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Diesel MiniVans



  • marcbmarcb Posts: 152
    the volt panels are made of special plastics, so shouldn't be too heavy thought. But see, cars same as minivans it doesn't matter anymore whether they are huge or small as long as they are efficient fuel wise.

    I have a 13 year old heavy Jetta diesel that still gets 44mpg combined. Not even the new small Yaris and Fit gets that mpg. So size/weight is secondary only to engine efficiency. My ex 2001 Prius got only 5mpg better and was too complex and costly to fix.

    I would get a Volt primarily for efficiency, secondarily for lesser maintenance, and lastly for smaller carbon footprint.

    Back on topic, it is too bad VW's new CEO just pulled out the plug on a planned mild hybrid Touran for 2008.

    Think of it, why would VW build a hybrid Touran when a TDI would be cheaper and readily available in Europe?

    My suspicion is it was supposed to be targetted for North America.

    Still a 2010 Chrysler Minivan with a 2.2 Benz diesel, rotating middle seats, and removable table would be something to look forward to.
  • What VW should have done is put the TDI in the eurovan with a manual tranny. Also we need a small TDI engine 1 liter size that gets 75 mpg estimated by me. The problem in america is that car drivers dont want to work to drive they just want an automatic and be lazy fat slobs. Right now I have a Toyota Previa 1995 & Chevy Cavalier 2000 The water pump on the cavalier is put on with a cheap thin gasket. The toyota uses o-rings. Which do you think is the better seal . Gas is 2.77 per gallon 87 octane cost $44.50 to fill up my van 2 days ago. I want to get a VW TDI diesel and wish my Previa van was Diesel and manual. I drove a beater 300D 1985 Mercedes diesel that was an awsome engine sounded like a hot rod. Well eventually I will replace all my cars with Diesel=economy+reliability. :shades:
  • marcbmarcb Posts: 152

    "There've been rumors that VWAG might kill another vehicle on its production plans - an all-new, American-style minivan. There are all sorts of reasons why the project should be in jeopardy, conceded Hallmark. For one thing, it is being developed in a joint venture with Chrysler, the U.S. marque that parent DaimlerChrysler is likely to sell off."

    "Then there's the fact that the minivan was conceived by ousted VWAG brand boss Wolfgang Bernhard. But after looking long and hard at the project, corporate officials realized it was too good a product to abandon, whoever got credit. It will reach showrooms late next year, about twelve months after Chrysler launches its own, next-generation minivan."

  • Hi all... found this board and read some but have to get back to work. We have a diesel pickup truck but that's all so far. I had to replace my front wheel drive Astro van last year, a bit suddenly, and got the Chevy Uplander. I am not happy with it but there just wasn't much out there (full disclosure: hubby wants GM). Even would he relent... the US is just not cooperating with itself to allow a good market for such a useful vehicle as a roomy diesel minivan with reasonable power. And it's not like it can't be done. I look forward to catching up on this forum and learning what's on the horizon.
  • blufz1blufz1 Posts: 2,045
    Odyssey diesel minivan by 2009 at the latest. start workin' on him. :)
  • Thanks for the link on the Volt. I was starting to think that GM was completely out of the running, which would be bad news for me. The Volt is just a wee little thing, but it is a start. Now, why can't they put a mini Duramax diesel on the S10 platform? The S10 proved its likeability years ago, and many people were sad to see it go... my Astro was on that platform too. If the Duramax can get 24 mpg as a big old crewcab truck, they should be able to make one in the family size, with an eye towards a flexfuel future. I'm not so sure about electric... I'm nervous of anything that plugs in, because that feeds the whole coal-power-plant idiocy that we also have in this country. Doesn't it? :confuse:
  • Don't even get me started about the lack of stick-shift cars in this country! :mad:
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
    Stick shift diesel minivan - yessssss!
  • marcbmarcb Posts: 152
    Hi lizziewriter, sorry but this board kind of moves really s-l-o-w just like diesel minivan news, which comes just way too far in between.

    I don’t normally come here that often anymore.

    Not sure what’s the latest on Honda’s plan to offer diesel in light SUV’s (possibly includes the Ody. Anybody care to share info?).

    The Koreans are also thinking of doing same – offering diesels on light SUV’s, so who knows we might have a Kia diesel also.

    The bad news is Daimler dumped Chrysler, so that probably eliminates the 2010 Chrysler with nice rotating chairs nada.

