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

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  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,135
    It used to be that way here. I had a friend in Alaska that spent his vacations in Europe. He would pick up some used exotic and drive it around on vacation then ship it home. Had a 6 car garage. He liked old Rolls a lot.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 42,232
    Back in the 60s and 70s especially, that was a popular thing to do - ship over old Rolls, especially those from about 1930-60. They were dirt cheap in the UK, as they were thirsty, big, and expensive to fix. They were very exotic in NA, so a little money could be made shipping them over and selling.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,861
    edited March 2013
    I guess what I'm driving at is that most people shopping in the $40K--$45K range don't care all that much about 'gas mileage'. It's not their primary motivator.

    So the people who desperately want 40 mpg can't afford it and the people who can afford it don't care if it's 30 mpg or 40 mpg. That's simply not great enough to really be on the mix-luxury car buyer's radar IMO.

    Do you really think if I crossed off the 38 mpg on the GLK250's window sticker and put 30 mpg, that total sales would change very much, if at all?

    I don't think so.

    And do you think the average American is going to stare at a GLK250, stroking his chin and say to himself "now let's see, in ten years time, if I save X dollars per year on gas, then....."

    HAH! :P

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  • scwmcanscwmcan Niagara, CanadaPosts: 399
    I think people are stretching more than they used to to buy any new car, and a lot will depend on the lease price since that is the way most of the ( especially entry level) luxury cars are "sold" anyway, so if the is an attractive lease price then yes I do think people will care about the milage and the diesel, of course once you load it up with options.... In any case I am suggesting a lot for Mercedes volumes not GM or Ford volumes, also juding from the % of Audis with a diesel I would say that just as many care about fuel economy as the top of the line gas engine, the major volume will always be the middle ground though, would a Honda or Ford diesel CUV sell more volume, of course, but they aren't offering them yet. In any case I still think delaying it to the 2014 model year is a bit of a mistake, but then it could be introduced tomorrow as a 2014 the way manufactures introduce new model years nowadays.
  • scwmcanscwmcan Niagara, CanadaPosts: 399
    No b-class diesel here unfortunately ( I know a few people who bought the gas model would love to have a diesel version). As for importing one, unless they are in the military ( or are diplomats) and served in Europe for (I think over a year) than no they can't import anything newer than 15 years old, so a bit newer than your rules but still not new, a lot of the funky cars ( especially out west) are 15 year old Japanese imports, and a lot of provinces are banning RHD cars, so those are getting harder to get into Canada as well. The smart diesel was here on a special exception, but we don't get any other different diesels here now that we have adopted the California emissions standards ( or at least the newer American stands).
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 18,440
    edited March 2013
    I think the point you are trying to make might be a sentiment that might be long held and perhaps a "truism," but maybe not an accurate reflection of oem and those specific shoppers' goals and aspirations AND demographic changes (don't forget the etc etc's as there can be MULTIPLE motivators to ANY vehicle's purchase/s).

    So for example: IF 22% buy diesel MB ML350 BlueTec's does that indeed dial out completely better mpg as a motivator? Or if one buys the defacto 78% gassers, does than mean he / she is a hypocritical enviro con? I don't think so.

    For me, it was rather an easy logic. IF I am going to get whatever vehicle in whatever segment, given a choice between diesel/gasser/etc would I rather get worser/better mileage?

    In the MB ML350 Bluetec's example, 22% in effect/defacto VOTED with their check books.

    In Europe across the passenger vehicle fleet that metric is more like 50% PLUS+ for.... like models. Indeed in /US markets that is more like 5% up from 3% a very short time ago. 66% growth.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,135
    The smart diesel was here on a special exception

    Ah, I spent a week in Victoria BC a few years ago. I went into the MB dealer and looked at the Smart diesels. He said they sell as soon as they get to the dealer. I also talked to an owner. He claimed 70 MPG around town was his average. Next thing I see you have been Californicated. Very Sad for Canada. Though it looks like you are making some positive strides politically.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,135
    In the MB ML350 Bluetec case 22% in effect/defacto VOTED with their check books.

    The older demographic Mercedes diesel buyers are probably pushing up daisies. A whole new group of buyers will have to be educated to the positives the diesels offer. And even more positives now than in the 1970s and 80s. There was about 20 years that MB did not offer diesels in the USA. And Lexus ate their lunch. Now Lexus is trailing the German leaders again as it should be. And just about by the number of Luxo diesels sold in the USA.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,861
    edited March 2013
    A lot of that depends on the buyer's initial response to test driving the comparable diesel and gas versions. The characteristics of a diesel engine, especially a 4 cylinder, might not be compared favorably to the smooth quiet liquid power of the V-6.

    Maybe it's a marketing problem, ultimately. There is no prestige to a diesel. This may be cultural. The diesel in America still has the tinge of being suited to commercial uses.

