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

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  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,899
    GTL is the smartest way to use our abundant natural gas supply. Buy a diesel vehicle and run it on diesel from oil, natural gas or algae. All the benefits of a diesel and none of the negatives associated with alternatives like CNG or EV. Can you imagine the premium the dealers would be adding to diesel vehicles if we could buy diesel for half the cost of RUG?

    Smaller-scale GTL plants can produce diesel at a cost of about $1.50 a gallon (the average retail price for diesel in 2012 was $3.92). “The U.S. gas production curve is not going down, it’s going up,” says Sasol CEO David Constable. “We see this product really taking off in the next decade after these plants have been built.”
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,174
    edited June 2013
    Always something interesting getting posted around here. Guess VW will have to come out with a GTL now. :)

    "Petroleum experts who have sniffed vials of gin-clear GTL diesel speak of it with reverence.

    “It’s a beautiful product,” says Jim Jensen, a Massachusetts-based energy economist. “The kerosene smells like perfume.” (nbcnews.com). Dateline 2005 - so where is it?

    Looks like a lot of federal grant monies are being used to study GTL so I guess it'll wind up being just be a trophy fuel for the rich too. :P

    Moderator
    Need help navigating? stever@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,899
    It was only smart business that drove Shell to build their first GTL plant in Qatar. They do have the largest known gas reserves in the World. I am excited that they may build them here as well. It is also exciting that so many fleet, bus and commercial vehicles are switching to CNG/LNG. They reduce the demand for diesel making it less expensive for when I finally buy a diesel SUV. Also GTL is Zero PPM sulfur. Now if the Feds would pony up some money to produce diesel from coal instead of sending it all to pollute the 3rd World countries.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,763
    edited June 2013
    ..."All for under invoice."...

    It is truly a good time to buy diesel powered passenger vehicles !! It actually has been for a while.

    I also have read in passing that VW is offering 5 or so time (12 mo 24 mo 36 mo 44 mo 66 mo) plans @ .9% financing (less than one percent). I also seem to recall a 72 mo plan but at a higher rate, that escapes me at the moment. So in theory, you could strike a WAY under invoice deal, get a low percentage rate ,9%, drive home with your signature. (money unfortunately would cost you app 37.50 per month) (i.e.. 50,000 * .9%= 450 per year/12)
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,899
    As you have pointed out, even a good interest rate under 1% makes them money and gets people to buy. Big companies are better off lending at a low rate than actually having to pay to keep their money in the bank. If the buyer has a good credit score.

    The only diesel I have found that is not selling for invoice or below is the MB GL350 Bluetec. They are going above MSRP.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,763
    edited June 2013
    Just got back from 3 hours @ the local MB dealership. I almost didn't get a word in edge wise. You and Fintail were right. MB dealers (or @ least this one anyway) are SERIOUS and motivated ( and literally on steroids-in a good way) I was taken aback by this, but there was literally ZERO pressure. However the exact car they sent me the information on was already sold and GONE. He had to go to plan B, a much more LOADED one. They were more concern about me knowing "the highlights" and my SOTP experiences. They did drop the (over) emphasis on diesel, when they found out they were preaching to the choir. As a much later in the presentation aside, they said if I was to buy, they would schedule 2 to 4 MORE hours to go over the car,.... IN DEPTH ! :confuse: Gee glad I was only there to see one model (MB GLK250 Blue Tec) !

