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

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Comments

  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,756
    Like Honda, Mazda STILL has no diesel on the US market. :lemon:
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,567
    Hopefully the diesel will trickle down. I like the engines, but really don't want it in something even the size of a 6. Just a C350 or even C250 diesel has more appeal to me than an E350.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    edited November 2012
    The 6 did get too big. The last one got all swoopy so you had to duck to get in. This one seems better designed, but still big.

    The CX5 and Mazda3 are the volume segments where they can offer a diesel and sell in big numbers, potentially. MazdaSpeed3D would be fun. :shades:

    I wonder if they'll even keep the Mazda5 long enough to get a diesel. That's been a tough segment here in the US (Mazda5, Rondo, C Max, Prius V are all low volume).

    Edit: saw a Corolla Verso (tall wagon) with diplomatic plates this morning.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,567
    A 3 diesel would be good - fast and lighter, so better economy. That's what I would look for. I don't want anything bigger than the E55, and today these "family sized" cars are pushing it.

    Speaking of Toyota tall wagon, reminds me of something in Germany - Toyota Picnic. Ghastly unsightly tall wagon usually driven by the slow and oblivious.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Had to look that up, hadn't even ever heard of it. Not for sale in Brazil. Looks about the size of the old Zafira from GM.

    Don't complain when it goes away and gets replaced with Toyota's 17th crossover model. :D
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,567
    Fine with me, as long as it makes the inept easy to spot. They move from dopey tall wagons to dopey CUVs. :shades:
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,891
    Toyota has very little sense of aesthetics when it comes to vehicle design.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,429
    Surprised that article about the Mazda seemed to forget that Toyota sold a diesel Camry here in the 80's. They even had an awd Camry.

    Very happy so see the 6 diesel and glad it will have a stick shift (otherwise no sale for me). Pretty sure emissions won't be a problem as they are already saying it meets the standards without any urea additive. With 170+ hp and 300 ft/lbs of torque it should be peppy - especially since the word is it likes to rev like no other diesel - partly due to low compression.

    Now if they only put it in the wagon. My concern with the swoopy 4 door is the lack of rear headroom , which makes the back seat not so useful to me (3 tall sons). However since this will be a segment buster I will probably bite the bullet and get one anyway - kids can slouch in the back. Jetta SW is just too small, and don't really trust Passat, but it is a compelling vehicle.

    BTW the stick shift Honda diesel did pass emissions, just not the automatic.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,392
    If it was available in wagon form here, I'd consider it. As it's not, I'll keep tooling along with my current stable. :)
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,139
    Dan Neil stokes the fires over at the Wall St. Journal:

    "The diesel segment in America is essentially German air space.... Yes, the Germans have jumped in with both feet, and they have been rewarded with pretty flat demand, actually. Diesel market penetration in the U.S. hovers around 3%....

    Why is demand flat? One reason is the stubborn price premium on diesel fuel, which was running 15% higher than regular gasoline.... Whatever mileage advantages diesel vehicles offer are being largely zeroed out at the pump.

    The vehicles themselves carry a diesel [price] penalty. In order to recoup, in fuel savings, the additional outlay for the Cayenne Diesel you would have to own it for about 11.9 years."

    There's more, including some good stuff. But not much.

    A Porsche Cayenne for Diesel Fetishists Only

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  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,567
    edited December 2012
    That fuel price difference for the Cayenne or similar vehicles is flawed. A standard Cayenne requires premium no doubt. Diesel to premium prices are usually very close. I don't know if the author is careless, or is intending to be dramatic by deception?
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,139
    edited December 2012
    Premium unleaded required. Neil got his numbers from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. He goes off on AdBlue in the review too.

    Really, about the only thing he sort of likes is the highway range, "765 miles, give or take a small state."

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  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,891
    I don't see the price difference as important as the gas quality. I get much better mileage on RUG bought in AZ, CO and NM, than in CA. I did not see that kind of mileage loss with diesel bought across the same states. And now that the EPA is trying to mandate we all use E15 it is more imperative to own only diesel burning vehicles. AAA is trying to stop the EPA. But they are EVIL Dictators in our government.

    The AAA says the Environmental Protection Agency and gasoline retailers should halt the sale of E15, a new ethanol blend that could damage millions of vehicles and void car warranties.

