanwhile it gets an average of about 27-28mpg and over 30mpg on the highway. Sure it operates on premium gas, but it could be tuned on 87 octane and only sacrifice a little hp. My 02 camaro, even with the 4 speed automatic and 3.42 gearing makes just shy of 350hp, and almost 400 ft lbs of torque, it gets an average of 22mpg aorund town and over 25 on the highway. And thats with an old technology pushrod v8. Its not a matter of it cant be done, its a matter of someone having the intestinal fortitude to do it,.
    The corvette has a super low Cd, there is enough room for 2 people and a duffel bag or two. Not really the best example IMO. Better are some of the sedans getting near 35mpg with V6s and decent HP.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    The corvette has a super low Cd, there is enough room for 2 people and a duffel bag or two. Not really the best example IMO. Better are some of the sedans getting near 35mpg with V6s and decent HP.
    Point being, if 30+mpg can be achieved, then 35-40+ out of a decently powerful v6 ought to be a piece of cake. I can only shake my head when im seeing 2012 4 cylinder cars with less than 180hp barely hitting 30mpg.
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    have any of you done a cost/benefit analysis on diesel vs petrol? you pretty much need to drive 100k miles to make up the difference in cost. until the cost of diesel powered cars comes down, it wont be worth it. keep driving the cheaper gas powered car.
    you can start flaming now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by billmania View Post
    have any of you done a cost/benefit analysis on diesel vs petrol? you pretty much need to drive 100k miles to make up the difference in cost. until the cost of diesel powered cars comes down, it wont be worth it. keep driving the cheaper gas powered car.
    you can start flaming now.
    That works out great unless you're at altitude. Diesel fuel is the same everywhere, and the turbocharged engines bring their own atmosphere so it's easy to keep making power. I took my 300hp truck to 10000' and it felt like it made ~200hp. I don't even want to drive my 4 cylinder Accord up in the mountains. Whereas a little TDI jetta or similar would truck right along with nary a whimper.

  45. #45
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    The movie FUEL (highly recommended) makes some interesting points about diesel. If Toyota brought a mid sized diesel truck (not SUV) to the US I would buy one and run vegetable oil.

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    Im seriously debating converting my car to ethanol and running e90/e85/e70.
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    I don't know about diesel Toyotas, but in the newer high pressure diesel systems that VW uses (25,000 psi) you cannot run vegetable oil. The fuel requirements are so strict that the variations you get with vegetable oil and even biodiesel such as moisture can kill the fuel pumps right away.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by billmania View Post
    have any of you done a cost/benefit analysis on diesel vs petrol? you pretty much need to drive 100k miles to make up the difference in cost. until the cost of diesel powered cars comes down, it wont be worth it. keep driving the cheaper gas powered car.
    you can start flaming now.
    I would love to see this too. Do you know of any or have links to a study like that?
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    Something I just learned that I find interesting... the 2012 Subaru Imprezza is said to get 36 mph HWY, which is a 30% improvement over the 2011 model year. Keep in mind it's AWD, so gas mileage is going to suffer compared to FWD vehicles. If Subaru can do it in one year, why is it only baby steps with all the other car makers?

    Also, has anyone seen the BMW i3? It looks interesting, but is only a concept now and may come out to the masses in 2013. It's all electric with a small on-board gas engine that's a generator for the batteries (it's not hooked up to the drive train). I wonder how it'll do.

    Back to the original topic, the appeal of diesel to me is that I could tow my Bigfoot travel trailer with a smaller diesel (such as the HiLux) while still getting acceptable MPGs.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by J_Hopper View Post
    Something I just learned that I find interesting... the 2012 Subaru Imprezza is said to get 36 mph HWY, which is a 30% improvement over the 2011 model year. Keep in mind it's AWD, so gas mileage is going to suffer compared to FWD vehicles. If Subaru can do it in one year, why is it only baby steps with all the other car makers?

