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



  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,178
    I would guess only about 10% of the Hollywood Eco wannabes drive a Prius as their main ride. I do know that Woody Harrelson drives a VW TDI in Hawaii on Bio Diesel. He lives on the Willie Nelson off the grid compound on Maui. Willie has an E320 CDI running on B100. Willie's wife has an older Jetta wagon TDI.

    Woody Harrelson lives off-grid in Hawaii and his plug-in Toyota RAV4 is his pride and joy, reports the London Sunday Times.

    Harrelson keeps the Toyota in Los Angeles, but his main home is in Hawaii, where he has a VW Beetle that runs on biodiesel, and a motorbike, which he presumably has no choice but to run on dirty old petrol.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 11,151
    edited December 2013
    and a motorbike, which he presumably has no choice but to run on dirty old petrol.

    I met a man in a torrential rain storm south of Seattle on our way home back in September. He was in a map shelter waiting out the weather while his sport bike sat about twenty feet away refueling.... with electricity! Amazingly (to me, anyway), Washington has electricity refueling stations at many of its rest areas along I-5, and this guy was recharging his electric bike. He said he usually gets 60-100 miles out of it, with a top speed of 110 MPH (I hope I'm remembering those numbers correctly). He said he had only gone about 30 miles, with another 25 remaining before he reached his destination, when he decided to refuel as a way of doing something productive while he waited out the weather.

    So, I guess if Woody is using a "petrol" bike, he doesn't have to do that anymore unless he chooses to do so! :P
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Map shelter?

    That's a new term for a rest area for me.

    This will make for good one-to-one comparisons:

    Is Ford planning diesel- and hybrid-powered Mustangs? You bet (
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 18,555
    edited December 2013

    Here is a graph of the "lessening" fuel growth . When in fuel decline, aka lessening prices time for a car driven.... VACAY !! :)
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 18,555
    edited December 2013
    Not exactly a safe journey nor an exercise in good judgement on a motor cycle if he knew a torrential rain storm was approaching. Perhaps the real joke is when does it NOT rain in the Pacific North West?

    The questions I would have are:

    1. how much per mile driven (fuel)
    2. cost per KWH ?
    3. the costs difference between the two
    4. Another would be if one applies minimum $15 per hour to real wage standards (say a UPS longer haul driver) for wait time, that also needs to be be included, which is probably overlooked.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 18,555
    edited December 2013
    Biodiesel's prospects are appearing GRIM.

    To me the signal that Congress would have been serious was to legislate and get the enforcement agencies to certify a TDI engine capable of running 100% biodiesel. Ethanol may already be in a state of "ARRESTED DECAY"
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    Why the prius over the tdi in california? It's not all due to movie star appeal! 31767

    1. Cost to fuel: Even though the '03 & '12 Jetta TDI with manual transmissions get in the mid 40's MPG based on consumer averages, so does the '06 & '12 Prius. In fact, the Prius has been improving with their models, while Jetta TDIs have been going down in MPG. And even if TDIs and Prius are both averaging 45mpg but you're paying $.50 to $1.00 more per gallon for the diesel, that will add up.

    2. Transmission: most people don't want to use a manual transmission, and VW TDI automatics are only averaging in the upper 30s MPG, so you lose the parity with the Prius MPG if you go with the TDI automatic.

    3. Reliability: Any statistics you look at will consistently rate Toyota, and specifically the Prius, as one of the most reliable cars in the market:
    I have yet to see VW or TDIs with similar steller ratings.

    4. Emissions - if you look at the "Energy and Environment" tab on, you'll see that TDIs get a 6 rating with the Prius getting a 9 rating.

    5. Total Ownership costs based on initial cost, maintenance costs, repairs, mpg, resale, etc. apest-own/nDPc8/

    That being said, a jetta tdi, especially the sport wagon version, isn't a bad car to own, especially if someone does most of their driving on the highway (although my '06 Prius consistently gets 50+mpg on the highway as long as I'm in the 65mph range). And I completely admit that a Jetta handles better and uses more quality materials inside, although VW has been recently been skimping in those areas recently. But I think if you simply look at #1-5 above, you'll see why the Prius is the better car in those areas, and I guess folks prioritize their car buying in #1-5 above over the better handling TDI.

