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



  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,487
    edited October 2013
    I am not sure what possessed me to start to drive in the style (my perception of course) that Fintail describes (how he has to drive) in Seattle, WA. So far for half a tank, the computer shows 34.5 mpg. With a 26.4 gal tank and IF I continue at this clip, (like watching paint dry) that is 910.8 miles projected (this tank full) . :P

    12 VW Touareg TDI. EPA C 19 mpg /H 28 mpg.

    (81.6% over C EPA/ 23.2% OVER H EPA)

    No real "hyper mile techniques," other than to keep it 65 mph and UNDER. Now just about EVERYONE and their relatives are passing me, except for the truly special purpose vehicles (out of per 100, feels like 2). :(
  • dave8697dave8697 Posts: 1,479
    Point to what shows 2014 cyl deac as problematic? Looks like you made that up along with your mpg numbers.

    I read several (5) articles pegging the Chev 2WD ext cab V6 at 18/24 hwy for 2014. The 17/22 rating is 4WD or 2WD V8. My '98 4.3 is rated 20 hwy and has delivered 23.5 on long trips in yr 1 and in yr 16.

    Now that gas is down to $3.09 per gallon, I noticed they dropped diesel by 10 cents to $3.90 locally. 26.2% more than gas.

    JD Power has GMC as 2nd place behind Porsche in 2013 initial quality.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,487
    edited October 2013
    ..."Point to what shows 2014 cyl deac as problematic? Looks like you made that up along with your mpg numbers. "...

    Your quote is a mischaracterization of what he actually said. EPA's for gassers can be way different in the real world. It can be plus, but more likely than not, MINUS.

    So for example, since you got 23.5 when rated for 20 (consistently on trips year 1 to 16) are you really saying the 2014 Chevy's will get 17.5% better?

    I do not know what a diesel (1/2 ton, as there are no diesels) Chevrolet truck 1500 series posts mpg, but I do know the VW T TDI gets, 31/33 and the VW T gasser 19. So given your prices, that is .1258 cents vs .163 cents per mile driven. So even with diesel fuel costing 26.2% more than gas per gal; RUG is 30% more per mile driven. The only anomaly here is that the VW T gasser uses PUG, but you didn't post its price.

    ..."JD Power has GMC as 2nd place behind Porsche in 2013 initial quality."...

    Now that makes me ask, (not to you specifically) why can't Corvette meet or exceed Porsche in that department? (they certainly have it beat in the price point metric) Needless to say, Corvettes are a GM product.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,676
    Point to what shows 2014 cyl deac as problematic? Looks like you made that up along with your mpg numbers.

    The numbers are from the EPA site. I do not need to make up stuff. If you are fortunate enough to live where gas is nearly a dollar per gallon cheaper than CA, good for you. That is not the case here where gas and diesel both like that $4 mark. The very credible CleanMPG does not share your thinking on the cylinder deactivation GM has tried to resurrect to get back in the game.

    GM’s PU Truck Cylinder Deactivation Leaves Much to be desired…

    Managers (not Engineers) developing the current Silverado sought the least expensive solution for improving the fuel economy while preserving its durability and lackluster performance.

    Jordan Lee, Global Chief Engineer for GM small block engines must have cringed when he was quoted by the PR group with the following:
    “Rather than adding turbochargers or multi-valve cylinder heads to increase the power of smaller engines, we chose to keep the proven capability of our larger V8 truck engines, and save fuel by switching off half of the cylinders when they aren’t needed.”
    A combination of simple hydraulic valves (read cheap) and software switch off the cylinders when the driver doesn’t need full power. When more power is needed, the system, called Active Fuel Management or AFM reengages the additional cylinders.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,487
    edited October 2013
    I am starting to think given the more in depth details, I am glad I don't need or want a (late MY GM) PU truck. In a pass life, I have had a few (full sized 150's and one 250) Ford vans. While they got the commercial job done, I was never very impressed. It sounds like not much has changed.

    Now I did like the switchable 40 gal capacity. Geez if the VW T TDI had that, the range would be 1380 miles !!!!!
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,948
    edited October 2013
    Slow day at the track. Slow as in bored. Well it's a bit slow too, but look at the rig.

    2013 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 2500: Track Tested

  • ohenryxohenryx Posts: 285
    My take on this: If you're really concerned about mpg, you probably shouldn't be driving a half-ton pickup.