    Also, has anyone seen the BMW i3? It looks interesting, but is only a concept now and may come out to the masses in 2013. It's all electric with a small on-board gas engine that's a generator for the batteries (it's not hooked up to the drive train). I wonder how it'll do.

    Back to the original topic, the appeal of diesel to me is that I could tow my Bigfoot travel trailer with a smaller diesel (such as the HiLux) while still getting acceptable MPGs.
    I haven't looked into this in detail but the '12 Impreza is down 0.5 L and probably 20~25 hp from the previous model. Car is lighter so acceleration is in the same ball park. Also the CTV transmission is a factor. Subaru looks to be chasing significant improvement because the negative side of AWD is a mileage penalty. Ford has been doing some interesting stuff with their Ecoboost engines. Only Chrysler seems to be well behind the curve in their Jeep line...no surprise there!
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  51. #51
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    Well, yeah....

    Quote Originally Posted by J_Hopper View Post
    Something I just learned that I find interesting... the 2012 Subaru Imprezza is said to get 36 mph HWY, which is a 30% improvement over the 2011 model year. Keep in mind it's AWD, so gas mileage is going to suffer compared to FWD vehicles. If Subaru can do it in one year, why is it only baby steps with all the other car makers?

    Also, has anyone seen the BMW i3? It looks interesting, but is only a concept now and may come out to the masses in 2013. It's all electric with a small on-board gas engine that's a generator for the batteries (it's not hooked up to the drive train). I wonder how it'll do.

    Back to the original topic, the appeal of diesel to me is that I could tow my Bigfoot travel trailer with a smaller diesel (such as the HiLux) while still getting acceptable MPGs.
    ... but that 30% improvement also comes with a 0-60 time about the same as a Prius... which is 1.5-2 seconds slower than previous model years. It's not like they actually squeezed more efficiency to power out of it. They just put a smaller displacement lower power engine in there. It's not as if Subaru made any real advances in efficiency.

    And as far as the AWD sucking more gas... the added driveline drag is hardly anything at all. Audi uses a similar layout (front longitudinal engine through a center diff.... always engaged AWD), and quattro A4 cars only get 1 mpg worse than the FWD cars.... well they did back when you could compare apples to apples with manual transmission FWD or Quattro cars. In Audi's case, quattro only added 150 pounds to the whole car.

    I'm loving this whole electric car thing. I'm seeing Nissan Leaves around the road all the time. They won't serve everybody's every car need, but it will work great for most folks. I would love to see a day when we don't have to burn dino juice, or deal with pistons, valve trains, oil changes and stuff like that.

  52. #52
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    wups!

    double post

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    Some links to the BMW i3, for those interested:

    BMW i3 Concept. The Megacity Vehicle. - BMW i. Born Electric.

    2014 BMW i3 to feature range-extending 652-cc motorcycle engine?

    And I read somewhere it'll be about $35K.

  54. #54
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    Looks like something out of Tron.

    IMHO, electric cars are no different than dino juice burners, maybe worse. The evironmental impact of mining, manufacturing and recycling batteries has at least as many cons as our current CO2 emissions. When, or if we can come up with a real alternative power source like hydrogen fuel cells (without riding a friggin bomb down the road) I will be impressed. In the mean time, I believe that clean diesel is the best technology available. 30% better fuel economy without giving up capabilities sounds good to me. And if you're gonna make a hybrid, Why the f*&% wouldn't a little diesel motor be the used instead of gas? I'd bet that with the resources of the big auto makers, they could put out a Tahoe-sized SUV with a 3.0 CRD and a hybrid electric boost that would get 35+ mpg. If I could get a Ford F-150 Raptor with a 4.0L-ish diesel, or a Jeep JKU with a 2.5L-ish diesel I'd be all over it for hauling my arse and my bikes around!
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    Quote Originally Posted by OneBadWagon View Post
    That works out great unless you're at altitude. Diesel fuel is the same everywhere, and the turbocharged engines bring their own atmosphere so it's easy to keep making power. I took my 300hp truck to 10000' and it felt like it made ~200hp. I don't even want to drive my 4 cylinder Accord up in the mountains. Whereas a little TDI jetta or similar would truck right along with nary a whimper.
    Except that they don't really design cars like that. Most turbo cars still loose significant hp at altitude, otherwise the turbo would be working a lot harder at high altitude and very little at sea level.
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    Oh but they do! At sea level a turbo typically spins about 100,000 rpm. At higher elevation like Denver for example they can be spinning more like 150,000 rpm in an attempt to provide the same intake manifold pressures. Sure there will be more lag, heat, and other factors so you never end up with 100% of the power you would have at sea level, but it's much less of a loss than a non turbo car. In my experience with owning turbo cars exclusively (both modified and stock) for the last 15 years I need to be close to 10,000 feet before any real loss of power is felt through the "butt dyno".