    And there's still the perception (inaccurate) of stinky diesels out there, as well as the reality of the higher diesel price posted at every gas pump.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,178
    Nothing the EPA does makes a lot of sense. I am sure it is all tied to kick backs and pay offs to the right people in our government. Ethanol cut backs are needed. Why mess with biodiesel? it is such a small part of the picture. It is all positive, where ethanol is more negative than positive. There is no mandate for biodiesel blending. It is left up to the market. So the EPA should just butt out. There should not be a cap on making biodiesel from waste oil at all. Biodiesel from food stocks I can understand. Everything our Federal government touches turns to Crap. They were not happy messing up the economy by meddling in the housing market. Sheeeesh it also screwed up my Green Star Products stock. That will teach me a lesson investing in anything green I can't eat.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 18,555
    edited December 2013
    When you compare real competitors: the 12 (your year of example) Jetta (45 mpg) and Passat (41.3 mpg) TDI's really face off with the 12 Toyota's Camry (28.8 mpg) and Camry Hybrid (39.6 mpg). Both of those Toyota competitors post less mpg than either the Jetta/Passat TDI's. Emissions are pretty similar. Indeed the Passat TDI set a record for 84+ mpg @ 5 miles UNDER the speed limit (65 mph) Many Passat TDI owners report 50/55 mpg @ 65 mph.

    Indeed the 12 Highlander hybrid posts 25.2 mpg, while the VW Touareg TDI posts 28 mpg. The 12 Highlander Hybrid AWD weighs - 212 #'s LESS than the VW Touareg TDI AWD.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 18,555
    edited December 2013
    Yes I would agree if "mpg" were one of the real" driver's" here, the EPA, suffering from math anxiety, is not letting a lot of better "mpg" cars in. VW Polo is one @ 75 mpg. This of course beats the Prius "fit tee" 50 mpg by 50%. They make sure it is uneconomically feasible to get em here.

    The truth is the Prius in its minority sales status exists so that Toyota can sell its gas guzzling "light" TRUCKS IAW EPA rules.
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,345
    edited December 2013
    And furthermore, while bob did acknowledge some fair differences, he failed to acknowledge a really really significant that Americans embrace and hold near and dear to their hearts. What is that you might ponder?? It's the fact that the TDI's could EAT any Prius FOR LUNCH..while pulling a 1200 lb trailer behind it AND having 4 occupants on board.

    While I think bob mighta been trying to compare fairly, the two biggest glaring omissions do still count quite a bit. The other big glaring omission is that while he points out that if doing a lot of hwy, the TDI might be the better choice, he diminishes credibility by then stating that his Prius gets 50+, but the big difference is, he has to baby it (something he did not say) and he MUST keep it under 65 mph. The TDI does not have to be babied and delivers superior MPG well above the highest speed limits. Now if we were to talk about hilly terrain, his comparo then falls on the rails even worse.

    I'm glad he acknowledged the superior handling of the TDI, even if he did fail to mention the TDI not only rides better but is much quieter inside too.

    But all that said...there is a place for hybrids like the Prius in this world, but their strengths are for city stop and go. For all-around-use tho, they are hard-pressed to compete with a TDI. And IF they gave them the same amount of GO as a TDI, it simply wouldn't be a contest at all...and they'd be back struggling to make their case, even in the city.

    And..bob..the DSG auto doesn't demand the MPG penalty the 6 sp Steptronic does.
    Also..I guess we can assume it would take an awful lot for him to buy a diesel. Maybe if he were to live in extremely cold climates with mountainous terrain and had to tow a small trailer on a regular basis, he might consider one, lol
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 18,555
    edited December 2013
    We did have to "work on him" with the facts over any number of years to get him to even admit that to himself. The writing shows little indication. So it is (for him) a big step to even acknowledge what he (begrudgingly) has acknowledged.

    ..."But all that said...there is a place for hybrids like the Prius in this world, but their strengths are for city stop and go. For all-around-use tho, they are hard-pressed to compete with a TDI. And IF they gave them the same amount of GO as a TDI, it simply wouldn't be a contest at all...and they'd be back struggling to make their case, even in the city. "...

