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

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Comments

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    I don't know why California has such a difference but believe me, it's the same everywhere I drive, so it is a "policy", not an aberration. Make no mistake, if this price differential persists, it's going to have a big impact on diesel sales in a huge market out West here.
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,751
    If I believed that hybrids and EVs were not the future I would like to see a diesel passenger car in my future. But it would have to get very good fuel mileage to offset the disadvantage of fewer stations and higher prices in my area. Now we are hearing noise about LPG vehicles and to me that is another clean option. But once again I happen to like diesel if we have no other choice other than buying foreign oil for our passenger cars. I like the possibility of using Mcdiesel because it is renewable and cleaner as well. But I don't like paying higher prices for low Sulphur diesel and I don't like paying higher prices for diesel passenger cars because it is such old technology. There is simply no excuse for higher pricing of a diesel passenger car other than the fact the manufacturers can get away with it.

    If the Koreans, Japanese, Chinese or the US can offer a small, entry level priced diesel city car at about 12K they can get my attention and maybe even my signature. I believe for those of us who like to travel a diesel truck is still one of the best options. But until unless the price of diesel drops considerably I can't see selling my Tahoe Tow vehicle for a two MPG difference towing. I do agree the seven to eight MPG non towing mileage advantage is tempting but I don't drive the truck much unless I have something heavy to pick up at Home Depot or the nursery. Other than that it doesn't go anywhere unless there is a travel trailer hooked up behind it. The best part is it is paid for.

    My hope for the future now is that first we get plug in hybrids and then finally viable EV city cars. But I do believe a plug in hybrid diesel is a good option.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    87 unleaded is at $3.61 today and diesel is still at $4.49 at the same station. That's an $0.88 difference, so I'm envious of the places Shifty found that "only" had a $0.50 difference in price.

    The percentages there are even worse now than they were when gas was $4 and diesel was $4.90: diesel is a full 25% higher in price for me. That means I would need to find a diesel that made 56 mpg in town, just to break even with the Echo I already have. That's why I'm still looking for the diesel that makes 60 mpg combined. And unfortunately, it appears that most of the 50-state diesels that we will see in the next 12 months will be under the hoods of large cars and crossovers or trucks. :-(

    And what's this fascination with the "laziness" of diesels? What fun is it to drive around almost at idle all the time? I am a VTEC fan - give me a small displacement engine with an 8000 rpm redline and I will return 40 mpg in low-rev commute driving and a whole BUSHEL of fun when it is time to play! :-)

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    Regular old 87 is $3.59 here at the moment, but premium and diesel are both $3.99.

    In general, the diesel car is a good buy if you're getting something new anyway, just like hybrids.
  • jlbljlbl Posts: 1,333
    And what's this fascination with the "laziness" of diesels? What fun is it to drive around almost at idle all the time?

    :)

    That question could be asked as well to Audi RS 10 and Peugeot 908 5500T pilots racing in Le Mans Series and 24 Hours du Mans; or to VW Touareg ones at Paris-Dakar. To each his own.

    :D

    Regards,
    Jose
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    Here 87 is $3.67 and diesel is $3.86...not much of a difference, and cheaper than premium gas.
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,751
    Regular dropped below $3.60 yesterday. None of the downtown stations have diesel but as we move out a bit diesel can be had for about $4.40. It must be us California boys they are picking on.

    Something I have noticed that has allowed some to find another loophole is these new sub 50 cc scooters. From what I understand some of them are allowed on the road without a motorcycle license because they are under the 50cc limit. I see them all over the place now that I am out of the mountains. My aunt and Uncle live in Sun City and the number of golf carts selling there is quite high as well. It seems as if that city has allowed them public street access.

    Almost everyone is looking for a solution and for right now diesel is way behind the curve. They need an entry level diesel to introduce city drivers and commuters to the new diesels. It might be a page out of Honda's play book but it has worked for them. With the economy now the last thing anyone needs is a 25K small diesel, not if it doesn't get hyper mileage. As long as the Koreans can sell a sub compact for 9 or 10k there will not be a big market for a VW diesel not much bigger at 25k.

    It is the city car that we need not a sub compact road car. It doesn't matter if the Jetta Diesel gets its best mileage out on the highway because people that drive mostly on the highway are looking for the very cars you mentioned earlier. With that in mind 20-30K may be all VW needs to make.