    Run flat tires and NO spare are standard.
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,345
    edited June 2013
    As you guys know, I am no fan of rims in excess of 17", and 16 in many applications.
    But as I was slugging my innards out today my mind drifts to the CRV replacement sometimes...and today got thinking about those dang 19" even if they aren't gonna be clad with RFTs on the GLK. And I was wondering if maybe larger rims (not wider tho) may actually run quieter than smaller ones, simply because they turn fewer revolutions every mile than smaller ones?? Any thoughts or experiences with this? The large rims seem to be on all the upscale cars, and basically all trims of luxury name brands, where quiet is always one of the desires.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,899
    I have to say my wife and I were pleasantly surprised with the Ride, Handling and comfort of the Touareg. The VW diesel at idle is quieter than either Mercedes 4 or V6 diesels as well as the BMW. I put my ear on the hood and could only tell an engine was running. We only got out on the freeway and about 10 miles total test drive. The 8.5 inch NAV screen is superior to both the BMW and MB units. No way to know if it has better routing. The real key is finding a Touareg TDI you like. South Bay VW is one of the largest dealers and they only get them dribbled out. I told him I would want the Lux in white with saddle brown leather. He said that is what the boss drives and it is beautiful. I would try to beat them down with offering to take the wheels and tires from a Sport model. He also told us they had one Touareg Hybrid. After several months on the lot the boss drove it for a month and they sold it as used $15,000 below MSRP. It did not match up mileage to the TDI model.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,763
    edited June 2013
    As it applies to the MB GLK 250 I really do not know, as it was not possible to do 16 in, 17 in, 18 in, 19 in ABCD tests. That being said, this car was almost tomb - like quiet. The only thing I could really hear was WIND noise. I could every so slightly feel the twin turbos work. But again with SO little mileage on the demonstrator, I did not want to get on it. Indeed, I really did not want to drive it. The sales guy almost insisted.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,763
    I am glad to hear you BOTH had good experiences. This is purely my .02 cents, but that white and saddle brown combination is SHARP.
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,345
    Would you say your VW T is quieter? Including wind noise?
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,763
    edited June 2013
    A qualified yes. I have had the VW T TDI in ALL seasons and all manner of "weirdness." I also run it with 3 psi more. The test drive with the MB GLK250 while it was app 30 min each with the sales guy and me driving, was generally on some of the smoothest freeways around here, no doubt chosen for that reason.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,899
    I would say the Touareg, GLK, ML all are smoother and quieter than the X5 BMW. Could it be the RFTs? I would have to sit in them side by side to give a real honest opinion on the seats in the Touareg Lux compared to the ML. Both are more comfortable than the GLK. I don't know if the Sport seats are of the same quality and comfort as the Lux and Executive. I was not impressed with the pano sun roof on the Touareg. It has a very thin cover that let in a lot of light and warmth. If I could order the Sport with NAV and saddle brown seats I would be close to making up my mind.

    Where do you hang clothes when you travel? Or do you put all in the suitcase? Edmunds shows 16 more cu ft of space in the ML vs the Touareg. The Touareg does seem smaller even though they are less than an inch shorter. I think the big question is which company can deliver what I want at the price I am willing to pay. The GLK is off the list for various reasons. It would be a fun economical vehicle for every day running around. But not in a league with the others on long trips.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,763
    edited June 2013
    ..." I was not impressed with the pano sun roof on the Touareg. It has a very thin cover that let in a lot of light and warmth. "...

    I was told in passing most MB GLK250's came with the sunroof option and indeed it was harder to get them without that option, albeit app $1,400 more.

    While I do have a sun roof in the 09 VW Jetta TDI (wife wanted it for some reason, even she does not use it much, the kids don't even use it) I have never been a fan. I am glad the Touareg does not have it. Especially for longer trips, the lack of a sunroof seems to leave me more relaxed .

    ..."Where do you hang clothes when you travel? Or do you put all in the suitcase? Edmunds shows 16 more cu ft of space in the ML vs the Touareg. The Touareg does seem smaller even though they are less than an inch shorter. I think the big question is which company can deliver what I want at the price I am willing to pay."...

    I have always been in the habit of all in the suitcase.

    The ML 350 Blue Tec is noticeably bigger than the Touareg TDI, the MB GLK 250 BlueTec is noticeably smaller than either of those.

