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What Would It Take for YOU to buy a diesel car?

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  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    in the next town over there was an incident where the guy who came to fill the underground gas tanks put diesel in there instead and like ten people filled up before they realized what had happened. They all had to have their tanks and fuel systems drained and cleaned.

    The station sells both diesel and gasoline. Seems to me such a mix-up would not have occurred if the guy had only been delivering gasoline. Just one more reason I like to gas up at stations selling only gas, and one more potential headache to worry about if I had a diesel - getting the right fuel. A small worry, I know, but one I don't have with a gas-powered car.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    Well okay then -- could you suggest to the manufacturer of the car you like, what type of diesel car from their factory you WOULD buy?

    As long as mpg squared up with the manufacturers gasoline counterpart in true cost, I wouldn't have a problem buying diesel. If offered, I would would be interested in a diesel Buick LaCrosse, Nissan Altima, a Chevy Impala or Malibu... maybe a Ford Fusion.
  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    there is no diesel for sale in my town at all, which comprises maybe 8 gas stations.

    That's just bizarre. I can count the number of places that *don't* sell diesel on one hand, and I know of a few that have a separate pump for off-road diesel (it's off by itself, so the temptation to cheat is minimized).

    As for the price thing, 87 is $3.65ish while diesel is $4.50ish at the moment (23% higher), so the fuel cost advantage versus a 25 mpg car would go to diesel at anything over 31 mpg.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,529
    No diesel in my town either. 3 stations.

    MODERATOR

  • morey000morey000 Posts: 320
    wow- I never knew that was such a problem. In Tucson, at least on my side of town, *every* gas station sells diesel. There are a lot of 'rancher' pick-up trucks in the area.

    What this country needs, however, is hydrogen fueling stations. For $10B, we could have all the hydrogen production and filling stations we need so that we could buy fuel cell vehicles. And, if you think this is pie in the sky- GM has made their Chevy Equinox fuel cell vehicle and the review on this site indicated that it required no compromise. i.e. it drove just like a RUG fueled vehicle.

    Oh, $10B is one month in Iraq.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    stations selling diesel are a lot less common in California and the other states following California emissions standards. Here we have only had very limited availabilty of diesel-powered vehicles for many a moon now, so it would be natural for less stations to sell it.

    I believe Shifty is also in California....?

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,529
    Yes I am. But California is a HUGE car market.

    Diesel is no problem on any route in California where heavy trucks are commonly found.

    MODERATOR

  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    ...the price discrepancy between like models. Sure, you can get a high mileage gas vehicle right now - Yaris, Fit, etc. They're a bit small for my taste, and they're a bit, well, not nice to look at (again, based on my taste).

    So, if I can find a diesel model that isn't exorbitantly priced compared to an equally equipped gas model (say $500 to $1,000) AND the cost per mile works out in my favor, then I'd consider it.

    I keep a car ten years - I don't especially worry about resale value, so I'm not likely to consider the train of thought that I'll get the price difference when I sell the car.

    If the cost per mile is such that I can recoup the price differential in about three years, I'd give serious consideration. Right now, the Jetta TDI wagon is looking attractive to me. Wished my crystal ball could see what the price difference between the various fuel types is going to be during the next ten years.... :confuse:

    BTW, two of the four stations near me have diesel. I don't see refueling as an issue.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    Wished my crystal ball could see what the price difference between the various fuel types is going to be during the next ten years.

    That's a problem with diesel: it is too dependent on the same oil that all those folks east of the Mississippi use to heat their homes, so price fluctuations are more dramatic and less predictable than gasoline. An extra cold winter can cause those prices to go sky-high, and diesel is impacted also.

    The price of gas is now dropping as the "summer driving season" is nearing its end (Labor Day is only 3 weeks out folks!), but the diesel will tend to go up as winter nears, and with it already being $0.50 or more above regular unleaded, imagine how much the diferential could be by Christmas!