    If you're in a situation where you have to drive a pickup truck, and you really are concerned about fuel mileage, you're in a bad situation.

    I drive a pickup because I like doing so, not because I have to, and I no longer drive enough miles that I need to be concerned about fuel mileage.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,676
    I ordered a 1974 Dodge extended van with 46 gallon tank. The dealer in Anchorage would not order it with AC. Said you don't need it in Alaska. I ordered from a dealer in Seattle. Saved enough for us to fly down and return most of the way on the inland Ferry system. Made a nice vacation. And that big gas tank came in handy on a couple trips out of Alaska through Canada. I am happy with the 26.4 gallons on the Touareg.

    I see one of the competitors the Lexus RX450h only has 17.2 gallon tank. It is also rated lower on the highway than the T-Reg TDI. No big deal, it was never on my list anyway.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,676
    edited October 2013
    I drive a pickup because I like doing so, not because I have to, and I no longer drive enough miles that I need to be concerned about fuel mileage.

    I agree with you 100%. I like driving PU trucks as well. Our Lexus and Sequoia sat in the garage and I drove the Frontier most of our miles. I liked driving it better than the LS400 or the Sequoia. Now that has changed. I like driving the Touareg even more than the Nissan PU truck. And it gets much better mileage as well. 16 cents per mile vs 24 cents even with gas being 22 cents per gallon cheaper.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,676
    I liked this statement:

    seriously though, the 2013 Mercedes Sprinter's steering is more reactive and precise than I anticipated (I've driven much worse in trucks and minivans half its size), it holds a line remarkably well

    I will be interested in their take on the 2014 with a 4 cylinder diesel W/7 speed. May be the ideal replacement for my Nissan PU truck. I would want the smallest version though. My 22 foot long Mercedes RV was a bit big for most parking spaces.
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,948
    They seemed to like the "old" engine better but it would be nice to test it. I could live with the speed and slalom numbers just fine, but like you say, it's a bit big. Be perfect for my guide friend though.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,487
    edited October 2013
    by Jeff Bennett, WSJ, pg B1, Wed, Oct. 2, 2013.

    An interesting financial slanted (but car related ) article.

    Basically there are 4 four macro situations:

    1. CPR to a prolonged bad market situation in European and spotty world markets

    2. IMPROVE poor financial decision making that continues into post bankruptcy

    3. SLASH vehicle development costs to boost profits

    4. BOOST profit margins closer to Ford's

    Behind the scenes, there are so called 4 lieutenants (one a woman) all in the horse race to ascended to the CEO position. One each taking one of the 4 points.

    Now if they are not all (in one way or the other) high level bean counters, the article hints broadly at their abilities to wax their own areas, work together with the others in bean counting priorities and work as a part and parcel toward the greater good of GM. (code for higher profits) while they didn't say it, I would assume a huge shareholder with board member representation (labor unions and pensions) are fully onboard. They might just want to leave the lieutenants in place and go outside for a new CEO.

    Long story short, given TRUCKS are still the KEY to GM's fortunes (US), it is hard to see where a new diesel would have any place, given the issues presented.

    Now I know the "Game of Thrones" is a cable TV fantasy series. I just don't get the nexus to the article presented.
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,346
    Well, I just learned that my friend who finally retired his 86 Jetta TD for a new (2011) JGW TDI, just dealt it in on a '13 2.5 Passat with a 6 sp Tiptronic. Is that the name for their non DSG auto? Doesn't look right for some reason.. Anyway..this sure is interesting although I knew he was not nearly as confident in the TDI as he was in his 86. He said there is just way too much tech going on to continue to make the TDI emissions friendly. The device that uses raw diesel fuel to burn off particulates in the PF, when too many trips that do not create enough natural heat in the system, add up. He said that it basically was doing "its thing" (the burning/cleaning cycle) every 100km! (62 miles) And that it had gone from 17, gradually increasing burn time, and the last time just the other day, it took 22 min. It is not advised to turn the car off during this cycle as all that will do is reset it, and it will have to start again, only adding additional time penalty. This waiting around for it to cycle started to own him, you might say. I sure can see how that would be annoying. And certainly reduce some of the fuel savings, due to idling etc.

    So to top it off, this particulate filter has a is a maintenance replaceable part of the exhaust system, due to the ash created from each burn cycle. The ash has nowhere to go, so it literally starts to build up and plug the system. Both fixes (an expensive dealer only servicing/cleaning) or re and re NEW filter...about $2000.00 !

