By on May 23, 2014

2014-RAM-1500-Eco-Diesel-Exterior-001

Though diesel power is experience increased popularity among United States consumers, the wild fluctuations in the price for a gallon of diesel may put some potential oil-burner owners back on the gasoline bandwagon.

Detroit Free Press reports the price fluctuations are linked to circumstances unrelated to those affecting prices for gasoline. Gasbuddy.com chief oil analyst Tom Kloza explains that part of the swings that occurred this winter was due to the similarities between diesel and heating oil in wide use throughout Europe and the Northeastern United States. Another factor was increased demand for natural gas, prompting utilities and businesses to use diesel to generate electricity. Those and other unnamed factors drove the global price for a barrel of diesel between $119 to $130 in Q4 2013 and Q1 2014.

As for the overall market, organizations such as IHS Automotive and Diesel Technology Forum expect adoption rates of 6 percent to 9 percent by 2020, compared to 3 percent of the U.S. market currently. In addition, some 40 new vehicles are expected to enter showrooms within the next two years, ranging from pickups and SUVs to compact cars.

Diesel’s new-found popularity in the U.S. and developing economies means the oil fuel is the most common around the globe, surpassing gasoline. In turn, refiners and governments will see more profit in production and taxation from diesel.

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122 Comments on “Diesel Grows In Popularity Despite Price Fluctuations At The Pump...”


  • avatar
    3800FAN

    Diesel only makes sense in the application of torque, ie towing and hauling heavy loads. When it comes to compact cars and sedans diesel is a waste of $$$. The additional cost of the diesel motor plus the higher cost of diesel fuel offsets the mpg savings to the point where the time required to make up the premium is longer than the vehicle life. Don’t believe me? Look at this sites bit on the chevy cruze diesel. Look at CRs comparison of the jetta tdi vs the 1.8T. The diesel tdi saves less than $100/year over the 1.8T…Then add teh fact that it’s slower and costs more to maintain..upgrade to the passatt tdi and you have a urea tank to fill now that adds another 30-40 cents per gallon to the cost of diesel fuel.

    Gas engines are getting more efficient and that’s pushing diesel into the fail category of small and midsize cars. Look at the mazda 6 diesel…where is it? oh yes its getting delayed over and over again because they say they don’t want to have to add urea injection… guarantee in the end it won’t come because the gas engine is so efficient that it’s not worth it to even offer the diesel now.

    And please don’t point to Europe….we don’t live in Europe. We have higher air quality laws and if you don’t like the fact that better air quality laws lead to fewer diesels than you can go live in higher pollution levels Europe somewhere and enjoy the smog.

    • 0 avatar
      davefromcalgary

      The urea tank in the Passat is a huge turn off. I have heard that even though they are heated, in the extreme type of winter that Noarth America saw this year, they can STILL freeze, stranding folks. Scary to think my brand new car will cease to function in the middle of the prairies.

      • 0 avatar
        Carrera

        Dave, I think that’s more of a VW reliability problem than a diesel problem. I’ve been on the TDI forums for about two years now and while I read about the problem with frozen urea lines, it wasn’t too common. Blown turbos seem to be more of a problem in the Passats ( again, more of a VW problem than a diesel vehicle problem). The diesel Chevy Cruz doesn’t seem to have any of those problems so far.

        • 0 avatar
          davefromcalgary

          Fair enough about VW vs diesel problems. I can buy that.

          I would still be wary about the freezing, given the winter the Canadian prairies just had. Managed to kill my Alero, by gelling up a fluid.

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          Urea freezing is a big problem for all diesels equipped with this type of aftertreatment. Some manage it better than others, but in extreme cold, it’s not uncommon to have a brick of frozen DEF with a pocket of liquid around the heater on many different manufacturer’s vehicles. It’s an added layer of complexity that a gas vehicle doesn’t have.

      • 0 avatar
        Lampredotto

        The TDI in the Gold and Jetta do not require urea injection. I believe they use a particulate filter i/l/o urea.

        • 0 avatar
          NOPR

          Filters and urea do different things. Filters filter particulate and urea converts NOx (over an SCR catalyst). Any new non urea/SCR diesel is likely using a NOx trap and intermittently running rich and also still using a particulate filter.

        • 0 avatar
          brettc

          Correct. The CJAA TDI in the current Jetta and Golf uses a particulate filter that regens periodically (and wastes diesel to get cleaner emissions). The 2015 models will be switching to a urea based system and will also have 10 extra horsepower.

          As for whether diesel is worth it, I think it is for some people. I just drove about 700 miles to visit family and filled up once about 150 miles from my destination. I did pay about 50 cents more per gallon for that fill up though. So if you’re looking it at purely from a financial standpoint, a gas engine might be better especially if you don’t drive long distances on a regular basis.

          However, after having 2 diesel vehicles for almost 10 years, we’re now down to 1 diesel vehicle just because the price of a new Jetta TDI was too much compared to the Jetta SE and the economy wasn’t much different plus gas is still cheaper than diesel. I like my TDI but they’re definitely not for everyone.

          • 0 avatar
            Conslaw

            I just found out about the problems with the Jetta Diesel’s DPF (Diesel Particulate Filter). If you drive very short distances only, The diesel is actually incompatible with your driving – that is unless you specifically run the engine on other occasions to charge the filter. IN other words, you buy a diesel to avoid wasting fuel, and the engine requires that you waste fuel, running for no reason other than charging the filter.

      • 0 avatar
        OliverTwist

        davefromcalgary,

        So you ‘have heard…’ Does that apply to all of diesel vehicles with urea tank or just Volkswagen Passat as you claimed to ‘have heard…’?

        Ok, what about the Scandinavian countries? The weather there is as brutal as Great White North. Perhaps that has to do with the sulfur content in the fuel that is higher than in Europe, yes?

        BMW learnt the lesson hard way in the 1990s when it didn’t factor in the higher sulfur content when designing and manufacturing its M60 V8 motors.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BMW_M60#Nikasil_damage_from_high-sulfur_fuels

        • 0 avatar
          davefromcalgary

          I had only heard of it happening in the current North American Passat TDI. I am not on a DEF witch hunt, just bringing it up for conversations sake.

    • 0 avatar
      Carrera

      3800FAN, Urea fluid is not that expensive. Everyone, including Wal-Mart sells it. Truck stops sell it even cheaper. From what I read, it costs 15-20 dollars per 10,000 miles if the manufacturer doesn’t cover it when the car is new ( VW and Chevy covers it for 2-3 years). I don’t think most people have a problem with $15 every 10,000 miles. As for diesel prices, they vary wildly from region to region. In Florida for example, diesel is somewhere between 89 gas and 93, closer to 89. At the end of May in Orlando, 87 gas was 3.54/gal, 89 was 3.70/gal, 93 was 3.95 and diesel was 3.80/gal. In Canada, right now 87 gas is 1,36/liter while diesel is 1,34/liter.

    • 0 avatar
      Lampredotto

      In some cases, diesel does make sense. Depends on the vehicle and the available engines. When we bought our 2012 Jetta Sportwagen two years ago, we compared the TDI to the inline-5 cylinder. At the time I put together a very comprehensive apples-to-apples comparison spreadsheet. Factoring in trim options, the TDI commanded something on the order of a $2,000 premium.

      However, the turbodiesel saves us almost $400/year on fuel (even factoring in the $.30/gal premium for diesel), putting us on track for a five- or six- year payback period– well within the vehicle’s useful life. This, and the TDI is vastly more fun to drive than the 2.5.

      That said, if they’d offered the JSW with the 2.0T GTI mill… well, that would be a different story.

      • 0 avatar
        3800FAN

        The sportwagen TDI is the only model I can think of where the diesel does make sense but that’s more due to the fact that the vw 5 cylinder motor is a gas guzzling obsolete piece of shit.

        Compare the sportwagen tdi to the prius v though and it’s a different story. The Prius V has more passenger room, more cargo room, costs less and gets better mpg. If vw offered their hybrid drivetrain or 1.8T motors in the sportwagen it would push the diesel into obsolescence like it has with the jetta.

        • 0 avatar
          Lampredotto

          The Prius V has certain advantages but falls short in others.

          Yes, the V is roomier and costs less. But comparing option-to-option the price difference is marginal at best, and the fuel efficiency advantage is arguable. Car and Driver’s Prius V was only able to get 31MPG in several hundred miles of mixed driving; their long term TDI got 38. Even with my lead foot our JSW routinely sees 34-37 in our suburban loop. 40-42 is easy on the highway, even at 75 MPH.