  57. #57
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    Are you using a turbo-guage? I am. Not to mention ive researched this quite a bit. Airplanes on the other hand, they are designed intended to maintain the same performance to high altitude.
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  58. #58
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    This may be getting off topic but it does apply to turbo diesel just the same as gas so maybe not so bad.

    HP is a function of air and fuel. Unless you are driving a 30 year old turbo car it will have a waste gate and that means you will pretty much always get whatever boost level your turbo setup was designed to generate.

    If your car runs 15psi boost, the absolute pressure in your manifold at sea level is 15psi + 1atm (14.7 psi) so about 39.7psi of air in the manifold. Lets say your car ECU is smart enough to give proper air/fuel ratio based on this pressure, which is how any standard MAP based system works. We will call this baseline absolute pressure 100%, because power is a direct relation between air volume and fuel we can say this will result in 100% of the possible power is available to you.

    Now I go to 10,000 feet. I found a chart that says 10.1psi is atmospheric pressure up there, so 15+10.1 is 25.1. 25.1/29.7 is 84.5%, so you should get about 84% of your sea level power at 10,000 feet with a 15psi boosted car.

    Now how about a car without turbo, that's easy. 10.1psi/15psi is .67. So best case you are getting 67% power at 10,000 feet.

    This is a big part of why I drive turbo cars. At altitude the power lost is much less than on N/A cars. I have driven many miles up in the mountains of Colorado since I used to live there and my parents who I regularly visit still live there. I can say without a doubt that my experience correlates quite well with the math.

  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by J_Hopper View Post
    While I'll agree that MPG may be calculated different by the government agencies assigned to calculate MPG, I can tell you my cousin had a Navarro in Ireland that got 30+ MPG for the kind of driving he was doing. I don't think the way he personally calculated it is any different from the way I'd calculate it.

    The other vehicles (mini-Cooper diesel, BMW 1 series diesel, etc. may be up for argument).
    I can buy that... I have read some folks getting 26mpg out of the F150 Ecoboost (of course all highway), so it really isn't far fetched at all.
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  60. #60
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    Nah...

    Quote Originally Posted by Shocker View Post
    Looks like something out of Tron.

    IMHO, electric cars are no different than dino juice burners, maybe worse. The evironmental impact of mining, manufacturing and recycling batteries has at least as many cons as our current CO2 emissions. When, or if we can come up with a real alternative power source like hydrogen fuel cells (without riding a friggin bomb down the road) I will be impressed. In the mean time, I believe that clean diesel is the best technology available. 30% better fuel economy without giving up capabilities sounds good to me. And if you're gonna make a hybrid, Why the f*&% wouldn't a little diesel motor be the used instead of gas? I'd bet that with the resources of the big auto makers, they could put out a Tahoe-sized SUV with a 3.0 CRD and a hybrid electric boost that would get 35+ mpg. If I could get a Ford F-150 Raptor with a 4.0L-ish diesel, or a Jeep JKU with a 2.5L-ish diesel I'd be all over it for hauling my arse and my bikes around!
    ... hardly any at all. That was true back when SLA batteries were used. Newer NiMH and LiIon batteries are 100% recyclable and don't have a lot of toxic stuff in them, unlike SLA or NiCad batteries. This concern has been cited a bunch of times by anti-electric car folks.