    That happens to be one of my parameters, so the selections quickly got down to the 1. VW T TDI (2. MB ML350 Blue Tec 3. BMW X5 35 D), albeit more than a year ago. The MB GLK 250 is priced to move but also can be decked out beyond "loaded", exciting and a further compromise still.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,899
    I was told in passing most MB GLK250's came with the sunroof option

    That is true. All of the listings I have in front of me have the Premium one package $3450 that includes a sunroof. Emunds show a Premium one package sans sunroof. I have not seen one listed. I had narrowed down my wants to the premium one and multimedia $2790 & trailer hitch. Total $47,094. Several are available close by so equipped.

    No way to get a fair comparison between the GLK BT and Touareg TDI. The Touareg Sprt TDI with NAV offers several more things such as heated seats that would be $750 add on GLK. However the Sport does not have the Sunroof. It lists for $49,510.

    Here would be my quandary. The only thing the T TDI Lux has to offer that I want is the Saddle Brown leather. They are 12 way adjustable with power lumbar vs 8 way adjustable in the Sport version. So the leather and pano sunroof add about $4k to the price of the Lux to $53,450. The one we drove was about $55k so they must have all the add on features available.

    To get a comparably equipped ML350 BlueTec raises my out of pocket considerably. To match what the Touareg TDI Lux has the ML BT comes out at $59,485. The MB dealer I have been working with has an ML350 BlueTec I could like for $61k that would have all I would get with the VW T Lux.

    The big question? Can the VW dealers come up with the colors and price I want before the MB dealer makes me an offer I cannot refuse? On looks alone I prefer the Touareg. To throw a further monkey wrench in I also like the looks of the Jeep GC. However the dealer emailed me yesterday and said the GC diesel was pushed out to August from June. That does not bode well for Chrysler.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,899
    Ruking, what is the name of the dealership you use?
    I see Dirito Bros VW of Walnut Creek, has a Lux White with Saddle brown leather.
    There seems to be a lot of affiliation between dealerships. Have to wait for my local salesman to tell me what he has found. I am not in a hurry so I could just order and get what I want.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,763
    edited June 2013
    ..."No way to get a fair comparison between the GLK BT and Touareg TDI. The Touareg Sprt TDI with NAV offers several more things such as heated seats that would be $750 add on GLK. However the Sport does not have the Sunroof. It lists for $49,510. "...

    So if one (has to have) wants the sunroof option, the VW T TDI Sport defacto gets drop kicked from consideration.

    The deletion of the sunroof option is an outlier request. However, I got a line on two MB GLK 250 sans sunroof, one "inbound" and uncommitted: but one had to come from either Las Vegas, NV, AZ, or NM inventory. (there were more but the other options dropped kicked them out)

    Natch the LA LA area had the most inventory and the ones most loaded . The cheapest were the "inbound" but so called uncommitted cars. One can also special order. In trying to keep it from exploding, I have lines on 6 vehicles. So as the great audience can see, this is getting more convoluted as it goes on ;)

    I would almost totally agree. I have a hard time conceptualizing the two because they are SO different. I only reasonably can compare them now only because I have the Touareg (could be the ML 350 Blue Tec). So naturally the bang for the buck equation and total cost enters into it. A lot of folks will only shop "loaded". In some ways that makes things less complicated as it seemingly makes things more complicated. I think what happens there is the status gig or how many more gadgets on one vs the other keeps the ADD addiction alive. ;)

    The 2.1 L twin turbo definitely has the potential to be exciting !! I really was not able nor willing to explore those angles on such a new car (it had 15 miles on the clock when we started) So for example to properly break in: tires, brake pads/ rotors suspension components, (diesel engine and drive train) etc. I would not want to exceed 55 to 65 mph for app 1000 miles.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,899
    I was asking about your VW dealer up there? Fletcher Jones is big in So CA as well. One of the 5 I contacted and got lots of attention from. MB is very much interested in selling vehicles. I did not get near the urgency from the 3 VW dealers I called. Not one VW dealer returned my email request on the Touareg TDI. All the MB dealers emailed me within 24 hours and 3 called as well.

