Survey Finds 30 Percent Take Rate For US-Market Diesels

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
survey finds 30 percent take rate for us market diesels

A study by Bosch, using R.L. Polk registration data [via GreenCarCongress], finds that fears of a diesel crash in the US might be overblown. The study found that vehicles offering diesel powertrains as an option recorded 30 percent diesel take levels. By comparison, ten percent or fewer chose hybrid versions of the Camry and Escape, although volumes of those vehicles are higher than the exclusively German nameplates that offer diesel options. In any case, these take numbers are certainly higher than the market had predicted. The diesel take rates by model are:

  • Audi A3 TDI: 20%
  • Audi Q7 TDI: 30%
  • BMW 335d: 8%
  • BMW X5 xDrive x35d: 17%
  • Mercedes-Benz GL 350 BlueTEC: 18%
  • Mercedes-Benz ML 350 BlueTEC: 13%
  • Mercedes-Benz R 350 BlueTEC: 12%
  • VW Jetta TDI (Sedan and Sportwagen): 49%+
  • Volkswagen Touareg TDI: 33%
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  • Dimwit Dimwit on May 11, 2010

    That list, except for the VW's, represents the higher end of the market where gas prices aren't as big of a deal. The mpg of a BMW or MB isn't high on the list of attributes that people are looking for. Those that ARE looking at mileage are looking at Hondas, Toyotas and the like and will cross-shop a Jetta. Apples and oranges and the stats reflect that.

  • Wallstreet Wallstreet on May 11, 2010

    I love the 335d. What hybrid will provide 40mpg on highway and still deliver 425 ft/lb torque?

    • See 1 previous
    • Wallstreet Wallstreet on May 12, 2010

      I believe you are referring to GS450h (GS400h is not available where I live) which does cost $12,000 + more than 335d. You do have a point on city driving, but most of my daily commute (40 miles) are going against the traffic on the highway. I get an average of 43 mpg and that is driving at 70 - 75 m/hr.

  • R H R H on May 12, 2010

    I LOVE the idea of having a diesel as does the wife, but vw's just have too many bad stories. A guy at work has a 7 year old one that COMPLETELY fell apart...but the engine still works great. He ended up selling it as repairs for the non-engine parts cost more than the car was worth. This last week or two I went to see an aunt & uncle who LOVE their camry hybrid and boasted that going to chicago it got 40mpg in the real world on their trip! Our kia spectra ex rental, with a little careful driving averaged in the mid 30's going up & down hills & low 30's on flat ground with an anemic engine & 4 speed slushbox. I did do 2-3 tanks > 37mpg. Comfort/space wise it was great for us. Throw a cooler in the back seat with soda & water, and had room for several backpacks. Our luggage went in the trunk. IF I could get something that was 20-25k, had some OK options (powered mirrors/windows/locks, heat/ac are pretty much enough) and highway epa'd at 40+ and could last me 200k miles and had decent repair costs I'd snag one. Right now I think the closest thing might be the fiesta...but it isn't diesel but I think meets pretty much all the other criteria. Being a family of 2 gives us a lot of flexibility in car size.

  • Gorluc Gorluc on May 12, 2010

    Those % numbers for Audi A3 are totally incorrect. According to the sales figures for the past 2-3 months, A3 TDI take around 55% of overall sales for A3. Check it out under . The numbers could be even better if Audi would reease more TDI engines ... apparently with weak US$ they were not profiting as much as they would like to. today (05/11) US$ is gaining against EUR and that would offset "losses". In addition, the way the car makers see this issue is a bit different than what we see. They would like to steal the customers from competitors and do not re-shuffle its own market. Typicall example was for MB GL vs. ML. When GL came to the market, the majority of the GL buyers were previous ML owners. Only few years later, GL gained the numbers by lurring the customers from other companies. 3rd reason why we do not see more clean diesels (in my opinion), is that car companies still see diesel engine as entry level engine. Having said that, there is a possibility that diesel engine would kill gas entry engine e.g. A3 2.0T vs. A3 TDI. A3 proove that to be wrong theory. But nobody wants to take bet on that as they often say "one swallow does not make spring" . . . At the end, the real issue is that apart from Germans no other car maker has "fine tuned" diesel engines that would fit USA standards. Getting one on road is around 500 MIL$ . . . and that does not pay off. I bet that if Hyundai, Honda or Toyota come with their Eruopean diesel engines in US cars, they would hammer the Germans . . .

    • Pete Zaitcev Pete Zaitcev on May 12, 2010

      Honda? The weird thing about them, they can make an amazing jet engine that blows Williamses out the water and yet they cannot make a diesel. What gives? Toyota? Consumers are crying for a diesel Tundra since forever. No sign of any change thus far.