    There is less nickel in the batteries of a Prius than in the Galvanizing in an F150 truck.

    There is so much waste in production of gasoline, and piston engines are so inefficient that even taking into account all the losses in electric power generation, transmission and losses in charging batteries, you still come out way ahead with electric cars, including when you generate the electricity with coal.

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom93R1 View Post
    This may be getting off topic but it does apply to turbo diesel just the same as gas so maybe not so bad.

    HP is a function of air and fuel. Unless you are driving a 30 year old turbo car it will have a waste gate and that means you will pretty much always get whatever boost level your turbo setup was designed to generate.
    Hmm, not in my car and experience. Mine does about 15" at 1500' and about 12-13" at 5000' (where i live). It tapers off, and this is completely normal. Otherwise you realize you would be pushing that turbo much harder at altitude right? That wouldn't make sense dor the manufacturers, they want "even wear". Now, you can always get a boost controller and do what you want, but chances are you'll experience the much greater lag and problems with volumetric efficiency, as your turbo was designed to spin in a certain range, not "as much as needed". Otherwise I should have already burned out my turbo since I live at high altitude (with amost 150K on the car), as the lower-altitude guys wouldn't be putting nearly as much wear and tear on them.

    This is kind of a misconception because the only way to get any performance at altitude is super or turbo charge, that much is a given, and aircraft engines are often made to provide "sea level power" to high altitude. They are not usually used to provide "more than" what the NA engine would produce, just to produce that power to a much higher altitude. They are then "not working much" at lower altitude, and at higher altitude they are doing what they are supposed to do and operating at max efficiency and RMP. Above that altitude they drop off just like anything else does.

    Take that turbo and possibly even supercharged pike's peak racer, if it was spinning at the same RPM at lower altitude, it would probably blow the cylinders right out and explode the engine. It's not a good correlation to how an auto manufactuer wants to set up a turbo car. There's more than just a basic wastegate, as we're talking about cars from later than 1970, there is a boost/wastegate controller and the entire engine ECU that determines how much to keep and how much to let by. My engine would make about 140hp if it was NA, due to the low compression that turbo engines run, yet it produces around 280-290hp with the turbo. So the turbo is kicking in big time low altitude.
    Last edited by Jayem; 10-21-2011 at 05:25 PM.
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  62. #62
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    I will settle for a nice diesel wagon. No need for an SUV. I am very happy with 335d but wagon would have been nice. I had a WRX wagon before and it was a fun car and plenty of room for my bike and gear.

    As for alternative fuels go there is the G-diesel that shows some promise.

    GDiesel: a Breakthrough in Diesel Fuel - Motor Trend

    Wouldn't a diesel-hybrid make sense to get best MPG?

  63. #63
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    a diesel hybrid does not make sense because an internal combustion engine in a hybrid application is a stop start application. a diesel would start too hard when cold and also they are inherently more expensive to manufacture due to higher compression ratio, higher fuel pressures, turbos, glow plugs. the only way a diesel would work ona hybrid is to constantly idle the diesel and use it to generate electricity to propel the car. Similar to what Eaton does on their hybrid class 8 trucks where the electic motor is used for extra torque when its necessary, thereby keeping the diesel engine at more or less constant load. still an expensive proposition.

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    Diesel-electric in the way trains have been doing it for decades. All electric drivetrain with diesel generator, that's when I would finally consider "hybrid".

  65. #65
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    Mmmyeay, but...

