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

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  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,476
    edited April 2013
    I just got back from a dark night return trip through the South Lake Tahoe Mountains. Anyone can google the route (Highway 50) 7,377 ft (highest road pass ) to sea level Tahoe being @ 6,225 ft elevation. Since I have done this any number of times, this latest fill is consistent with others and not an outlier or fluke. This time it was a R/T fill for 32 mpg. I was nearly alone on the roads up (morning after commute traffics) and back. 8 pm or so) It was literally a gorgeous day for a drive.

    Highway 50 Wiki
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,678
    It looks like you made a good choice for the sort of driving you do a lot of. This head 2 head between the 2014 Jeep GC diesel and the Touareg TDI points out the better highway handling of the Touareg. What he does not mention is the fact that you can get the diesel in the less expensive Sport model of the Touareg for about $10k less than you can buy the JGC diesel Summit.

    In one of its latest video sessions, MotorTrend has pitted the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit 4x4 EcoDiesel (rated for 240 hp and 420 lb-ft), to give its full name, against one of its rivals, the Volkswagen Touareg, featuring a three-liter diesel, with very similar power and torque figures.

    The vehicles are put through their paces on a variety of road surfaces, and their off-road capability, maneuverability and engines are evaluated, along with all the other usual tests (ride, interior quality, looks and value).


    http://www.carscoops.com/2013/04/mt-pits-all-new-2014-jeep-grand.html
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,476
    edited April 2013
    VW Touareg 10 th BD

    Thank you. The other truth is it is a HOOT to drive (for a CUV). The 32 mpg (vs 20 mpg on Acura MDX, same trip) is merely icing on the cake. The truth again is I suspect the VW Touareg gasser and certainly the MDX is also fun to drive as are others in this segment. Not too bad for a 10 year old design EH? ;) It also meets the State's chain control regulations driving in the mountains during inclement weather.

    If I were a Chysler TDI buyer, I would ask why is this TDI product only "SLIGHTLY" ahead after a 10-15 year FREE look at the market segment ??? Having asked that, I am sure it is an exciting new product offering !! (albeit, pricey) :shades:

    I did indeed chose the "SPORT" version. In light of the diesel's drive train (TDI engine, 8 speed A/T, and suspension, there is precious little I wanted and still want and willing to pay for in the LUX and EXEC versions. Would I take either given the same price as the SPORT? Ah ....Maybe.... In fact, I am led to believe in reading other Touareg threads, I have dodged a few bullets by getting the Sport instead of either the Lux or Exec versions.

    Not to stir the pot and I fully understand (dressing in flame suit now) that Porsche and/or Audi purists are LOATHED to admit, that the segment and model variants of the VW Touareg are in many ways responsible for THEIR continued success. It also has been so for over a decade.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,633
    I've done that road many times. You'll always get better MPG heading from NV to CA then the other way 'round. And from Tahoe to Sacramento you'll get outstanding mileage because, as they say, it's all downhill.

    that's not an easy drive for a 4 cylinder diesel car.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,476
    edited April 2013
    Right. Then I take it you agree in a broad brush sort of way with what I have written. The aim was/ is/ continue to describe as best as possible the conditions where the mpg was posted. (in my anecdotal cases, the Acura MDX @ 20 mpg R/T and VW T 32 mpg R/T) Not that a lot of readers across the country are going to do EXACTLY that googled route. :) So as you would probably agree, that is why I posted LEGS of the trip and over all R/T mpg figures. Actually the 39.9 mpg WAS posted on the downgrade run heading south. That of course was lost going thru Sacramento, as I am one of the SLOW movers @ 85/90 mph !! ;) I must be getting OLD :lemon:

    I had an interesting wake up call on the UPGRADE portion in SAC, as I was passing a fully loaded tractor trailer. JUST as I was alongside but ALMOST past the tractor trailer rig, his left rear tire (last part of his trailer) EXPLODED with chunks of rubber flying like shrapnel and LONG pieces of tread contrails littering the road. I think the conversation would be FAR different if I was going slower than he. :lemon:
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,633
    Oh yeah, you can FLY down the grade to Sacramento. Going up towards Tahoe, you'd need a pretty powerful car to command the left lane all the way up. My MINI does it fine but always throws the check engine light (which then goes off on the way into NV).
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,476
    @ what altitude do you start to feel the effects on your Mini?
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,633
    edited April 2013
    Having a supercharger, it doesn't seem much affected by altitude at all, but the engine light indicates a fuel mixture problem on a long, hot, hard climb. It's only 1.6L, after all. :P
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,476
    I guess in some ways this brings up the unknown metric. How many vehicles or percentages of the vehicle fleet are "forced air fed?, aka supercharger, turbo, twin turbo, etc. ? In the turbo diesels, it is certainly an advantage @ altitude. Gassers with superchargers and or turbo's seem to have more heat related issues.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,633
    What a supercharger gives a tiny gas engine is what a diesel engine doesn't need---low end torque.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,678
    I did indeed chose the "SPORT" version. In light of the diesel's drive train (TDI engine, 8 speed A/T, and suspension, there is precious little I wanted and still want and willing to pay for in the LUX and EXEC versions.

    I consider that a big bonus with VW Touareg TDI. You can get the basic diesel package without buying a lot of foo foo, if you so desire. The Sport offers the better wheels and tires that I would want. By going to the Lux you are stuck with low profile 20" wheels and tires. Not sure why they all seem to make it difficult to get what you want.
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,346
    Well, that's a loaded statement sorta, Shifty..Turbo'ing a diesel is the absolute best way to exploit the torque (and hp too) at very little fuel use penalty. Yes there is most definitely a fuel use penalty, but not when you consider the urge reward. It allows light-footed throttle application, yet still give reasonable go..and if ya wanna really go..at a bit of extra fuel expense...well we know that works too..

    And perhaps the best part is..because a diesel runs so efficiently from the get-go..it is far better able to deal with turbo heat..a gas engine's (longevity) killer..
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,633
    Oh I think you misunderstood my message. All I was saying is that a supercharger works great on a small gas engine. I always advocated that all diesels be turbocharged and that (here's the loaded statement) that they be automatics or DSGs.
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,346
    that they be automatics or DSGs.

    I won't go there, but I suspect i know why you probably have that caveat..

    Oh I think you misunderstood my message.

    Ya, I mighta..

    Ya know when you first said that you get a dash light on those upgrade climbs, at first I thought maybe super hot exhaust manifold temps was behind it..

    Have you had any experience with the turbo'd version of your car? If so...would you say the best combo is turbo'd or blown? All things being equal, turbo is freer than a blower..

    I'm guessing that to exploit the supercharged effect best, you short shift, eh?
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,633
    I have driven the turbo version of the MINI, and prefer the Supercharger. It's just more "linear", not better necessarily.

    The reason I like turbo diesels with automatic is that it's often a waste of time to rev a diesel up past it's most efficient RPM. Most people don't really understand that, so I think they waste a lot of fuel trying to make a diesel do what it doesn't like doing.

    I would "short shift" a diesel but I bury the needle in the MINI--it seems responsive all the way up.

    Actually I do short shift the MINI--I take that back--in that I often skip all those 6 gears...in city driving I do 1st, 3rd and 5th--that's it.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,476
    edited April 2013
    ..."The reason I like turbo diesels with automatic is that it's often a waste of time to rev a diesel up past it's most efficient RPM. Most people don't really understand that, so I think they waste a lot of fuel trying to make a diesel do what it doesn't like doing.

    I would "short shift" a diesel but I bury the needle in the MINI--it seems responsive all the way up."...

    Those that know diesels or the differences between most diesels and gassers would probably agree that is one key practical difference between the two. Indeed, I think this is where a lot of "gasser switchers" have WAY too much room for disappointment: expecting one to be/ behave (exactly) like the other, etc.. Then of course those same folks (surprise surprise) are somewhat to VERY disappointed when they are NOT the same. :sick: This difference in effect "TRIGGERS" a whole series of "subtle" and not so subtle different ways of driving. My advice would be to figure out in advance of purchase, the level of satisfaction or lack there of.

    The differences between A/T (slush box 3/4/5/6/7/8/ speed) and DSG's (6/7/8 speed and 5/6/7 speed M/T's are truly another.