    Evidently this "logic" has eluded the folks who do taxicabs in cities: like NYC, for at least a decade (2003 Prius was one of the first ). The % of hybrids is not anywhere CLOSE to 100%, or a simple majority for that matter. Police and fire (vehicles) most certainly have IGNORED hybrids (Prius) also.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,178
    I must first point out that I have advised people to test drive a Prius. I have never suggested a VW TDI to anyone. I don't want to hear any whining if it is not what they expected. I have ridden several times in my buddies Prius that I advised him to get. He puts a lot of miles on around town visiting hospitals and hospices. After riding with him, I would not even consider a Prius. Noisy rough riding little buggers.

    The comparison between a Highlander Hybrid and the Touareg TDI could be more apples to apples. The Highlander manages to get 7 seats into the same 188 inches as the Touareg. Seems crowded to me. The Sequoia at over 200 inches was not bad in the back row. Looking at Fuelly the Highlander Hybrid is not in the same league as the T-Reg TDI. Not a lot of Highlander posters to compare. Only 2 hybrids for 2013. Best one getting 24.6 MPG and the other 22.8 MPG. Evidently Touareg TDI owners are proud of their mileage. There are 29 diesels posted for the 2013 model alone. Both from the USA and Canada. I am about in the middle with an over all average of 26.6 MPG. They range from a low of 22 mpg to a high of 32 MPG.

    So let's compare the two.
    T-Reg TDI 700 miles
    Highlander Hybrid 400 miles
    T-Reg 7700 lbs
    HH 3500 lbs
    0-60 MPH:
    T-Reg TDI 6.9 sec
    HH 7.2 sec
    2013 Prius C 10.7 sec

    If you have 5 kids better get the Highlander. If you want to cruise all day at 80+ MPH and still get great mileage get the VW Touareg TDI. Fastest way across TX.
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,345
    ...cuz of the transfer to the new platform..just wanna mention how much I have enjoyed chatting with you guys here on this forum the last few years..
    In no particular order..steve, ruking, gagrice, fintail, cski, wes, and I think a few others too..but please don't take offense if I missed a few other obvious ones by name.

    I think our usernames here transfer over to the other platform as the same name?

    Anyway, it's been fun..hopefully we'll catch you guys over there.

    Cranky :thumb up:
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    lol, hopefully all the discussions (and us) will move over just fine.

    But in case the Matrix swallows us whole, thanks and likewise! :D
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 18,555
    edited December 2013
    So how do we know if we are in or out of the new platform? Is it run by the folks that run :) ?
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,345
    I gotta say, I'm impressed the HH musters 7.2..
    Who wudda thunk?

    Of course driving it like that, it'd drink more than an RR or Lambo 12 jug..
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    The new platform will make you wonder why the missing cylinders weren't reactivated years ago. But the new HUD is going to be a bit of a learning curve for all of us.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,178
    The Highlander Hybrid and RX450 H share the same drivetrain. The RX seems tuned for Premium only and is probably faster. The hybrids outperform the gassers in the same vehicle. The torque from the electric motors give a good boost off the line. I have not driven either one so don't know how they handle or ride. The RX is what keeps Lexus in business.
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,345
    Ya, I believe that.

    As for the THH and the RXH umph, I'll betcha they're geared to really perform in that speed range. Probably the first three gears gets you to 60 and they will be closely spaced. I'll bet the fun really falls off fast much north of 75 or so. I assume they're 6 speeds? Surely not CVTs..

    I suspect the VW T (TDI) would just walk away from them at a 100. Maybe even from 90 and up.
    What speed is the T at about 3500 revs in 4th? What about 5th?
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,178
    All ToyLex hybrids are CVT. It looks like they have geared the Lexus higher than the Highlander to get better mileage. The RX450h is only good for 7.8 sec 0-60. So the Touareg would be in the next county by the time they get to 100 MPH. The real strength of the T-Reg is from 30 -90 MPH. I have not taken mine past about 95. It gets there very quickly. Very solid handling at high speed.