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom93R1 View Post
    Diesel-electric in the way trains have been doing it for decades. All electric drivetrain with diesel generator, that's when I would finally consider "hybrid".
    Trains don't have batteries to store regenerative braking energy. One thing that makes hybrids so efficient is that they can collect braking energy (basically slowing the car down on the electric motor, generating power to charge the traction battery), and then using that energy to pull the car when accelerating or cruising. Toyota uses two steps of regen. One for coasting, one for light braking. One trick to getting killer mileage out of Toyota hybrids is to just lightly keep a foot on the brake to engage second stage regen when coasting downhill or on off-ramps.

    I don't see why they can't do hybrids with diesels. The stop and start the same as gas engines. Like a Prius, they can run the engine when cold all the time until warmed up, then stop/start it as needed.

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    I think that with higher compression and longer cranking times it would be harder to stop and start constantly. It would drain the batteries and be hard on the starter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by billmania View Post
    have any of you done a cost/benefit analysis on diesel vs petrol? you pretty much need to drive 100k miles to make up the difference in cost. until the cost of diesel powered cars comes down, it wont be worth it. keep driving the cheaper gas powered car.
    you can start flaming now.
    today I did a simple comparison on on VW Golf ( called Jetta State side) SportWagen TDI vs gasser. The numbers are at work so strictly from memory but here in Canada the diesel is $2700 and change more than the gasser. Using the Transport Canada fuel efficiency rating for the two vehicles, I calculated yearly fuel usage for each based on 15,000 kilometres/year...which is roughly all that I drive, if that! I think the diesel would use roughly 2/3 the amount of fuel per annum than the gasser if I remember correctly. Although historically diesel has been significantly cheaper than gas in Canada, for the past year and a bit they have been nip & tuck, usually withing a few pennies either way. So I just used the current price for both of about $1.20 /litre. Based on that I would need to own the vehicle for 6.5 yrs before I broke even if I bought the diesel. Thereafter I would be ahead of the game, assuming of course that maintenance costs etc was equal between the two.
    I do prefer to keep vehicles a long time, especially if I like it. Right now I still drive a 10 yr old Subaru WRX bugeye wagon which I LOVE, has been bulletproof and so hope to have for several yrs more. From what I read about VW though, doubt I would have the same reliability!
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  68. #68
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    Right now diesel is about .70 cents more per gallon than 87 octane gas where I live and this has been roughly the differential for about the last 6 years or so. When we first bought our TDi diesel was cheaper than regular gas and that combined with the roughly 30% better MPG's made the payoff compared to a gasser very favorable. The costs of the diesel option has gone up and the mileage has gone down slightly making the payoff even less favorable. This combined with the inability to run BioD has turned me to a gasser to replace the TDi. The TDi has no real competitor when it comes to the intangibles of highway travel like being able to remain in OD no matter how steep the hill. The car is worn out and costs of maintenance outweigh fuel savings so we bought a gasser. I will keep my diesel truck around for the foreseeable future because it burns BioD, waste motor oil, waste tranny fluid, etc and I only put about 2k a year on it. Newer diesels don't have that ability due to a variety of "improvements" in the injection system.
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  69. #69
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    Hybrids...

    Quote Originally Posted by infanterene View Post
    I think that with higher compression and longer cranking times it would be harder to stop and start constantly. It would drain the batteries and be hard on the starter.
    ... don't have a 'starter' as you know it, like in a regular non-hybrid car.

    They use the traction motor and the huge battery stack. Starting the motor is probably the least hard thing that the traction motor and main battery stack will do. I would say pulling a 3000 pound car from a dead stop up a hill draws way more current.

  70. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by wheelerfreak View Post
    Newer diesels don't have that ability due to a variety of "improvements" in the injection system.
    Like 25,000 psi high pressure fuel pumps that fail with the slightest amount of moisture in the fuel... I was so ready to buy a new VW diesel a few months ago until I started reading up on those issues. I really like the way they drive, just incredible cars!

