Cars that burn diesel fuel are becoming more popular; they get better mileage, are environmentally sensitive and drive just like a regular car. Still, many people still have outdated notions about diesels. Thanks to innovations by a number of car makers, they are no longer the noisy, smelly or polluting engines they used to be and can offer advantages over conventional gasoline powered cars.
To educate consumers, the Diesel Technology Forum, website has a list of current and upcoming diesel cars, and diesel cars are popular topic among car journalists.
The New York Times raved about the Chevy Cruze Turbo Diesel, a 2014 car that has just hit the market. It gets 46 mpg and has both power and style to spare. We put the Mercedes Benz GL350 BlueTEC to the one-tank family road trip challenge trip and netted more than 600 miles before we had to fill up. And I just drove the comfy Volkswagen Jetta TDI and got 42 MPG.
Here are five reasons to consider buying a diesel car:
1. Diesel Fuel Economy
Darryll Harrison, a spokesperson for VW, said that Volkswagen TDI Clean Diesel engines typically offer ‘more than 30 percent improvement’ in fuel economy, a savings that more than offsets the 5-10% premium that diesel fuel might command.
Tom Read, a General Motors spokesperson, said that Chevy Cruze, with a highway fuel economy of 46 mpg “earns the best non-hybrid highway fuel economy in the U.S.”
2. Go Far on a Tank
An advantage of diesel over hybrid is the long range of diesel cars due to bigger tanks paired with better MPG. Harrison said that “the Passat TDI achieves up to 795 miles per tank, Jetta TDI more than 600 miles per tank and the Touareg TDI more than 760 miles per tank.” The Cruze puts up similar numbers; according to GM, “drivers can go over 700 miles on a single tank of fuel.”
3. Lower CO2 Emissions
Harrison, at VW, says, “today’s clean diesels offer more efficient engines that produce less CO2 emissions. On average, today’s clean diesel passenger cars are 20 – 40 percent cleaner than comparable gasoline vehicles.”
4. Great Performance
According to General Motors, diesel powered cars generally have excellent performance. “Using the Cruze diesel as an example the peak torque (the twisting force of the engine and what pushes you back in your seat) is at a nice high 264 lb-ft, which makes it feel like you have a larger engine,” said Read.
5. Diesel is Readily Available
And diesel fuel should not be difficult to find. According to the Diesel Technology Forum over half of all retail fuel stations in the United States offer diesel fuel.
Just be sure you don’t mistake regular gas for diesel.