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



  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Thanks, that's useful.

    We may rent a Sprinter when my brother comes next summer. Family of 6. Last time we rented a Ford E350 but some kids got car sick. Ride is awful on those.

    The kids do like being in the same car together with their cousins. Probably drive from DC to Boston to Niagara and back to DC, so that's a lot of miles.

    From your list, the Tahoe hybrid was close but not a single user average for 2013, 2012, 2011, back to 2010. Highway mpg isn't so hot.

    I don't like those 3rd row seats anyway. The seat basically mount on the floor so you end up sitting with your knees in your chest.

    I prefer my Sienna or a Sprinter.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,508
    Visited a MB dealer today, one I have never seen before. They had one Bluetec E in stock, normal options, 57K. Also a couple diesel MLs and I think a diesel GL. Salesman had no clue about any upcoming diesel C.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,701
    I take it those in the local inventory were 2013 MY?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Most of us know more than salesmen about cars. He should be reading up on that.

    When I drove the Jag the guy could not stop talking about the upcoming AWD models (we were in the wife's Subaru). Sales men should be more aware of what is in the pipeline, like he was.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,701
    edited January 2013
    We have been doing a lot of North/South Tahoe resort area driving . It really has run the full gambit. The altitude range has been from( Lake Tahoe @) 6,225 ft to 7,300 ft. There has been a lot of driving in stop and go traffic, to idling in ski area parking lots. There were times we had to run the A/C @ full fan speed to defrost. We are also driving 2 lane twisty deserted (real local) mountain icy roads. Temperatures have been bouncing around from -9 to 40 degrees. As I write this, it is 9 degrees.

    To make a long story short, in a resort town during PEAK season and (MLK) holiday to boot, diesel fuel is CHEAPER that home base , and we got a .10 (cent) per gal discount to boot. I was not going to fill till getting home, but cheaper fuel was a motivator. The Pen and ink real world mpg calculation was close to the computer's @ 29 mpg. Ski conditions and life are good.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,508
    Yes, all brand new. Didn't see any used diesels, and no leftovers.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,508
    2 years ago, a local salesman told me the diesel C was just around the corner. So I ask now and then, to see what kind of different answer.

    Of course, 2 months ago, a local bike dealer told me something I want to see would be in any day. No local dealer has one. I think they just want to keep you around.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Yeah, they want you to come back.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 39,989
    "Today, diesel engines account for about 3% of U.S. vehicle sales.

    Acceptance of diesel has continued to improve," said Mike Manley, chief executive of Chrysler's Jeep brand. "To some extent it has been driven by some of the European manufacturers that continue to bring diesels to the U.S. and some of it is because the infrastructure for diesel continues to be developed."

    Dirty Old Diesel Gets Boost In Search for Fuel Economy (Wall St Journal - if you have trouble loading the article, try searching for the headline).

    Need help navigating? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,701
    edited January 2013
    In reality, diesels CAN have better real world results/postings than rated EPA C/H mpgs. In fact, is is rather easy to accomplish if the Taylor's 84+ mpg results on a 43 mpg EPA H, VW Passat TDI are any indication.

    84.1 mpg !!!! ????

    Needless to say, my % adjusted result do not even hold a candle to theirs. :blush:

    (95.6 % better mpg tank full vs 29% (my) best of 36 mpg tank full EPA H 28. As a further gasser comparison my gasser ( 04 Civic EPA 34 mpg) gets a max of 23.5%% better)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    diesels CAN have better real world results/postings than rated EPA C/H mpgs

    True, but also true for some gassers. I forget the source but I recall reading that the S2000 was the most under-estimated, real world vs. EPA. Also look at the Mazda3 SkyActiv.

