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

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Comments

  • lemmerlemmer Posts: 2,676
    How did the tests exaggerate? Are you basing this on analysis of the EPA testing methods or just anecdotal evidence?
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,046
    I am (a little, not a ton but a little) surprised that your Sequoia only pulls 16 mpg on highway trips?

    That is the best I have gotten with our CA gas. I got close to 18 MPG with AZ gas which was not ethanol laced. Most tanks are about 14.5 MPG with short 15 mile trips to town.

    The BMW X5 diesel is at the top of the list for me. I am sure I can squeeze at least 30 MPG on the highway with one. In the UK it gets better than the ML320 CDI. The Mercedes on the cross country was able to get almost 32 MPG on the highway. They are both smaller than the Sequoia. Still big enough for the two of us to travel comfortably or carry another couple out to the desert. We looked at smaller CUV type vehicles. None were very highly rated off road. We like to run up desert washes etc. The BMW X5 3.0L sd is rated at 40.4 MPG. That converts to 33.64 MPG US. I would be very happy getting 30 MPG in a vehicle the size of the X5.

    BMW X5 diesel
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,046
    The EPA needs several different tests that are optimized for the type. Hybrid, PHEV, Diesel, gas and EV. They want one size to fit all and that is unrealistic.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,261
    I think you're right. Diesel SUVs make way more sense to me than dinky little cars that don't carry anything anyway. The whole idea is to increase not just the MPG, but the overall ratio of people/cargo per gallon.

    For instance, to use a clumsy analogy, a city bus getting an absurd 2 mpg (they do better than that of course) that is filled with 60 people is just as economical as a 60 mpg Smart car with 2 people. (both get "120 people/miles per gallon").

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  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,046
    It is nice when you and I agree. I get upset with all the buses I see getting 2-6 MPG carrying 3-4 passengers. They are a good enough deal when they are full. They are a big loser when half empty. Two people in a 30 MPG diesel SUV is better than one person in a 45 MPG Prius. I don't think I have had the SUV out of the garage without my wife along. We go together. Of course ours is a gas guzzling Toyota Sequoia. I would feel much better getting 25-30 MPG in a diesel SUV.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,422
    Where have you been? No one was getting the 60 city mpg/51 hwy claimed by the Prius prior to the the 2008 standards. Few complained about 48 mpg, but it was noted to be significantly less than the pre-08 stickers claimed. On the other hand, TDIs reportedly met pre-2008 EPA figures or bested them, especially the highway figure. This has been reported in comparison tests, auto columns, forums. I challenge you to find evidence that TDIs fail to reach EPA estimates by as the Prius did until revised figures were issued. The old standards and testing created a bias for hybrids, one that the EPA has tried to somewhat correct. Google it.

    Whatever floats yer boat, I say. If you prefer a hybrid, buy it. You will get good mileage. But my point, if I am allowed to have one, is that those who wish to forego the battery thing with all its pro and con environmental implications, still have the choice of a small diesel that will save fuel (and dollars) as well, even in the face of higher diesel fuel cost.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,046
    No one was getting the 60 city mpg

    What is significant to me is that 60 MPG figure was used to calculate the tax credit given to people buying the Prius after 2006. Those buying the Prius were given $3150 tax credit based on that very optimistic rating. By contrast the new VW Jetta TDI will only get $1300 tax credit based on a very low EPA mileage figure. VW protested which must have fell on the deaf ear of the EPA. Which tells me they have no interest in promoting high mileage vehicles unless they fit their preconceived idea of what is a good vehicle. Yet I am sure in reality the Jetta will do much better than the EPA estimate.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Gary says, "That is the best I have gotten with our CA gas."

    Gary, that reminds me. The two tanks I on which I used CA gas for my trip to Oxnard last week were:

    40.09
    37.80 (so far)

    I don't think the CA gas negatively impacted my vehicle at all. In fact, that was the only the second 40+ tank I have had since December 2007.
  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    Sounds like a diesel Borrego would work better for you.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Is the tax credit based SOLELY on the EPA highway rating? I thought it was based on the combined MPG?