    The bottom line is, he simply did not trust to own the car out of wty. So dealt it after 3 years and only 8800 km. It was as close to brand new condition as you can get inside and out, so pulled incredible resale. In fact, he drove a new car for 3 years, with only $4100. (tax in) out lay to get into a new gas Passat. I told him he won't do that well if he were to deal the Passat in another 3 years/8800 km. Of course he knows that.

    I think that we are at the point though that some significant running cost news is going to start to hurt resale on some of these TDIs for those owners who did not really fall into a very narrow demographic of the ideal small diesel engine owner. (the ones who do not drive an hour at a time each time they climb in...explained below..

    So...IMO, this is starting to really emphasize the importance of the type of use a prospective Golf/Jetta/Passat TDI owner intends to do. My friend said (and it is with quite a lot of detailed diesel engine and emission tech knowledge) that in his opinion and judging by what his car burn cycles were doing given his actual use of the car, is that anyone who does not really drive the car a full HOUR, each time they take it out, is probably going to be faced with a greater incidence of this expensive PF maintenance/ or replacement requirement. So to anyone who hasn't had a diesel before and have finally been convinced to give one a try, may regret that decision because of the ridiculous emission hoops that NA has made mfgrs like VW jump through in order to get certification for our countries. What this also tells me, is that maybe AdBlue is the most practical way to help these oil burners meet emission standards. It also makes me curious if Cruze diesel (which uses AdBlue unlike VW TDI 2.0s) and GLK250 etc have been designed to be a little more $dependable regarding addressing such maintenance requirements as this 2000$ regular expenditure on the TDI Golf's etc.

    What this all boils down to, IMO, is sure, diesels can be made clean enough to satisfy these handrubbing greenies (CARB etc) who deliberately saunter backwards in slowing/delaying/creating new and improved (ugh) hoops.. any certification process (just think Mazda SkyActive diesel delays here in NA) but bottom line, just because something 'can' be done, if you have to kiss the ar** of white shirts behind a desk and all the extra bucks that that whole fiasco creates does it really make sense in the end? What these ridiculous emission regs for diesel in NA means, is it just eliminates that many more potential purchasers because just too few owners would drive the diesel the way it needs to be driven in order to have the long term longevity and hassle-free motoring/dollar invested experience they think they are going to get. That said of course, owners who commute LONG commutes, or traveling sales who do 35 and 40k+ miles per year are ideal candidates to still go with the diesel. But in the grand scheme of things, they represent such a small number of purchasers that why should mfgrs continue to jump through newly and constantly more restrictive emission hoops and all the extra $ tech to make the cars meet the regs (which naturally gets passed onto the consumer both at time of purchase and ongoing after)?

    Diesel economy as we once knew it, will never be quite the same unfortunately, here in NA at least. It is such a shame too, cuz we just nicely have the ability to reverse old way negative diesel engine impressions created in the 70s and 80s, and instead now it will just be replaced with new negative impressions due to fuel saving costs being whittled down to basically par, due to the expensive demands of the new emission tech required in order to satisfy the collusive agendas within gvt and regulators.
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,948
    edited October 2013
    The only problem with "ridiculous emission regs for diesel" is that there's not enough of them on the whole transportation sector. The current crop of diesel school buses is a good case in point.

    Clean 'em all up I say.
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,346
    I've found myself behind the odd full sized school bus here and I gotta say, according to the nose and visual test only, they seem to run extremely clean. And on that same sorta theme, even the majority of dump trucks in my area, both private and company owned, run so much cleaner than in years past, (as in only 15 let's say) that it is noticeable. The scenes in which gagrice and fintail describes about the smokey Mexican trucks coming up all the time, just isn't happening here. Yes, you will see the very odd smoker on the 401 sometimes, but our weigh scales do checks often and usually those trucks don't stay out there very long doing that before they are skimmed off the road until they are cleaned up. If it needs a rebuild to do that, then so be it.

    But I'm pretty sure we have dif categories of emissions allowed, and the ones for light duty cars like the VW TDI class (basic car class) are much stricter than for commercial vehicles weight classes. My friend with the new Passat although also retired from trucking, says that there is still a PILE of cleanup gizmos even on the heavy trucks, but because of their more longhaul use, seems to work behind the scenes more invi$ibly.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,487
    edited October 2013
    I think the 11/13's really do not have enough miles (to me, more important) and time to really say.