          And the Jetta Sportwagen is actually fun to hustle down a winding two-lane– something that cannot be said of the inert marshmallow that is the Prius V.

          Different strokes…

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I wanted a Jetta Sportwagen, but in order get certain options I wanted, it was $30K. I really like the car, but my C-Max was $7000 less out the door. That is a ton of gas. My lifetime average on my C-Max is now 41.2, and I have a lead foot on the freeway.

            I still love the Sportwagen though. It is a tremendous vehicle. My options preferences just mess up the pricing.

          • 0 avatar
            FormerFF

            Please don’t use Car and Driver’s mpg numbers for hybrid cars, they seem to have some particular knack for getting crappy mileage out of them. Consumer Reports and Edmunds are much better sources for realistic MPG.

            The owner reports at Fuelly show the Prius V at 40 – 42 mpg, very close to its EPA number.

        • 0 avatar
          Jimal

          As the owner of a 2013 Passat TDI, I can tell you that the convenience of not having to stop nearly as often on long trips is another benefit of the fuel economy advantage of the TDI. The car may be a bit bland, but it is big, comfortable and the current generation to VW TDI engines are much smoother and rev-able than what they had just 10 years prior.

          And the Jetta hybrid has been a non-factor in terms of sales. Volkswagen has spent a couple decades being the Diesel car maker.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I had a Passat TDI as a rental a few weeks ago. It is a great road trip car. You are 100% correct on the engine. I had a 2006 Jetta TDI, and the new TDI engine is so much better.

          • 0 avatar
            Carrera

            The Passat is probably the ultimate, long distance vehicle. Who doesn’t like 50 mpg and over 700 miles on a tank of fuel?

          • 0 avatar
            FormerFF

            Car might go 700 miles, my bladder sure won’t.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            I had a car with a range near 600 miles. I once did a 501 mile trip with it without stopping. Once. I’ve driven 1,100 miles a day six times in other cars. Stopping every 400-450 miles didn’t bother me a bit. Some companies get away with selling cars that can barely do 250 miles on the highway, but they’re easy enough to avoid.

          • 0 avatar
            Buckshot

            My bladder will probably prevent my 1000mile nonstop drive, but anyway it´s positive to don´t have to find fuel at every stop.

        • 0 avatar
          wmba

          You do realize that the 5 cylinder VW engine is half a Gallardo V10 block. It isn’t, by any stretch, the 1977 Audi cylinder.

          In fact, the Audi TT uses it to get 365 hp, and that bonkers racing edition featured yesterday has 515 hp. I’ve driven the 5 in the Jetta and found it just fine, much nicer than the 3 Audis I had back in the ’80s.

          Have you driven the Golf/Jetta with the 5? All this criticism about obsolete, coarse etc. seem to come from those who haven’t driven it much, if at all.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            It was also the only VW engine to achieve average reliability ratings from CR, but I think it is going away or gone.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Its only on the JSW now. I don’t know when the 1.8T replaces it. Probably soon.

    • 0 avatar
      colin42

      3800FAN I think you are suffering from what I refer to the “GEICO effect”. Just because you keep saying it doesn’t make it true.

      The Passatt has a 5 gallon DEF tank and according to VW It will need to be filled every 10,000 miles.

      DEF bulk price is ~$2.50/gal from truck stops. 1 gallon on shelf containers cost ~$5/gal from places like Walmart or online. So it should cost between $12 – $25 to fill the def tank.

      Assuming an average 40mpg would equate to 5 to 10 cents per a gallon of diesel additional cost.

      I agree that recent improvements in gasoline reduce the cost benefit of diesel especially in smaller cars. I expect diesel to gain in popularity for trucks and mid size SUV’s

    • 0 avatar
      mike89

      “We have higher air quality laws and if you don’t like the fact that better air quality laws lead to fewer diesels than you can go live in higher pollution levels Europe somewhere and enjoy the smog”

      Yeah. let those silly europeans drive around in their straight-piped rollin co- oh wait.

    • 0 avatar
      OliverTwist

      3800FAN,

      I take the offence about your comment regarding Europe and the smog. I live in Europe for a long time and have lived in the United States for many years, including Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. I have experienced smog (or shall I dare say politically correct term, thermal inversions) more than often in Denver and Los Angeles than I wanted to experience. Of course, things had changed dramatically in the past twenty years in Europe. The air is exceptionally clean, especially in Munich and many cities in western Europe. Eastern Europe is catching up as the older vehicles are being eliminated.

      Your assertion is grossly outdated since European Union mandated the stricter and tighter emission standards, including the particulate matter and carbon dioxide, for more than two decades. The new vehicles must be certified for Euro6 in order to be sold, starting this year. US EPA has more leeway with eleven ‘bins’ of Tier II and more categories than European Union.

      Sweden was first to mandate the reduction of particulate matter in the early 1990s with several EU member states adopting this in the late 1990s. The amount of particulate matter in the fuel was reduced to 0.005 ppm from 2009 on (for both petrol and diesel). US was late to the bandwagon, reducing it to *average* 120 ppm (with maximium 300 ppm) in 2004 (EU 0.25 ppm from 2005). The icing on the cake? US EPA still allows up to 80 ppm today…

      Don’t forget that some states in the US were frustrated with the slow progess by EPA, and they started to adopt California emission standards, namely the northeastern states in the early 2000s.

      I assume you have NEVER driven the small diesel vehicles. I hired the diesel vehicles in Europe for business. My experience with both petrol and diesel vehicles had convinced me that diesel is resoundingly better than petrol. I made two round trips from Munich to Paris: one with Audi A4 2.0 TDI Avant and other one with Ford C-Max with 1.6-litre petrol motor. Audi needed only one tank for each leg in spite of my heavy-foot driving (120-plus mph in Germany) while Ford needed three refills to reach Paris. Ditto for BMW 525d xDrive Touring and BMW 116i. 525d was so relaxing to drive and used half tank while 116i was stressed out on the Autobahn, draining the fuel tank like no tomorrow.

      Today is 2014, not 1979!

      • 0 avatar
        Schultz

        Mr. Twist, Methinks thou dost protest too much. According to this Reuters article from 3/16/13 reposted by the Huff titled “As Paris’ Smog Worsens, France Imposes Driving Restrictions, Makes Public Transit Free.” I thought you said that “The air is exceptionally clean, especially in Munich and many cities in western Europe.”

        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/16/paris-smog_n_4973835.html

        The article goes on to say…”Paris is more prone to smog than other European capitals because of France’s diesel subsidies and its high number of private car drivers.” And…”The last restricted driving scheme was introduced in October 1997 in response to pollution from heavy diesel fumes.” I drive a diesel for work…it’s like a magic carpet ride compared to a gasser but, it’s troublesome, noisy, and nasty.

        Besides this one-off article…when I jog in the morning I have to hold my breath when the diesels go by. Shame really that diesel cheerleaders don’t exercise.

        Today is 2014! Too bad it still smells like 1979.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Mr Schultz
          Me thinks you talk through though ass.

          Gasoline engines emit 10 times the particulates than diesel as well. The links I have provided would probably support my argument.

          Here are some realtime air pollution readings globally.

          It seems Paris isn’t as bad as one would assume. Look at other areas of the Euro region.

          Also, have a look at the US. Paris is lower than many US sites.

          So, me thinks you should do some research using science.

          http://aqicn.org/map/europe/

          http://aqicn.org/map/northamerica/

          Even in Sydney the pollution is currently higher.

          http://aqicn.org/map/australia/

          • 0 avatar
            OliverTwist

            Mr Schultz,

            For the love of God, me thinks you need to get your head out of arse. You choose to focus on just one rare meteorological event, namely thermal inversion over Paris, as to ‘prove’ me wrong. You don’t bother to consider the emission standards set in the US and in Europe. Geesh! What a bitter old cynic you are…

            I was speaking from my experience of growing up and living in both United States and Europe since 1970s. We travelled often between US and Europe for family holidays. I recalled very well how bad it was in the 1970s and 1980s with unregulated emission.

            I remembered being able to spot the diesel vehicles in the traffic by diesel soot spewing out. Today, I couldn’t. In the last ten years, the air has gotten much cleaner and more breathable than it was in 1970s and 1980s.