    Still because I think VW thought the dependability studies should be alphabetical for as many years as I have been watching them I am not willing to look at any VW as a viable solution to my next vehicle need. I realize some vehicles go against the grain of these studies. Some people may have found the exception to the VW dependability rule. My Old RamCharger was one of the best trucks I ever had and no study reccommended them. But I have had three VWs and they have proven the studies to be pretty accurate. The strikes and they are out of my field of view.

    How do I really feel? I think we should trade VW back to Europe for Alfa and a future draft choice. :P
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    So you DO have faith in the reliability of the new Alfa? I will believe it when I see it, although VW does set the bar pretty low as you say...

    I think Smart was REALLY dumb not to bring the diesel model over - that one really DOES make 60 mpg in town. Considering how well the gas version has done, that thing could probably make the list of top ten cars in sales if they added a diesel variant.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,751
    One of the men in my bike club has a Smart and he loves it. Not for the mileage, he gets teased by the Yaris and Fit drivers all the time, but because it is different. However he would sell his at a loss if he could get his hands on a Smart Diesel. And with the true mileage of the Smart at 40 MPG it seems as if we wait resale will be pretty low once we get our fair share of the smarts to begin with. I remember when we were first talking about the Smart and the predictions were for great fuel mileage and some of us said we need to see it to believe it. I can only hope the Smart Diesel is able to fulfill the promise the Smart gas engine didn't. If we ever see one.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    But I don't think they have plans to bring the Smart diesel here. Indeed, all the automakers seem to be fairly clueless about putting diesels in their small cars and making 60 mpg happen today. It's the same ol' same ol' in the USA....

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,450
    It's the same ol' same ol' in the USA....

    The US is a moving target on diesel emissions. We have different regulations from the Feds and CARB. In the EU they set standards for improvement to emissions. Here we wait until the technology arrives and say not good enough go back to the drawing board. Canada has had the Diesel Smart for several years and they were selling as soon as they were unloaded from the truck in Victoria BC. Mileage in the 70-90 MPG range was not uncommon. I just do not see the draw for a gas version of the Smart. Actually for any car or SUV anymore. I have bought my last new gasser. Our gas is horrible for mileage in CA. We have the best diesel here and the worst gas. Yesterday in San Diego the average price for diesel was 20 - 30 Cents over RUG. About equal to Premium at several stations. Most stations selling diesel now for $3.79.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    Yesterday in San Diego the average price for diesel was 20 - 30 Cents over RUG. About equal to Premium at several stations. Most stations selling diesel now for $3.79. Which seems to fly in the face of all the other reorts that high diesel prices are not budging in CA.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,450
    I live out of the main metro area and the cheapest station in my little village is $3.99 for diesel and $3.79 for RUG. I have to drive 13 miles to Costco. Costco gas was at $3.49 yesterday for RUG. It takes about 2 gallons to drive the Sequoia down shopping and back. So I would have to need about 23 gallons to break even. If I was not shopping at Costco it would not pay. I usually take a different vehicle down and fill up every other week. So the 3 vehicles average about 1.5 months between fill-ups. If I had a diesel SUV that averaged 30 MPG I would only need to fill every 3 months.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    It may be that people are fortunate enough to stumble upon one cheap station they found in California and perhaps thus presume that's it's as normal as an expensive station, but the internet maps seem to indicate that the norm is very much closer to a .50 a gallon difference for diesel over regular in most of California. But sure, you can find the exception. However, given that diesel doesn't appear in every station anyway, and gagrice's comment about how much it costs to "hunt" for cheap gas, I think the obstacle to diesel cars based on the price of fuel is very real here in California, all things considered.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    That is tough for California.

