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



  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,678
    Diesel PU trucks are all that are used in the Arctic. Gas engines do not last long when left idling for 10 hours. You just have to plug them in as you would a gas engine car in REAL cold climate. The only fuel we got was number one diesel. That prevented any gelling issues. It did not get great mileage. Still much better than the one POC gas truck our company bought back in the 1980s. The diesels that gave us the most trouble were the newer Ford Powerstroke engines. They had so much smog crap they were always needing this or that sensor replaced. The older Powerstroke diesels ran great. Only about 1 out of 50 was a GM diesel. And I only remember seeing one Dodge in 25 years up there.

    If I find a clean 1995 or older Ford Powerstroke I will buy it to replace this gas guzzling Ford Ranger.
  • 1stpik1stpik Posts: 495
    It would take cheap diesel fuel for me to buy a diesel car.

    Why would the average consumer buy a car that gets 20% better mpg than a gasoline car, only to pay 20% more for the fuel?
  • Bad as that sounds, diesel prices WERE in the $5.30 range in California (SF Bay Area) not so very long ago.

    So fuel price is your sole motivator for choosing/not choosing a diesel car in the future?
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669
    If you had a gasoline Jetta getting 29 MPG and a diesel Jetta getting 44 MPG

    This is the kind of false comparison I keep seeing all over the place. Right now people are comparing diesel Jettas to gas Jettas because Jetta is the only diesel game in town. But the reality is a lot of people are just looking for something, anything, that will get their fuel costs down, and the gas Jetta was never in their radar sights at all.

    They can get mid- to high-30s in some of the most economical Japanese cars, or they can spend $5K more to buy a gas Jetta and pull mid-40s. Or they can spend the extra $5K and buy a Prius and do mid- to high-40s, and not hunt around for stations that sell diesel.

    A guy in my complex has a Dodge heavy-duty diesel that rattles all the windows and wakes everyone up every time he starts it and drives out. I know the new diesels in passenger cars don't make as much noise, but they are not as quiet as gas engines either.

    With all that said, I would buy diesel if someone would offer it in a sub-$20K car making at least 50 mpg (combined average) and with a stick shift. I am not fond of the power profiles of diesels - I like gassers with high redlines that pull harder and harder all the way there - but I WILL buy whatever reduces my combined initial outlay and ongoing fuel costs the most. The Jetta diesel aint it. I am pulling almost 42 mpg in my gas Echo, and I have several friends tracking their mileage that average more than 50 mpg in their Priuses. And that's now officially the OLD Prius - the one due next year is supposed to boost mileage by 10% or more while being more powerful at the same time (a controversial choice on Toyota's part if you ask me - I would have shot for the same power and all the improvement going to boosting fuel economy).

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

  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Shiftright says, "So fuel price is your sole motivator for choosing/not choosing a diesel car in the future?"

    I just posted that for the people who were doubting that diesel was a good deal right now or not. It still is.

    As far as me personally? I most likely would only buy a 5-passenger 4-door diesel/hybrid. That's the only diesel that would outperform my TCH and still have all the creature comforts and still make financial sense to trade for.

    And it's because almost all my driving is City driving. If I drove 15K miles a year on the highway, I would try to buy a clean diesel Jetta or Passat.
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,919
    hunt around for stations that sell diesel

    Finding stations that sell diesel really isn't that hard anymore is it?
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    That comparison is good mostly for people who are considering WHICH Jetta to buy. At some point, if the diesel prices get high enough over regular unleaded, then even the Jetta Diesel does not make sense for he group of Jetta shoppers. That's not likely to happen though.
  • It's not "hard" to find diesel fuel, but it is "inconvenient". The green hose or the "diesel" sign is not always easy to spot, and sometimes you have to make false passes into 3 or 4 stations. And if the station has one diesel pump and an RV or dually is sucking on it, you could be waiting quite a while.

    Also diesel spills don't evaporate as easily as gasoline, so you can get the stuff on the bottom of your shoes.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669
    I am with you there: for people shopping for a Jetta, the diesel probably makes sense vs the gas in terms of fuel costs over the life of the car. Assuming dealers aren't marking them way up (I have no idea if dealers are asking over sticker for diesel Jettas. You can get a gas model at invoice all day long).

    Steve: there is no diesel for sale in my town at all, which comprises maybe 8 gas stations. However, in the places I normally go at least once every few days there are some places I could buy diesel, so the thing for me would be to just plan ahead.

    I was just out on I-5 this weekend headed to LA, and out there it seems diesel is available at most places there is gas.

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

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669
    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.
  • No diesel in my town either. 3 stations.
  • 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: 12,669
    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)

  • 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.
  • 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: 12,669
    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.
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