            French people are so set in their ways that they throw temper tantrums if the French government tries to implement new regulations or laws, namely eliminating the subsides for diesel fuel or instituting the congestion charges like in several cities or colour-coded driving restrictions like in Germany.

            Germany has colour-coded stickers on the front windscreen that restricted the older and dirtier vehicles from entering certain areas in cities. In addition, the annual vehicle tax is higher for older ones. This was to encourage people to switch to more modern ones.

            Me thinks you are still stuck in 1979 and under the rock since you still drive ‘troublesome, noisy, and nasty’ diesel rather than the modern ones. The new ones are so quiet, clean, and powerful. My American friends visiting me in Germany couldn’t believe how much the diesel technology had changed in the past twenty years.

            Reading further down, I agree with comment by Les. That is how it is done in the US.

  • avatar
    3800FAN

    Diesel only makes sense in the application of torque, ie towing and hauling heavy loads. When it comes to compact cars and sedans diesel is a waste of $$$. The additional cost of the diesel motor plus the higher cost of diesel fuel offsets the mpg savings to the point where the time required to make up the premium is longer than the vehicle life. Don’t believe me? Look at this sites bit on the chevy cruze diesel. Look at CRs comparison of the jetta tdi vs the 1.8T. The diesel tdi saves less than $100/year over the 1.8T…Then add teh fact that it’s slower and costs more to maintain..upgrade to the passatt tdi and you have a urea tank to fill now that adds another 30-40 cents per gallon to the cost of diesel fuel.

    Gas engines are getting more efficient and that’s pushing diesel into the fail category of small and midsize cars. Look at the mazda 6 diesel…where is it? oh yes its getting delayed over and over again because they don’t want to have to add urea injection… guarantee in the end it won’t come because the gas engine is so efficient that it’s not worth it to even offer the diesel now.

    And please don’t point to europe….we don’t live in europe. We have higher air quality laws and if you don’t like the fact that higher air quality laws lead to fewer diesels than you can go live in higher pollution levels europe somewhere and enjoy the smog.

    • 0 avatar
      Les

      Europe regulates air quality by mandating that refineries and retailers provide cleaner-burning grades of fuel.

      We regulate air quality by mandating that carmakers make cars that can choke down whatever drek the refineries wanna make and still puff-puff sweetness out the tailpipe.

  • avatar
    FormerFF

    Honestly, it seems to me that diesel prices are more consistent that are gasoline. Around here, gasoline moved up 40 cents from winter to spring, while diesel only moved 5 – 10 cents. However, diesel is in the $3.80 – $4.10 range, while unleaded is in $3.60 – $3.70 range. Over the winter diesel was 30 to 40 cents more than gasoline.

    For a light vehicle, I still think a gasoline powered hybrid is the best option for most people. If all you do is highway driving, the hybrid isn’t much help, but for everyone else the savings are significant, provided you are buying a mainstream car.

    • 0 avatar
      redmondjp

      I was going to say the same thing – here in the greater Seattle area, diesel prices have stayed rock-solid at $3.90 – $4.10/gallon for almost the past year. The price of 87-octane gasoline at non-discount (Costco, etc) stations now equals diesel.

  • avatar
    smartascii

    While it’s true that gasoline engines are getting more efficient, they’re tuned for that efficiency to show up on EPA-style testing. In the real world, both because people don’t drive like an EPA test and because diesels don’t suffer from pumping losses, diesels really are quite a bit more efficient. 40-MPG-rated gas-powered vehicles almost never deliver that efficiency, even at a steady highway cruise (unless Norm owns them), whereas lower-rated diesels often surpass it. This doesn’t necessarily offset the higher cost of purchasing and fueling a diesel, and it takes more crude to make a gallon of diesel than it does to make a gallon of gas. On the flip side, it’s my understanding that there isn’t any ethanol in diesel, which has a whole series of benefits unto itself.

    • 0 avatar
      heavy handle

      What car are you basing your observation on?
      The reason I ask is that I’ve always been able to beat EPA HWY numbers in any car I’ve owned, usually by a wide margin.

      I wonder if it’s because of the type of car I typically drive (import, manual, small-mid size), or if it’s something else (maintenance, tire pressure, dumb luck), or if all those who can’t get EPA numbers are driving camper vans up the Rockies. Or something.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      I see the EPA fuel economy numbers as the high score to beat.

      “Yes! 23 mpg! Eat that, Gina McCarthy!”

  • avatar
    GoFaster58

    Diesels are also popular because of their loud, noisy, smoke belching tailpipes. The pipes should be aimed at the ground. I see them take off with their smoke blowing right into the windows of cars. I dive a little Ford Ranger so I’m not as affected. But still there’s enough smoke coming my way when these giant monsters take off.

    • 0 avatar
      Carrera

      Most newer diesel vehicles have urea injection so smoke belching tailpipes are thing of the past. Even big rigs come equipped with them and it works quite well. I have a family friend who purchased a Volvo tractor that is equipped with DEF. He has about 250K miles on it so far and it is flawless. No black pipes to speak of and urea fluid is very cheap at truck stops ( even cheaper than at Wal-Mart). T

      • 0 avatar
        colin42

        Slight correction
        All new diesel cars & trucks have a diesel particulate filter so they don’t (shouldn’t) smoke. The urea is for systems with selective catalyst reduction which is to control NOx.

        • 0 avatar
          Carrera

          Correct Colin. I should have said that some have only the particulate filter, while others have both the filter and the DEF ( urea). Right now, the VW Golf, Jetta and Jetta Wagon have the filter only while the Passat has both. Next year or so, all VWs Tdi will have the new diesel engine ( code name EA 288, I think) and it will come with both the filter and urea injection. I also believe that the other diesel manufacturers such as Mercedes, Chevy ( Cruze) Audi and Porsche ( Cayenne) have both systems. Apparently vehicles with both systems, while more complicated, obtain better MPG when compared to vehicles that have only the particulate filter ( less fuel being burned to clean the particulate filter to an acceptable level ? )

          • 0 avatar
            brenschluss

            None of this matters, since any bro worth their sick tribal tats will immediately get rid of all that so that they can be Rollin’ Coal, baby!

          • 0 avatar
            sgeffe

            I thought I’ve read that the particulate filter brings its own set of problems to the table.

            Correct, B&B?

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            The DEF is for the SCR to control NOx and doesn’t affect the need for the regen cycle to clean the DPF.

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    For the average person owning a car, it seems that diesel only makes sense if that person does a lot of highway driving. For the typical mix of urban/suburban driving with the occasional highway trip, I think certain hybrids make the most sense.

    If you’re talking about 3/4 ton pickups towing a 10,000 lb. travel trailer, the diesel will go about 30% farther on a gallon of fuel than the gasoline model. However, since diesel is typically about 15% more expensive than regular gasoline, the price advantage is cut by half. Then add the fact that a diesel engine adds between $7,000 – $8,000 to the sticker price of the vehicle and the economics begin to look pretty unattractive to someone who doesn’t do a lot of miles.

    Not even counting the apparently problematic and complex emission control systems now on diesel engines, which probably result in a higher maintenance cost than the gasoline equivalent. In addition, the “regeneration” cycle needed to burn out the particulate trap reduces diesel’s inherent efficiency advantage (reduced pumping losses from running unthrottled) over gasoline. I’ve read that they typical pickup truck diesel burns about a liter of fuel in a regeneration cycle.

    Only if you’re wanting to tow more than about 12,000 lbs. is a diesel engine essential in a pickup.

    As far as these other, smaller vehicles go, I don’t see the case.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      Even in medium duty, commercial trucks, gas engines are growing in popularity. And optional on trucks that were previously diesel only. That should tell folks everything they need to know.

      In these classes of trucks (everything between dually pickups to big rigs), there’s no romance of a clackety clackin’ oil burner.

      • 0 avatar
        Toad

        “That should tell folks everything they need to know.”

        Except it doesn’t.

        Gasoline engines are less expensive to operate if your GVW/towing needs are light and your miles are low. Once you get to a certain weight or towing requirement the economics change.

        For instance, lots of landscapers use Isuzu/GM low cab forward light duty trucks with landscape bodies on the back. Until recently it was more cost effective to use is simple small diesel engine. But with all the new EPA mandated emission controls the engine and maintenance costs went up. Now a truck buyer has to do some math to figure out what engine works best for their application. The good news is most light & medium duty truck dealers can walk a buyer through the number crunching process pretty quickly.