    So only a Chrysler based VW diesel seems definite right now. The good news is VW’s diesel engines have gained/regained the efficiency they lost sometime after 2003. Who knows they might even give us a manual, after all what good is a diesel if an auto tranny simple saps it down to a gassers level? So, one of those omniscient pre-selective double clutch thingy would be waaaaayyyy nice VWAG(…..pweeease?). And since it’s N.A. built, keep the price competitive too, double pweease?

    On the tiny cars, there’s lots of promise. From Mazda2’s to Honda hybrid that’s tinier than the Fit, future Mini’s with hopefully diesel that gets 60mpg (there’s increasing clamor to bring that to the U.S. now).

    Toyota is also thinking of making a smaller version of the Toyota Prius (bad news from Toyota is they are not going to use Li-Ion batteries for the next version).

    Still a Volt (with diesel engine pweaase) would be the best. So much less moving parts means long term reliability. This is when car brand will no longer be a reliability indicator. Then only price matters.

    Since north American built will mean cheaper parts, I relish the thought that this will be when American cars kicks butt…..ta da, Empire Strikes Back!

    Btw, it’s probably easier to regulate/improve pollution per power plant than per millions of individual cars out there. Whether its carbon capture and storage, or molecular/chemical breakdown to different useful forms, or whatever, power plants would be the best place to catch them.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Well, if you're unhappy about having a gas engine, this might make you feel a little better.

    I just applied for one of those Shell gas cards, and in reading the fine print I found out you can't get the 5% rebate for diesel purchases.

    Prices fluctuate, sure, but right now, around me, diesel costs about the same as regular gas, both around $3 per gallon.

    The card's 5% rebate makes gas $2.85, diesel still $3.

    That might ease the wait a little bit. ;)
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,134
    Shell is all but history in CA. Several have shut down and not re-opened. BP/ARCO diesel is superior anyway and a lot cheaper than Shell was. BP has at least 2 cetane points higher than Shell. Diesel in San Diego is 20-30 cents less than regular for the last 3 months.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Yeah, even here in the DC area, where diesel has been costlier for a long time, right now gas prices have crept up above diesel.

    Gas prices are more volatile, basically. They move up and down quicker than diesel prices do.
  • marcbmarcb Posts: 152
    Not so here in Ontario Canada. Diesel have consistently been lower than unleaded since late February to sometimes as low as 17 cents per litre (approximately 55 cents per gallon).

    I would probably be jumping beside myself with joy if it weren't for the fact I get 44.5mpg per gallon already and only refuel once every 2.5 weeks (cost per refill: $55 Canadian).

    Using so little, minor price fluctuation is not going to rock my boat too much. That is also why I stopped short from converting my Jetta to run Straight Vegetable oil.

    Back on topic (hehe), when I do get a diesel minivan, I would probably convert that to run straight vegetable oil.
  • eliaselias Posts: 2,138
    there are some cards which do give a 5% rebate for diesel purchaes - but most don't. Chase "rewards" card does, for example.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587

    Just got my Shell card yesterday and used it for the first time.

    It's funny, at a dollar a gallon it was not worth getting the card to save 5 cents. You could shop around and find gas for 5 cents less anyway.

    But, at $3.39 per gallon (around here right now), you're getting 17 cents back. That's fairly significant. If I fill up the 21 gallon tank using 20 gallons we're talking about $3.40 per tank!
  • eliaselias Posts: 2,138
    note that most of these rebate-card cap the rebates at $300/year. so multiple cards might be required in order to maintain 5% fuel discount all year.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Duly noted, thank you.

    We have a Chase Subaru card that caps off at $500 per year. We actually hit that limit already, and cannot earn more credit until September.

    So we will be using the gas card exclusively all summer, then for gas only after that.

    Plus, the Subaru card gives us 3% on all purchases, vs. just 1% for the gas card.

    Over 3 years we've earned $1500 in Subaru bucks and I've used $400. Another Forester is in our future, I think. ;)
  • marcbmarcb Posts: 152
    Chrysler to build dual-clutch plant with German partner GETRAG. Production target 2009.

