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

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Comments

  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,491
    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.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,664
    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.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,491
    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: 2,346
    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.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,664
    "
    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.
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,346
    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.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,664
    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
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,664
    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.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,491
    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: 2,346
    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.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,407
    Don't forget Mazda. They are jumping into the VW niche and it looks like they are planning diesels throughout their lineup.

    Maybe my wife would like a diesel Mazda5 with the stick shift in a few years. :surprise:

    BTW recent anecdotal mpg with my Accord suggests DI gas engines can be pretty darn good these days. Yesterday a 20 minute round trip through town gave me 40.9 mpg. That is with 12 stop signs and two traffic lights. All at 35 mph or under. Not too shabby. Still less than 3k on the engine. Hope to get some highway trips in soon.

    Don't forget electrics - CR just rated the Tesla S as the best car they have ever tested. they said it handled like a porsche and rode like a lexus with 84 mpg equivalent.
  • jayriderjayrider Posts: 3,198
    The biggest issue with diesel passenger cars are simply that they are different and diesel costs more.. The masses are reluctant to embrace "different" and won't do their due diligence to make an informed decision. Hybrids have the same problem but car manufacturers have seen them as the future and people are more likely to consider one. Folks seem very worried about the expense of replacing the battery pack when we discuss my Prius. 200k miles on one is not unusual and the cost of replacing it has dropped dramatically. But whether diesel or hybrid, different is harder to sell.
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,054
    edited May 2013
    Hey, I am new here, as I normally post in mid-size sedans 2.0, but I owned a 96 Passat TDI (manual of course) in the past, and I loved it.

    It was one of the best handling cars, and the Turbo churned out a good amount of torque in order to keep up with traffic. However, it was not the cleanest, had only 90 HP, and after 5 years it was falling apart.

    I now own a 2012 Kia Optima EX, but the new Mazda 6 is going to offer a 2.2 liter T/D in the fall. It will have 173 HP and 310 lb ft. With an estimated 45 mpg, and with a 30k sticker. this very much interests me. The car is beautiful, drives FANTASTIC, and I think it will be my next car. ( I already drove the 2.5 L Touring in early March).

    Here's how Mazda's modern Diesel was made light, powerful, and affordable:

    http://www.mazdausa.com/MusaWeb/videoController.action?op=playVideo&playlistId=4- 85DC4B7EAB238F2&videoId=cK5SQkEUBdo

    That's what it takes for me to buy a diesel! It is more affordable that other hi-performance Diesel sedans from BMW and Audi. With 3 kids and a mortgage. a $50 k diesel 3 series just wasn't in the budget.

    Have a good weekend guys, and don't forget mom on Sunday!!!
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,346
    edited May 2013
    Welcome, cski..

    While your 90 hp Passat might have smoked a bit more than today's TDI's, seems to me it still had reasonable torque for such a heavy car of that generation. I know it was no ball of fire, but if you loaded up the car with 5 passengers and then started into a nice long hill, against the same setup only with VW's 2.0 is it? The old 8 valve cast iron block NA, requires a timing belt, engine. I'll bet your old diesel would beat it to the top. ANd today's TDI would absolutely annihilate it. Probably hook a 1000 lb trailer to it and the 5 passengers and STILL beat your old diesel.

    But that said, this new Mazda engine does sound really intriguing. We were just talking about it here this morning. After seeing the apparent positive results with Mazda's gas job SkyActiv's I'm inclined to trust that they have also done an admirable job on the low compression diesels. Still there are not a lot of miles on the gas SkyActivs yet so we'll have to wait and see still..and aluminum block on the new diesel...hmmmm..good for handlng no doubt, but...we'll see. If they have a good process and faultless casts, could be ok. But then Honda didn't have much luck for their 1.8 Civic blocks for a stretch there.. And whatever forces a gas job imposes, the diesel will up that anti handily.

    I can't think of any two (affordable) driver's cars that suit a modern TD better than both VW and Mazda. I predict VW will have the quietest of the two. Both have similar good quality steering. The VW will probably edge out the Mazda for ride compliance and not feel quite as harsh at times as the Mazda does, yet still do very respectable swerve test times/speeds..

    I think I might trust the Mazda though in other reliability aspects of the car, over the VW. VW has been making strides apparently, but thet still have a reputation laying over their head. (your experience is a firsthand example most recently).

    Boy that 310 ft/lbs though...now THAT sounds fine..
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,491
    edited May 2013
    I say what is NOT to like?

    If the cited figures (45 mpg vs 38 mpg) are true, not only does the Mazda 6 TDI get 18% better fuel mileage than the (like model) gasser, but torque is 68% better. It goes without saying that to get 68% better torque in a gasser one really have to do RADICAL stuff: like add 2 to 3 cylinders and beef up a lot more components than probably Mazda is NOT willing to do. (Mazda's V6 has 269# ft vs the 310 in the TDI) Needless to say that with far more torque to match the diesel for example the gassers gas mileage would most like fall further than the 38 EPA.

    I would swag it would be like other diesels, being capable of posting far better mpg than ( like model) gassers. (+ 14% to 53%) Truly it is Mazda's to win / lose, depending on execution and customer's response, among other variables. A + 3,000 greater MSRP, would give the competitive edge to VW Passat.
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,985
    edited May 2013
    You haven't stood next to a MB or even VW TDI lately with the hood up have you?

    From that GLK250 link I think I posted in here the other day:

    "You can tell the GLK250 Bluetec is a diesel when you are outside the car and it is idling, but the telltale diesel clatter caused by the powerful combustion events going on inside the block is minimal. Mercedes has done a nice job of sound-deadening, and the noise can't be heard at all from inside if the windows are up."

    Contrast that to our test drive of a new Sienna back in '98 - tried to crank it and it was already running. :blush:

    VW's reliability is still a bit suspect but their dealers are getting better. I'm not so sure that Mazda is holding up to their prior standards since they split from Ford (my Mom's 80-something Protege was a terrific car) - sure see a lot of complaints in the CX discussions here, especially the CX-7.

    Diesel is running around $4.10 here (RUG is $3.79 to $3.88).
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,346
    edited May 2013
    My comment about listening to it idle with hood up, was meant to be in contrast with my other numerously mentioned points that when extracting the full torque figures, the diesel accomplishes that with little fuss and muss (rpms) yet your quiet idling Sierra, creates a lot more raucous when not idling and then attempting to tap into its peak torque figures. Not sure why my point continually seems to not be communicated or understood/heard...unless of course you are again attempting to spur "forum activity"? Ya...I guess that's it.. :P :sick:

    And yes I read that link front to back...it served to support my point even further.

    edit - and diesel price collusion...for whatever its corrupt price premium (in certain states, certainly not all) still doesn't cut the math for any informed/intelligent prospective purchaser, as ruking1 has painstakingly pointed out in vivid detail numerous times.
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,985
    Well, I don't want to stereotype minivan moms but a rattling engine at idle might dissuade some on a test drive.
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,346
    On the other hand, why not inform those fickle females the convenience of not having to refuel in the pouring rain about half as often.. I can't help but think that the new hair-do having its full as-left-the-salon-shape would further support the oil burner advantages..
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,985
    Might make a good marketing scheme.

    Get Vin Diesel to portray the hair dresser. :shades:
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