        The economics of diesel is still there for many buyers, but it is not as straight forward as it used to be.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          “Once you get to a certain weight or towing requirement the economics change.”

          Yes a gas engine will work harder in a heavy truck, but will do the job just fine. I was surprised, myself. And very impressed by V8s and V10s in medium dutys.

          Unless it’s a race to the top of the mountain with a heavy loaded truck, there’s no real reason to go with a diesel.

          • 0 avatar
            OliverTwist

            I hired a Ford Econoline with Triton V10 motor when I lived in Dallas, Texas. It was fucking thirsty, and the fuel cost blew my moving budget. Never ever again!

            My late best friend used to travel with his parents in Airstream a lot in the 1980s. In 1982, his father traded in his Chevrolet Suburban for a diesel version. Ever since, he would not go back to petrol version. When Dodge Ram became available with Cummins diesel motor, he got it and loved it.

            My experience from hiring many cars for business in Europe compels me to insist on diesel vehicles, which Sixt and Europcar gladly obliged.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            There’s no question big gas engines drink more fuel. If fuel consumption was the only thing to consider, as in renting a truck, then yeah diesels win.

            I owned several diesel pickups in the ’80s to ’90s, and it was a different scenario. Diesels had every advantage back then.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      The experience of towing heavy with a diesel, is very different than with a similarly powered gas engine. Lower RPMs, steadier speed and much less shifting. A properly sized diesel engine for a given load, is a pleasure to tow heavy and far with.

      “Properly sized” is the catchword, though. It basically means, the engine should have very little in reserve at the desired speed up the steepest grades at target weight. That’s how to achieve great economy and performance with a diesel.

      It’s no different with passenger cars. Diesels can very efficiently power small compacts on highways, but only if they are small enough to, again, barely make the steepest grade. Once you start demanding plenty of headroom power wise, gassers, with their higher power and torque peaks, and redlines, are just much more sensible.

  • avatar
    davefromcalgary

    My employer purchases only gas powered HD trucks for the field crews. Typically they carry a few guys and equipment in the box.

    I spoke to the fleet manager and asked why they don’t buy diesel pickups. He suggested that for 95% of the crews needs, the gas pickup is adequate, and cheaper to buy and maintain. For the odd time they need to haul a heavy trailer, the excess fuel cost is more than offset by the savings in upfront and maintenance costs.

    If we ever had to haul heavier equipment on a regular basis, we would have on diesel truck and a designated pilot for it, and he would be responsible for ensuring its maintained properly.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      I’ve never gone diesel with my company’s HD trucks either. The premium you have to pay upfront doesn’t make sense unless you need to tow all the time. We have other vehicles with the Ford 5.4L, so I am comfortable with that engine. If I do replace a truck soon, I am hoping the SuperDuty eventually gets the Lion V6. The price premium will still probably be too much.

    • 0 avatar
      Carrera

      Yes, for fleet use, the huge difference in price of a diesel truck vs. a gas V10 is very hard to swallow. If regular towing is part of the job, of course the diesel truck looks more attractive. A few years back ( 2009) we received at work a brand new crew cab F350 with the V10. It was a beast that we rarely drove, but it was cheap from what I heard…something to the extent of $35,000. The same truck, diesel, would have been about $55,000. In our case, with our occasional use, it would have been really dumb to get the diesel.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        Damn, $20K difference?

        Sometimes I even buy vans because they are cheaper than trucks. I am sad the Econoline/E-series is going away. Second hand, they are super cheap.

        • 0 avatar
          Carrera

          Yeah, the gasser had huge rebates, the diesel probably had a bit more options the way it was packaged but the difference was huge regardless.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            For a small business, its the difference between one or two vehicles. Or a truck vs a truck and a piece of equipment with a trailer.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @davefromcalgary – fleet buyers tend to be more concerned about purchase price. They won’t spend an extra 10K for a truck that will need to last 250K to reach break even. My brother is a Forester for CanFor and pickups tend to be completely shot by 100,000 km if used almost exclusively in the bush. They never buy diesels and buy whomever provides lowest bid. They have looked at mpg with 1/2 ton trucks over HD as well as purchase costs but 1/2 ton trucks fall apart quicker than HD’s.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        Savvy fleet buyers are that concerned with purchase price they are concerned with overall cost of operation and uptime. Nowadays that usually means that the gasser wins.

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    Here’s one more reason I gave up my Diesel Volvo:

    In Nevada, the annual smog check for a gas car is <$20. For a Diesel, it's $50.

    The Diesel gave me a +8mpg advantage over a gasser. With the increased cost of Diesel fuel, add in the costly annual smog check, and it just didn't make sense.

  • avatar
    Zane Wylder

    Don’t see why people are saying Hybrids are better, only advantage is MPG, and once you strip away the stuff that aids with that (CVT, aerodynamic body parts, wheels, ect..) what are you left with? Rather have a Diesel that comes with a Real Transmission (Manual or even Auto) and better than advertised mpg that’s actually fun to drive.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      I don’t find the Jetta Sportwagen particularly fun to drive. It is more fun to drive than my C-Max, but the difference isn’t significant. The C-Max is way more fun to drive than my last VW diesel (2006 Jetta). I would also bet on the reliability of a Toyota/Ford hybrid over a VW diesel.

    • 0 avatar
      3800FAN

      Or you could toss the diesel for a gasoline engine that’ll give you more horsepower, be quicker, and save you $$$ over the life of the car. Get a mazda 6 if you want a stickshift. The diesel engine adds cost while not making up for it in mpg. Higher upfront cost, higher fuel cost, higher maintenance cost, they’re also slower and pollute more. The added weight of the diesel makes it more front heavy and less fun to drive. The jetta sportwagen fans should be pissed they’re forced to choose between a POS obsolete 5 cylinder and a diesel while jetta drivers have 4 powertrains to choose from, as do passatt drivers.

      If you want to maximize mpg hybrids pay for themselves but I’m one who likes simplicity.

    • 0 avatar
      FormerFF

      Yeah, there’s no way a hybrid could be fun to drive. I bet that McLaren P1 is a real snoozer.

  • avatar
    3800FAN

    Lets face the facts about diesels in small and midsize cars.

    They’re a marketing ploy. Plain and simple. VW uses diesel to show their crappy lineup has something nobody else does. Meanwhile nobody else offers them because they’re not worth the investment.. so let vw keep screaming TDI TDI TDI bla bla bla. Their lineup still stinks and their diesel engines are still not worth the added cost.

    Oh btw a camry is more fun to drive than anything in vw’s lineup, minus the golf. If vw wants to boost their sales they should go back to being a premium brand in their segments with premium interiors. Instead they sold out their upscale reputation to move more metal with low quality products like the jetta and passatt. Now all those customers who though they were buying something with an upscale reputation from 10 years ago is used up and everyone else sees vw sold themselves out….and now their products are worse than all competitors and they’ve become the quality equivalent of what KIA was in the late 90s. No wonder why their sales are tanking.

    • 0 avatar
      TOTitan

      “Oh btw a camry is more fun to drive than anything in vw’s lineup, minus the golf”

      Wrong. I have a 12 sportwagon tdi and it is very fun to drive. I have never experienced a fun to drive camry. Regarding power I regularly have to go up a 7% grade that is 3 miles long. The tdi effortlessly will pull it at 80 or even faster if I feel like it. On the same stretch camrys look like they are in reverse.

      I have another oil burner too….a bmw 335d. With 425 ft lb all in by 1750 rpm its in a class by itelf.

      • 0 avatar
        3800FAN

        I’ve driven both…sportwagen? wagon yes but sport it is not. It feels tubby in comparison to the 2012+ Camry. It’s practical and it’s nice to have a wagon (even though it’s smaller in all interior dimensions than an old 1st gen focus wagon which really is fun to drive) out there that’s not weighed down by awd I guess.

        Now if they offered the sportwagen with the 1.8T it would be a different story. You sportwagen drivers should be pissed that vw doesn’t give that car the engine options the jetta sedan has. The 1.8T is faster and will save you big $$$ cuz it’s NOT A DIESEL

      • 0 avatar
        Carrera

        Totitan,
        Most people on this forum are judging diesels based on either their grandfather’s Oldsmobile Delta 88, or on some 1987 Dodge Ram. The new Crdi engine have come a long way…

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    I’m surprised nobody mentioned the iffy quality of diesel. Talk to a few truckers, and they’ll tell you about dirty fuel, water, and a host of problems they’ve run into. Apparently, gasoline stations are better policed than the truck stops.