    OTOH, there are plenty of cars that struggle to meet EPA estimates. Cough *Hyundai* cough. :D
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Ex: 2007 Honda S2000 EPA est combined is 20mpg, reports 25.2, so a whopping 26% better than EPA. :surprise:

    I'll add cars on my short list:

    2013 Golf TDI DSG is also way over, 34 EPA but 38.5 real world. A significant 13% better. (2nd source: fuelly at 38.7 so confirmed better)

    2013 Mazda3 SkyActiv also over, 32 EPA but 33.7 real world. More than 5% better. (2nd source: fuelly at 32.5 but that includes the non 2.5l and non DI base engine, so likely better numbers that


    2013 Focus AM6 is EPA rated for 31 but owners report just 28.3. (2nd source fuelly at 27.6 but I could not isolate just one engine)

    2013 Elantra GT is EPA rated at 30, but owners got just 24.7. Ouch. (2nd source fuelly at 29, but includes stick shifts)

    Hyundai's got some 'splaining to do.

    Would be nice if Fuelly let you isolate a body style and transmission. Hatches usually do not match sedans, and autos usually don't match sticks.

    Smart shoppers should check those sites before they decide. 24.7mpg for the Elantra GT is pathetic!
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,426
    edited January 2013
    Well - I am out for a few years.

    Test drove an Accord EX with the 6-speed stick. I was not really planning to purchase, but everything fell into place. They offered invoice price, I was in town anyway (nearest dealer is 200 miles), sticks are quite rare, it had only 5 miles (I don't buy cars that have been test driven by others), and most importantly my wife loved it (and yes she can drive it).

    I had been holding out for a possible Mazda6 diesel, but ran a few numbers and it made the Accord look better. In this area diesel is expensive and the Accord used Regular unleaded. Cost diff is $2.99 for regular and $3.79 for diesel.

    I have averaged 35 mpg with my 2007 Accord stick over 160,000 miles, I figure under the same conditions I should gain at least 2 mpg with the "earth dreams DI I4, 6 spd, electric steering, better aero etc. This puts me at 37 mpg. To spend the same amount on fuel with the diesel I would need to get 47 mpg.

    47 mpg may be doable as I drive for good mileage, but then everything else needs to be equal if I don't really save on fuel. The Accord was $23.3k. I expect the Mazda diesel will be at least 3k more (if it is only offered in a top line model it will be much more than that). Also some minor items like possible lack of rear headroom. Possible lack of stick shift on diesel, lack of 10 way power seats (I really enjoy the comfort the extra adjustment affords), Gigantic 19" wheels that will cost a fortune to put new tires on.

    I will readily admit the Mazda probably looks better (have not seen one in the flesh yet). The Accord looks much better in person, so hard to judge by pictures. The Mazda will probably handle a little better as well.

    Anyway look forward to seeing the Mazda when it comes out and will probably even test drive it.

    Was also considering VW Golf TDI and Mazda3i hatch. Love hatchbacks. Lack of rear seat room in the Mazda took it out of the running same with current golf. New one may be better, but again hard to find them around here and they don't command huge discounts.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 39,989
    I think a lot of potential hybrid owners (the thoughtful ones anyway :) ) wind up doing a similar analysis and wind up with a similar result.

    Congrats on the new car!

    Need help navigating? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,701
    edited January 2013
    I woiuld also like add my congratulations on your selection of your new car ! I think it might be hard to stumble into a finer product, and for many reasons and levels. In addition to also, I would also like to think discussions on this board (others for you also) contributed to your "flow mojo" ;) :shades: thats led you to this car, especially since you have had experiences with diesels.

    Since we are on a diesel thread, IF I were in the market for this particular car, my choice would be the DIESEL (cTDI) Honda EX Accord. :blush: ;)

    The issue has been/is and remains what diesels dah gub mint lets into the US market. For the oem one issue has primarily been to overcome the crushing costs involved with those artificially created market conditions. It has been/ is and remains on world wide markets.

    Even as it is off topic, please keep us up on your experiences.

    All the best !
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,426
    Thanks to both of you. I will say I do enjoy these boards immensely and they certainly help in the car purchase experience.

    I would have been all over a diesel Accord. I was very disappointed when the automatic did not pass emissions recently so they pulled the plug on whole program since they did not want a stick only vehicle. At least that is my understanding of what happened.