    2012 Volkswagen Touareg TDI Executive 0-60 mph 6.8 Quarter Mile 15.7
    Notice the Touareg Hybrid clocks in at 5.8 secs 0-60.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 18,555
    edited December 2013
    Some interesting observations :

    1. Emissions (fuel ) on the

    a, 12 Lexus RX 450H, 318 grams per mile

    b. 12 VW T TDI, 398 grams per mile

    c. 12 VW T V6 SC hybrid, 392 grams per mile.

    2. Toyota and Lexus both use CVT transmissions of unknown (to me) sub contractor. The Aisin 8 speed A/T is a lesser known subsidiary of TOYOTA is used by the VW Touareg TDI !! ??.
  • eliaselias Posts: 2,147
    edited December 2013
    gagrice, do diesel-drivers who avoid tv and the theatre actually avoid the horror of supporting those prius&CXT-driving hollywood folks?
    (compared to gasoline-touareg drivers, let's say, to keep it an apples to apples comparison.)

    also, just for reference, what are you more likely to do, return to driving a gasser, or go see the new Hobbit movie DESOLATION OF SMOG (i hear it's about the increasing smog issues in The Shire).
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    Some comments to the rebuttal posts:
    1) towing – it’s rare that I see any car towing anything…it happens, but it’s not too frequent, so for the majority of folks that’s not an issue.
    2) competition – if you compare specs, jetta/prius are competitors, in fact with the Prius’s 21CuFt of cargo space it’s even more roomy, unless you go with the jetta sportwagon.
    3) transmission – as previously stated, most people don’t want to use manual transmissions, so that drops the TDI to the high 30’s in average MPG with an auto
    4) Extra cost for diesel fuel reduces the true cost per mile of TDIs…nobody here mentions this one.
    5) Quality/Reliability/Cost to Own – I didn’t see any response to this either.
    6) As far as a TDI “eating a Prius for lunch,” for 99.9% of driving it really doesn’t matter…it’s basically a 6-year old’s argument “I’m faster than you are…”
    7) If I had 5 kids I’d get a minivan because neither a Touareg nor a Highlander would be big enough, as they both have tiny 3rd rows. Now a Prius V would be great for three kids, with it’s 34CuFt of cargo space and 42mpg average both EPA and posted by users.
    8) Highway speeds: I did mention in my previous post that to get 50+ highway MPG in a Prius you’ll need to keep the speed to about 65-70mph. But again, most people aren’t driving 90% of the time at 85mph on the highway but if you do, then by all means blow by me in your TDI!!

    Like I said, VW TDI’s aren’t bad cars. If the price of diesel = regular gas, if VW reliability = Toyota reliability, if TDI automatics produced the same MPG as TDI manual transmissions, then maybe more people would buy them.
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,542
    What I read is that the bailout was mutual. When Fiat president visited Chrysler factories, he was appalled at the cheap plastic and interior panels in general across the range. Fiat was getting killed in the E.U. due to Europe's declining economy and was desperate for cash.


    Chrysler had the $, and Fiat had more expertise at European small car quality interiors. The new Cherokee and the Dodge Dart both use the Giulietta platform. Since the Dart "missed the target" (ahem) Jeep really needs this Cherokee to work out. Only the top end Cherokee Trailhawk with the 3.2 liter V6 with improved cooling, best 4x4 case w/locking rear diff and skid-plates will be "Trail Rated".

    Remember the Caliber? How about the Compass and Patriot? (same platform). They were the worst. "Dreadful" was the unanimous response from major car mags, particularly the 2.4 / CVT powertrain.

    Then there was the Sebring/200 which needed $200 per car just to LOOK competitive with other mid-size sedans.

    These were followed by the pre-2011 Charger and 300, both which received major face lifts and new exterior panels. Both cars are getting older, but still command good reviews from the industry and consumers, mostly due to the Mercedes platform that underpins them.

    Oh, BTW...diesel diesel diesel...there is a diesel 2.0 T available on the new Cherokee, but only in E/U for now. :(

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,542
    Your pro's and con's are well thought out, and make a lot of sense.

    The problem? Volkswagen's look and feel "solid". They are quiet, drive better, are better equipped, and overall are (mostly) beautiful cars inside and out. VW has more experience with small passenger vehicle sized diesels than any other car maker on the planet. They were making fuel efficient diesels decades before the first Prius rolled out of the factory.