    If you asked a focus group to pin labels on a diesel engine, it'd probably be something like "rugged"..."economical"...long-lasting"...."tough". You would not get labels like "refined"..."smooth"...."sophisticated"...."precision"...."machine like"......

    And I agree, the "old diesel lovers" are disappearing, and a new generation of car buyers needs to be thoroughly re-educated.

    In a way, it might be similar to GM's problem with re-educating young, upwardly mobile buyers to buy a Cadillac. All their former customers died.

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  • scwmcanscwmcan Niagara, CanadaPosts: 399
    Well I got my smart diesel for commuting, it gives me twice the milage as my matrix or my former Mazda 3, I drive it fairly hard and generally get around 60-70mpg US. I am not sure our government following 15 year old failed republican policies is progress ( though they do seem to have realized that they needed to back off some of them), hopefully we can get some good economic policies, and keep our social programs ( but of course they have to be within budget, not crazy spending).
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 18,440
    Of course it does depend on a buyers response between gasser/diesel, among a myriad of factors of why ANYBODY buys a vehicle. . The 4/6 cylinder engines are WAY different animals. But that is true even for GASSERS !! ??? So I am confused a tad why you think 2 more or less cylinders are a big deal?

    However the 22% or so was posted by Gagrice and in that sense "historical data". Now if you are implying that MB wants higher volumes and percentages, then it would probably be incumbent on them to "kick it up a notch" in the "edge u ma cation" department and others. I really did not get the feeling last year (2012) either BMW or MB were pulling out any stops on the diesel front. I got largely a "we don't get many" so this is the price....
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 18,440
    edited March 2013
    On a more practical front, another R/T posted 30 mpg upgrade (210 miles, zero to 7386 ft back to sea level, 210 miles) and 35 mpg downgrade (there was a bunch of higher altitude slo mo mileage) . A bit of bipolar situations. On the upgrade run caught a bunch of very slow moving commute traffic at expected choke points, but was able to keep a steady 80/85 for a lot of the trip. The downgrade through the mountains posted 42 mpg on computer, but with choke points and higher speeds posted 35 over all downgrade. So the average for the R/T was almost 33 mpg. (32.5) I am amazed as this is a sub 5,000 # CUV (4974#'s) I only had app 500#'s of stuff this upgrade.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,135
    I really did not get the feeling last year (2012) either BMW or MB were pulling out any stops on the diesel front. I got largely a "we don't get many" so this is the price....

    That is exactly the feeling I get at all the German dealers. Oh, you like the diesels. Most say they only get a few and they sell before they get to the showroom. Have any of them advertised the diesel models on TV?

    I also think people will be more worried about MPG when we match EU gas prices, which are about double ours.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,135
    You spend some serious time up at Tahoe?. You got a place up there? I love that area. I think about moving to Carson City so I am just a quick run up to Tahoe.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 18,440
    edited March 2013
    Yes, by way of a season ski pass. ;) I don't ski 8 hours at a stretch like I used to when I was in my early 20's. :sick: ;) But its all good for 4 to 6 hours :shades:

    Just this side of knees getting sore or not responding like I want them to and I pack it in for the day, so far 12 days. There seems to be a lot less waiting in line for chairlifts as a remember in my "youth". The kids even made me get a helmet !!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,861
    I was thinking of the (perhaps totally subjective) disconnect between a 4 cylinder diesel and a price tag that will probably run to $45,000 territory when all is said and done.

    i think we have to admit that the # of cylinders is a not inconsequential factor in the luxury market.

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  • alltorquealltorque Posts: 535
    Hmmmm...............

    As with lots of other things in life : "It's not what you've got, it's how you use it" that counts. :blush:
  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 2,077
    i think we have to admit that the # of cylinders is a not inconsequential factor in the luxury market.

    Why would one think this in the first place? Audi and BMW are selling 4 cyl Luxury cars for a while now...
  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 2,077
    I would agree that leasing entry level luxury cars/suv happen more than buying them, however, why lease a diesel when you wont reap the true benefit of it until say 5 yrs of ownership? Now if the current crop of MB cars and SUV are built like the one 30 yrs ago, then it would be worth buying them and holding on them. my 1986 300SDL was built like a tank I knew that car was going to last I sold it with 185K miles on it, are the current crop of MB cars built like that? Not just in mileage, but holding together?
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 18,440
    edited March 2013
    I think these are all good questions from an old /new school perspective. My .02 cents about the "good old days" is more like: thank God THESE ARE the good old days.

    However, I think newer cars are not only better engineered and executed (engine, drive train, suspension systems), but the first so called "major tune up" is @ app 100,000 to 120,000 miles. I personally have gone from 1,500 to 3,000 miles OCI's to more like 10,000, 20,000 30,000 miles OCI's.

