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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: 64,490
    Didn't they have to BAN diesels in Athens for awhile, it got so bad there?

    I notice many CALIF pumps have the ultra low sulphur diesel now.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,450
    I notice many CALIF pumps have the ultra low sulphur diesel now.

    All ARCO stations selling diesel have only sold ULSD since early 2005. That is all I used in my 05 Passat TDI. I think it was mandated here in 2006. Most places should have it available around the USA.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    This was marked 15 PPM and says it's designated for 2007 cars and newer.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,450
    That is ULSD when it is 15 PPM sulfur or less. CA was the first to mandate 130 PPM diesel in CA starting in about 1990. Many parts of the US were getting BP LSD or low sulfur diesel that is 30 PPM or less since 2004. Heavy equipment or red dye is still much higher sulfur content.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Here's the latest road test for those who haven't seen it.

    Key points: Fun, pretty fast, 40 mpg, $25,000 price tag.

    2009 VW Jetta TDI Road Test
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    The Rabbit and Golf weigh about 300-400 lbs less than the Jetta. This means they can de-tune the engine as well to get better MPG out of it, while keeping the same performance. Simple as that.
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,751
    about VW bringing back the Rabbit is that is almost single handily destroyed VW's reputation in the US. I used to car pool with a man that had one, a diesel none the less, and while it got great fuel mileage it was a pretty sub standard vehicle. But even back then it got 49 MPG. But you could time it from 0-60 with a sun dial. It was just that things fell off of it or broke for no reason we could tell.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    I don't know that it was the Rabbit that did it. All VWs apparently had problems, though my Rabbit was a great car for seven years, and more fun than other econoboxes of the time. My sister-in-law kept her diesel Rabbit for 20 years before selling it, and I hear tell it is still running around. I have had just the best luck with them apparently, and so have my friends and family. One of the best cars I ever had (and I have had nearly 30) was a loaded 99 Passat wagon with the 1.8T. So all possibilities exist I guess! Anyway, other cars in the same class always seem cheaply trimmed by comparison to VWs, but I have owned many Fords, a couple Subarus, Hondas, GM products, an Audi...but no Chrysler products for some reason.

    BTW, the TDI hp peak is at approximately 4000 rpms, so there are situations where higher revs might make sense, even though all the torque is down low.
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,751
    Still VW dropped the Rabbit name in the US because it had such a bad reputation. So, no it may not have been the only reason VW fell out of favor in the US but it sure went a long way. I wouldn't be surprised if there were people that had good luck with their Yugo or maybe their LeCar but most people didn't and it is what happens to most people that ends up positioning the reputation of a car company in the dependability studies.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    The first Rabbits destroyed VW's reputation, no doubt about it. Truly substandard car IMO, even though in design, in theory that is, it was quite brilliant. In execution, way less than brilliant. It made a Renault look good. And hard on the heels of the equally dismal 411/412s and Dasher to boot. Tsk tsk VW!

    At least Golf became a hit in Europe and the very popular Passat here in the USA, to partially redeem the company.

    I'm surprised Rabbit owners didn't burn the dealerships down.
  • lemmerlemmer Posts: 2,699
    Probably because they drove so much better than anything else in the '70s.

    I think a lot of people had love/hate relationships with those cars. I know I did with my (Rabbit based) '78 Scirocco.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    No, they aren't detuning it, they are quoting the same 140 hp and 236 lb-ft the Jetta gets. I guess if there's a big weight difference they could make the gearing taller for better fuel economy. Would that make a big difference in a diesel? The one they drove in Europe was making 0-60 in 9.3 seconds, IIRC.

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

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    9.3 is okay. You'd have to plan your passing moves, etc but generally fine for most situations in the USA.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    Correction: VW did not drop the Rabbit in the US. They continued it without interruption, but gave it the name it has always had in the rest of the world: Golf. Thee rest of the world has spoken as well on the Golf and it has always been a high volume, successful car. To compare its troubles to LeCar or the Yugo is overstating your point. Now let's just once again accept that reliability ratings for Golfs have been in the lower end of the range. Had they been Yugo-bad, it would have been gone by now, rather than being one of the world's most successful models. And no, you are also wrong about "what happens to most people." Most people do NOT have to get a lemon or a troublesome car in order for that model to end up lower in the reliability table.

    You all need to get a grip. I respect your decision not to buy a VW or some of the others in the same reliability vicinity (Scion, Volvo, Jeep, Saab) and those significantly worse (Kia, Suzuki and Land Rover). At the same time, there are those of us who weigh the odds and drive the vehicles and go ahead (or none of these companies would see ANY sales!). I love my 2008 Suzuki as well, and six months into it, not one adjustment needed (knock on wood...ok, I have superpowers, what can I say?). :) :P
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    I think he meant the Rabbit in America, not the Golf in Europe. Even Renaults perform well in France, and Fiats in Italy. So you can both be "right".

