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2012 Outback Diesel?

I was looking around for a threat about the 2012 model coming around. We should start seeing them around June of this year in the US if it follows last year's schedule.

In other parts of the world, Subaru offers a diesel version of the Outback. Think anything like this is in the works for the US? I'd love to have a diesel - the price difference is around 10% extra for fuel in this area of the country, but you get far better fuel economy (and no annoying spark plugs!)

Any big changes on the horizon for the 12's? I imagine the next big change will be their Tribeca line, as the others have recently had new generations of models released within the last 2 years.

Comments

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I doubt it, because the current diesel engine does not meet CARB standards. That means it could not be sold in California and several northeastern states, the latter which is Subaru's primary market.

    So it won't happen until the next generation clean diesel, at least.
  • clarkkentclarkkent Posts: 154
    edited February 2011
    What would be the benefit? Diesel is about 20% higher in most parts of the country. AND I doubt if a Subaru diesel would get 20% better mileage.

    I don't get your statement: (and no annoying spark plugs!)

    Today you don't have to do anything to your plugs for 100K. That doesn't seem annoying to me.

    How often do you change or clean your plugs?

    On the other hand, I have always found my diesel autos to be annoying because I have to wear gloves to fuel and have to watch out about stepping in a pool of diesel fuel that someone just spilled where I am filling up. Every tracked diesel fuel on your shoes to your floor mats. This was not a deal killer, just annoying things.

    I for one can't think of any reason to have a diesel anything today,(other than in a tuck for pulling) because of the extra cost in purchase, repairs, and fuel.

    Repairs: ie: You can replace a complete gas engine for the price of a head job on a diesel. Had a friend who had his Ford diesel truck motor rebuilt--$15K! just for a rebuild.

    Diesel in a car used to be a real +. Today there is no benefit.

    Sorry if it seems I'm stirring the pot. These are just my feeling with a long history of gas and diesel cars.

    Why do you think a diesel motor in a Subaru would be a benefit to you and other buyers of Subarus (or any other cars)?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    For me one word: Range.

    You could drive forever on one tank.

    Around here diesel costs about 10-12% more, but you can get about 20% better efficiency.

    It takes a long, long time to recover the extra up front costs, but you enjoy more range the whole life of the car.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    No Diesels for SOA in the foreseeable future. That's the word I got. You will see a hybrid before a Diesel in the USDM market.

    -mike
    Subaru Guru and Track Instructor
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    You're probably right, but I think that's a bad strategy.

    Given the relationship with Toyota, hedge their bets with Toyota doing hybrids and Subaru doing diesels.

    This is putting all their eggs in one basket!
  • Thanks for the responses. I live in NJ, so I can't pump my gas anyway (without getting dirty looks from the gas attendants) so I don't really care about the fueling thing.

    As for the spark plugs, I started a thread a few weeks ago about the upcoming 30k service on my Legacy, in which the owner's manual instructs you to replace the spark plugs every 30k miles. (2009, 2.5 engine)

    The range is nice, yeah.

    I know several people that have diesels, primarily the Volkswagen TDI, that have been pretty pleased with the cost of ownership and maintenance.

    A hybrid sounds nice, but I don't really think it's worth it overall. While true, you do reduce your amount of gasoline consumed, you're also creating some hazardous waste (the battery will EVENTUALLY have to get disposed of, somewhere, which will probably have ecological impacts). Even plug-in hybrids have issues - you're now creating more of a demand for electrical power, which means electricity production will have to increase - which is generated by burning coal, etc. in the majority of the country.

    So, yes, we're "saving" carbon emissions by not burning as much gasoline, but now what? We're creating harmful waste and potentially more carbon emissions (among other things, like sulfur) by burning MORE coal to generate electricity for our plug-in hybrids.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Nickel-metal hydride batteries are less harmful than the lead-acid most regular cars have. You could bury them in soil and have a raised-bed garden.

    That's not the case for Li-ion or newer tech batteries, though.
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,760
    And to add to juice's reply, the automakers themselves put a pretty high bounty on the battery packs to get them recycled. Toyota pays $200 for a Prius battery pack. They then recycle it to capture the precious metals which are reused.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Pilot, shoot me an e-mail about your 30k. paisan@azpinstalls.com

    -mike
    Subaru Guru and Track Instructor
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    You're probably right, but I think that's a bad strategy.

    Given the relationship with Toyota, hedge their bets with Toyota doing hybrids and Subaru doing diesels.

    This is putting all their eggs in one basket!


    I love diesels myself but I understand they want to take advantage of the Toyota/Subaru connection and use their R&D to pump out some inexpensive CAFE killers so they can keep making STis!