    We really need some diesel-powered cars that can achieve real-world mileage of 60 mpg or more. I don't follow diesels too closely, but as I understand it there are diesels in other parts of the world (small cars mainly) that can meet that standard. At 60 mpg, one is relatively immune from diesel price fluctuations, I think, even vs a hybrid.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    On the plus side, though, diesel seems to be the fuel that can most easily be distilled from other sources, and without the downside of loss of mileage like what adding ethanol to gasoline does.
  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    ...the price discrepancy between like models

    Caught a "Autoweek"(?) program on t.v the other day. They compared a Mercedes diesel with Mercedes gasoline engine. The diesel was less costly to buy, own and operate over a period of 5 years.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,202
    As others have already observed, the big increase in diesel over gas has changed the equations quite a bit.

    However, I would buy a diesel NOW if it was in a car I could afford and actually wanted. I want an E320 cdi, but can't afford it. I don't want a Jetta ... or anything from VW at the moment. Hmmmm.... maybe a Jetta TDI with quattro. I just don't want FWD.

    Anyway, IF I could afford the Benz, according to the widget, I would save $239.58/year in fuel, using the current prices down the street from me at my regular Hess station. That, however, is comparing to regular. The E350 uses premium. But I'll let that slide for now, as I COULD use RUG in the E350 and suffer the consequences. At a $1k premium for the diesel engine option, I'm just about even in 4 years. I would do it. Basically, on a 5-year finance, you are looking at saving money on fuel. Not to mention the added benefit of stopping less to refuel.

    I'd like to see a C-class diesel to at least get more in my financial ballpark. Even better would be a BMW 120 hatchback.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • and affordable. I'm even willing to pay a small price premium on the purchase, and I don't believe that the current price differential between RUG and Diesel is a real problem, in percentage terms.

    My only issue is that the only affordable diesel car soon to be available is the Jetta, and I've not yet warmed up to the thought of relying on a VW dealer service dept. The long waiting lists that dealers already have for these cars gives me reason to try and hold off and see when Acura, Honda, Subaru, and Nissan decide to produce their diesel models, and what their sales prices will be.
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,749
    " but I WILL buy whatever reduces my combined initial outlay and ongoing fuel costs the most."

    That was only a half truth. You already admitted if it didn't come with a manual you weren't interested in another thread. :surprise:

    But in this case I agree with you. A 43 MPG Jetta is not going to impress anyone that has a 45 MPG Hybrid. It won't even impress anyone that has a 40 MPG Civic or Yaris. First the Jetta would cost you more out the door and then in is another 75 cents a gallon at the pump. The new super low sulphur diesel will be even more expensive. When it was 11 MPG in a Pickup or SUV and 20 MPG with a diesel that seemed worth it even if it cost more to buy out the door. what I would expect is about 30 percent better fuel mileage that what I can get from a gas rig or why bother? I like diesel trucks and SUVs and if they made a diesel that got the same mileage as the old Rabbit diesel they would be in the ball park. I commuted with a man who had one and we got 49 MPG day in and day out.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,897
    Most of the cars I would be interested in aren't offered in diesel.

    In a cruel twist of fate, the type of car I tend to prefer used to be offered with a Diesel...intermediate and full-sized RWD cars from the late 70's and early 80's. But alas, we all know how that turned out. :sick:

    I wonder how hard it would be to get a DuraMax into an '83 Parisienne? Or a Cummins into a St. Regis? Or heck, even a PowerStroke into a Crown Vic? :shades:
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    That was only a half truth. You already admitted if it didn't come with a manual you weren't interested in another thread

    Yes, but so far non-luxury diesel models come with a stick, and I'm certainly not going to be buying a luxury car.

    The new super low sulphur diesel will be even more expensive

    We have had ULSD here in California for two years. I don't think prices will be going up in YOUR neck of the woods. ;-)

    So what did they do wrong with the new Jetta diesel anyway? I have heard fables around here of mid-50s being routine mileage in a Jetta diesel. Did they power up too much with the new model and lose their edge over hybrids? From mid-50s to mid-40s is a big step backwards in the era of $4 fuel...

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • 1stpik1stpik Posts: 495
    "If you had a gasoline Jetta getting 29 MPG and a diesel Jetta getting 44 MPG..."

    Those numbers are wrong. The gasoline Jetta gets a combined 25 mpg. The diesel gets a combined 33 mpg.