    My dad ran heavy equipment in the late 1920s to the mid-’30s, and all the vehicles were gas powered. They were different from car engines – they were all long stroke engines that put out high torque at low rpms. Even the long haul trucks of the time had similar long stroke engines that got the job done. Diesel fuel back then was harder to find, but gas was everywhere.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @Lorenzo – my dad was in the logging and construction business and started out in the 1950′s with single axle gas powered HD trucks. For hauling logs or gravel the fuel costs were considerably higher than diesel and in a busy winter season a gas engine would need rebuilding by spring breakup.

      I do not know anyone who complains about diesel fuel quality. Maybe Canada is different than the USA in that regard.

      I do not know why people compare heavy commercial applications to that of personal use.

      There are many cases where a diesel powered personal use vehicle will be superior to gas or hybrid. These debates unfortunately become all or nothing debates.

      I like the fact that diesels are growing in popularity. The 800 lb gorilla that has surfaced is the fact that direct injection turbo engines produce as much particulate as diesel engines. Once various environmental protection agencies start “cleaning up” DI engines with the same exhaust treatments as diesel, diesel engines will once again show a clear advantage to gasoline.

    • 0 avatar
      3800FAN

      IT’s because the tdi fanboys will flame you saying how the diesel motor is guaranteed to last 300+ K because they’re always spinning at low rps throughout their life…even though consumer reports quality reports states otherwise.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @3800FAN – diesel engine reliability has taken a hit with the additional complexity of emissions systems. Traditionally we have seem superior longevity with diesel engines.

      • 0 avatar
        Carrera

        3800 Fan,
        You shouldn’t be quoting CR when it comes to diesels. First of all, CR has data mostly for diesels from VW. We all know how VWs are right? Actually, the Passat diesel is average reliability in CR.
        If we had the Japanese diesels such as the diesel Hondas,Toyotas, Mazdas and Subarus, things would be different. CR’s sample when it comes to diesels is insignificant and drawing a conclusion based on that and labeling all diesels unreliable would be disingenuous.

        • 0 avatar
          3800FAN

          Carrera thanks for pointing that out I’m sure the japanese diesels in Europe are just as reliable as their gasoline counterparts…and that takes me back to pointing out that vw only uses diesel as a marketing ploy because that’s all they have to make themselves stand out from the crowd. The japanese automakers don’t offer diesels here because it’s not cost effective to do so. The added cost of federalizing each unit won’t give them enough of a mpg edge to justify buying,,,hence the real reason there’s no mazda6 diesel in the us yet.
          Like I said VW only offers diesel because they’ve got nothing else to make their lineup stand out from the competition.

  • avatar
    Cabriolet

    3800 You have to get a life. A Camry is nicer to drive then a 5 cylinder VW sport wagon! I have owned a 2009 Jetta TDI driven a 5 cylinder sport wagon and now own a VW GTI 2.0. The 2009 TDI was bullet proof and i took many cross country trips with that car. My usual mileage at 80 MPH was 42-45 MPG. As i am now retired i traded in my TDI for the GTI. The 5 cylinder VW engine was not great on gas mileage but offered great torque for city driving. Unless you know what you are talking about and lived with the car you should think before you post your comments.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I find the US centric diesel debates quite fascinating. They are a mix of fallacy and some fact.

    The US has a clear policy to NOT have diesel in small vehicles. All regulations and controls point in that direction. Just have a good read of your EPA site.

    As for the US having a cleaner ‘air policy’ than the Euro’s sounds like people trying to feel good about themselves by blowing wind up their asses. I would have the say overall both sides of the Atlantic are achieving very similar results, similar to the difference’s in vehicle safety regulations.

    I read an interesting comment regarding the Mazda 6 diesel and it lack of availability in the US. The US has expended massive effort to tailor the makeup of it’s emissions policy to guarantee the success of gasoline. For a commercial vehicle the additional cost over life of the regulatory requirement for diesel in the US makes it mainly viable for commercial applications.

    Just the cetane rating for US diesel is low. What this does is make it harder for a manufacturer to produce a lower emissions diesel for the US market. European diesel has a higher cetane value, this allows for a lower compression diesel engine. Lower compression equates to lower emissions via lower pressure which equals lower temperatures.

    Also, there is a misconception regarding diesel in small to medium vehicles. A smaller diesel is a better proposition than hybrids like a Prius. Plus they will have the added advantage of being cheaper and use existing technology.

    I would like to see the number for the VM powered Ram 1500, plus data on the availability of the VM engines. Is the diesel Ram using all of the available diesels?

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      There really aren’t that many fans of small diesels in passenger vehicles in the US.

      And what has been tried in the past, didn’t go over well with the buying public in the US.

      For me, diesel engines should be reserved for pickup trucks in the 3/4-ton and up classes, and not at all in passenger cars.

      The added costs associated with anything diesel simply do not offset better mpg. Many people forget about the new liquid urea requirement to treat diesel exhaust gas. That isn’t free, and adds another layer of complexity to keep a vehicle running.

      I believe that diesels should be available for those who relish them and want to buy them, but the vast majority of Americans will continue to buy gasoline-fueled vehicles.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @highdesertcat- personal use diesel powered vehicles in the USA have been failures in the past partially because of the 1/2 assed approach used by domestic companies. GM’s 1st 1/2 ton diesels were a complete joke. The early Ranger’s had a diesel option that was underpowered but IIRC did not have too many issues. I do not recall anyone with VW diesels of that era with any complaints.

        Americans want power and up until recently you could not get power and fuel economy at the same time in any engine. Diesels do a better job of giving both at the same time in larger applications like HD pickups and commercial vehicles.

        The Ram 1500 Ecodiesel pictured is hamstrung by an underwhelming chassis. A full load Laramie LongHorn has around 880 lb of cargo capacity. One e-zine weighed the truck and subtracted that weight from the door tag rating and was left with 490lb. There is no point buying a crewcab 6.3 ft box 4×4 with that capacity. 2 average semi-obese males would put the truck at its cargo limit.

        The Ram ecodiesel will do well for those who use trucks as a substitute to a CUV and don’t plan on hauling or towing anything heavier than the junk in their shorts.

        I was excited about the Ecodiesel Ram initially but its capabilities kill it for me. I do believe than Ram has down-rated the capabilities of its 1/2 tons to meet EPA mandates since FCA has a poor CAFE average overall.

        Once again it appears that car companies will screw up the use of diesels in light pickups and most likely the same will occur with cars.

        Interestingly enough, a company like Toyota with extensive hybrid experience and a limited presence in the full sized truck market will most likely release a Tundra with the 5.0 Cummins. I doubt that it will set the MPG world on fire but it will have the power characteristics that truck guys expect.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          Lou_BC, last century, in the year of our Lord 1996, I bought a USED RAM 3500 Cummins from a GI who was going overseas.

          The truck was a dog. It was noisy. It was smelly. Its top speed was 85mph, loaded or unloaded. It was nasty!

          But it also out-pulled my 1988 Silverado 350 and my 2006 F150 5.4 XLT in all imaginable scenarios.

          A friend of mine, and distant neighbor, already owned an earlier 1500 gasoline-RAM he used to haul a utility trailer and he made me an offer on the Cummins I could not refuse.

          He kept it for many years, threw a little money at it, but took care of most of the maintenance and repair himself. He kept it until the front end of the truck collapsed.

          He parted out the truck and I bought the Cummins engine, dirt cheap!

          That antigue Cummins is today still doing field duty on a ranch owned by my wife’s nephew in Idaho, pumping water and/or generating electricity (as in Cummins runs huge generator which powers four 5hp electric motors to pump well water out of four wells for livestock and irrigation).

          So I understand the merits of diesel power, but I do not believe that the application in small cars is something that MOST Americans will bet their money on.

          Again, I believe that they should be available for those who lust after them, but to me the added cost and expense of diesel is a no-go from the start.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @Highdesertcat
        Found the evidence I’ve found is; in Australia we aligned our emissions and energy policy closely with the US and the Japanese.

        Why? Because Australia was mainly furnished vehicles by these countries. So, we in effect were a very gasoline biased energy use nation.

