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

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Comments

  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,907
    edited May 2013
    "40 miles while only using 1 gallon of fuel. "

    Indeed I would agree with the posted link. I think (swag only) it is well within the range.

    The VW Touareg TDI is rated 19/28 mpg EPA. It has easily 900#'s over the MB and almost a Liter BIGGER engine. So with me getting 32/33 mpg consistently (in SOS DD 420 mp R/T), my anecdotal information indicates 14 to 18% BETTER. It is almost a slam dunk it will be WAY more, if I went the requisite 65 mph. Doing that would decrease my safety factors, so I am not cruisin for a bruin. Indeed if I tailor my speeds to get 43 mpg (posted that for 80/90 miles in the mountains coming out of highway 50 from South Lake Tahoe, not freeway ) that would be closer to 54% BETTER than its EPA (my swag is 5 mpg under the speed limits or 60 mph) .
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,050
    edited May 2013
    for use in the USA: (if automakers want to *seriously* build a diesel market in America that is not merely marginal)

    1. small diesel pickup truck (1/2 ton)

    2. HUGE 9-passenger SUV

    3. Subaru Outback Wagon

    and of course, what we already have---F250 and F350 type heavy haulers.

    Forget small sedans, forget mid-size SUVs, forget large passenger cars. The economics don't work here like they do in Europe.

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  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,447
    What about minivans? A sienna or odyssey with a nice diesel should do real well. That niche is ignored by hybrids as well.
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,281
    edited May 2013
    What about minivans?

    Minivans are too practical and are not driven by the elites who define what's important, besides which those who don't fit into that category would rather be shot on sight than be seen in a minivan. It's all about SUVs or SAVs or LMNOPVs because they're not perceived as suburban drone carriers, at least by those who drive them. For the rest of us. . .

    It's all about what's cool or happening or whatever this week's word is. Can you imagine what the TV commercial for a diesel minivan would look like? Neither can I.

    The fact that such a vehicle would be useful beyond belief is totally irrelevant.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,860
    edited May 2013
    Hey, I'm pretty l33t. :P How about this in a diesel minivan?

    image

    Mercedes-Benz Citan Compact Van Under Consideration for U.S. (No word on the actual powertrain we could get).

    Oh, all the commercial has to say is 40 mpg.

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  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,907
    Even if they WANTED to, the legislative and other food chains have it tatoo'd in almost every possible place that hybrids to plug in's ARE the policy.

    Most UP front is what the WSJ calls the $8,000 premium to run a diesel due to all the hurdles a diesel car are made to over come. Can you imagine if diesels were 8,000 to 9,000 cheaper (than like models of course) ??? The REAL economics would be FAR better here than almost ANYTHING in Europe, despite it working well over THERE.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,907
    edited May 2013
    ..."What about minivans? A sienna or odyssey with a nice diesel should do real well. That niche is ignored by hybrids as well." ...

    Indeed that is a lower volume (higher dollar) NICHE and all that implies.

    Edmunds.com (or shall I say I read a road test on the) did a very comprehensive take on the VW Touareg HYBRID. (The EPA as I recall was 24 mpg vs spa 28 for TDI)

    Not to gush on, but this thing is SOOOOOO MONSTER, the brake pads and rotors are oversized to the TDI's (tennie tiny ;) ) Both the HP and Torque figures dwarf the TDI's. MPG compared to the TDI is almost abysmal.
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,345
    Dang...except for the bit of Nissan Cube happening at the A pillars and side windows, that thing looks fine..

    Of course all MB's should have the 3 point star rising above the leading edge of the hood.. displaying proud for the driver..
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,813
    edited May 2013
    Small road trip today, acceptable mileage:

    image

    This was mostly cruise set at 65 on state highways driving, with a few slowdowns and city streets mixed in.
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,345
    Can you imagine what the TV commercial for a diesel minivan would look like?