    AAA, which issued its warning Friday, says just 12 million of more than 240 million cars, trucks and SUVs now in use have manufacturers' approval for E15. Flex-fuel vehicles, 2012 and newer General Motors vehicles, 2013 Fords and 2001 and later model Porsches are the exceptions, according to AAA, the nation's largest motorist group, with 53.5 million members.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    edited December 2012
    I have nothing against Dan; most of his reviews are spot on. Except maybe for the one a few months ago when he gave Mercedes kudos for lightening up the new SL550. Say what?? He thinks a 2 seater that still weighs two tons is worthy of an accolade, but thinks a 5 passenger diesel SUV that weighs 4,800 lbs is not?? HEY DAN, if you are listening, the 2-passenger SL550 that you like is only 750 lbs less than the 5 passenger Cayenne diesel, but a full 1,000+ lbs MORE than a 2+2 passenger 911. DUH.

    Back to his "applied" math failure. Part of the problem may be that he is using EPA estimates. The other part is that he appears to have a faulty calculator. Before buying an X5d, I did enough research among friends and colleagues to know that the real world mpg of diesels was relatively better than gas when compared to the EPA estimates. And, since buying, that has proven to be the case to an even greater degree than I had expected.

    We just filled up our X5d and MDX tanks last week after they were both driven in virtually identical conditions in mixed driving with a fairly heavy city emphasis. The MDX averaged 15.5 mpg. The X5d averaged 21.9 mpg.

    If I use those mpg numbers, with PUG at $3.75/gallon; ULSD at $4.00/gallon and assume 12,000 miles per year, the fuel savings is approximately $708. Knock it down to $650 for an ad blue fill-up, even though it's covered free by BMW for 50k miles.

    That would put a $3,900 premium in price at a 6 year payback. Obviously that will change depending upon driving conditions, etc. But there is no way that the real world number would EVER be 11-12 years ($350 / year) without something like diesel being $1.00 more than premium or the miles driven drop to 5k per year.

    I think Dan needs to recheck his HP12C calculator. AND get out there and do real journalistic research on what actual real-world fuel economies are on diesels compared to gas models. Our neighbor with an X5 3.5i was floored to hear our city biased 21.9 mpg. He has had his 2011 for 18 months, 12,000 miles and has an overall average of under 16, with pure city tankfuls going as low as 12-14. We are only 2,000 miles into our X5d, but even without any real highway trips other than the drive home from Spartanburg, are at an overall average of 23.1.

    Sorry Dan, 4,000 lbs for a 2-seat SL550 is obnoxious, your math is atrocious, and diesel SUV's are here to stay.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,139
    edited December 2012
    His reviews are usually entertaining - I think the failing here was comparing luxury SUV diesel fuel cost to regular gas instead of premium. His comment that diesel vehicles tend to cost more than their comparable gasser counterparts was more on point.

    Liked the commenter who wanted to know if the Cayenne diesel came with a Jake brake. :shades:

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  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,891
    That would put a $3,900 premium in price at a 6 year payback.

    The diesel naysayers never calculate the resale value of the diesel vs gasser.

    diesel SUV's are here to stay for guys like me that can actually do the math

    I will never buy another gas vehicle if I can at all help it. Just calculated a 2500 mile trip from San Diego to Tampa, FL. With the Sequoia getting it's usual 16 MPG. Cost $515 at about $3.30 per gallon. Same trip in a diesel SUV, with diesel averaging about $4 per gallon would be about $322. Added value of not having to stop for fuel as often. Four stops max for a diesel 7 stops for gas with the Sequoia. We don't use gas station potties. Usually fast food restrooms are cleanest. Diesel would have to be almost double the price to make the gas SUV more practical.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,891
    I just did a very quick comparo here on Edmunds. The 2009 ML320 Bluetec vs the ML 350 gas AWD. The diesel with same miles and condition appraises at about $1500 more. The 2013 ML350 Bluetec is only $1400 TMV more than the ML350 4matic gasser. I don't see how the extra cost is a factor at all with buying diesel vs gasser.

    According to Edmunds TCO, there is only $6 difference between those two. When you should really compare the diesel to the V8 to get a better comparison. The UK doesn't even offer the V6 gas. Only the ML63 which is a rocket. You can get the ML250 BLuetec that would be perfect IMO. It would be great to get 1000 miles between refills.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    edited December 2012
    Most of these reviews and articles miss the biggest factor, which is cost. Not cost for the fuel or the premium over the normal model, but the fact that, basically, WHERE ARE THE CHEAP ECONOBOXES.