  71. #71
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    You want an American diesel, lobby Cummins. They make many of the US diesels and have recently come out with a 2.8 liter. If I had an old small PU that needed a new engine...
    What I'd really like is aeroodynamics of a Prius on an aluminum frame with a PU bed and camper shell, with even a smaller diesel. Why are trucks NOT aerodynamic? Not macho enough?
    I did have the smallest of trucks in a Subaru Brat years ago but it was a used vehicle and the previous owner screwed it up bad enough that the dealer couldn't fix it, properly. Put in a new rack and pinion and it didn't help much so Jim Click Ford gave it to me, FREE! I was amazed. About $700 with labor then. Wish the Subaru Baja had an extended or single cab, don't want a double cab. All wheel drive is SO superior to 4x4 in the snow.
    What WILL come out in the next few years is more choices than just a Honda Civic with natural gas engines, currently about 1/2 the price of gasoline. Cummins is making the engines for commercial buses.
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  72. #72
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    Check out CitroenDS5 and Peugeot 508 RXH both hybrid diesels. Not available in the States

    10 Cars Not Coming to America

  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom93R1 View Post
    Like 25,000 psi high pressure fuel pumps that fail with the slightest amount of moisture in the fuel... I was so ready to buy a new VW diesel a few months ago until I started reading up on those issues. I really like the way they drive, just incredible cars!
    from what i have read on the TDI forum, hpfp failures on '09 was .01%, on '10 less than that.
    if buying '11 should be further reduced due to design changes.
    that said, if it does fail past the warranty period, big dollars to repair
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    BMW offers a diesel in their SAV X5 and maybe the X3 but not sure. I had an X5 before I traded it in on my M6 and it was a great vehicle.

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    I think the biggest reason more diesels don't run over here is emmisions.

    I was just bs'n with a buddy at work the other day, and we both agreed that a 4 cyl diesel with 200 hp and 300-400 lb/ft of torque would be awesome. of course it would need a drivetrain and suspension to back it up!!

  76. #76
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    Range Rover Evoque - thank Mrs Beckham...

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  77. #77
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    What you guys are missing....

    out of one barrel of crude, you get: (1995 figures)
    19gal of gasoline
    9gal of diesel

    Basically if everyone wanted to drive diesels you would have to pump 3 times the oil out of the ground and you would have a boat load of gasoline floating around...

    So yes there is politics at play, and its simply if you upset the balance of diesel vs gas consumption the price of everything goes up, remember diesel is used as heating oil, transport fuel etc etc.

    Modern refining process can "crack" longer hydrocarbons to the point where they can get almost 100% gasoline out of a barrel of crude, however the gotcha is, cracking makes shorter chains of hydro carbons from longer ones, the other way doesn't work (ie you can't easily make diesel from gas, but you can make gas from diesel).

    So while you might want oil burners due to short sighted benefits, however the over all effect would be an increase in cost of everything!

    IMO the best thing is to make a more efficient gasoline engine... like the direct inject multifuel engines they are working on (basically a diesel like engine that can burn anything...)

  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by pimpbot View Post
    I mean, do the math: The VW TDis cost a couple thousand more, but probably won't save you those thousands in fuel savings until after your car loan is over.

    The above statement is right on the money. Do the math with 13,000 miles per year. The difference in MPG and fuel cost. And the cost of the option. This math works for more than just the VW BTW. Two ways to benefit are if you drive more than the average of 13,000 miles per year. Figure in the higher resale value of the diesel vs. gas at the end of the 60 months.

    My Sportwagen gets 39 MPG (I have a lead foot). It's quiet and doesn't smell even with your nose near the tailpipe. It is rated to tow 3000#. I put a hitch on mine and tow a utility trailer when needed. With the rear seat down I can fit a full size wheelbarrow inside. It took the place of a hemi quad cab 4wd. I don't miss the truck at all. I just need to be sure I put my steelies with blizzaks on in the snow.