    But...how the Golf performed in Germany was small comfort to those of us who bought Rabbits.

    I did like the first GTi though...a LOT.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    9.3 is more than ok and would generally require no planning for passing, unless you like to take chances and do white knuckle stuff. I've also seen 8.9, and that is plenty peppy.

    Plus, you have to look at 20 to 40 or 60 to 70 times (rather than 0-60) to get a real idea of what passing would be like. Reviews seem to indicate in short spurts it is very fast.
  • dprodpro Posts: 1
    I see that VW is offering promotional '09 0financing on what seems like every model car, except the TDI! With the rates today, that could make the difference in whether or not I purchase one. I ran the numbers, 7.49% vs. the 3.9% promotion, runs out to be about $2300 more interst over 5 years than the gas model. That sort of overshadows the $1300 tax credit. Of course, there are other factors, such as mileage, fuel cost, etc. but I can't believe the TDI is selling so well that VW can afford to exclude the TDI from the promotion.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    Well, it is. That is why they don't have to give this money away. If there were more TDIs available, then it would be another story.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    I had a 9.0 car in the Scion xA and believe me passing was no fun 60-80 mph.

    Under 60, no problemo.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    And that's a Scion Xa...no torque and little hp as well.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    au contraire...very torquey little engine and will out accelerate a Jetta diesel up to 50 mph no problem. What is doesn't have is the gearing for highway use. If you want to pass, the power band is already exceeded, even though the car is revving like crazy.

    It's 108 HP I think. Zippy little thing.
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,751
    9.0 and 9.3 are times to compare. The stop watch doesn't care if the vehicle doing it is jet powered or sail powered if it trips the traps at 9+ seconds passing takes planning. But you are correct that the 40-60 or 50-70 times would be a better measurement.

    And there are quite a few people that don't care about dependability or VW would have stopped selling cars during the Rabbit, Dasher era. After all people buy Range Rovers and Hummers . Some people simply don't care and take their chances. I know people that almost cried when Peugeot and Citroen left the US. Some told me how much they loved their French cars and how "they" had never had any problems with them. Those cars still had a loyal following in France and other parts of Europe. They just didn't make it here.

    If you ask an enthusiast how they felt about those early Rabbits you would find that by in large the reputation wasn't any better than Renault and because they originally sold more they may have had a longer lasting effect.

    Something dropped VW to the bottom of our dependability studies it didn't happen all by itself. And Hyundai has shown you don't have to stay on the bottom of the list because of tradition.

    In 2008 JD Powers rated VW below all domestic Vehicles again. The only vehicles rated lower were Range Rover, a company bought and sold just because people like its name, Saab another failed company bought at a discount, Kia was bankrupt and Hyundia was encouraged to buy them by their own government. Suzuki which doesn't seem to make high quality cars for the american market. Hyundai used to be down with VW several years ago and now it is above industry average and above Nissan. Look to 2007, same results except Kia was a better rated vehicle than VW. In 2005 Daewoo and Isuzu were better rated than VW and they were no longer building cars in North America.

    I understand bucking the trends and I have been willing to take a chance now and then but not with a daily commuter. Weekend play vehicle yes, off road vehicle yes. VW has been on the bottom of the US dependability ratings so long it is a bit like the North Star in that you always know where to look for it. And who put it there? If you have ever filled out a new car survey for JD powers you know it was the owners themselves that have placed VW in the cellar. These numbers are only what the people have reported. It just isn't worth the risk for such a major investment. Now if you are talking about a used vehicle with a known service record that might be different. At least you wouldn't be getting hammered with the new car deduction you get from driving the thing off of the lot.
  • vlanevlane Posts: 8
    In order for me to buy a diesel these days (which I want to do) it would have to be ready for a conversion to vegetable oil. I have seen this process work for others and I am eager to get under way. Anybody have any tips or suggestions for me? My aim is for two vehicles; one European 4-seater diesel and also a heavy duty pickup for towing. Help out a future conversion club member. :shades:
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    One problem I've read that you may run into here is that with some of the newest diesels, they'll void your warranty if you use vegetable oils. Not that the engine per se can't run on them, but rather that you have to modify some systems to make it work.

    So first thing find out what the liabilities are with the vehicle you might choose.