    Indeed one of mine, 09 Jetta TDI was the first (new VW) to have one of the new/er emissions design you are speaking about. (made in NY state@ the time represented by SENATOR Hillary Clinton). Indeed it was married to the so called questionable??? 6 speed DSG. I was skeptical also and as I was also trying to weight the consequences of 52.3% more torque and at the stated price of MINUS - 22.5% fuel mileage (from 49 to 40, sidebar as it is turning out 50 mpg to more like 41/42 mpg ). The question was: WHY go back ward? Another was was higher torque worth the cost? Longer story short @ 65k miles, I swag it to be pretty problem free going forward (to 120k or first major tune up) We have had two rear brake lamps and one drivers side low beam go out. Other than that, I do not think these oem tires will last 120,000 miles, like in my 03 TDI did (113,000 actually) :)

    Now what he decided to do and at pretty advantageous cost figures are actually what presented itself to me at various times, for all three diesels and @ multiple times in ownership !! If it were not for a few other posters who had the same experiences, I would not really care to mention it as it appeared to me (in isolation) to be an outlier experience. BUT as others and your friend will attest, it seems NOT to be an outlier experience. So I would count his experience as an advantage of diesels. Now it would probably be natural to say hope he has a bad experience with the new gasser, but the truth is otherwise !! All the best to him !

    The emissions compliance is truly the indicator how anti diesel our systems have been and truly remain. The thing to remember is European diesel already meet a way more stringent emissions standard ALREADY. As you have said, US emissions standards extract more mpg losses than the already strict European standards (03 Jetta TDI 2/3 mpg, 09 Jetta TDI 3 mpg, 12 Touareg TDI 3 to 5 mpg (even with ad blue). It is truly meant as a penalty. So as you can see diesels mpg would be much higher than already high.
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,948
    edited October 2013
    they seem to run extremely clean.

    Good to hear. Now let's don't start going backward. (
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,487
    edited October 2013
    I really do not think that unless one operates a "truck," most passenger car drivers are literally CLUELESS as to how "BIG BRO" monitors truck traffic. In that sense EVERY "truck" goes through inspections almost all the time. So truly the ones that almost everybody complains about has been "blessed" by the authorities and multiple times. Even the "pollution FREE" Mexican trucks running who knows what kind of D2 (min of 500 ppm sulfur or LSD.) Might this NAFTA treaty be code for freedom to pollute? :( :)

    Now most folks know that older vehicles get "grandfathered ." Just the fact most to all run on ULSD, that is a HUGE HUGE HUGE improvement.

    Be that as it my (tea party folks don't seem to mention this) but a truck (in CA) can be pulled over merely to spot check items like smog compliance. There are specialty CHPs that handle this as a specialized task.
  • cooterbfdcooterbfd Posts: 2,770
    Ironically, I just bought one 2 weeks ago. The only one on the lot. Listed for $26,100. Got it for $24,300.

    So far, about 35 mpg in mixed driving. Nice little car.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,487
    edited October 2013
    Pray tell ?? I am not sure what to make of ..." the only one" (my sic) on the lot".... Not that it is any of my business, but why are you so quiet about it? You seem to be the first one, on this board anyway! Any 411 on the percentage of Cruze TDI's sold, etc.?

    As you probably know mpg during break in is really a "work in progress". But yes out of the gate interesting.

    Off topic of your new diesel and diesels in general: just got a CA "STAR" station "smog certification" on a 13 year old 385 hp/385 # ft of torque vehicle. Essentially the pollution figures were literally ZERO: needless to say PASS. Not that anything less was expected. To bring the vehicle up to operating temperatures (for an hour) I entered the freeway @ 77% of redline (this thing SCREAMS @ 5,000+ rpm), hitting 75 mph in ah VERY short order. That of course was the good and bad news. If I was going any slower, I would have been in time to upset the mojo of a CHP and a large posse of civilians (15 ship) passing me in the numbers 1,2,3, lanes. :) Good thing I was in the SLOW lane, as a swarm overtook and passed me. I passed another CHP actively shooting a radar gun.

    My take on why they do not put diesels on the computer sniffer is because the numbers are probably BELOW ZERO, albeit immeasurable !
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