    I really think legislators need to re-think what effects their fuel tax structure actually has. If people burn less fuel (and that tends to happen with diesel fuel), the air is cleaner. And setting aside selfish concerns for lower priced diesel fuel for autos, there are still the buses, trucks, trains and tractors where the added cost of the fuel drives up all prices for everyone everywhere, Regardless of how that may be modified, there is also the matter of refining capacity. Unlike other countries, the US refines roughly two gallons of gasoline for every gallon of diesel. You do not turn that around on a dime. If people do start buying more diesels for personal transportation, even with a favorable fuel tax, the price will go up simply because supply will struggle for some time to meet demand.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    Well, given that the topic here is what would it take for YOU to buy a diesel, I am saying for me personally I have no desire or willingness to hunt around for cheap fuel, and the ONLY PLACES selling diesel anywhere near my normal daily driving routes (in, say, a 10-mile radius of my house) sell diesel for $0.80 over the price of 87 unleaded.

    If I ever contemplate buying a diesel, I will research diesel prices agian at that time, but that 10-mile radius is the one I will use to base my decision on, and my strong impression is there isn't enough competition in the diesel retail market to suppress prices.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    You need to move to a trailer park near a high-volume truck stop :P
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    Point well taken, but do remember all those poor truckers who pay exactly the same price as those of us at the car diesel pumps. I have a hypothesis with no data to back it up that the reason that diesel price has come down so dramatically here in WI is that truckers have slowed down, and diesel heavy duty pickup sales and use are down as well. But if you all start to buy diesel cars, well then we will be back in the same boat. On second thought, none of you people are really enthused about diesel cars, are you? Why not buy a hybrid or something? ;)
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,450
    I really think legislators need to re-think what effects their fuel tax structure actually has. If people burn less fuel (and that tends to happen with diesel fuel), the air is cleaner.

    There are warring agencies in CA with far different agendas. You have CARB that only cares about emissions. They could care less if it takes more gas to get a car to PZEV. Then you have the GW bunch that CO2 is the most evil element on the planet and they want the lowest CO2 count possible. Then the DOT. They are the ones that need the gas tax to fix the roads. So for every Prius put on the road it takes twice as many miles to get the same amount of tax. One reason they were not thrilled with the EV mandate. It had NO provision for taxing the 10% EVs that were supposed to be sold here.

    Diesels will create the same shortfall that hybrids have caused. So why would any of the agencies want diesel cars. They are not PZEV or likely to be. They do cut CO2 but never enough for the GW Cult. And the DOT wants more money not less. So Diesels will be the dirty step child in CA for the few of US that like going 700 miles on a tank of fuel. Don't like to hear a screaming 4 banger gas engine while trying to listen to Bach. And want to be ready when Algae based Biodiesel comes of age.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    I would definitely buy a diesel if it pencilled out, and maybe even if it didn't, but got close. As it is, I still find small-engined, gas-powered cars to be the best bet. My most important criterion besides reliability and fuel economy is that it come with a stick, so all the current hybrids and probably most future ones are instantly ruled out.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,450
    Don't you find those steep hills in San Francisco a real challenge with a small engine and a stick shift. I hated driving there with my 1956 Ford PU with a 3 speed on the column. I don't think I have been to SF since 1968. Do they still have those real steep streets?

    Diesel with DSG should make them feel like level roads. :blush:
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    I never had any problem in SF with the Scion xA and its dinky 1.5L engine. It really all depends on the gearing, and the xA was geared as a metro type car.

    A small torquey agile little car is perfect for San Francisco. The bigger the worser. :P
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    Ditto what Shifty said, it's never a problem. And yup, they haven't changed the streets, still just as steep as ever. :-)

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    Actually it's not going up the streets, it's coming DOWN. You need a car with good brakes and a stiff suspension. Hurtling down one of those streets with brakes steaming, then trying to make a turn at the bottom while still at speed---not FUN in a big pillow car.

    SF taxi cabs replace front brakes every 6 weeks!
  • I would gladly buy this one, if it is fairly priced. It would achieve 44 MPG, according to Suzuki Canada.

    See: http://www.auto123.com/en/suzuki/sx4/2008/review?carid=1086002402&artid=101236
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    Are you comfortable with the Suzuki brand and reputation?
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    Absolutely. Suzuki makes very reliable motorcycles and vehicles. Sure, they're a bit cheap on the interiors, but their drive trains are very decent. Far better than VW.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    Gee they sure don't score particularly well in reliability ratings though. Average at best or a little below. But at least they didn't make the "worst cars ever list" like the VW Jetta did. VW can't enjoy seeing that.