    I think the actual methods for conversion are everywhere on the Internet, so Google away!
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,751
    That is the one bright spot in the diesel future if it were up to me. I like alternative fuels and McDiesel offers that kind of opportunity. I do not know how viable it will be but at least it is renewable.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    I looked into the whole process of recycled cooking oils when I had my diesel and it's a LOT of work!
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,751
    Yes it is work if you do it yourself. But there are places that sell Biodiesel already. Granted you have to find them and you have to drive to them but they could become more plentiful. It is the renewable feature I like.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    But aha it takes ENERGY to make biodiesel. And if you buy the pump stuff, you have to be a dedicated type of person because it's very expensive.

    Also a GREAT solvent so if you start using it, best to swap out your filters after the first tankful.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    Biodiesel also can produce and require some pretty nasty and dangerous chemicals in the process. You almost need to dedicate your entire garage to making the stuff.

    It's just not really worth it for fuel injected vehicles. For older ones with carbs, like an old Mercedes, yeah - that will run on strained and filtered oil no problem.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    I don't think biodiesel will be a big factor in marketing diesels. All they have to do is get the price of diesel fuel down and show off that great MPG efficiency for which they are famous. Biodiesel is icing on the cake but it's not the cake.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,450
    I don't think biodiesel will be a factor until they perfect algae to biodiesel process. Or some other non food stock biodiesel. Using food for fuel is a dead end street.
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,751
    Great fuel mileage would only be a short term solution because you are still using foreign oil. Unless that isn't a problem. As China hits the ground running and embraces the auto like the rest of the major countries future use of a non renewable fuel becomes more of a problem. It is just this reason hybrids have been accepted far faster than our return to diesels.

    As a side note I did find it interesting that as we in California have mandated cleaner diesels for our heavy duty equipment our companies are allowed to sell their old equipment to China and third world countries. If those vehicles polluted the air in our state with a higher grade of diesel you have to wonder at the logic of selling them to other countries with a lower grade of diesel. I noticed the results of this when I was in Kenya in 2006.

    All that aside it would still take a small diesel in commuter or city car priced like an Korean car to get me to buy one now. If we had a EV option then a diesel wouldn't be necessary for me. But then if you sign on to T. Boon Pickens sight you will see he has a different solution that includes CNG which is also cleaner than diesel without as many filters.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,450
    CNG which is also cleaner than diesel without as many filters.

    According to the EPA the Civic GX is the cleanest vehicle they have ever tested. They claimed the exhaust from the car was cleaner than the air going into the car. That is why CA still gives the GX a HOV sticker after the hybrid ones were phased out. And there is still a $4000 tax credit on all Civic GXs sold. Finding one is the trick, most go to fleet sales.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Oh I see the logic. The countries burning the dirtiest technologies are going to have a decade or so of going hog-wild with these cheaper systems and then when they start choking to death, the countries that have developed the very cleanest and greenest tech will be selling them the technology they are then desperate to buy.

    This could also work in reverse for the USA. If we lag behind Europe in clean tech, ,then they will come here and clean our clocks and make us pay through the nose for cleaner tech.

    I don't think we will ever be independent of foreign oil unless we had some entirely new magic energy source. We simply need way more oil than we could possibly produce/ conserve through other means.

    Clean diesel tech is just one segment of a much larger solution IMO. It will do it's 6-10 percent or whatever in the future.
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,751
    However CNG is an easier technology to adapt to what the American consumer already prefers. And according to Pickens we have enough CNG to meet most of our needs and decrease our need for foreign petroleum. Diesel will only help in the short run and would require acceptance by american consumers and people concerned with air quality. CNG only requires the infrastructure. A good number of the Busses in the Orange county area are now CNG. There have been some complaints by the neighbors living next to the CNG re fueling stations but they are cleaner and the CNG is produced here.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Natural gas is great but building an economy upon it gives me the willies because the two largest sources of natural gas are Iran and Russia (god has a sense of humor?)
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    Not true. CNG/Propane/etc can be run in the same engines with only a little modification and all can be made easily via nearly a dozen means. We can even create it much like how we do with liquid hydrogen if we run out of it. This takes a lot more energy and effort, but it's definitely possible.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Yeah it's true. Look at the stats for natural gas reserves. Look under "Eurasia" totals and "Middle East" totals. They have way more than we do.