    Regardless, there were and are people who get 60 mpg with the Prius in the City.

    Gary says, "Which tells me they have no interest in promoting high mileage vehicles unless they fit their preconceived idea of what is a good vehicle."

    Totally preposterous accusation. Again. The ratings are what the ratings are. The Jetta actually DID ONLY perform a 29/41 on the new EPA test. It was double-checked and verified like all the tests are. VW themselves got nothing better than that on the EPA test.

    The tax credit is based on that EPA number, not real-world owner mileage, not mileage achieved by diesel hypermilers, and not mileage achieved by an independent test agency.

    If you want the EPA to have a "diesel specific" test then send them a letter. If you want the EPA numbers to reflect the numbers by another testing facility, then again, send them a letter.

    They did nothing wrong and there is no anti-diesel bias involved.
  • 1stpik1stpik Posts: 495
    "TDIs reportedly met pre-2008 EPA figures or bested them ... This has been reported in comparison tests, auto columns, forums. The old standards and testing created a bias for hybrids ..."

    You're making the same mistake again, citing anectdotal evidence as scientific proof -- saying that the test numbers are wrong because some people claim to exceed them.

    The only way to settle this would be to take a Prius and a TDI, and run both fuel tanks dry. Then put exactly the same amount of fuel in each car, and drive both of them at the same time along the same route at the same speed until each runs dry again. That'd answer the question real quick.

    This is an open invitation for Edmunds to conduct this definitive, real-world comparison.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,422
    You are incorrigible. I was not citing any "scientific proof" nor claiming any. Nor was I claiming the test numbers are wrong. I was merely saying what the test results tend to be with different configurations.

    I was talking what the buzz is in the real world. Of sourse it is anecdotal, but it is interesting the direction the anecdotes tend to take. I wouldn't expect hybrid owners to be any less biased than diesel owners, but maybe you have other thoughts. I invite your real world comparison challenge, and hope someone takes you up on it.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,046
    Is the tax credit based SOLELY on the EPA highway rating? YES

    The new advanced lean burn technology motor vehicle credit is the sum of: (1) a fuel economy amount that varies with the rated fuel economy of a qualifying vehicle compared to the 2002 model year city fuel economy for a vehicle in its weight class; and (2) a conservation credit based on the estimated lifetime fuel savings of the vehicle compared to fuel used by a vehicle in its weight class and with fuel economy equal to the 2002 model year city fuel economy. The new qualified hybrid motor vehicle credit for passenger automobiles and light trucks is computed under the same formula as the new advanced lean burn technology motor vehicle credit. Both the new advanced lean burn technology motor vehicle credit and the new qualified hybrid motor vehicle credit begin to phase out for a manufacturer’s passenger automobiles and light trucks in the second calendar quarter after the calendar quarter in which at least 60,000 of the manufacturer’s passenger automobiles and light trucks that qualify for either credit have been sold for use in the United States

    http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/n-06-09.pdf

    Totally preposterous accusation. Again. The ratings are what the ratings are. The Jetta actually DID ONLY perform a 29/41 on the new EPA test.

    Again you are assuming that we can trust the testing by the EPA as legitimate. Where is the peer review? VW protested the EPA test. Did the EPA respond and have an outside company do a second test? VW paid to have an outside test and found the EPA to be 24% lower than their test. You can follow the EPA goose step. I refuse to believe they are totally honest in their dealings.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Gary says, "Again you are assuming that we can trust the testing by the EPA as legitimate. Where is the peer review?"

    Again, you are missing something. The CAR COMPANIES are the Peer review !!!

    The CAR COMPANIES have the full EPA test protocol and run the tests for most cars in their own labs.

    When and if the EPA tested the Jetta themselves AND VW also tested the Jetta, the test results were compared and were obviously the same.

    VW has never said "the EPA tested the Jetta using their protocol and got a DIFFERENT RESULT than when WE tested the car using the EPA protocol in OUR LABS so therefore the EPA fudged the results."