        Over the past 15 years of so we have been gradually modifying our emissions policy to be fairer. That is no advantage is given to either gasoline or diesel.

        We do have a similar discrepancy in diesel vs gasoline pricing as the US. Diesel is more expensive by about 35c-40c per US gallon.

        But, due to our fairer diesel regulations diesel powered vehicles are increasing. This is mainly in the heavier vehicle brackets.

        Smaller vehicles are mainly gasoline powered.

        This is an ‘inbetween’ situation in comparison to say the French diesel biased regualations and the US’s gasoline baised regulations.

        Diesel engines for mid to large vehicles is advantageous. The makeup of this is dictated by regulation and not as much about personal experience as you state.

        What will move people to different energy sources is purely an economic based decision.

        An example of this is how successful would EVs be in the US if it wasn’t for the socialist handouts to buy them? Where would Telsa be?

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          @BAFO – Normally I’m all-in, with government conspiracy theories, like the JFK, Moon Landing and others. But I see no reason for the Secret Service to conspire against diesel powered, small cars.

          You care to explain what the point of that would be? Any more than your government or the EU conspiring against gasoline engines.

          Each market has consumers mostly rejecting one for the other. Not everything is going to be a 50/50 split.

          But at least American consumers aren’t pushed into making decisions based on the lack of displacement engines have. And getting the most power from the smallest engine.

          Let consumers decide what works best for them, without governments pushing small engines that have to work twice as hard. Or EVs.

          I don’t know which is worse, but the difference between diesel and gasoline is negligible to the US government. Both are fossil fuels we need to use less of, diesel being the byproduct of refining gasoline.

          I’d say the US government has bigger fish to fry, but you tell me…

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          BAFO, as an American I can tell you, we Americans have some weird attitudes about a variety of things, cars, trucks, and what powers them, probably pretty high on the list of weirdness when it comes to personal transportation.

          We also have some “early-adopters”; in a way, I inadvertently became one of them with a Mercedes-Benz 220D diesel engine in 1972-1978 (but as an Oldsmobile fan.)

          My wife and kids loved our 1973 Custom Cruiser stationwagon and I was even toying with the idea to replace it with another Custom Cruiser powered by the Olds 350 Diesel near the end of my tour in Germany.

          You see, in 1972 my dad had asked me to buy for him, with his money, a 1972 Mercedes 220D Euro model (tax free) so he and my mom could tour Europe while I was stationed in Germany with the US Air Force.

          Their lodging was free whenever they were at my place (at the huge quarters I was assigned at Patrick Henry Village near Heidelberg) and it was free at the places of their Portuguese and German relatives.

          All they had to pay for was food and fuel, and I could supply them with Esso Diesel-fuel coupons from the BX, tax free and dirt cheap.

          After my mom and dad were through driving across and sight-seeing Europe for two years, they returned to California and left me the car to use, and sell at some point when the money was good. Which I did, eventually in January 1978.

          So I got to experience the Diesel-powered method of propulsion first hand. It was OK, but it also steered me away from buying that 78/79 Olds Diesel Wagon, opting for a 455 gas-powered Toronado instead. In its day, that was MY idea of what personal transportation should be.

          The way I see it, Americans in all their weirdness and odd dependence on oil are overwhelmingly going to stick with gasoline.

          Well, at least until the planet runs out of oil, at which time the early EV adopters will proclaim shrilly, “I told you so!!!!”

          But as an American, I also believe that whatever it is we want or desire SHOULD be available to us if we are willing to fork over the money for it.

          Nothing irks me more than to have my government tell me what I can buy and what I can’t buy.

          Hell, even the Ob*m* administration in all their academic wisdom understands this and has laid off the EV bandwagon since it fell on deaf ears.

          Lou_BC in his comment has laid out an indisputable case why tiny diesel engines in ANY light-duty passenger vehicle is counterproductive for any number of reasons, with higher and added costs for a diesel, plus reduced capacity in return for more money, being just two of them.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @highdesertcat – small diesels in small cars under current conditions are a waste of time.

            The Ecodiesel has been used by Ram to increase CAFE numbers. It is useless for anything else due to how it is tuned and due to the poor haul specs of the Ram. It shouldn’t be that way if truck guys (real truck guys) will buy it.

            When rumours first hit about diesel 1/2 ton trucks I looked at the European SUV’s in the USA that had both diesel and gasoline engines. There wasn’t much of a difference in performance. Gassers were faster but not enough to worry about. MPG was at least 20% better.

            There is no reason why we can’t see better performance numbers with 1/2 ton diesel pickups.

            The Cummins 5.0 is rumoured to be good for 24mpg. That is excellent and it will not be hamstrung by mpg tuning and a wimpy cargo capacity.

            I don’t care about diesel or gasoline powered small cars. I have never had any interest in them. I doubt I’d buy anything smaller than a midsized SUV or midsized truck.

            The only car that has ever been in my name is a 1968 Galaxie 500 2 dr HT with a 315 hp 429lbft 390 in it and I still own it.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Lou_BC, yes, I understand what you are saying.

            You know, your ’68 Galaxie 500 2dr Hardtop is considered a classic.

            My best friend’s very first brand new car when he and I were in the US Air Force stationed at Hastings, Nebraska, was a 1968 Mercury Monterey 4dr sedan with the 390. He traded in his 1962 Mercury on it.

            The ’68 was his first love, so to speak, and he wished that he could have kept it but military reassignment to Europe forced him to trade it in on a 1972 Cutlass stationwagon, a vehicle better suited to the narrow streets and roads of The Netherlands, where he was going.

            You’re fortunate that you have been able to keep your ’68 Galaxie all this time.

            I wish I could have kept my Toronado. That really was my favorite car for a long time, but it wasn’t practical for us as a family.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          US emissions policy does not favor gas power, in fact for the longest time it was seriously in favor of diesel power since diesels were completely exempt from emissions regulations for a very long time and it has only been since 2010 that diesels have had to meet similar emissions standards as gas powered vehicles.

          The reality is now that diesels have to meet similar emissions standards the economics favor gas power. That is the reason that so many fleets have switched to gas power. Lower purchase price, lower maintenance and repair costs and close to identical fuel costs.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Scoutdude
            So, where is your supporting evidence?

            The simplest way to see what energy form and what size vehicle is most favoured in a country is to see what the makeup of the all the vehicle segments are.

            So, what affect the makeup of vehicles within a country.

            1. Economics
            2. Regulatory framework, including tariffs and technical barriers.
            3. Energy policy,
            4. Supporting infrastructure, ie, road grid, size of country, population density, etc.

            In Europe, small gas and diesel vehicles prevail. Most Euro nations discourage the ownership of large capacity engines in vehicles. Even fuel is taxed so they buy small capacity engines.

            The US regulations support gasoline powered vehicle with instruments like CAFE, EPA regulations, subsidies to farmers, energy policy, etc.

            Provide some proof to support your views, then if they are viable I will listen.

            But, until then I do think you are very incorrect.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @BAFO – I need a large (light) vehicle and therefor, large engine, so why should the EPA, CAFE and the CIA (ie, my tax dollars) work to take either away???

            Otherwise I’m overloaded, compromising safety, and or, making more trips to do accomplish the same tasks. And burning more fuel in the process. Plus experiencing more breakdowns. It may be the European way, but $CREW THAT!!!

            But US regulators leave it up to the consumer and don’t push gasoline power upon us. If so, please show where. Where’s the data? Got ANYTHING??

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            BAFO, you should not classify the US into categories applicable to Europe, Asia, and/or down-under.

            As a guy who’s half Portuguese and half German, I can tell you, without prejudice, that my Portuguese and German relatives living in Europe think totally differently from my way of thinking (about EVERYTHING).

            Hence their whole philosophy of transportation in its various modes differs greatly from that in the US. But diesel fuel’s popularity in Europe is, I believe, because it was one guy’s wet dream, a long, long time ago, and that’s why they went that route. The guy was able to convince the powerbrokers in government it was the way to go.

            It’s similar to the movement we currently are forced to enjoy in the US like EVs, PEVs, Hybrids, reducing our dependency on oil, alternative sources of power generation and global warming. The Agenda of the Far Left Liberal greenweenies.

            Like a bowel movement, this, too, shall pass. Gasoline will rule until the planet runs out of oil.

            I simply cannot fathom the obsession that SOME people have with small diesels, and I believe MOST Americans see it the way I do.