    Did you see the mocha colored leather in the GLK? I thought that was an ugly color. It was not so bad as a trim color with the Almond Beige. I also was not that impressed with the Diamond white on the Mercedes. I did not think it was worth $1515 over the polar white.

    I think I am over my love affair with the GLK250 Bluetec. It would have been a decent daily runabout for sure. The idea of getting rid of the Sequoia and heading out onto long road trips with that little GLK did not keep me excited.

    What are your thoughts on the funny spare in the Touareg?
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,899
    So if one (has to have) wants the sunroof option, the VW T TDI Sport defacto gets drop kicked from consideration.

    I would just as soon NOT have the Sun roof. My only reason for thinking of the Lux is the Saddle Brown leather. I would be happy with the Sport with NAV and the cornsilk leatherette. In fact the Mercedes sales people had me convinced the new synthetics are better than leather. I just like to jab PETA every chance I get. :P

    I would like to drive the Sports model to see how the seats and ride compare. I think the 18" wheels and tires would be better riding.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,763
    edited June 2013
    Oops!

    Internet Director

    No I didn't see that (interior) color.

    I did see the diamond white (exterior) on another car. I didn't think it was worth the premium. It would have been a distant second (white), if no premium. As you probably know a metallic color is normally a bit more robust than a NON (plain black red or white). I guess to describe it, it would be a cross between pearl but MORE metallic flake BRIGHTER white. I did like the Diamond Silver Metallic"( blue). Out of the 12 colors I would be ok with 7 of them.

    Of the 8 Touareg colors, I would be ok with 6 of them.

    On the spare tire issue, I am actually glad that VW went back to the F/S spare for 2013 Touareg (I have read in passing). It really hasn't affected me, even as I have once taken a nail, and was able to drive to the dealer for R/R/B/R . In my anecdotal real world case, I would not have had nor changed to a full time spare even if I had it. I have yet to experience a "catastrophic" flat.

    If the board will indulge the TMI portion, I can go on.

    TDI fuel mileage is consistently the same. This last fill I just went even farther and took on 24 gal (26.4 gal capacity) for 775 miles.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,899
    After driving all SUVs Mercedes & BMW have to offer with diesel I agree with this writer about the 2013 VW Touareg TDI.

    The last frontier has been how to achieve the desired levels of fuel efficiency that bureaucrats want while continuing to keep customer expectations of towing power, acceleration response, driving range and overall drivability within the paradigms that they have become accustomed too. This challenge is being met in varying degrees of success, with various technologies. This week’s Volkswagen Touareg TDI represents perhaps the best engineering effort thus far available to the masses.

    Any time you have a vehicle that has a higher torque output than its horsepower rating, you can safely assume that A) the car or truck has ample power in reserve for passing, pulling, and playing, and B) that vehicle will be fun to drive swiftly or slowly. The Touareg TDI excels on both counts.

    Cast aside all of your perceptions about diesel engines in cars, as the Touareg TDI behaves as well as — if not better — than the latest gasoline direct injection engines. You never smell any diesel fumes — urea-injection programming eliminates any noxious tailpipe emissions — plus the TDI engine is very quiet.


    http://fenceviewer.com/site/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=80266:on-the-ro- ad-review-volkswagen-touareg-tdi&Itemid=938
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,763
    edited June 2013
    I got to say that one of the things on my "bucket" list is to be chauffeured around in the (my) VW T TDI, so I can sit in the back, stretch the legs, do the IPAD, watch movies, cell phone routines and eat a couple of lunches, back there. ;)

    On a more serious note, that writer does a good job in highlighting the balances that the VW T TDI ( Audi & Porsche iterations= over 37,000 units in 2012) has been engineered to capture. While the Porsche purists would not be caught dead acknowledging this (probably under pain of excommunication) : this CUX is responsible for Porsche's pre eminent position it its marketplace.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,899
    I agree, he knows the SUV market and nailed it. What impressed me the most with the Touareg was the seats and over all interior. The Mercedes ML has nice comfortable seats. The interior seems dated. Not that much better than my 2007 Sequoia. The BMW seats are like riding on rocks and even older technology. The GLK seats are ok but very utilitarian. Even the New Escalade seats have gone the BMW route. I have not checked out the Lexus as they are living in the past on their laurels. Nothing to compete except the RX hybrid. Not in the running.