    There isn't a single diesel sold in the U.S. for less than $24K(well, you can get a manual Jetta for $23K, but those are unbobtanium). They can't we get a Corolla with a CDI engine? Why can't we get a CDI Focus? Why can't we get a small pickup truck with a CDI engine in it - that gets 30mpg instead of a pathetic 18?

    Even Smart, who you think would have all the incentive in the world, doesn't offer a diesel engine in the U.S. Getting 80mpg+ would vastly improve their sales. (yes, the Smart CDI translates to 82mpg (U.S. gallons) in a real-world test over two days of driving)

    $14,000 if converted from Euros to USD. That's more like what we want to see over here. Not $24K.
  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,596
    This is an excellent question, and I throw it out before. IN the 70's and 80's if you went to the MB dealer in the states, all the models offered in a Diesel was the entry level car, whether it was a 300CD or 300SDL, they were entry level, today, they are not, in fact you pay a premium for them. The rumor mill has been running on the GLK250 being less than the GLK350, but I wont believe that until I can see it on MB USA's web site.

    Like others I would love to see a reasonable priced diesel car sold in the US, whether it is a Corolla or Focus. Now having driven a Smart in Europe and here in the states, I would own one even it got 100 mpg....
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,891
    There are boatloads of small diesel cars in the EU. They are NOT cheap by our standards. A Ford Focus hatch stripped with manual transmission and 1.6L TCDI sells for GBP 17,975. That is $28k US. You want a top of the line Focus with 2.0L diesel engine and automatic you are going to pay $39k USD. That may be the reason BMW can build X5 and X3 diesel and Jeep Wrangler diesels in the USA and ship them to the EU for sale and make money. Maybe if we had a VAT of about 20% on all our vehicles we would be happy with our cheap priced cars. The model I want to see here the ML250 BlueTec sells in the UK for $72K USD. Could be why they unload their gassers on US. No one really wants them in Europe.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,567
    Of course, those Euro prices include massive taxes that might not exist in every state. Those expensive little cars still sell, too, so maybe what some call socialism hasn't failed - seems to be plenty of disposable income.

    I'm still waiting for the C diesel that many MB salespeople swore would be coming - 2 years ago.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,756
    edited December 2012
    Just filled the 2009 Jetta TDI $4.13 per@ 43 mpg. (29C /40 H)

    Did another fill earlier $3.88. The first half tank was hosting an old airline pilot friend earlier in the week through the streets of San Francisco. Got him on a flight to Georgia to head home. Just returned from South Tahoe (starting @ half a tank) in driving rains, huge fickle storm conditions and chain controls @ higher elevations, both going and coming. Tough sloughing and at low speeds with the AC on and off and most electrical systems running Fill with 22.2 gals, posted 30.1 mpg.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    This is an excellent question, and I throw it out before. IN the 70's and 80's if you went to the MB dealer in the states, all the models offered in a Diesel was the entry level car, whether it was a 300CD or 300SDL,

    Actually, MB put diesels in their entire line-up back in the 1980's. I have a Blue Book that dates back to then and here are some vehicles prices from 25 years ago - 1987:

    190D = $29.630 (same exact base MSRP as the gas 190E)
    300D = $42,990 (same exact MSRP as 300E; 260E was $37,000)
    300TD = $46,200 (NO gas wagon even offered)
    300SDL = $51,070 (Top of line diesel; 420SEL was $57,600)

    It looks like 1983 was the last of the classic 240D, which had an MSRP of $23,800. Sounds cheap in todays dollars, but that's OVER TWICE as much as a 1983 Nissan Maxima, which had an MSRP of $11,369. And only $7,000 less than a Porsche 911SC that had a MSRP of $30,745.

    Whenever I look back at car prices from the 1980's, the thing that is most apparent is that Mercedes (and BMW, mostly) were priced towards true luxury demographic (i.e. affluent) market back then. They were lower volume, didn't give a crap about competing price-wise with the Japanese or American manufacturers and if you couldn't afford to pay twice as much for a bottom of the line Mercedes as a top of the line Nissan, then the hell with you, go shop down the road.