            When you get right down to the nitty gritty, there really is no suitable substitute for good old gasoline in light passenger vehicles that packs as much energy and returns as much for the value of our money.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            @ Big Al.

            You want some supporting evidence that diesel is falling out of favor with fleets well here it is.

            http://freightlinerchassis.com/Walk-In-Van-Chassis/gas-chassis-2/menu-id-210.html

            After years of only offering diesel powered step van chassis Freightliner started offering a gas powered version to stem the loss of market share to Ford and Workhorse who have always offered gas versions.

            http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2011/03/ford-debuts-gasoline-powered-f-650-medium-duty-work-truck.html/

            Ford brought back gas power in their MD trucks because customers asked for it as they were looking for the lowest overall cost of ownership.

            If you are looking for facts about emissions levels here are the comparisons of the standards for HD diesel and gas powered vehicles. You can see that they are now the same while before 2007 diesel engines were not regulated on other than exhaust opacity.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    @DiM
    WTF?

    Are you a retard?

    Have a read and COMPREHEND your own US EPA site.

    Look at the whole US vehicle market and it’s makeup.

    Then look at he French vehicle market and makeup.

    Similar, but yet polarising.

    Why? Because the French want diesels? No. Controls and regulations lent the French towards what they drive.

    The same for the US, actually any country.

    It’s vehicle regulations with economic factors that have the biggest impact on a particular country’s vehicle culture.

    That’s why in poor nations motor vehicles are not as safe and fewer. Because of regulatory and economic factors dictating what they drive.

    An American baby isn’t born with ‘I will buy a full size half ton when I grow older embedded in their melon’. The same goes for a French baby, they aren’t born with the ‘I’ll buy a tiny diesel powered car’.

    You depth of cognitive ability is quite marginal. Did someone smack you in the head hard when you were younger?

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      @BAF0 – What are you, stup!d? There would be a diesel in every US driveway if that’s what Americans wanted. And yeah that’s what we’d “want” if we were forced to have the smallest possible engine (displacement), with the most possible power. And it’d be working at least 2X as hard.

      The problem is we’re FREE to chose. Gas, diesel, hybrid, CNG, EV, etc. Given wide open leeway, for light vehicles, gas engines will always win. Simple fact, Stupido!!!

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @DiM
        What drives want? Re-read what I wrote.

        The reason French drive lots of diesel is because they can afford them and regulatory controls lead them in that direction through economics.

        But, because the cost of diesel costs are high and other regulatory controls in France they drive small cars.

        In the US it’s gasoline that’s cheaper than diesel and diesel regulations make it more expensive to market a diesel vehicle.

        As I stated Australian regulations are somewhere in the middle between the US and France. So, it become economical for us to drive midsize SUVs and pickups in diesel.

        The US it becomes economical to drive HDs and up in diesel.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          @BAF0 – I don’t know what makes you think we can’t afford diesels. We can afford a lot of things just fine, if that’s what we want. Or why aren’t we all driving stripper, crank windows Corollas???

          Thing is we don’t want diesels. Get that thru your thick head. Write it down before you forget… The US government doesn’t encourage or force diesel engines on us, it’s true. And that’s the way we like it. This isn’t France! The market has spoken. Sorry if YOU don’t like it. But it is what it is…

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @DenverMike – “Free to chose” ……… as free as any sheep in a pasture to eat the blades of grass they chose to eat.

            But what about that fence around the pasture?

          • 0 avatar
            3800FAN

            BAFO is a typical diesel fanboy…totally ignoring the truth to justify the fact that he wasted a shitload of $$$ on diesel while being totally ignorant of hybrids, gasoline, and the truth about diesel engines, air quality laws and economics in general.

            OH did you know that PBS is in on it too? Thomas and Friends brainwashes kids to think diesel is evil…. CONSPIRACY!!!

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @3800FAN
            Have a read, trust me soon governments globally will require gasoline engines to have particulate filters.

            In 2021 the US EPA regulations will require vehicles (diesel and gasoline) not to emit more than 3 milligrams per mile, it’s currently 10 milligrams per mile.

            http://europe.autonews.com/article/20131128/ANE/131129865/new-gasoline-engines-emit-1000-times-more-particles-than-predecessors-

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @DiM
            One, you were the one stating that no one in the US will pay the additional costs of buying a diesel. And now you state the opposite.

            This is what happens when you lack sincerity. You forget what you’re argument is.

            Two, The biggest reason for the lack of small diesels in the US is due to regulatory constraints and a bias towards gasoline.

            As I stated look at the vehicle makeup in the US and compare it to the French. Two similar, but yet polarising biases.

            You do have some form of mental challenges. Especially when you can’t grasp such simple concepts.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @BAFO – So it’s our lack of overreaching regulations that you call “US regulations and bias”??? Wtf?

            Otherwise, what are all these “regulatory restraints and bias towards gasoline” you speak of?

            Don’t you mean as in WE’RE FREE TO CHOOSE without the government pushing tiny (displacement) engines, which inevitably leads to diesels?

            But it’s not just the upfront costs of diesels that Americans widely reject them. It’s part of it, but I did not say it was the only reason.

            Like how much MORE would YOU be willing to pay for the car dealer to take out gun and shoot you in the foot? Thousands more???

            No, you don’t want it either way. Neither do we…

          • 0 avatar
            OliverTwist

            Free to choose? Why do the Americans have fewer brands, models, motors, and gearboxes to choose than Europeans or Australians?

            Seriously, the American market is very restrictive and borders on the protectionism. EPA insisted on separate extortion money to certify each and every motor and gearbox combination in each and every model. Ditto for NHTSA.

            One guy put this statement nicely: “The catch is European countries will allow people to go buy a new car overseas, privately import it, and register it for use on the roads. So, theoretically, ANY new car, on sale ANYWHERE in the world is available to a customer in Europe if they’re willing to put up with the hassle and expense of a long-distance purchase deal and shipping.

            “Here in the United States, if the NHTSA hasn’t crashed the thing 30 times and individually tested every component and nut and bolt and the EPA hasn’t run it in a lab with every possible drivetrain combination, left it in the desert for a few months, and given it a rectal exam for good measure, we have to wait 25 years before we can do a private import.

            “Our market is essentially closed, theirs isn’t. There also are any number of specialty dealerships that bring over the more desirable American-only models for European buyers willing to pay a healthy markup for hassle free shopping, but it would be totally illegal for an enterprising entrepreneur in the States to set up shop importing DS3s or C6s.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “Why do the Americans have fewer brands, models, motors, and gearboxes to choose than Europeans or Australians?”

            Americans pay lower prices. I would suggest that you type “the law of supply” into a search engine and learn how supply varies based upon willingness to pay.

            In any case, there isn’t much demand in the US for manual transmissions, low displacement motors or diesels. Not much reason for VW to offer a 1.4-liter manual transmission Polo in the US when virtually nobody would buy it.

            The “variety” that one often finds abroad reflect compromises that are offered to those who can’t afford to buy the higher-end model that gets shipped to the States yet sold for less.

            The sticker price (before tax) of a 316i in Germany is higher than the MSRP of a 320i in the US. That’s not the kind of variety that we would possibly want.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @OliverTwist – “More Choices” means nothing if it’s just more of the same. As long you’re a fan of disposable small cars with tiny engines, then yeah.

            But most Europeans and Aussies still stick to the mainstream brands regardless of “choices”. Americans would do the same, given every brand choice in the world.

            Americans aren’t exactly oppressed by not having access to your brown diesel compact station wagons with the manual trans.

            Most of your ‘grey market’ imports are US fullsize pickups, mid-size SUVs and muscle/pony/sports cars. These are ‘mainstream’ here. And that should tell you something.

            And don’t forget Europe is the most protected market in the world. We already have most of what’s made there and mainstream.

            We had a ‘grey market’ once, and the only thing Americans bothered importing were a few extremely limited production, German luxury cars and Japanese sports cars. If they were ‘normal’ production, they would have been imported by their OEMs.

            But what’s missing from America that wouldn’t be redundant? Or extremely niche? You wouldn’t bother importing a Chrysler 200 into England. And you won’t see Americans crying for Peugeots, Renaults and the like.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Pch101
            We will go back to the same old argument.

            “It must be better in a developing nation because the cost of goods are cheaper”.

            You just can’t do direct currency conversions when it suits you in one argument.

