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Imported Diesels

goondagoonda Posts: 3
edited March 2014 in Toyota
In Canada we are able to import vehicles 15yrs old (1990+) with few, if any, restrictions. Currently there are several companies importing low mileage, high efficiency diesels from the Far East (mostly Japan and Australia). The vehicles of note here are Toyota Diesel Landcruisers. These diesel units exceed 30mpg (Up to 38mpg Imperial), and are large SUV-type vehicles (not the posuer SUVs of North America, but the miserly SUVs of fuel-poor countries that have long suffered from high oil prices).

Many owners use biodiesel in these vehicles and are VERY happy with the fuel economy. Another trick being used by owners to add to the fuel economy is to "propane-inject" the diesels. Diesels typically are burning off 25% of the fuel as the black smoke you often see coming from these vehicles. This is inefficient, and the number one reason many folks claim diesels are harmful to the environment. With propane injection the use of the diesel exceeds 95%. This is VERY CLEAN. Combine this with the higher fuel economy of the diesel (and biodiesel), and you suddenly have a larger vehicle (a Landcruiser LJ is close to the size of an Isuzu Trooper) with fuel economy better than a Subaru Forester...

Comments? Anyone use one of these vehicles?


  • goondagoonda Posts: 3
    I'm wondering WHY manufacturers don't bring more diesels here? Volkswagen brings their line of diesels here (except the SUV, which is diesel), and we know that Toyota and others have GREAT fuel efficient diesels available worldwide...

    What is wrong with North America???
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "I'm wondering WHY manufacturers don't bring more diesels here?"

    Not all diesel fuel is the same. NA diesel fuel has a different sulfer content that the diesel available in Europe. Also, American emmission requirements for diesels is somewhat different than European diesels.

    And finally, there is more of a public perception problem regarding diesels in this country which is not the case in Europe. Generally speaking, Americans have historically not embraced diesels in passenger vehicles.
  • I've been searching for importers for a while. Interested in any contacts that you might have. I drove some of these fantastic TLC diesels in Austraila a while back and would love to have one stateside.

    Any info would be encouraging.

  • fblackfblack Posts: 26
    And finally, there is more of a public perception problem regarding diesels in this country which is not the case in Europe. Generally speaking, Americans have historically not embraced diesels in passenger vehicles.

    I hope that changes. There are some pretty good darned diesels out there that I'd like to buy. BWM, Honda even Toyota make great diesels.
  • jkinzeljkinzel Posts: 735
    For years I have been wanting a diesel passenger car in the U.S that can compete against VW. I wish Honda and Toyota would bring theirs in, but after writing a formal letter last month to Honda, Toyota, Ford and GM, no luck. Nothing back from Ford or GM but both Honda and Toyota told me they have no plans at this time to bring a diesel car to the U.S. market, BUT, they send all letters and comments to the corporate main office for consideration.
    If you want a diesel in the U.S., write to the companies you would like to see bring them in. I got all the addresses from the web sites and made a form letter and sent the same request to all four companies. If they get enough request for diesels, they might just give us one. I would really like a Ford Ranger with diesel.
    The letter I sent is on my computer is at home and I won’t be there until after the 8th. If anyone wants to see it I’ll post it then.
    To me there is no doubt that a very strong market for high mileage (35-50mpg) diesel passenger cars is emerging in the U.S. market. VW can’t keep TDI’s on the lot and Jeeps Liberty CRD is selling in numbers well above expectations. Also, Jeep has just announced that it will have the CRD as an option for the 2007 Wrangler.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,180
    I would really like a Ford Ranger with diesel

    Funny you should mention that particular vehicle. It was my looking for a small diesel PU truck that brought me to Edmund's. Now over 6 years later still no small diesel PU trucks. I saw one in 1999, in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska and talked to the two guys that had driven up from the tip of So. America. It was a cool little Ranger Crew Cab with a 4 cylinder diesel and 5 speed. They averaged 45 MPG on that trip. I wanted one and still want one. What is wrong with these auto makers? They sell high mileage vehicles all over the world, except in the USA! :confuse:
  • jkinzeljkinzel Posts: 735
    One could almost believe there is some kind of conspiracy to keep diesels out of the U.S. market. It truly amazes me that someone, anyone is not producing a high mileage diesel pick-up and passenger car.
    I talked with guy that had a 1985 Ranger diesel and was getting about 35mpg. I guess they were sold in the US for a very short time.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,180
    This is the late 1997 Ranger Crewcab with diesel & 5 speed. Nothing in the US comes close to this truck for economy or endurance. They are built in Brazil and Australia for sure. Maybe other countries also. Makes you wonder what keeps them out of the US. I wrote to Ford and showed the pictures to my local Ford dealer. Never got an answer from Ford. No one had a small crewcab in this country at that time. Nissan came out with one and now they are everywhere.

  • the major issues with importation into the US are safety related....crash testing of vehicles like the 70/75 series Land Cruisers hasn't been done. similar issues with airbags and ABS systems that are required now, but frequently not on Canadian or Japanese spec vehicles.

    I have driven a number of 70/75 series Land Cruisers and intend to get one...most likely a BJ70 for a daily driver. Lots of info on importation by one of the members on my forum, she brings in 4-5 per year thru a registered importer, all legally.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,180
    Thanks for the website with links. I would not mind importing one of the Mitsu Pajero diesels or an FJ40 LC into the US. Is it a giant hassle?
  • the "easiest" way is to work with someone who does it regularly and knows all the ins/ out a Registered Importer and spend some time on a forum with folks who have successfully done it and can help with questions.