    What they did was say, "Hey, I think the EPA test is shorting us. Let's get it tested independently and see if we can get better numbers."

    That's what happened. It was not the EPA doing anything WRONG or INCORRECT at all.

    I don't think this is as hard for a smart guy like you to understand as you are trying to make it. There is no bias involved.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,261
    Besides, what would EPA's motive be for fudging results? If anything there would be a motive to post higher mpg, not lower.

    Besides, neither VW or EPA is relevant IMO. What's relevant is what 99% of the cars do out on the streets being driven normally by normal people doing normal car-things over a normal amount of mileage at a normal speed.

    As it turned out that was about 44 mpg for a normal Prius. :P

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  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,422
    Besides, neither VW or EPA is relevant IMO. What's relevant is what 99% of the cars do out on the streets being driven normally by normal people doing normal car-things over a normal amount of mileage at a normal speed.

    As it turned out that was about 44 mpg for a normal Prius.


    You made one of my points much better than I did.
  • lemmerlemmer Posts: 2,676
    I can agree with that. If you can get enough reliable anecdotal evidence, it means something.

    I personally can't stand hybrids or diesels. My mother has a Golf diesel that she recently bought to replace a late '90s Jetta diesel. The diesel engines in those cars just suck the life from them.
  • ncskibumncskibum Posts: 42
    What's relevant is what 99% of the cars do out on the streets being driven normally by normal people doing normal car-things over a normal amount of mileage at a normal speed.

    As it turned out that was about 44 mpg for a normal Prius.

    That is also the case that most owners of VW diesels are getting better mileage than the old EPA numbers. I have been exceeding those numbers for over seven of the eight years I've had my Beetle. I am considering a new TDI Jetta Sportswagen but would also like to see what/when Subaru and Honda bring something to the market. There are some direct comparisons of hybrids to the new VW on you-tube. The biggest problem with direct comparisons is that you have to balance the driving for each type. hybrids efficancy is best in city driving and diesels are best on highway. I run about 43 around town, with some interstate at 70+, and have hit 56 on state highway with cruise set at 60.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    The EPA "E S T I M A T E S" are there on the sticker to let consumers base a part of their car-buying decision on a very important piece of the equation.

    If the info was not there, it would be far FAR worse than having an estimate which is off by 3-4 MPG on average.

    I don't think those estimates are irrelevant at all.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,422
    I suppose its all in the way you perceive a car, how it drives, and what you prefer. To me the Golf/Jetta TDI with its much higher torque is quick off the line, and fun to drive when you really get into it. Actually, any stick shift economy oriented vehicle can be fun to push hard, because you can. With really high hp, pushing hard can take you right off the road fast, I wouldn't give a plug nickel for an automatic TDI (except for the new DSG transmission). Too slow and not enough mpg payback to justify it. But that's just me.
  • lemmerlemmer Posts: 2,676
    I see your point, but I like the revs. I'm more of an S2000 guy than a TDI guy.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,046
    The EPA may or may not have any motive. Why would they rate the Prius way over and the Jetta TDI way under? Did someone in the EPA want to promote hybrids with a much higher tax credit than the Jetta TDI. Of course I do disagree that VW got the same results as the EPA, per larsb. There is no evidence that I have seen even suggesting that. VW questioned the EPA rating because they knew it was far too low. They would not have gone to the expense to hire an independent company to do the testing. We do not know that the independent did not use the same rules as the EPA. All we know is the EPA ratings are 24% below the AMCI ratings. And the tax credit is $1850 less for the Jetta. That to me is Fishy.

    At least VW is willing to put their reputation on the line and buck the EPA. They are also going to post their independent mileage ratings.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,422
    Yes, if you like revs, the TDI ain't for you.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Gary says, "They would not have gone to the expense to hire an independent company to do the testing."

    Thanks for MAKING MY POINT !!! If VW had NOT gotten the SAME RESULTS AS THE EPA did when VW was using the EPA testing protocol, they would NOT have spent money getting an independent tester to test the TDI in a different manner !!

