QOTD: Can GM Be North America's Post-Volkswagen Diesel Answer?

qotd can gm be north americas post volkswagen diesel answer

We drove in and around the city in a 2017 GMC Canyon Duramax Diesel for 120 miles, then took a 180-mile journey to Prince Edward Island, and have since driven around that island 120 miles.

The result: 30.2 miles per gallon on the U.S. scale, a miserly 7.8 litres per 100 kilometres. It doesn’t hurt that, around these parts at the moment, diesel costs roughly $0.25 USD less per gallon versus regular.

The 2.8-liter four-cylinder under the hood of this GMC Canyon, with a paltry 181 horsepower but a stump-pulling 369 lb-ft of torque at just 2,000 rpm, is one of a handful of diesels General Motors has installed in U.S. market vehicles. The 6.6-liter Duramax V8 in heavy-duty pickup trucks is the one you hear rumble most often. But GM is also inserting the Cruze’s 240-lb-ft 1.6-liter turbodiesel into the third-gen Chevrolet Equinox and second-gen GMC Terrain.

With diesel engine offerings in two pickup truck lines, a compact car, and a pair of small SUVs, can General Motors — not Mazda, not Mercedes-Benz, not Skoda — be the North American diesel-lover’s answer now that Volkswagen committed its unclean diesel transgressions?

No, at least not in the sense that GM, like Volkswagen, will garner one-fifth of its U.S. sales volume — 50,000 vehicles per month — from its diesel-engined lineup.

No, at least not in the sense that GM will ignite a recognizably mainstream TDI-like brand, or rather two, with the established Duramax brand and subtle TD badging on non-Duramax diesels.

No, at least not in the sense that diesel engines will be pervasive across the lineup. Volkswagen didn’t offer North Americans a diesel option in the CC, Eos, and Tiguan, but diesel availability spread across a wide variety of trims in the majority of Volkswagen vehicles.

But can General Motors be the natural replacement location for buyers who’ve sold back their TDI-engined Volkswagens to Volkswagen?

Can General Motors, five years from now, be perceived as the place for America’s diesel lovers?

Can General Motors, the GM of ancient Oldsmobile V8 diesel infamy, now become the natural landing place for addicts of bladder-bursting cruising range?

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @timcaincars.

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  • Cdnsfan27 Cdnsfan27 on Apr 27, 2017

    Jaguar has a diesel in the XE, XF and F-Pace. The F-Pace diesel is selling well but the XE and XF not so much. The 2l diesel engine has 180HP and 316lb ft of torque.

    • RobertRyan RobertRyan on Apr 27, 2017

      @cdnsfan27 It is the new Integnum family. Seems to be a very good engine. They have larger capacity units in the pipeline. It will replace the V6 Diesel

  • Garrett Garrett on Apr 27, 2017

    I would actually consider the Camaro if the year dropped the 6.6L Duramax in it. 910 ft/lbs of torque.

  • Fred Where you going to build it? Even in Texas near Cat Springs they wanted to put up a country club for sport cars. People complained, mostly rich people who had weekend hobby farms. They said the noise would scare their cows. So they ended up in Dickinson, where they were more eager for development of any kind.
  • MaintenanceCosts I like the styling of this car inside and out, but not any of the powertrains. Give it the 4xe powertrain - or, better yet, a version of that powertrain with the 6-cylinder Hurricane - and I'd be very interested.
  • Daniel J I believe anyone, at any level, should get paid as much as the market will bear. Why should CEOs have capped salaries or compensation but middle management shouldn't? If companies support poor CEOs and poor CEOs keep getting rewarded, it's up to the consumer and investors to force that company to either get a better CEO or to reduce the salary of that CEO. What I find hilarious is that consumers will continue to support companies where the pay for the CEOs is very high. And the same people complain. I stopped buying from Amazon during the pandemic. Everyone happily buys from them but the CEO makes bank. Same way with Walmart and many other retailers. Tim Cook got 100m in compensation last year yet people line up to buy Iphones. People who complain and still buy the products must not really care that much.
  • TDIGuy Glad to see this discussion come up just as my Facebook is being flooded with ads for a race track event coming up near Toronto. Seems to be billed as a chance to see a lot of exotic cars, but also watch various categories of cars on the race track. This is the kind of event that might generate some interest in getting on the track.Sorry for lack of detail, but I'm not doing this in attempt to spam, but more to show there are attempts being made to increase interest. That said, someone made the point that there are less and less people out there with something that could be driven on a race track (i.e. a car), so it does leave it to the grass roots type of racers to keep this going.
  • DedBull The more opportunities you present people with legal means to enjoy their hobbies, the less they are tempted to do those activities illegally. The challenge becomes making a business case out of the resulting facility. We have to be vigilant in preserving the facilities we have, as well as exploring options to expand when available.