    I guess Suzukis are okay. One never hears much about them plus or minus. Kinda like Mitsubishi. No one ever seems to endorse them.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    Mitsubishi is hit or miss. Japanese Suzukis are actually pretty reliable, but the Suzuki average gets pulled down by the crappy rebadged Daewoos they sell as Renos, Forenzas, etc.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    Oh well that explains everything then. My friend owns a Mitsu dealership and I've seen his warranty records--they are pretty impressive. I have confidence in Mitsubishi products---but again, they were dragged down in reputation by their alliance with Chrysler in the 1990s.

    Auto companies had best be careful who they sleep with, apparently.

    Mitsubishi's electric car should be interesting.
  • "price of the car"

    As long as the price of the car is in the $20k to $26k range I will consider a diesel powered vehicle.

    "price of fuel"

    The price of fuel is an issue. The diesel to regular spread is still a bit high. If it can get to within about 5% it will not be an issue for me.

    "practicality (seating capacity, # of doors, etc)"

    This is part of the overall car buying equation, I do not see diesels having any advantage or disadvantage in this area.

    "MPG"

    An important item to consider. This has become less of an issue for me since I bought a bicycle. The bicycle will reduce my overall commuting costs by about a third. I anticipate still using my car about 2/3s of the time because of weather, meetings or errands.

    "manufacturer'

    Another important item. I would consider a Subaru or Honda diesel, but not a VW. The overall VW reliability has been poor. The closest VW dealer is about 200 miles away. A long way to go for warranty work.

    I also see a bit of a problem with getting value out of a European built car given the Euro to Dollar relationship.

    I will not consider buying a car built in Russia, China or India. Generally, I try to buy a car built in America, but I'm not a fanatic about it.

    "performance (0-60, noise, ride, handling)"

    I do not see diesels having a disadvantage in this area. The new diesels are doing well in the performance arena.

    Cold weather starting is a minor issue. I have seen people with diesel engines go through a bit more hassle starting the vehicle when it is 20 to 40 below. My RUG car with the Mobil 1- 5w-30 starts right up and can move out in 30 seconds or less without sounding like a bucket of bolts.

    Availability of fuel is another issue. More stations are getting diesel, however, they usually get only one pump. Lining up behind a large diesel pickup and trailer or RV could be an issue depending on the size of the station. The issue is a minor one for now. However, if we start getting fuel shortages of RUG or diesel the issue might become more important.

    I will consider a diesel whenever I decide to get anther car. On the other hand, I will be looking at a lot of options - everything from hybrids to pure electric cars. The good news is that I have plenty of time to think about it. My current car could easily last me another 7 years and 60,000 miles.

    It is nice to be able to sit back and watch the technology change without having to jump at anything.

    And if anyone is interested, here is the link to the latest Transportation Energy Data book. Table 1.10 (p. 39) shows that diesel fuel production is slowly increasing.

    http://cta.ornl.gov/data/index.shtml
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    I have both a VW and a Suzuki and have had basically zero problems with both. I will point out that J D Power sees VW as significantly more reliable than Suzuki. Perhaps the VW diesels are a bit more bulletproof than the gassers, I don't know.

    Anecdotally, my ex-wife has a 2002 TDI, my friend Patty has a 2001, my sister has a 2005...no complaints at all from any of them. Basically, even the worst cars (and the TDI is definitely not that) are way better than some of the cars we all recall as lemons some years ago. I have now owned 28 vehicles, and have traded too often for it to make any real sense...just liked to have a new car...but the two I have kept the longest were a Rabbit from the 70s and the GOLF TDI.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    The TDIs, being so rare, probably don't even factor into the statistics.

    I think the TDIs are perhaps better (relative to other VWs I mean) because there is no ignition system and less engine management business, two weak areas for a VW product.

    The gas Jetta often makes the "worst lists" on CR, CU, Forbes, you name it.

    My friend who is a HUGE used car dealer, won't even have a gas Jetta on his lot, nor Jaguars, nor selected domestic products.

    If you did a "Google Challenge" bet that the VW brand was better than average for most cars, you'd lose I'm afraid.