    Oh yes I can..as Steve suggests "40MPG!" works..

    You spoiled this great first part: "The fact that such a vehicle would be useful beyond belief"

    with the word irrelevant. And with that, I can't agree at all. I'm guessing you were speaking for the ignorant masses...to that I say..don't help them..
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,345
    acceptable mileage

    So you're trying out to be featured as Jay Leno's next stand-up comic I presume?

    If we had colored text options, I'd have posted that in green..
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,028
    Speaking of Ads. When MB offered the 2005 "E" with diesel the ad showed a guy traveling 800 miles without stopping for fuel. With your mileage you should be good for 900 miles.
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,345
    Indeed if I tailor my speeds to get 43 mpg (posted that for 80/90 miles in the mountains coming out of highway 50 from South Lake Tahoe, not freeway ) that would be closer to 54% BETTER than its EPA (my swag is 5 mpg under the speed limits or 60 mph)

    I hear ya, but sometimes there are anomalies associated with various displacement and gearing choices. Plus all the other numerous factors like injector nozzle sizes, pump psi, etc etc.
    I say that because I am reminded of the mileage I got with my old Land Cruiser wagon (weighed more than your T or an ML) with an inline big 4, NA'd. Was a 3.4. And I am comparing it with my 89 Toyota P/U (also 4x4) that weighed over a 1000 pounds lighter, yet couldn't come even close to the mpg of the big wagon (which also was only a 4 speed with top cog direct vs the 5 speed in the P/U) even though it was a full litre less displacement, but was turbo'd.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,907
    edited May 2013
    Yes that is the interesting thing I have done the same trip any number of times in any one of 5 TLC's. So needless to say, I know the drill in a gasser SUV (4800#'s, aka CUV being 174#'s heavier) Also it is scary to go the speeds in the SUV TLC gasser than the CUV. To cut to the chase, I know if I went the same speeds as the TDI in the gasser SUV's, the mpg would deteriorate much further than the 14 to 17 mpg I CAN get, albeit going far slower.

    TMI factoid is the TLC's tranny is made by Aisin. The one 4 speed manual I had I do not remember who was said to have made it. I assume it was probably Aisin also.
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,345
    To clarify, those two were both diesels. The p/u turbo actually being even more rare than the wagon. It might have been an 87? The old brain is starting to forget...I almost think it was an 87 not an 89 cuz by 88 we were hard-pressed to find diesels.
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,345
    I assume it was probably Aisin also.

    Probably. I know the front hubs were Aisin on both.

    The tranny in the wagon was really sweet. It had quite a long stick, but not too long a throw and just snic snic'd..if only they had used as much galvanizing in the sheet metal as they do now. Gosh it was a great SUV. If only I had owned it from new I KNOW it would not have been as rusty as it had gotten..It even had rusted-through rain gutters :(
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,907
    I am hearing you. In some ways, I am VERY curious to see how "the marbles in the can days of old diesels" integrated into the newer diesels (25 to 1 compression ratios). So for example 19 to 16 to one are the current "NON" (diesel) sounding diesels compression ratios. Just that difference alone can be responsible for both more power and mpg.
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,345
    Yes..and the new Mazda diesels low CR amazes me. It is barely higher than their gas jobs..or at least the smaller displacement ones in EU. It seems to me that..at the very least, it would make them a little more cold-blooded when the temps really drop. That said, I guess lower CR's allow for a bit faster spinning speed during start up, but still..
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,813
    I was trying to be modest :P

    It makes me doubt the trip computer sometimes, but that number is pretty amazing. To cruise in comfort and relative luxury with near-hybrid mpg.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,813
    21 gallon tank, definitely should be able to beat 800. Gotta love it. Runs like that make me not mind the payment as much :shades:
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,907
    I think the lowering of the compression ratio was in response to the focus groups complaints/complaining about diesels sounding like .... a diesel.