    World's Oil and Gas Reserves

    I didn't comment at all about using it in gas engines. I know that's pretty easy. I don't know anything at all about producing it from something else.
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,751
    There is another advantage to CNG vehicles, the cost of conversion is less so we are getting stiffed by the increased cost of a diesel engine. The manufacturers have made a lot of money on some very old technology even with the improvement that turbo charging. It isn't like a new technology where we are paying for R&D it is about as old as ICE itself. I have always objected to the increased cost of a diesel vehicle. I like diesel trucks and more than likely would like a diesel city car but if it is not as clean as I already drive it might slow me down. CNG doesn't have that same problem. And I don't believe Russia hates us any more than Iran.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,450
    LPG or Propane can be made from Natural Gas, petroleum or Methane. Frozen methane at the bottom of the ocean may be the largest source of energy on earth. Qatar has the single largest gas field. They along with the oil giants are building GTL plants. That is to produce Diesel from Natural Gas. It is extremely clean with virtually no sulfur. And it can be just dumped in a tanker like any other liquid. Plus they are one of our best allies in the region.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Superpowers don't have allies. They have "interests".

    But yeah, these compressed gases have their place but again, like diesel, I don't see them replacing gasoline.

    Probably the future of energy in America will be a very imaginative combination of fuels.

    I can see diesel as a short term (10 year) excellent contributor to solving our problems.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,450
    As long as there is any crude oil left we will have gasoline. It is a waste product that was at one time dumped. So I don't see us ever getting away from gas engines until the oil is all gone.
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,751
    "I can see diesel as a short term (10 year) excellent contributor to solving our problems. "

    There we agree. But only if they can make a Pzero diesel. Because if they can't then hybrids will be our solution no matter what direction Europe goes in. Because dollar for dollar the hybrid is cleaner and because gas right now is cheaper the cost to run a hybrid is less. That could all change if they made an affordable entry level diesel economy car that we could get used to. But that isn't likely and we already have a fleet of Hybrids hitting the market getting a jump on any diesel imports.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    Actually, not true.

    Dollar for dollar, CNG is cheaper and cleaner. Why? Because the prices are regulated to keep its use for heating down to reasonable levels. You can get a home filling device and pump your own CNG at home - for only a little over $1 a gallon equivalent to gasoline. This effectively can get you upwards of 70-100+ mpg relative to other fuels in terms of actual out of pocket costs. There is a station near where I work that also has it. And it costs half what gasoline does. They're adding at least a dollar in taxes and other B.S. to it, but it's still half as expensive as any other fuel.

    And the engines themselves are no more complex than a normal one. No electronics, no batteries, no hybrid transmissions...
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,450
    we already have a fleet of Hybrids hitting the market getting a jump on any diesel imports.

    Hybrids are only a blip on the scale in this country and Japan. They are non starters in any country that offers diesel alternatives. The only PZEV hybrids are the midsized and smaller cars like the Prius, Camry and Civic.

    20 years from now we will still be having this conversation. The market will go for larger diesel vehicles in a big way when they they are offered here. I will downsize to an X5 diesel when and if I like it. I don't expect them to be any better than maybe ULEV. Which is plenty clean in my opinion.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Not in San Francisco. I'll be interested to see if any individual VW dealer can in fact sell 85 diesel cars a month like the SF Toyota dealer sells Priuses.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,450
    One of the dealers here in San Diego has 8 new 2009 Prius for $500 under MSRP. Running an ad on Craigslist. Another dealer has 15 new ones for sale. Must be a glut now that there are diesel vehicles to compete.

    http://sandiego.craigslist.org/nsd/ctd/864123617.html

    http://sandiego.craigslist.org/csd/ctd/866235911.html
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Well, there is a recession going on.

    Credit Crisis Plunges September Auto Sales to Uncharted Depths (AutoObserver)

    Toyota has shelved plans to add a diesel powered version of the Tundra to its line-up. Star-Telegram
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    I see diesel buyers and hybrid buyers as somewhat different buyers....some overlap but not a lot. Hybrid shoppers strike me as more mainstream, diesel buyers are more like a cult or brotherhood. I don't even think Prius owners are shopping for a car exactly, they are shopping for a lifestyle and a statement.

    Maybe once diesel owners start burning biodiesel regularly, they'll be more in common with the hybrid buyers and they'll cross shop.

    Right now I could see a Prius vendor and a VW diesel vendor having stores side by side with little worries.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    Toyota has shelved plans to add a diesel powered version of the Tundra to its line-up

    Well that's a stupid idea. They should have had a diesel right from the start and skipped the V-8s entirely.

    I wonder if any of the domestics will get with the program on this count. I noticed that the new Ram has bigger and badder gas engines that are claimed to save like 5% in fuel economy or something,. Big whoop. But they don't have a diesel ready to go for the Ram at its debut, and word from them is any time between 2010 and never for a diesel to be offered.

    Seems like none of the car companies making big trucks, including Toyota, have any vision in this area.

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

This discussion has been closed.