    They most certainly don't make the worst cars, but they struggle to achieve mediocrity it seems.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    Never owned a gas Jetta, but I'm realistic about where VW stands in the ratings. Obviously (if I bought an 08 Suzuki, which has worse ratings than VW), I am willing to try products that appeal to me, even if the ratings are not so hot. I understand that a lot of people won't. I wouldn't do a Google Challenge as you suggest. My point was that mediocre ratings today would have been good a few years ago. That said, TDIs likely are more reliable than the VW gassers.

    You may want to alert your friend that Jaguars in the past few years have become very reliable cars...the XJ for sure is now highly regarded reliability-wise. That is the thing about these lists: they are always changing.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    I never trust a car until it's been in the field a few years at least. To say a car is "reliable" in its first or second year of production doesn't cut it for me.

    I think my friend was referring to older Jaguars, yes....but you know, this brings up the idea of "perception".

    Once a car gets a bad reputation, no matter how good it eventually becomes, it takes DECADES to win back consumer confidence.

    Case it point, it took Cadillac a good 20 years to erase the stigma of its worst products. Basically, all the people previously burned had to die of old age so they couldn't bad rap the product anymore. Sad but true.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    in Autoweek over the weekend about the new Golf, which I guess will be a Rabbit here in the States, coming here in about a year's time as a 2010 model. It will have the same diesel engine available as the Jetta does now, apparently, yet they are projecting 50 mpg for the Golf version? Not sure if this is just a bit of loose journalism that escaped the editor's eye, or if they are modifying it for the new Golf to make better mileage?

    A diesel hatchback making a combined 50 mpg is getting close to being in contention for me...

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Diesel Calculator/

    This is a cool tool. May have already been posted here.

    For those wanting to see how much a 2009 Jetta TDI might save you, use 41 miles per gallon on the diesel side and your current car's stats on the gas side. Use $3.72 for the gas price and $3.95 for the diesel price, which is about the USA average right now.

    See what you might save.

    Mine is $209 saved per year if I traded my TCH for the Jetta
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    I would save $930 a year but alas, on a new TDI I'd have to have comprehensive insurance which I don't have on the older Subaru, so that's $400 more per year and then of course i'd lose about another $200 on the interest lost on the $5000 down payment.

    It's kinda slim pickins' if you really sharpen the pencil and think of all the other considerations besides fuel costs.
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    It would come out to $459 a year for me. Might be worthwhile, but I'll need the prices below MSRP for the car and some sense of stability in the price between gasoline and diesel. Looks like I'll have about another two years to see what happens. Our old Accord ought to be pushing 200k miles by then, and the car market ought to be a bit clearer then, too.
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,751
    And don't forget the air fair for your VW mechanic and his family to fly back to Germany yearly. ;) I took that line from a friend of mine who had a Volvo and swore he was paying for his mechanics vacations. :blush:
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,450
    Mine is $209 saved per year if I traded my TCH for the Jetta

    That would be silly. You should get another 10 years out of the TCH. By then it will only be EVs allowed per Al Gore. You will have had a chance to save the $100k that a car will cost and voila you are on the road again.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Oh, it would be COMPLETELY silly. I even proved the other day that without the $7,500 tax credit, even the Volt would not pay me to switch.

    About the only thing on the horizon that would interest me enough to REALLY consider buying a replacement for the TCH would be a diesel/hybrid 5-passenger car capable of hitting 70+ MPG in the combined EPA test.

    In other words - that car is not yet built. The Golf diesel hybrid that they have talked about a little bit is the closest thing.

    I'm open to something that would save me money, save me fuel, and be as clean or cleaner than the TCH.