    My .02 cents:

    I basically find that a tad oxymoronic, but hey if you want to convert even a portion (of a then) 98% gasser population and "representative" focus groups tell you they want it to sound like a gasser, as IT (sounding llike a diesel) is an obstacle to conversion.... well, I guess you have to do what you have to do if you are in a position to do it.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,050
    I would think that a diesel engine would be somewhat obnoxious in a minivan--the perfect echo chamber. But I guess that can all be padded out.

    Besides, that type of engine choice seems to jangle with the typical minivan demographic.

    Minivan people are shopping "amount of room per dollar", not so much mpg. I don't see them paying for the diesel engine premium here in the states. You don't need 400 ft/lbs of torque to haul 4 little kids around.

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  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,907
    edited May 2013
    Perhaps all that "happiness"(in the narrow niche minivan segment) and the ability to charge VERY high dollars (with no real upgrades) are one STRONG reason to leave well enough alone? So for example, the Toyota Sienna offers 12 interations (from MSRP 28k to 42k) ? Another popular well rate mini van Honda Odyssey offers 7 iterations from 29k to 44k . In addition, (or perhaps more correctly) the precursor for a "proper" diesel (as they say in the UK); they would have to upgrade as a minimum, the rotors and brakes, suspension, transmission and other subsystems and parts way too numerous to mention. I don't think minivan oems would be overjoyed at any level to HAVE to do that.
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,345
    edited May 2013
    I would think that a diesel engine would be somewhat obnoxious in a minivan--the perfect echo chamber.

    You haven't stood next to a MB or even VW TDI lately with the hood up have you?

    Besides, that type of engine choice seems to jangle with the typical minivan demographic.

    And comments like your opening one, unfortunately.. help to propagate that ignorance.

    Minivan people are shopping "amount of room per dollar", not so much mpg.

    This is hilarious Shiftright! Did you see what you just wrote??

    You don't need 400 ft/lbs of torque to haul 4 little kids around.

    Now that one you got RIGHT.. you don't. 250 ft/lbs is plenty. This 150 ft/lb dollar and engine weight lightening all help to keep the price of admission down...that is if we can stop the diesel-haters/fence-sitters from spreading false or degrading info.

    FWIW, one of the reasons 400 ft/lb are being used in those vehicles that have it, is so they are attractive on all levels, since usually those same vehicles demand a premium..even the JGC. So if you want a consumer to get on board and open the wallet wide, you make sure they give up nothing else. You give them go and give them power to tow etc.

    And that 250 ft/lb in the family minivan hauler?? Just happens to be a full HUNDRED more ft/lb than just 20 or so years ago. Chrysler's use of the Mitsubishi V6 had just 150 or 155 ft/lb and did just fine for over a decade and a half. Consumers are getting spoiled with power, and they are becoming desensitized to it. I have to laugh when I read on some of these forums that a guy wouldn't even consider buying a car with less than 250 hp nowadays. Hell, this morning I read a post saying a guy would rather walk than drive a Prius, hahaha

    And another point on that 250 ft/lb. That amt of torque created by a turbo diesel feels a whole lot better being created and usable at rpms barely higher than idle, than does the same figure being created by a gas job whereby you have to really deliberately stuff your foot into it in order to extract that torque. Which is more conducive to a pleasant relaxed drive..(since we are not race-tracking it everywhere we go during our daily excursions) a drive where you have lots of urge without even really trying hard to get to it, or one where you are constantly flooring it in order to try to get the same amt of go?

    And finally, consider this...which sounds more raucous, an engine being revved near its limit all the time, or one that is operating just a bit off idle?

    Now factor in the mpg savings, longer exhaust life, safer fuel to be storing on board etc etc and it really should be a no-brainer...but we need to stop negative propagation of comments from those who simply don't like diesels for whatever reasons...probably most/all stemmed from some previous age-old poor experience.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,050
    "
    You haven't stood next to a MB or even VW TDI lately with the hood up have you?"