    As it applies to TDI's, I have one that is 10 years old and has 180,000 miles and I really look forward to the next 120,000 miles (300,000 TBD ) !!!!! ( and 10 years PLUS+)

    I think most will acknowledge a certain "tyranny of newness".
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,861
    Hmmm....are there any $45,000 range / 4 cylinder diesels being sold now? I'm trying to think.

    But you're right, you can run up a $50,000 tab on a 4 cylinder luxury gasser (BMW 5 series).

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  • fintailfintail Posts: 42,232
    Wait a few months for the E250.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 42,232
    I know modern MBs should be able to hit 200K without many mechanical or structural glitches - but I do worry about the electronics. I think most 2010+ cars will be able to hit that mileage fairly easily.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,135
    Hmmm....are there any $45,000 range / 4 cylinder diesels being sold now? I'm trying to think.

    I just spent an hour with a very knowledgeable BMW salesman. He told me the i328 will be here soon with a 4 cylinder diesel. He is hoping for the X3 with the same engine. I asked about X5 diesel sales. He told me it is way ahead of the V6 gassers. When people find out you get a $3500 Eco credit from BMW they jump on the diesel.

    A lot of things to like about the X5D.
    50,000 total free service including brakes, wipers etc.
    Best handling on my list.
    gobs of acceleration 0-60 in 6.9 secs.
    NAV updates done by recall.
    And a few I don't like.
    Deal breaker:Run Flat tires
    Hard seats
    Small NAV screen

    He claims run flat tires are vastly improved.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,861
    I'm surprised to hear that. The X5 diesel doesn't get very good MPG. It's barely 3 MPG more than the gasser 6 (26 hwy vs 23 hwy) . For $56,000 bucks, a $3500 rebate swings the deal toward the diesel? Er.....well, if he says so... :confuse:

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  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 18,440
    edited March 2013
    Historically most to all US market BMW's have not gotten good fuel mileage. But as you have stated more than once, good fuel mileage is or has never been a top priority for BMW owners.

    Going forward however, I think that BMW has to improve on that metric. I think they also face regulatory monetary penalties if they do not.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
    The gas 328 gets pretty good mpg. 34 EPA hwy and under 6 seconds to 60. Pretty darn good combo. And the rear seats are finally hospitable.
  • scwmcanscwmcan Niagara, CanadaPosts: 399
    I would agree with you, but why lease a car at all, for me it is not a valid choice ( I know others think differently and that's fine). I think a lot of people think that leasing is a wonderful thing and they get something the could otherwise not afford, I don't think they are going to worry about whether they are reaping the benefits or not as long as they can convince themselves they are getting a benefit. Of course this is all assuming the car drives well in the first place, for all I know it could be awful. I know what you mean about the tank like feel of older cars ( in my case it was The old RWD Volvos, they were solid and you knew they were built to last) and I doubt they are made that well anymore ( Mercedes as well). I thi they might still have some of that built in, but nowhere near what they used to, there is too much gadgetry in them nowadays.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,135
    For $56,000 bucks, a $3500 rebate swings the deal toward the diesel? Er.....well, if he says so.

    According to Edmunds the comparably equipped V6 gasser is only MSRP $1500 less. You don't get leather with the stripped model. You have to get the Premium to be comparable. So after the $3500 rebate the diesel is less than the gasser.
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,345
    True enough about the gadgetry and such, and today's world is so competitive that when contract parts suppliers aren't able to deliver on spec..for the long haul..you end up with recalls. And that's only if nothing catastrophic happens first to reveal the recall need.

    That said, the one area mfrgrs have excelled in lately is in corrosion resistance. And if you have that, at least you can keep rebuilding other failing systems. I notice now in winter parking lots that even systems like leaking steel gas tanks are becoming rarer every winter as the old clunkers finally succumb to other corrosion on the body panels and unibody sub-suspension assembly mounting areas.

    In another thread there is mention of how dependent our cars have become on electronics and software upgrades and reflashes etc. I tend to agree that it's the next real potential concern for long term owners. And..IMO, it's not happening by accident. Mfrgrs...one way or the other...are designing their cars to have to come back to the dealer for repair. It is criminal really. You buy a car outright. Pay their price in whole. It should be YOURS. 100%!..Instead we get significant caveats and omissions.. like the software with which is used for your car to work. When something goes wrong or a bug is discovered..we find out that that part of the car we don't own at all! And NEVER will! It's wrong on a number of levels.

    Perhaps crap like this can make a stronger case for leasing eventually..but because residuals will go up predictably, depreciation (fear in the mind of the next and subsequent owners who purchase it used) will ensure that leasing costs themselves will probably rise compared to what we've ever seen so far..
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