    I am considering trips to Belize and I think the VW Touareg would be much better received in Mexico than a Mercedes. There are several white with saddle brown leather in a 500 mile radius. Just a matter of contacting dealers and putting a deal together. I would like to swap for the 18" wheels and tires. Not a deal breaker though. Second choice would be a white Sport TDI with NAV and Cornsilk leatherette.
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,345
    edited June 2013
    I'm thinking you have definitely talked yourself out of the GLK, which is fine, but as long as it ha$ been for the right rea$on$. Let's review some of your original criteria.

    Unless you're independently wealthy, then price of admission is right up there. Check.

    Strong, quiet, fuel efficient diesel engine. Check.

    Roomy enough, comfortable enough, quiet, and aesthetically pleasing interior with supportive seats. Check. (remember the price of admission here, before you respond) If you didn't like the seats in the GLK, then that would be enough of a reason to pass right then and there...or at least it would for me..but they just weren't that bad were they?

    Sometimes a vehicle can be too big to be the main run-around wheels. I think the GLK is in a real sweet spot here compared to the either the ML or VW T and definitely the JGC.

    You're pissed about the minimum 19" wheels (me too) and started getting negative vibes and ran with them when you thought it may come with RFTs like it or not...but since we have sorta found out that that isn't the case (haven't we?) then ya gotta re-evaluate that negativety thought process regarding the the wheels and tires. Are the 19" rims really a deal-breaker now, considering all its many other virtues?

    I know that range is another of your prerequisites if parting ways with the Sequoia, and while the VW T really shines in this regard (I thought so too when I first started getting interested in it as I love big tanks...especially diesel which isn't as explosive as gas, but let's review some comparo facts here between the two. First, the GLK with its 66 litre has greater range than the ML right? And is not that much less than the VW T because it gets significantly better FE than the VW T...which is a real achievement when you consider how great the VW T is in that regard..

    25.6 x 3.785 = 97 litres VW T x a very fair 32 mpg as per ruking's recent 24 gal refill in 770 miles. So 1.5 gal left in tank if I am recalling his figures closely enough.

    17.4x 3.785 = 66 litre GLK (tank size in Cda at least, so converting back to US gal)

    So if we leave that same 1.5 gal in the tank of the GLK, our range will be 610 miles at a very very conservative 38 mpg. I really think that like for like, interpreting the driving style/conditions that in using ruking's figure of 32, then to be fair, I really think the GLK is going to do an honest 42 and probably even better..but I am trying to be as subjective as possible so as to make for a dependable comparo. So 42 x 16 gal = 672 miles. This is literally only 100 miles less range, but also proportionately you are paying less to refuel and also are literally carrying less weight in fuel for every one of those fewer 100 miles you do. I think what has to be remembered here, is 600+ miles is a VERY useable and stressfree range, and quite a bit more than your average vehicle in NA. It sure is a pile more miles than the Seq range, correct? And huge difference when it comes time to refuel in $.

    So..we are back to 18" wheels vs 19"- score for the VW T
    Can get both without sunroof - but even easier in the GLK ($ too) - score GLK
    Seats in GLK, while maybe not as comfy as the VW T, are obviously fairly comfy because you did not consider that a weakness until you drove the VW T. - here, I would still say..score another for the GLK.
    - Cost! - this is such a no-brainer...the GLK runs away with lead here. In order to get the GLK equipped $imilarly to the VW T, wouldn't you almost have to hook a brand new PWC complete with trailer, to the back of the GLK? And then would still show the same bank balance at the end of the day?