    May be a long shot...but can we start dreaming of a stick-shift VW minivan?
  • feliciatwofeliciatwo Posts: 68
    Sienna 2007 has MORE power, equal handling, more room than Odyssey. I drove Odyssey for 4 years....terrific except for grandmother interiors and drab colors. Now, I run across another caste-iron reliability manufacturer Toyota, do a test drive ....well, put it this way. "If Lexus made a van it would be the 2007 Sienna. Now, if we can get a Bluetec diesel in it !!
  • I have the same concern. I have been looking for a replacement for our van for a while since we have around 140,000 miles on our 2000 Odyssey right now. I love the van, but seriously, it costs me around $60 to fill it up these days. (We live in the Roaring Fork Valley, near Aspen, Colorado). I definitely want something with better gas mileage, and I want to avoid the dependence on oil from the Middle East. Also, I want to avoid electric since that uses coal. Sooooo, I've heard great things about diesel, and I would LOVE a diesel minivan by Chrysler, Toyota or Honda. I also have 4 young children, and am constantly carpooling and carrying a carload of kids everywhere... This is a great blog, I'm getting tons of information. THanks!
  • Hey! It's so nice to hear someone else voice a distrust of electric power due to the coal issue!! I'm not so keen on ethanol either -- I think it's just a stupid idea to use food crops in that manner. I had been wondering lately whether it would be possible for some gearhead to drop a diesel engine into a van of choice. Probably not, but I can't help but think back to the earlier years of America's love affair with the car, when hobbyists would do that sort of thing. Good luck !!
  • I agree on the ethanol issue, too. It seems wasteful. I am holding out for the Chrysler diesel minivan, I think, unless something better comes along. Where I live, hybrid doesn't make sense due to the long commutes everywhere, so, diesel is the best thing in my opinion. Plus, then I have the option of making my minivan a "veggie van" and using biodiesel. I also read this article which you may find interesting. I just know we can trump those big car companies and come up with ingenious ideas on our own!

  • rustsdrustsd Posts: 1
    It is so nice to see that I am not CRAZY! I'm a huge proponent of biodiesel, but I've got little ones to tote around, all-the-while wishing I could find some eager person to put a diesel engine into a minivan for me!! (From the looks of it, all I have to do is wait a couple years now!)

    But I thought I'd reply not just because of the common hope of a diesel minivan, but also because of the disappointment in ethanol...I just wanted to add that it's not just irresponsible to use food in that's irresponsible to use our water in that manner!! (Corn is one of the highest-water-use crops!! Something to think about when much of America is in a drought...)

    Thanks for the encouragement in knowing there are other diesel-loving moms out there!
  • Wow, you are so right about the whole ethanol thing! Very disappointing... And now, have you seen the prices for diesel?? Now what are we going to do? Will biodiesel be any better? I am at a loss of what to do when my present minivan konks out. I'm still leaning towards diesel, but, man, the prices are scary!
  • casnappercasnapper Posts: 2
    I'm on board with those of you who are advocating a diesel minivan. We currently have a 2005 Sienna on lease that expires next month. I can extend the lease for six more months (through December '08), but have been holding out for a diesel (the only viable option to gas). Does anyone know if either Honda or Toyota has plans for a 2009 diesel option?
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "Does anyone know if either Honda or Toyota has plans for a 2009 diesel option?"

    Short answer; not happening anytime soon, if ever.

    FWIW, the only diesel minivans with a body style sold in the U.S. that sport diesel engines are the Chrysler versions, however, the Mercedes engined CRD minivans aren't available here in the U.S., and I wouldn't hold my breath until they are. :(

    Best Regards,
  • casnappercasnapper Posts: 2
    Hi, Shipo:

    Thanks for the reply to my post regarding a diesel minivan. I guess I'm just venting, but I don't understand why manufacturers are not marketing clean diesel options in the U.S. It just seems like such a natural fit to me since the U.S. market has such a lust for large SUV-type vehicles and diesel engines produce so much more torque and better fuel economy. As an advocate of this technology, I am frustrated that it is not available to us. It looks like I'm going to be signing up for another three years with a gasser.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    To go along with that there are no SUVs that are available in Diesel either (other than the compact VW Torg.)

  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Uhhh, Jeep Grand Cherokee CRD? :shades:

    Best Regards,
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,134
    Mercedes offers 3 sizes of diesel SUV. The GL320 CDI, ML320 CDI and R320 CDI and soon the smaller GLK320 CDI. You can also get the Dodge Sprinter is several configurations in all 50 states with diesel engines.
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