    You finally GOT IT GARY !!!!!

    If they had gotten DIFFERENT RESULTS than the EPA, then they would hae argued "The EPA is screwing us by falsifying the test!!!" But they did not say that, did they?
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Gary says, "We do not know that the independent did not use the same rules as the EPA. "

    Of COURSE we DO KNOW THAT !!!

    VW or you or I can get the exact same results as the EPA test because the EPA test does not allow for variations !! It would be the same every time !!! It's done in a controlled environment !!!

    That's why VW had to hire an outside agency to run a DIFFERENT set of tests !!
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,422
    You sure can be like a dog with a bone...except I don't think this point rises to the level of a bone... :P
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,046
    The EPA "E S T I M A T E S" are there on the sticker to let consumers base a part of their car-buying decision on a very important piece of the equation.

    Sadly people believe their government and find out later it is all lies. Just like those that bought the Prius with grand hopes it would get 60 MPG in town and that was not the case. It would be so much better and put the responsibility on the automakers if they had to do the tests and be required to back up the mileage estimates. The way it is the poor customer has NO recourse when he buys a Prius that was rated 60 MPG city and he is getting 40 MPG. Toyota knew the estimates were phony and were able to blame it all on the entity that HAS NO responsibility for what they do. The EPA.

    If it is a comparison of what the same person would get driving two different cars it should be accurate. It is so far off it STINKS.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    This is the text of an internal VW memo. Notice they do not ANYWHERE say that AMCI used the EPA protocol. They describe it as "real world" testing:

    "VOLKSWAGEN DEALERSHIP COMMUNICATION

    To: Dealer Principals, General Managers and Department Managers

    Name: Mark Barnes
    Title: Chief Operating Officer

    Subject: 2009 MY Jetta TDI Fuel Economy VW Brand Department
    Date: June 6, 2008

    Following up my letter of May 23, I am pleased to inform you that our independent third party certified testing of the fuel economy on the 2009 Jetta TDI with DSG transmission is now complete. AMCI is the industry leader in independent vehicle testing, validation and certification. As expected, the ‘real world” fuel economy is significantly higher than the EPA estimates.

    2009 Jetta TDI 2.0L DSG Fuel Economy

    EPA City: 29 Highway: 40 Combined: 33
    AMCI City: 38 Highway: 44 Combined: 41

    The “real world” AMCI - measured combined fuel economy represents an overdelivery by 24.2% versus the stated EPA fuel economy.

    What does this mean? It means your clean diesel customers can safely expect their new Jetta TDI clean diesels will beat the EPA estimates. It means a Jetta TDI owner can expect a range of close to 600 miles between fill ups.

    As my earlier note stated, we had optimism going into this independent testing because Volkswagen Jettas with a diesel engine have historically over-delivered on EPA estimates. These independent test results from AMCI assure us that the situation will remain unchanged for 2009.

    Should your diesel customers express concern over posted EPA fuel economy estimates, be sure to share these independent certified test results with them.

    Jetta TDI clean diesel fuel economy and range, combined with three years of Carefree scheduled maintenance, make the prospect of TDI ownership economical, fun, and worry-free.

    It’s what the people want!
    Mark Barnes"


    So there is no way they used the EPA protocol. I am searching the web now for more info.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,046
    That's why VW had to hire an outside agency to run a DIFFERENT set of tests !!

    You have evidence to that? Do you have evidence that VW ran the same tests that the EPA themselves and got the same results? I don't even believe the EPA actually run any tests. I think they have a bunch of over paid greenie geeks with computers that come up with all these numbers. And you cannot prove otherwise. I have emails from the EPA that say they do not divulge which cars they test. You are living in a world that sees people as all good when it is just the opposite. There is no reason to believe the EPA is any more honest than our lying Congress and the rest of those thieves in Washington DC.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,422
    Well, now this has deteriorated into duelling beliefs and political rhetoric. Where are you guys going with this?
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