    Of course I have...it's louder than a gas engine, considerably. True, not like the "old days" but if you're taking the position that modern diesels "purr silently like a Lexus", that's a stretch to say the least.

    How can you say I don't like diesels? :confuse: ...I've probably owned more of them than most people on this topic.

    Let's not get into a "diesel cult" where criticism of any kind is not permitted.

    All technologies have their plusses and minuses.

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  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,345
    Not trying to get into any cult like topic, but I did notice you didn't comment on the primary points I raised, which was the fact that there is raucous torque extraction, and then there is relaxed torque extraction. Your main beef seems to be with db levels. I would like to see some stats on this. Take fintails bluetec at a given ft/lb, and then take a reading with a gasser in that same car at that same ft/lb, and see what the real world numbers are. Perhaps the diesel might be louder, but you are completely not acknowledging the relaxed driving nature of not having to be as proactive with the throttle in like for like situations.

    Plus, surely you would agree that at least some compromise has to be swallowed in the interest of $ savings? Hell, I know people so poor they can't afford to run A/C.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,050
    I'm actually trying to take the place of the average consumer and THEIR prejudice against diesels, not mine. Concepts like 'torque' are totally lost on 80% of the buying public, and probably 99.9% of the minivan buying public.

    I'm also trying to take the place, or view, I should say, of the automaker. Why produce a diesel engine for a weak marketing segment? Why not "build an audience" from the most likely candidates, rather than the least likely?

    Diesels are de facto noisier than gas engines because they are a compression-ignition engine. Also diesel engines don't like much back pressure from their exhaust systems.

    There is simply no way to make a diesel as quiet as a gas engine for this reason; however, a good deal of progress is being made on quieting them down, playing with injection timing for instance, or lowering compression ratios.

    It's interesting, I think, that articles like these, about the "myths about diesel engines", do *not* attempt to deflate the claim about noise---they leave that one alone. Why do you think that is?

    http://phys.org/news/2011-06-myths-diesel.html

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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,050
    re: your comment: "Plus, surely you would agree that at least some compromise has to be swallowed in the interest of $ savings?"

    Absolutely! And, along those lines, it is my two cents that the minivan shopper, in particular, is *least* likely to make those compromises for the sake of what, we must admit, would be modest savings at best.

    I could be very wrong about this, but you know, automakers are no dummies--if they had seen a market for a diesel minivan, that would have been the first one out of the gate. But instead, they are all sniffing around 1/2 pickups and big SUVs, with the exception of VW, who has a nice niche (and maybe all the niche that exists) for small diesel sedans and wagons.

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  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,907
    edited May 2013
    ..."I'm actually trying to take the place of the average consumer and THEIR prejudice against diesels, not mine. Concepts like 'torque' are totally lost on 80% of the buying public, and probably 99.9% of the minivan buying public. "...

    Indeed it is "NON" magnetic in the US markets. However I am guessing the mini van Euro market (or what passes for a mini van in those markets) are fully 50% + diesel. If any have seen a Honda Odyssey up close lately, it could easily pass for a small bus in Europe.
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,345
    edited May 2013
    we must admit, would be modest savings at best.

    No! This is where I think that while you maintain you are speaking on behalf of the masses, I don't think you are. The savings are considerably more than modest, and would be even more impressive if diesels were being produced in larger numbers. I commend MB lately, for starting to offer diesels for no price premium. It wasn't that many years ago, VW had same pricing.

    with the exception of VW, who has a nice niche (and maybe all the niche that exists) for small diesel sedans and wagons.

    Sorry, I can't even agree with you here...I have read numerous posts right here on Edmunds, and not just on this thread, that there are many customers who would prefer to buy an Asian diesel over a VW. And from the number of these posts, I don't think the opinions on this are with concerns over the engine reliability/longevity per se, but rather the entire rest of the car, even including auto transmissions.
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