    The difference is only 8 mpg, not 15.

    http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    There is some contronversy around this. I guess some TDI fans got together when they saw the EPA ratings come out so low, and retested the car using the old methodology or something. Anyway, they got 38/45.

    Knowing how my driving relates to the EPA ratings, I suspect I would do about 29 mpg in the gas Jetta and about 44 in the diesel, so that sounded pretty right on to me. I might do a point or two better than each rating, but the ratio would be about the same.

    Correction to report: I did a tour of the town tonight looking for diesel pumps, and did find one station, a 76, with diesel. The other 7 are, as I thought, diesel-less. I should have noted the price for diesel at that 76, but alas I forgot. There is a Safeway gas staion just about to open up, less than a week out, that is also going to sell diesel, so then we will be 2 for 9 stations on our diesel sell ratio in my town. :-)

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,891
    Actually VW complained to the EPA about their flawed system and had an independent testing company test the new VW TDI. The 44 MPG is the highway rating that AMCI gave them. From the VW website they are advertising the more accurate rating along with the EPA rating. That is a bold move and may give other automakers the incentive to buck the EPA. In this case it will cost the VW TDI buyer hundreds of dollars they should be getting on the tax credit. Of course there are people here that believe the EPA is honest. We just adamantly disagree. The mileage improvement is greater than the Camry hybrid so it should be at least $2600 instead of the $1300 the EPA test allows for.

    While the Environmental Protection Agency estimates the Jetta TDI at an economical 29 mpg city and 40 mpg highway, Volkswagen went a step further to show real world fuel economy of the Jetta TDI. Leading third-party certifier, AMCI, tested the Jetta TDI and found it performed 24 percent better in real world conditions, achieving 38 mpg in the city and 44 mpg on the highway.*

    http://www.vw.com/vwbuzz/browse/en/us/detail/Volkswagen_s_Clean_Diesels_eligibil- e_for_alternative_motor_vehicle_Federal_Tax_Credit/225
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    Using those numbers as a basis, the Jetta TDI is going to use about 20% less fuel than the best small gas-powered cars on the market. But it's going to cost at least 30%, or around $5000, more to buy.

    If you drive a lot (17,500 miles per year), you will be spending just about $2000/year on gas right now in your Civic or Corolla, a little less perhaps in your Yaris or Mini Cooper. So you would save less than $400/year going with the diesel ("less than", because diesel costs more than 87 unleaded), making the "payoff" (a popular term from the folks who don't think much of hybrids) around 12 years going with the VW.

    Of course, "payoff" comes in the form of other non-financial things too - a slightly bigger car, a perhaps nicer car depending on one's POV. For me it also comes with the downside of having to plan ahead for every fuel purchase, due to the dearth of diesel pumps in my town.

    Now if we could get some diesels here that do much better than the Jetta in saving fuel, I would be more interested. I honestly want a real-world combined 60 mpg, and from what I hear, such a thing does exist in other parts of the world, right now.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,891
    I honestly want a real-world combined 60 mpg, and from what I hear, such a thing does exist in other parts of the world, right now.

    I think that is about what the VW Polo TDI gets. If I spent nearly as much time in a vehicle as you, I would have to have more luxury than you seem happy with. I could drive a Yaris/Fit the 3 miles to the store and not be unhappy. Driving the 30 miles into San Diego would be a real chore for me.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    "Payoff" and "Payback" are severely misused terms when used in regard to automobile expenditures.

    No car "pays" anyone back. All cars lose market value almost daily, and are a consumable resource, not an investment.

    You can claim "payback" because you are saving fuel money after 5 years or whatever, but you did have a car payment or an initial outlay of cash, paying for a vehicle which is losing value while you are paying it off.

    As any general rule, there are slight exceptions in regard to "hot cars" and "rare cars" and "collector cars" but in general terms, no "daily driver" car does anything but COST you money.

    There is no daily driver anywhere which at the end of 10 years would have "paid you back" more than you spent on buying it, insuring it, fueling it, and maintaining it. Owning and operating a car is a money-losing venture.
  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    Driving the 30 miles into San Diego would be a real chore for me.