            Then in another use PPP to support other aspects of your argument.

            So how much is a global Ranger in the US or a VW Amarok? I bet it would be a damn sight more than what we pay for a F-350 in Australia.

            That’s right you can’t even drive a global Ranger on the road in the US, even though they are the safest pickup globally. Even safer than some of those luxury Euro marques you guys import.

            But, then again the quality of your diesel fuel is to low for them to operate.

            Yet you produce and export the very diesel they operate on.

            Come on Pch101. Why don’t you get off of your UAW bandwagon for once and use some logic.

  • avatar
    jimbob457

    Google National Hot Rod Diesel Association or maybe diesel dragster under videos.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    If one goes to ramtruck.ca website they have a calculator that shows the fuel savings of the Ram ecodiesel over competitors.

    If one considers the piss poor cargo capacity of the Ram 1500, one would be better off with a Ram Pentastar V6 gasser, Ford 3.7 or Chevy 4.3.
    These are the savings based on 20,000 km a year 55%city 45% highway.

    Ford F-150 3.7L V6

    $ 516

    Ford F-150 3.5L V6 EcoBoost

    $ 608

    Ford F-150 5.0L V8

    $ 1,041

    GM (Chevy / GMC 1500) EcoTec3 4.3L V6

    $ 395

    GM (Chevy / GMC 1500) EcoTec3 5.3L V8

    $ 588

    GM (Chevy / GMC 1500) EcoTec4 6.2L V8

    $ 1,440

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      Fueleconomy.gov will compare any vehicle against another. If you compare the Ram “Ecodiesel” against the 3.6 HFE (the one they heavily advertize the MPG of) the annual fuel savings are Zip, Zero Nada. Compared to the non HFE 3.6 the savings are $150 per year. That is based on regular selling for $3.67/gal and diesel running $3.95/gal which is a smaller spread than we typically average in my area. In my area that price spread is smaller than we see in the summer when it is at it’s lowest. In the winter we typically see a price spread of 15-20%. So the HFE would be cheaper and the regular 3.6 would have essentially the same fuel cost. Once you add the cost of DEF the diesel will cost more per mile for fuel related expenses.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Hmmm……Scoutdude,
        You claim you are a mechanic???

        Yet you are making a comparison of a Pentastar to a VM diesel???

        Boy, aren’t we envious of diesel or scared. Under normal driving I even bet the diesel will increase in mpg and the Pentastar drops.

        The EPA still doesn’t have a fair system of FE appraisal between the two yet. The US has a gasoline biased regulatory framework.

        Well, better hit the books, even if your information is correct (which it isn’t).

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          My facts are correct. You can go to fueleconomy.gov and select the vehicles to compare yourself if you don’t believe me. I used those two engines because it was in response to the posting about how the Ram diesel will save money vs the Chevy and Ford gas trucks. Comparing the gas vs diesel in the same vehicle gives a much better comparison than against another brand. Of course Chrysler wouldn’t dare compare the two as it would prove that the diesel is not worth spending the extra money on and they need to sell some of them to recoup the cost.

          The fuel economy estimates are just that estimates and real world experience will vary depending on how and where they are driven. If you go to fuelly.com you can check on some gas and diesel vehicles and you’ll find people that do better than the EPA estimate with gas, diesel and hybrid vehicles. You’ll also find people who do worse, sometimes much worse than those estimates with diesel, gas and hybrid vehicles.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Scoutdude
            It isn’t the facts that I’m debating. It’s the spin.

            Your commentary negated to state that the VM is a superior performing engine.

            I can make similar statements, ie, “Did you know a Pentastar V6 Ram isn’t as quick in a 0-60 test as a Hemi powered Ram?”

            So, which is the better? (not counting the fact that a Ram can only support it’s own weight plus 4 men).

            The difference here is the VM powered Ram achieves better FE than the Pentastar, can tow a lot more and out accelerate it.

            All this whilst using less fuel. Over 16% less fuel. So if a diesel was used in a Ram to produce the same performance as the Pentastar you would probably achieve over 20% better FE than a Pentastar.

            This is what you failed to tell.

            Telling a complete story for an argument must be complete. Not just pick what suits your argument.

            This is why most of us don’t like politicians. The put spin on an issue.

            Spin is displaying a lack of sincerity and integrity.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            No spin here your the diesel spin master around here and the one that reads spin into others posts.

            My original post was a reply to the fact that on the Canadian website Chrysler is comparing the fuel efficiency of the diesel to the competitor’s gas engines. I just provided the in house comparison that just so happens to show that if you are willing to drive a Dodge truck and your concern is economy the diesel is not the right choice.

            Yes the diesel can tow slightly more than the gas V6 and if you need to tow between 7,500 and 9,200 lbs the diesel has the advantage. Otherwise the HFE or standard V6 is the best choice. Unless you just like spending more to say you have a diesel and taking longer to get where you want to go.

            The diesel 0-60 time is 1~2 sec longer than the gas V6, depending on exact configurations, since the gas V6 makes about 25% Horsepower. Horsepower tells you how fast you can do work.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    The Ramtruck.ca website has mpg savings listed by the ecodiesel Ram.
    This is what it showed for a 55% city 45% highway split at 20,000 km per year:

    Ford F-150 3.7L V6 …$ 516

    Ford F-150 3.5L V6 EcoBoost…$ 608

    Ford F-150 5.0L V8…$ 1,041

    GM (Chevy / GMC 1500) EcoTec3 4.3L V6…$ 395

    GM (Chevy / GMC 1500) EcoTec3 5.3L V8…$ 588

    GM (Chevy / GMC 1500) EcoTec4 6.2L V8…$ 1,440

  • avatar
    volvo driver

    If anything the opposite is true here in California. Diesel prices has been extremely stable while gasoline has varied substantially. Need proof? Heres the price of regular unleaded in LA for the last 18 months.

    http://charts.gasbuddy.com/ch.gaschart?Country=Canada&Crude=f&Period=18&Areas=LosAngeles,,&Unit=US%20$/G

    Over the same time period I’ve been able to buy diesel fuel for between $3.60-$4/gallon. Maybe other markets are different but in California diesel makes a lot of sense.

    • 0 avatar
      3800FAN

      In MA gas has hovered between 3.40 and 3.70 while diesel has gone between 4 and 4.30. Why? It’s a cold climate for half the year and heating oil heats over half the homes.

      Also I know several jetta tdi drivers who’s fuel systems clogged with gelled diesel this past winter leaving them stranded. These were the current tdi model..they’re looking at trading them in for the 1.8T or dumping VWs.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @3800FAN – gelled diesel in Massachusetts?

        What was the coldest temperature that occurred there last winter??????????

        On a separate note:
        You do point out a flaw in the USA energy strategy – heating oil is an inefficient way to heat a home. Same can be said for wood. It would make more sense to develop infrastructure for natural gas.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          @Lou_BC
          He could be telling the truth as the US doesn’t have controls in place to protect the consumer regarding diesel specs for climatic conditions.

          The US ‘suggests’ what strategies an energy provider should use.

          The waxing of diesel in MA would indicate that the energy provider is the culprit.

          Here’s a good link to read.

          http://www.astm.org/Standards/D4539.htm

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      The seasonal variations in price are opposite for gas and diesel. Diesel prices go up in the winter as demand for heating fuel goes up and demand for motor fuel diesel goes up as trucking shipments go way up pre-Christmas, at least for those of us around ports that receive shipments from China.

      Demand for gas on the other hand hits its lowest in the winter and peaks in summer and prices tend to follow that change in demand.

      In the PNW that translates to diesel frequently topping 20% more expensive than regular in winter and dropping to about a 10% premium in summer.

  • avatar
    George Herbert

    Two reasons to consider diesel not addressed above -

    1. Gasoline is the poster child for poorly regulated toxic / carcinogenic substance.

    2. Diesel lasts a lot longer in storage, if you have a need to store fuel.

    2 is probably most important to farmers, the vanishing fraction of people living waaayyyy out away from civilization, and militaries, but isn’t completely discountable.

    1 is a huge deal. Gas would never pass current health regs for a consumer chemical. Getting it on your skin or breathing its fumes really are horrible ideas. Gas stations aren’t nearly good enough at keeping you away from it.

    I am not going to pretend I’m any sort of saint here – both my family cars are gas at the moment. But in the long term, someone’s going to make a big swing at gasoline on its toxicity, and it will stick.


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