  79. #79
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    We owned a mk4 Golf Tdi, and mk4 Jetta Tdi and a b5.5 Passat Tdi- all we good cars when diesel was well below the cost of gasoline, but after it became more expensive, they did not make any sense, especially when the maintenance cost are factored in (oil changes, injectors, timing belts). I don't need an X5, Toureg or ML 350- those thing are all $60K and are focused on luxury. I need a Liberty, Wrangler or Xterra type vehicle in a diesel, under $30K.

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    Quote Originally Posted by deuxdiesel View Post
    We owned a mk4 Golf Tdi, and mk4 Jetta Tdi and a b5.5 Passat Tdi- all we good cars when diesel was well below the cost of gasoline, but after it became more expensive, they did not make any sense, especially when the maintenance cost are factored in (oil changes, injectors, timing belts). I don't need an X5, Toureg or ML 350- those thing are all $60K and are focused on luxury. I need a Liberty, Wrangler or Xterra type vehicle in a diesel, under $30K.
    If the maintenance is higher and the fuel cost doesn't make sense anymore why would you "need" a diesel in any of the vehicles listed? You can get any one of those today with a gas engine.
    I agree that it would be nice to have the option to buy a small SUV with a diesel engine.

  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by glenn a View Post
    If the maintenance is higher and the fuel cost doesn't make sense anymore why would you "need" a diesel in any of the vehicles listed? You can get any one of those today with a gas engine.
    I agree that it would be nice to have the option to buy a small SUV with a diesel engine.
    I don't know his answer, but for me I would like the torque. This would allow me to confidently tow my travel trailer without having to wonder if it was over capacity. The gasoline/V6 models typically have a 5k max towing capacity. A decent 4 cycliner diesel will tow at least that.

    My uncle once had a VW Golf diesel in Ireland. One time I asked him what the towing capacity was and he told me he can easily pull 2 head of cattle. That's at least 2k plus the trailer weight.

    My trailer weighs 3k dry. Add everything to it, and it's probably around 5k. 5k towing capacity (in optimal conditions, no crosswinds, level ground, etc) is not enough to safely tow a ~5k trailer. A gas Nissan Navarra's towing capacity is 6500 pounds (284 ft-lbf torque). The diesel version has slightly more torque (297 ft-lbf), which should translate to marginally better towing capacity. I could probably tow my trailer with that. Meanwhile, the MPG should be noticeably better with the diesel when towing, so it might be worth the extra initial expense.

  82. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by J_Hopper View Post
    I don't know his answer, but for me I would like the torque. This would allow me to confidently tow my travel trailer without having to wonder if it was over capacity. The gasoline/V6 models typically have a 5k max towing capacity. A decent 4 cycliner diesel will tow at least that.

    My uncle once had a VW Golf diesel in Ireland. One time I asked him what the towing capacity was and he told me he can easily pull 2 head of cattle. That's at least 2k plus the trailer weight.

    My trailer weighs 3k dry. Add everything to it, and it's probably around 5k. 5k towing capacity (in optimal conditions, no crosswinds, level ground, etc) is not enough to safely tow a ~5k trailer. A gas Nissan Navarra's towing capacity is 6500 pounds (284 ft-lbf torque). The diesel version has slightly more torque (297 ft-lbf), which should translate to marginally better towing capacity. I could probably tow my trailer with that. Meanwhile, the MPG should be noticeably better with the diesel when towing, so it might be worth the extra initial expense.

    I also tow an RV thats why I keep my Tahoe around. Its also a lightweight at 5000 GVWR. I wouldn't feel safe towing with anything smaller than that.

    Here's an interesting fact for you. My sportwagen is rated to tow 3000# in europe and only 2000# here in the states. Not really sure why that is. With that said I guess you may not know what the Nissans towing capacity is until it arrives here in the states.