    Bah, 30 miles is a trip to Wal-mart for me. If you have some sort of medical condition, I can understand that, but otherwise the quote about the Duke of Alba and men of butter is coming to mind. :P
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    I don't think there's any comparison bwtween an Yaris and a Jetta, either in comfort, trim levels, size, perhaps safety, etc. They're simply in different size categories. If I'm following your line, then a Vespa is the winner.
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,749
    "So you would save less than $400/year going with the diesel ("less than", because diesel costs more than 87 unleaded), making the "payoff" (a popular term from the folks who don't think much of hybrids) around 12 years going with the VW."

    That always makes me smile. Not how long it would take but trying to imagine a VW running for 12 years. I am sure the engine would last but the rest of the car isn't likely to. Not with what any longevity study ever says about VWs. And not with my experience. Like I said the old Rabbit Diesel got great fuel mileage. But the car was a bucket of bolts.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,891
    Bah, 30 miles is a trip to Wal-mart for me.

    Being a truck person I like the ease of entry and exit. Our Lexus is a strain in the back getting in and out. Nothing serious just not comfortable. My question is WHY would you want to be uncomfortable if you can afford otherwise? I'm cheap, but still like some level of comfort. I don't turn on the air in the house till it passes 80 which it rarely does. Frugality is one thing. Being cramped in a small less than safe car goes beyond that for me. There is no way that the 5 stars on a Civic will hold up against the 4 stars on an F150 PU truck. There are more PU trucks running around here than there are Civics. BY FAR....

    I am very much thinking about a X5 diesel when they arrive this year. Great safety and an easy 30 MPG on the highway will be reason enough.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Gary says, " There is no way that the 5 stars on a Civic will hold up against the 4 stars on an F150 PU truck."

    I guess you are talking only about a "highway speed head-on collision" which is one of the most rare types of wrecks. And yes, in THAT one type of collision the Civic would lose badly.

    But in every OTHER kind of wreck, a Civic will do just fine.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,529
    One of the original, most desirable characteristics of the Mercedes diesels of the 300 series was that you could enjoy big car luxury at small car fuel prices.

    This still makes the most sense to me for diesel cars in America.

    I think there are many Americans who would buy a diesel but simply will not drive a Yaris-sized car under any circumstances. They'd take a bus before they'd do that.

    CORRECTION: There is a diesel pump in my town! The bad news? It's $5.34 a gallon, and the same station is selling 87 octane gas at $4.11.

    MODERATOR

  • 1stpik1stpik Posts: 495
    Plus, diesel smells bad.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,897
    I could drive a Yaris/Fit the 3 miles to the store and not be unhappy. Driving the 30 miles into San Diego would be a real chore for me.

    I know the feeling. I call my uncle's '03 Corolla a "Ten Minute Car". As in, that's about the longest I can comfortably stand it for. Now I have driven it to PA twice, about 115 miles away. And I took my Grandmother down to see my Mom for Mother's day back in 2007 in it. That was about 55 miles. So yes, I could tolerate it. But "tolerate" and "be comfortable" are not exactly synonyms!

    Oddly though, it's not a bad car to ride in, as a front seat passenger. Maybe because as a passenger I'm just sitting there, feet on the floor, whereas with the driver the pedals are taking up a few inches of legroom, plus I have to dodge the steering column with my knee when I take my foot from the gas pedal to the brake pedal.

    It's also not a bad car for entry and exit. It just sucks if you have long legs and prefer a driving position where you can stretch out.
  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    The seating height thing I can understand. Some folks just aren't flexible enough to get by without a high chair.

    As for comfort, the only thing I don't like about most non-sporty subcompacts is that the seats aren't firm enough and generally poorly bolstered (the smart is a welcome exception in both areas). I found that a beaded seat cushion was enough to alleviate the first problem.

    The crash thing is a personal perception, and I don't think it's worth only breaking my arm versus my arm and my ribcage in a (very unlikely here) side collision, to have to put up with the myriad shortcomings of larger vehicles every day for six or seven years.

    The diesel subcompact would weigh more than the gas car, though.
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