    Somewhat off topic, but related : GM has figured out they need to invest in more updated transmissions as covered in the WSJ. Specifically mentioned are 8 speed slush boxes, as built and or licensed by ZF. In 2007, a scant 5 (could be light) years ago? GM sold Allison Transmission to private equity.
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,346
    edited April 2013
    I could picture the linearity but am a bit surprised about the burying it often. It must be because of it being a relatively small displacement. I remember years ago, chatting with a guy at a cruise night who seemed to know a fair bit about supercharging an engine. The one that he had there that night was a 5.0 Mustang. I remember him saying that he got better sprint times by short shifting. I think it was because so much torque is immediate and practically off idle. Turbos are getting better all the time too now...the use of smaller diameters and of course twin scrolls now all reduce spool up lag times.

    But I can see why autos are popular still with a turbo because the torque convertors allows them to stay on progressive boost between cogs.

    If I were to speculate on what keeps modern day autos from being even more highly regarded than they already are...it is their never ending attempts to make them read your mind. They think they know what you want but of course that fuzzy logic only can go so far...hell..a lot of drivers themselves don't know what they want, so how can any auto tranny derive enough info and process fast enough to actually improve the experience?

    Just recently I was reading about...something...I think it mighta been a 2013 V6 Accord, and the poster said that he couldn't just let off the gas a hair at 40-45 mph and coast it down a bit (picture a slowdown you can see coming up on a freeway congestion..or in town..and you're watching waiting for the light up ahead to go green) without the tranny downshifting a gear! And if I were to speculate why, I'm guessing that the ECU's involved, (after deciding that the driver wanted to slow down more than just 1/2 mph) downshifted the tran because I suspect that in terms of trans wear and tear, it is easier on a trans downshifting into a cog under slight deceleration, than upshifting under pressure/demand of acceleration. So the tran thinks that if it has already chosen that one lower cog, then is ready to give go squarely in that gear if the driver decides to re-accelerate again...typical of the two examples I gave above..traffic starts to flow again..or light turned green.

    The reason they can algorithm a tranny this way these days is cuz they have a lot more ratios to choose from. With a 4 speed, there would be a lot more shock involved if it lowered a cog as sensitive to deceleration under similar circumstances. And of course for accelerating..with the 4 speed it only has so many ratios to pick from so is probably already in that gear to re-accelerate....the variances being taken up in a slipping torque converter.

    While I am not a DCT fan yet, (just too much reliance on artificial devices to get the cog changes done..but if I lose the use of my left leg though, there is better potential for me to be a fan) I believe that for these reasons I describe above they can make cars like a Fiesta still get better mpg with the auto than the stick. They both have 6 speeds, and unlike many examples of an auto vs stick, they both share similar final drive ratios and cog ratios. The difference in economy potential then boils down to the lack of parasitic losses in the DCT during those times between cogs that the 'torque converter' (cuz it isn't one..it's a clutch) isn't allowing any slip (slip being lost fuel economy potential) between those cogs 2 thru 5 in those 2 driving examples above.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,633
    Oh I mean full throttle but not necessarily up to redline---you have to keep little engines "on cam" or they fall flat on their little faces. I have a supercharger pulley reduction so there's more boost earlier on.
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,346
    I hear ya..
    Interesting about the pulley reduction mod..makes sense to me.

    So what FE are you getting with the premium dependent little bugger?

    And what is the FE of them when BMW decided best to turbo them instead?
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,678
    If the USA was really into saving the environment, the EPA would insist we have the greenest vehicles in every class sold in this country. I would put my cash in one of these in a NY second. 1000 miles on a tank full of Diesel is my idea of good range.

    The environmental car ranking, published annually, is based on a dozen criteria, including fuel consumption, pollutant emissions, manufacturing, recycling and the environmental systems of the manufacturer.

    This is the second straight year the ML 250 BlueTec 4Matic has earned the top spot for an SUV, for its energy efficient direct-injection, turbocharged, four-cylinder, 204-horsepower diesel engine. It can accelerate from 0-60 mph in nine seconds and get 40 miles per gallon while emitting just 158 g/km of CO2 (combined). It has a range of just over 1,000 miles.


    http://green.autoblog.com/2012/12/30/mercedes-benz-m-class-b-class-named-most-en- vironmentally-frien/
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