    Something ruking mentioned that really piqued my interest...about metallic paint having more robustness (sorry...not to put words in your mouth, ruking..forget your exact comment) than a straight enamel. Is that really true? Like...does metallic resist a door ding chip/zipper scratch, better than a straight white? Or were you talking more about oxidation resistance?
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,763
    edited June 2013
    It might be valuable to say that the two ( VW T TDI and MB GLK250 Blue Tec) are entirely different animals. EPA H 29 vs 33 mpg (14% better) , 2.1 L Twin turbo 4 cylinder diesel, vs 3.0 single turbo 6 cylinder diesel, 4974 #s vs 4035#'s. (and keeps going) So in a strict sense to equalize, at the very least, one needs to apply offsets. So for example if we were to equalize the 3.0 L with an engineered addition of twin turbos and app hardware and soft wear, I think most would agree that would change the metrics wildly toward way more EXCITING !

    That being said one, can reach across so called "equal metrics" to solve whatever concerns, one solves for. So for example, IF highest mpg is the most important priority, why look beyond an 03 TDI @ 50 mpg when a VW TDI gets a "lowly" 32 mpg?

    IF the US legislative and regulatory agencies are SO concerned about MPH, why do they systematically exclude the VW GOLF (with 30 M ww units), that gets 73 mpg +???? and only let in those that get far far less (31/42 mpg) ? Are they really saying a car that gets 31 mpg pollutes LESS and uses far less fuel than one that gets 73 mpg?? !!!! At some level, this is beyond wacky. Needless to say it passes as totally logical.

    As for the metallic vs non paint, it is more of oxidation resistance and to a much lesser extent physical armor.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,899
    I think the GLK is in a real sweet spot here compared to the either the ML or VW T and definitely the JGC.

    I think it is as well for my initial purpose. My plan and, you have to know if you are married, was not my wife's plan. I wanted to unload the Lexus LS400 and buy the GLK for our day to day running around and short 200 mile trips to start with. If it was less than great for a couple hundred mile trip we would still have the Sequoia for the cross country trips. My wife will not part with her LS400 and plans to sell the Sequoia to her grand daughter for low BB. That means what ever we buy has to replace the Sequoia. I have doubts that the GLK would be as comfortable driving 500-700 miles in a day, as the Touareg or ML. According to MB the GLK250 has a smaller tank than the GLK350 gasser.

    GLK250 BT = 15.6 gallons @ 33 MPG = 515 mile range
    ML350 BT = 24.6 gallons @ 28 MPG = 688 mile range
    Touareg TDI = 26.5 gallons @ 29 MPG = 768 mile range

    I am positive all three would get far better than the EPA highway estimates. The seats in the ML are more comfortable than the GLK from our back to back test drives. The Touareg was even more comfortable for me at over 6 foot because of the bottom cushion being bigger. One reviewer that was 5'8" mentioned it being too long for his legs. More headroom in the T-Reg than either the GLK or ML. And more legroom in the VW than the ML. GLK had good legroom. I actually had to move the seat forward an inch or two in the Touareg. Something I rarely do. I have a tendency to look at base models and end up buying the loaded ones. A fairly loaded ML Bluetec is at least $5k over the T-Reg Executive.

    So my decision will be based more on what the overall use of the vehicle will be. I could enjoy driving the GLK day in and day out running errands and trips to the mountains and deserts. I just don't think it would be that great driving cross the USA on a long trip. I would recommend the GLK to anyone looking for a great CUV that gets great mileage. I think it is head and shoulders above anything the Japanese or Koreans are selling here.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,581
    From this morning's drive

    image

    Going the other way a few days ago, had 39.x mpg, as I was in some late day traffic backups.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,763
    Its all good ! I wonder what a competitor to like model gasser would post under the same conditions. ;)
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,581
    Probably around 30-32. The MB V6 with the 7-speed is decently efficient for something of its size and power.
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