    The thread in the Intl corner of my forum is called "everything I learned about importing"....lots and lots of great info.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,180
    Thank you again. I will check it out thoroughly.
  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,095
    A local newspaper is looking to interview consumers who are driving a diesel Volkswagen or Mercedes-Benz in the Midwest/Northeast area, please send an e-mail to no later than Friday May 5, 2006 by 2:00 PM PST/5:00 EST containing your daytime contact information and where you’re located.

    Chintan Talati
    Corporate Communications

    Edmunds Manager UGC Click on my screen name to send a personal message. Need help navigating? Check out Getting Started in Edmunds Forums.
    Need help picking out a make/model, finding inventory, or advice on pricing? Talk to an Edmunds Car Shopping Advisor

  • I'd buy a Honda or Toyota Diesel tomorrow if one were offered. Why can't we buy the diesels sold in other countries here in the USA? Something stinks!
  • jkinzeljkinzel Posts: 735
    I agree, I think something stinks also. If the current administration was serious about lowering oil consumption they would encourage (make) Ford, GM and others to provide the US consumer with the option of a high mileage diesel powered passenger car. A modification or delay of emissions standards would also be involved.
    It seems to me I read not to long ago that the two most popular small sedans in Europe were the VW Jetta TDI and the Ford Fusion diesel.
  • tdinicktdinick Posts: 4
    BMW and Honda diesels should be sold in the US in 2008. BMW last sold a diesel here in about 1986 and Honda never has but they do sell a few in Europe. VW is doing to get hurt when the Japanese diesels arrive!
  • nedzelnedzel Posts: 787
    Yes, something does stink. In particular, what stinks are 1) the current EPA air pollution regulations (and forthcoming more stringent regulations) and 2) regulations from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) that CA and four other states follow.

    The diesels available in the EU (and much of the rest of the world) simply will not meet these ridiculously stringent regulations. VW and Mercedes will have 50-state legal vehicles that meet these regulations, starting in the 2008 model year. But to do so, they have had to add $1000 to the cost (including urea injection system for the exhaust).

    Ford is working on a 4.4l diesel for the F150 and Honda is working on a 2.2-2.4l diesel for the Accord. BMW is also working on diesels for the US market.

    So the diesels are coming, albeit slowly. And you can lay the blame firmly at the doorstep of the EPA, CARB, and the various enviro-wacko pressure groups that have been the force behind these regulations.
  • tpetpe Posts: 2,342
    I grew up in Los Angeles county during the 60's and early 70's. There were days that it was literally painful to take more than a half breath. Since I was a kid that had never lived anywhere else I assumed this was normal. Well I've now come to realize it's not normal and when I occasionally return to So. CA I'm very pleased to find that the air quality has improved significantly. Maybe this is in part due to these whackos that put a higher priority on breathing than gas mileage.

    I very much want these new diesel technologies like BluTech to be able to meet emission standards. I'll be one of the first in line to buy one. But I am not willing to sacrifice air quality for higher mpg. I guess I'm a whacko.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,180
    There is no reason to give up good air with the current diesel engined cars. They are as clean as a 3 year old Camry right today. Plus they emit a lot less CO2. There is a bias against diesel and I am not sure who supports it.

    I was also raised in LA in the 40s and 50s. When I went back to visit my relatives in the 60s and 70s I could not breathe. It was not diesel. It was leaded gas. The VW & MB diesel cars using ULSD today are very clean. We need to look at industry and shipping for the current pollution in SO CAL.

    Diesel is the only way the automakers can get 35 MPG averages out of the cars and SUVs Americans want to drive.
  • tpetpe Posts: 2,342
    If these new diesels are as clean as a 3 year old Camry then that's plenty clean enough. Modern vehicles are now so clean that the vast majority of pollution is being produced by a very small percentage of older vehicles still on the road. There's not much to be gained by making the clean vehicles cleaner. Of course I'm talking about particulate pollution, not CO2. Maybe there is a bias against diesels but I can't imagine what the motivation would be.

    If diesel gains popularity in this country it will be interesting to see what happens to the price of diesel fuel. My understanding is that when you refine crude oil you get so much gasoline and so much distillate. This can be adjusted to some extent but I think there are limits. This is why we are able to import so much unleaded gasoline from Europe. Since they use a lot of diesel they are left with an excess of unleaded gasoline, which is essentially their byproduct of refining diesel.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,180
    I think both your points could be the reason for the bias. There may not be a big enough percentage of diesel from a barrel of oil to add a big percentage of diesel vehicles. At one time long ago gasoline was a discarded byproduct in the refining process. Until someone figured out how to make it work in an engine.

    You figure all the trucks, trains, planes, tractors and ships use some form of diesel distillate. May be the reason they are holding it back in spite of the advantages with mileage.

    I know the EU has a gasoline surplus that we buy a lot of.
  • roland3roland3 Posts: 431
    ... The main visible portion of smog is NOx. This has received the most attention from CARB and EPA; however at a huge cost in wasted fuel and increased GHG. Exhaust gas recirculation should be outlawed if you consider the big picture out the tailpipe. The regs forced measurement of each compound in say a cubic foot of exhaust gas but did not tell us it was taking thirty to forty percent more cubic feet of exhaust gas to move the vehicle the same distance.
    ... I believe air quality will follow efficiency and that CARB and EPA should offer incentives to the gas and Diesel engine manufacturers for economy.
  • tpetpe Posts: 2,342
    ... I believe air quality will follow efficiency and that CARB and EPA should offer incentives to the gas and Diesel engine manufacturers for economy.

    I'm thinking that is the point of view that the general consensus will arrive at.
This discussion has been closed.