    My main beefs? Why is there no instrument panel directly in front of the driver? Why are there such cheap interior surfaces? Why not better, lightweight insulation? The car is over $30,000!!! :(

    Lastly, the "beer can" thin exterior panels, and overall poor handling/driving characteristics would have me gladly signing the buyers order on a new TDI.

    I can't help Prius owners turn and look back at their cars lovingly on the way into the store? Hmmm.

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,178
    You have also left out my big complaints with the Prius, comfort and noise. If you only listen to Rock n Rap music, those two characteristics are probably not high on your list. We listen to mostly classical music which does not compete well with noise. Being jarred by every rut in the roads around here is worth thinking about. With our CA 3rd world roads a substantial undercarriage is a big plus. You can't dodge all the ruts.

    I do have to wonder if Prius has reached all the buyers they are going to reach? Their numbers are flat this year on sales.

    While all the diesel numbers are increasing. From my local dealer they have a hard time keeping the TDIs on the lot. Last check the closest Touareg TDI is in Los Angeles. We have 6 VW dealers and not a single T-Reg TDI available. Then maybe Audi gets first go at the diesel drive trains. They are selling very well with increases every month. I am sure Toyota would rather sell more big trucks than Prius. Prius is the necessary nuisance in the lineup.
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,345
    edited December 2013
    You have also left out my big complaints with the Prius, comfort and noise. If you only listen to Rock n Rap music, those two characteristics are probably not high on your list.

    Ouch! While your music preference may be classical, your assumption that Rock listeners have less appreciation for low harmonic distortion figures than classic listeners is terribly ignorant and misdirected. And by default you also are suggesting that if the wheels are turning, the music is on, and on loud!

    What about the times we don't have the tunes on that we want a peaceful and tranquil ride? Do they not count? And regardless, even if the tunes are on and on loud, noise is cumulative. Just because you may not care for a certain type of music, does not mean that that same music isn't prone to the muddiness of competing with other outside noises like wind, tire and road roar as classical is. ! Geez..

    I've found that often I nod my head in agreement with many of your takes on things, but occasionally you touch on something way out in left field. This is decidedly one of those times.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 18,555
    edited December 2013
    The sense I get is we have yet to hear the last from the American auto industry. While I hope whatever upcoming is nothing but good, I think greater roilings are yet to come. So for example, the US government just lost BILLIONS of dollars selling its GM (bailout) stocks. !!!!! ???? So I think the "good news," in a pejorative way Chrysler is now mostly NON American. So in "theory" whatever US bailout funds will not go over the % American ownership. The bad news is the most likely ones Fiat will go to (in a bailout) is ITALY, and long acknowledged (EU member) financial basket case !!!!! I think in that sense, it signals a HUGE local and world wide OVER capacity.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 18,555
    edited December 2013
    Prius to me REMAINS an (overpriced) Corolla, Civic, etc competitor. So for example, I would have chosen a Civic TDI (IF it were and obviously not available ) vs a Prius, if I were a buyer in that segment. I wound up with a Civic gasser.@ roughly 12,000 less ! So at 38 vs 44 mpg, there is not doubt the average for the Prius gets 6 mpg better !! My longer terms goals in that segment would be 75% commute (10,000 to 15,000) miles per year with the smaller percentage being highway travel/incidental. So fuel savings would be 55 gals per year. So @ $3.51 RUG current price that is $193 per year savings. $12,000 buys a LOT of fuel. Indeed a quick and dirty division calc indicates 62 PLUS years to B/E !!!!!! With a Civic TDI getting 52 mpg vs Pious 44, BE is a failed calculation. It is VERY obvious why the EPA would keep something like a 52 mpg TDI OFF the US markets !!!! Or looking ahead a 75 mpg TDI !!!

    There is not doubt 300,000 to 400,000 miles would be the longer term goal.

    So really, not that we are NOT anti hybrid, like Prius, even as there are CLEARLY ANTI diesel folks for that matter, but they are clear not diesels nor are diesel hybrids offered on US markets.
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