    We will see how the "earth dreams" 2.4 performs once break in is complete. Got a not too spectacular 32 mpg driving back from dealer (in Bismarck ND), but it was understandable for the first 220 miles in temps that ranged from -5 to -14 (wind chill of -50), especially with me constantly speeding up and slowing down to help with break in. Experience tells me my 2007 would get about the same mileage in those temps (and it is very much broken in).
  • houdini1houdini1 Kansas City areaPosts: 5,862
    Under those conditions, 32 mpg is outstanding imo. Keep us posted on your mileage, but more importantly, your overall ownership experience.

    Congrats on a great car.

    2013 LX 570 2010 LS 460 2002 Tacoma 4x4

  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,701
    edited January 2013
    Fueling after the trip @ home base (sea level) , posted a mountain's stop and go @ high altitude to freeway homebound pen and ink 31 mpg. Over all, the trip's AVERAGE was 30 mpg: 29 mpg upgrade and mountain stop and go, 31 mountain stop and go to downgrade. Ski conditions for 10 days were absolutely terrific.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Congrats! I'm also interested to hear more as you drive it some. Notice our short lists overlap quite a bit.

    Backp cam standard, too. What'd you pay?

    19s on a FWD sedan is nuts.

    I did some more research and I like that the Mazda3, TDI, and Impreza hatches have big gas tanks for their class, all 14.5 gallons. Focus and Elantra have smaller tanks and are less efficient to boot, so range suffers.

    Bad news is VW will downsize theirs a tad. Mazda may do the same when the 3 is redone, though a diesel could add range back.

    Accords tank is 17.2, so you should go a long way on each tank. Curious, did you price out the Passat TDI?

    For me base 5 doors run 18-19 and loaded are 22-23 but the Golf adds several grand to either. Plus I'd wait for the lighter Gold VII.

    I wish I could combine:

    Hyundai's price and features (pano, 7" Nav, backup cam for $21.6k wow)

    With Subaru's AWD (essential staff, gotta work on snow days) and visibility

    With Passat's range (700+)

    With Focus hatch styling

    Or...a base model equipped like the Mazda3, which has the best feature content among the cars under $20k.

    Every car has its compromises.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,426
    edited January 2013
    I was willing to wait and see if the new Mazda3 had more room in back - same for the new lightweight golf. Either would have been nice. I expect the Golf would have been expensive as the current is 24 to 25k and the new would probably be more. Mazda could have worked but the last several generations have not increased the rear leg room and I don't expect it to change much. Wife was in more of a hurry because she wanted the kids to use my old car and stop driving the 1990 Integra, which is getting a little old, and has no airbags no abs etc.

    I can cross my legs in back of the Accord sitting behind myself (6'-0"). My 3 sons are either already taller than me or soon will be, so space is an issue. We do take the Sienna for long family trips though.

    I absolutely considered the Passat, but issues were price (not much dealing on TDI with stick in these parts), reliability (probably average reliability so I could handle that) and availability. Dealer basically had no interest in me when I said I was considering a TDI stick. He said they were six months out at best, and this is a dealer that is already 230 miles away - logistical hassle.

    Loved the Passats backseat and feature set. I did not drive one, but hear they have lost their edge in the new American version. At $25-26k vs $23.3k for the Accord It just did not seem worth pursuing. If they had one in stock I may have bought it, but don't like the idea locking myself in so far out when so many other new vehicles are coming.

    Yes backup cam is standard on the Accord and to my surprise is quite useful, also has lanewatch (live video of righthand mirror shows up on center screen), Dual zone A/C, keyless entry with push button start (still getting used to that) and of course bluetooth (phone and audio) and Pandora streaming.

    Had originally wanted a sport, but only one with a stick is 550 miles away from my house and they wanted $200 more (should be ($1200 less) than I paid for the EX. So basically my purchase was a crime of opportunity. Happy with the EX as the sport had some things I was not crazy about. I would have bought the LX if it had power seats, but am now glad I have the EX.

    Will see about the range - got 670 miles on a tank with my 2007 Accord. 600 was easy on highway trips.

    Still a big fan of the diesel - maybe my wife will get one when she decides the Sienna has served its time. Diesel CRV would be nice, or Forrester, or CX-5, or even a Sienna.
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