  83. #83
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    The high maintenance costs were specific to the VW's- I have heard that other diesel engines are less costly to keep up. Towing primarily, and off road driving secondarily, are the reasons a smallish diesel SUV would fit my needs. Besides, I much prefer a simple, utilitarian vehicle over a luxury one- I would love a 4 cylinder diesel Wrangler Unlimited, base model.

  84. #84
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  85. #85
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    I saw a VW Amarok in Texas last week, Mexican plates. Very nice looking truck. Just by eyeball, it looked a tad smaller than a Honda Ridgeline. Bigger than I expected it to be.

  86. #86
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    Any new compact trucks or diesel's coming to the US next year?

    I was just in Japan and saw so many cool little SUT/trucks/SUV's running around. Even the vans were superb. Saw a grip of these Toyota Alphard Hybrids which boast over 40mpg, and could haul many bikes and bikers!


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    Just build your own. Buy a retired/wrecked bread or frito lay delivery truck and do an engine swap. Most of those trucks have a 4 cylinder cummins in them.
    Or buy a Duraburb....google it.

  88. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by deuxdiesel View Post
    The high maintenance costs were specific to the VW's- I have heard that other diesel engines are less costly to keep up. Towing primarily, and off road driving secondarily, are the reasons a smallish diesel SUV would fit my needs. Besides, I much prefer a simple, utilitarian vehicle over a luxury one- I would love a 4 cylinder diesel Wrangler Unlimited, base model.
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    Ok people you have to understand the emissions laws in the U.S. and Europe. It's not that one is currently stricter than the other, it's just currently they define reduction of emissions differently. One calls for reducing NOX while the other wants to reduce particulate matter. However in the near future 2015-2016, U.S. and Euro emissions will both call to reduce NOX and Particulates, essentially the emissions standard will align closely to the same.

    Before, there was no business case to bring diesels to the U.S. because the after-treatment system would have to be a completely different design. That involves too much money and effort for a market that where only maybe 1 of 5 buyers would buy the diesel.

    Now after 2016ish, it doesn't matter how many people will buy the diesel model. The engine and after-treatment system will be the same, so all they need to do is get EPA certification to sell in the U.S.. No extra engineering is really needed, so now you'll start to see European engines in the U.S.

    At that time, i'm sure the ranger will come back with a diesel, along with the frontier in diesel. A truck that can get high 20's for mpg is a great work vehicle for many small contractors and tradesmen. The truck market in america is probably the largest in the world.

  90. #90
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    God my FJ begs to be a diesel... Hilux are freakin sweet and I've been pining after one for years why do they think no one will buy one I don't understand?

  91. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by Striper View Post
    God my FJ begs to be a diesel... Hilux are freakin sweet and I've been pining after one for years why do they think no one will buy one I don't understand?
    Um, did you read the rest of the thread? The fact is that the US has stricter emissions standards (for now) and any imported diesels that are regular passenger vehicles need extensive add-ons and re-engineering to be compliant. How much more would you be willing to pay for all of this? That's the real question.

    On the other hand, I'm sure there's a solution. Land Cruisers have been converted to diesel, so why not do that?
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  92. #92
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    I'm finishing up training here in Chicago at a diesel manufacturer, sure has been enlightening to say the least.

    Yeah, the emissions aspect certainly puts a damper on using diesel. But it is understandable considering how far gas engines have come AND cleaned up their act, unlike a lot of the diesel market. And I'm biased towards diesels, btw.

    I think the biggest thing to consider is how much longer are we going to use the combustion engine whether its a compression type or spark ignited. Another fifty years, or more? Hard to see somthing with so much particulates surviving on-road, though recent gains with DPF and urea help immensely in getting them to the end user. But I'm seeing a possible natural gas push again in cars. That seems to be easier than trying to use nat. gas on larger bore stuff, though they do.
    Good friction shifting is getting hard to find nowadays....

  93. #93
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    28 MPG highway, 240 HP for 2013, 225 for 2012, and 406 ft lb's of torque. Available at your VW, Audi or Porsche dealership.




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