    -mike
    Subaru Guru and Track Instructor
  • You are kidding right? what would be the advantage... The Forester diesel sold in Australia and significantly tested gets 31 mpg in the city versus 21 for the current gas Forester. That is a 50% increase mileage. On the hwy it is 41 mpg vs the gas version of 27 mpg. That is over 50% improvement. If we want to eliminate our dependence on foreign oil imports we could do that with everyone driving a diesel. Not to mention the longevity of the engine. Diesels typically run 200,000 to 500,000 miles. So the cost of an engine repair after that many miles doesn't seem unreasonable. As far as puddles of diesel, the same could be said for dog dodo.
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,760
    The Forester diesel sold in Australia and significantly tested gets 31 mpg in the city versus 21 for the current gas Forester. That is a 50% increase mileage. On the hwy it is 41 mpg vs the gas version of 27 mpg. That is over 50% improvement.

    No so fast there - keep in mind the Aussie gallon is 4.546 litres or 1.2 US gallons so bring down the improvement to only 30%.

    And although diesel is a more efficient than gasoline, it's still made from oil. As long as we depend on oil, we'll be dependent on foreign sources.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    we could do that with everyone driving a diesel

    Not really, because each barrel of oil produces some gas and some diesel. They can't produce all diesel.

    In fact demand would cause higher prices if diesel market share surged.

    It's a delicate balance. Diesel already costs more than gas, the cost difference would go up if LOTS of new diesels showed up here at the same time.
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,760
    In fact demand would cause higher prices if diesel market share surged.

    ...and that higher diesel price will also raise prices for almost everything we buy because at some point it's all transported on trucks and trains that use - what for it - diesel.

    Just to show you how bad it can be, I handle logistics for my company. Trucking firms started adding fuel surcharges about 5 years ago when fuel started to spike. Today I'm paying around 5-7% surcharge on UPS/Fedex Ground and 22-25% on truck freght. That gets passed right along to the customer.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Also the diesel used outside the US is different than the stuff used here (Sulfur content IIRC) so that also factors into the milage attained by them.

    -mike
    Subaru Guru and Track Instructor
  • clarkkentclarkkent Posts: 154
    edited February 2011
    Funny, in 50+ years of driving I have never seen a pile of dog dodo by a gas or diesel pump. I knew Australia was wild, but that wild?

    I drive a Jeep with 200,000+ on it's gas engine right now. It burns no oil between 6k oil changes. I expect it to go at least 300K and then I can replace it for $2500.

    If I had a diesel, even 200k more would not make up for the extra cost of the new engine. + the Trans for a diesel is about 2 to 3 times as much too.

    I know many love diesels. So have at it. If it works for you great. I just can't justify it anymore. I have has several diesels when I could justify them. Then they were great.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I think your 200k + on a Jeep is commendable. I'm not sure most other gas motors will last that long. I wouldn't buy diesel for longevity, I would buy it for the torque and milage.

    -mike
    Subaru Guru and Track Instructor
  • I'd love this. Subaru has been very coy, alternately stating matter of factly that the US market won't accept diesel, then emissions problems, then "we're evaluating." A diesel hybrid would rock my world!

    Let me just say that my dear wife has owned an '06 diesel Jetta for two years and she absolutely loves that car for her daily 60 mile round trip. She routinely scores low to mid 40's in the MPG contest for her mix of freeway and city stop-and-go driving, and easily juts into the low 50's for straight highway miles. So even with diesel's price premium, the savings is there.

    The earlier comments about crude production creating relatively fixed percentages of diesel and gasoline is spot on. Further, my understanding is that the Europeans, due to their acceptance of diesel, actually produce an excess amount of gasoline they can't use, and export it here to the US market. I wonder if this practice effectively subsidizes the price of gasoline in the US? (I can see it working either way.)

    Anyhow -- I'd love for Subaru to give us a choice here in the US. I'd buy a TDI Legacy wagon in a heartbeat if it were made available here.
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,760
    Further, my understanding is that the Europeans, due to their acceptance of diesel, actually produce an excess amount of gasoline they can't use, and export it here to the US market. I wonder if this practice effectively subsidizes the price of gasoline in the US?

    I did not know that but googled it and wow - what a revelation!! According to the below link, gasoline was trading last week in Europe at $2.40 a gallon leaving buyers about $0.03 a gallon in potential profit after shipping to the East Coast.

    Euro Exports of Gasoline
  • http://www.cars101.com/subaru/diesel.html

    Link is to a pretty good "unofficial" Subaru website maintained my a salesman on the west coast of USA.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Joe Spitz Subaru is the best Subaru dealer site in the USA, that's for sure...
  • dcm61dcm61 Posts: 1,457
    Joe Spitz Subaru is the best Subaru dealer site in the USA, that's for sure...

    Not to nitpick, but ...

    Joe Spitz is an employee of Carter Subaru. Also, cars101.com is not a Subaru dealer site; it's Joe's personal baby.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Is that right?

    Wow, that guy is pretty crafty. I though Joe Spitz Subaru was a dealership!
  • Good link. It certainly is an eye opener. I don't know the breakdown in European nations, but in the US production competes with Trucks, Trains, JetA, and home heating oil. And what surprised me most about the gasoline imports is that face that these huge tanker ships are transporting such a volatile product across the Atlantic and yet I've never heard of a gasoline spill, explosion or fire. Seem quite remarkable (and dangerous -- though apparently not).
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