    Still looking....................:)
  • bobgwtwbobgwtw Posts: 187
    It's a savings of $185.00/month for me; but VW reliability & service costs scare the hell out of me. Amost bought an 06 TDI but $700.00 timing belts - everybody else has switched to chains while VW clings to the belt on the new TDI according to the local service manager - and the problems evidenced by the forums, CR, etc. mean I'm waiting for the Honda/Acura diesel.
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,751
    To be honest I am not typical. I have managed to move where I don’t have to drive much anymore so a small diesel car about the size of a Smart but with additional fuel mileage of about 60 or 70 MPG would be more than acceptable. A small hybrid diesel should be able to deliver 70 MPG to make it worth my while. But I am considering an EV for city driving right now. I have a compact for freeway driving when absolutely necessary. I have a tow vehicle for vacations to other states so an EV about the size of a GEM would work for me. I could go a week on a charge. Like you however I have absolutely no faith in VW and ancillary personal testimony doesn’t move me as much as dependability studies. It might be different if I had never had a VW but three tries over three decades is more than enough for anyone to realize why they are rated so low in those same studies. I don’t care if VW came with dilithium crystals and if Scotty was my service manager I don’t believe they make quality vehicles.
  • bobgwtwbobgwtw Posts: 187
    My situation is just the oposite of yours. 55,000 miles a year so mileage is of paramount importance to me. Aside from mileage I want a car that's safe & fun to drive; & VW's are hard to beat when it comes to driving enjoyment. It's a real shame they can't get the quality of the cars & dealer organization.to a reaasonable level.
  • Hi there,
    evertime i'm over here in america i rent a car for a couple weeks. I am alway amazed how it seems impossible to get a car that gets even near the fuel consumption to european cars. At home i have 2004 Audi A6 2.5 TDI, which has a 2.5liter V6 Diesel engine with 163 hp. I know it's no sports car but it still gets up to about 145 mph. I drive about 400 miles a week and have an average fuel consumption of 29 mpg and i almost feel guilty because i drive so much and have a car with such a bad mileage considering the distance i drive every week. If i could afford a new car right now i would buy the new BMW 520d which has a combined mileage of 46 mpg with manual transmission, or 42 mpg with an automatic transmission.

    Now, everytime i am here in the US it's impossible to get a midsize car that gets even close to the diesel cars in europe. Even the german car makers don't offer americans cars with a good fuel economy.
    Why is that? I know, the gas price isn't that high as in europe, yet, but how do americans keep their monthly gas costs down? I mean, not everybody wants to drive a prius...
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,751
    I don't disagree about VW making interesting cars to drive. If we are talking about something to drive on the weekends or out to dinner now and then as a suplument to our commuter car you might have a point.

    Back in the 80s I had a Fiat 124 Spyder. It was very interesting car to drive and would corner absolutely neutral. You could toss it into a 4 wheel drift and neither the tail or the nose would cut lose first unless to had the wheels cranked. But the old saying the Fiat stood for Fix It Again Tony turned out to be true. My first VW was pretty much the same only it didn't handle as well as the Fiat.

    When I got my first VW the car was interesting but it took a lot of work to keep it running like I wanted ot to. Parts and service were horrid. Ten years later some of my friends told me I should give VW another try, they had improved. My second VW was no better than the first. Still interesting and handled better but no more dependable. It was a Ghia. Ten years later I tried once more and nothing had changed. I think all the escaped nazi war criminals have found a hiding place in VW parts and service. I have watched the dependability studies ever since for some sign VW has seen the light but to no avail.
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    I've owned Dubs in the 1970's, 1980's and now an '03 model. Interspersed amongst them were cars from Japan and the US. My '76 Dasher was a true POS from a reliability standpoint - fun to drive, very fuel efficient for its time, but absolute crap on parts, service or dealership knowledge on repairing it. The Jetronic mechanic fuel injection was the frickin' bane of my existence.

    My '87 Golf was actually pretty good - certainly better than the '83 Plymouth Horizon it replaced. Ran better, was more comfortable, had more space, and was more reliable than the Chrysler product.

    My '03, now at 55K, has been very good - but not as good as my wife's Accord was at the same mileage point. I'll only buy a VW model late in it's product life cycle, to get past the buggy stage.

    On the diesel front, I'm kinda hoping that Hyundai drops a TD into the Elantra or the Sonata, at a reasonable price.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,450
    I've been screaming for diesel vehicles for 10 years. Wrote letters to the government agencies that are part of the problem. The bright side is we now have VW and MB available in all 50 states. And BMW should have their 335D here next month. We are slow learners over here. Some very strong environmental lobbies that detest diesel cars. And an abundance of gas to sell.
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,751
    Two or three things have slowed our acceptance of diesels. Our air quality standards are stricter than Europe's concerning NOX and Particulents. Plus in europe people were willing to put up with stinky dirty smelly diesels for quite a few years before they got as relitively clean as they are today. With no tradition you have no infrastructure. At least a Prius and other hybrids are Pzero are any diesels that clean? Just kidding, I know the answer.
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