    Regarding diesels, they were all throughout the MB line-up, and priced similarly to their gas counterparts, other than the 240D.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,891
    It looks like 1983 was the last of the classic 240D, which had an MSRP of $23,800. Sounds cheap in todays dollars, but that's OVER TWICE as much as a 1983 Nissan Maxima

    Actually you can buy a nice E350 Bluetec today cheaper than a 240D in 1983. $23,800 is equal to $55,000 in 2012 buying power. TMV on an E350 Blutec is $46K. You can buy the S class diesel for about $93k today. $51k 1983 dollars have the buying power of $117k today. Making luxury more affordable today than in 1983.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    edited December 2012
    Making luxury more affordable today than in 1983.

    That's definitely true, in more ways than just price.

    The 240D is a good example, as my buddy that had one reminds me that this so-called luxury car that cost 4 times as much as a Honda Civic at the time had a whopping 72 horsepower, 4-speed manual, vinyl upholstery, no power seats, windows and an AM radio. I'm not sure MB could sell a new 240D TODAY for $23,800, let alone $55,000. What you get today in a C class for under $40,000 exceeds the luxury amenities in a 25 year old $70,000 SEL560 by a substantial margin.

    What has also occurred is substantial price compression between the non-luxury and luxury categories. The spartan 240D was 4 times more expensive than a Honda Civic in 1983 and twice as expensive as a decked out Nissan Maxima. In 2012, a C-Class sedan will set you back less than twice as much as a Civic sedan and not that much more than a top of the line Maxima.

    Of course, you know that back in the 60's and 70's, kids walked 4 miles to school, responsible parents worked hard and everybody knew their place in society. Which meant, "no Mercedes for you" didn't affect my quality of life back in 1982 when I bought one of those Civics. Now we have a contingent of society that thinks just about everybody should be entitled to a Mercedes Benz or they set up tents on Wall Street and in DC to protest against those that have (mostly) earned the right to drive one. I'm exaggerating, of course, but perhaps not as much as I wish.

    Funny how yesterday's luxuries become today's necessitates. Call me on your i-Phone or text me through your BMW Apps if you want to discuss further. ;)
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,756
    edited December 2012
    Two points about the "good old days". These are the good old days. Just as in the time frames past of MB diesels, even I see a few of them as ones I would like to have now, but probably would not have even considered "back in the day" (late 80s) 300 TD (turbo diesel).

    If anything even then, the percentages of TD's (diesels/turbo diesels) were very very small. As you have noted. much more expensive. One can get a VW (peoples car if one will) as a viable option. It is almost embarrassing to say that I sweated brain cells for $236. for the diesel premium (over 2003 VW 1.8T gasser).
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    edited December 2012
    If anything the percentages of TD's were very very small, even then.

    I don't think that's true. I am pretty sure for the model year 1983, Mercedes sold considerably MORE diesels in the US than gasoline vehicles. I'll need to do a little research, but according to my buddy that owned a 240D, he thought the percentage of diesel Mercedes sold in the US in the 1980-83 time frame was in excess of 60%. It wasn't until the introduction of the 4-cylinder 190E in 1984 and 6-cylinder 300E in 1986 that you could even purchase a gas model Mercedes that wasn't a diesel or an 8 cylinder gas. Mercedes entire model line up for the US in 1983:

    240D - $23,800
    300D - $30,530
    300CD - $33,750
    300SD - $37,970
    300TD - $33,850

    380SEL- $48,200
    380SL - $43,350
    380SEC - $53,860

    Unless you had over $43.3k to spend in 1983 ($101.2k in 2012 dollars according to gagrice), the only Mercedes you could buy was a diesel. Times have changed, but perhaps what goes around will come around, if some of the inequities in taxation and EPA regs get evened out.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,756
    edited December 2012
    We certainly have more publically published data now than we had then. So specifically, the %'s THEN and now are 5%. We can both "think what we want".
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    edited December 2012
    So specifically, the %'s THEN and now are 5%. We can both "think what we want".

    Well, you can think whatever you want, but until you show empirical evidence supporting the 5% figure, I think you're way the hell off for 1983. As in, on a different planet from reality. There is absolutely no way you can anecdotally convince me that in 1983 MB sold 19 times as many 380SEC's, SEL's and SL's as they did 240D's, 300D, TD, SD and CD's combined???. To even suggest that is ludicrous.

    So show me the research source with the actual sales figures. I'll be happy to eat crow if you are even close.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,756
    edited December 2012
    Fair enough. So until you can prove what you say is true about old diesels being more % wise in the passenger diesel segment, YOU are way the hell off, for the "good old days". I am making absolutely no claims about being a "good old days" MB diesel authority.
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