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Diesel Cars Are Fun High-MPG Alternative to Hybrids

Diesel Cars Are Fun High-MPG Alternative to Hybrids

In the past decade, the gas-electric Toyota Prius has risen in status from science project to mainstream vehicle.  In September, the 50-MPG hybrid was the eighth most popular car in the U.S., and the biggest gainer—more than doubling sales from a year ago. But for all the merits of hybrid technology—great fuel economy and low emissions—it’s the automotive equivalent of a sensible diet: good for you, but not a lot of fun. For drivers wanting high-MPG, but a more rollicking ride from behind the wheel, there’s an alternative: diesel.

For many Americans, diesel carries a stigma of belching dirty black plumes of exhaust.

It’s time to ditch that image. Thanks to a combination cleaner low-sulfur fuel, advanced engine design, and particulate scrubbers and filters, total emissions from modern clean diesel cars like the Volkswagen Jetta TDI and Passat TDI have been cut by more than 90 percent compared to their predecessors. Today, diesels sold on the U.S. market are usually cleaner and more fuel-efficient than their gas-powered counterparts. And equally important, today’s clean diesel cars appeal to drivers who like to step on the accelerator pedal and go.

The Passat TDI demonstrates how a diesel technology translates to an impressive fuel economy rating of 43 MPG on the highway and 31 MPG in the city. Except for hybrids and electric cars, the most efficient diesels beat all pure petro-powered sedans on the MPG charts.  The Passat has consistently drawn rave reviews from critics who celebrate its mix of torque and fuel economy. It was named the 2012 Motor Trend Car of the Year.

There are more than a dozen clean diesels currently available the U.S.—ranging from affordable, sporty sedans to pricey luxury SUVs. The VW Passat TDI is the only clean diesel mid-size sedan available in the U.S.  The Jetta TDI is available as a small sedan or a wagon. Its packaging as a versatile wagon format has helped it become the second most popular high-MPG vehicle in America—outsold only by the Prius liftback.

Many diesel cars can also run, without modification, on biodiesel.  But owners should consult with the fine print on your car’s warranty to make sure use of alternative fuels is covered.

Like nearly every other major automaker, VW is covering its bases when it comes to green car technology.  Before the end of the year, the German automaker will introduce its first hybrid in the form the 2013 Jetta.  Powered by an all-new 1.4-liter turbocharged gas engine, and an electric motor, the Jetta Hybrid will offer combined city-highway fuel economy of 45 miles per gallon—and a 0-60 mph time of less than 9.0 seconds.

But don’t take this as a sign that hybrids have beaten diesels in a battle of green car technologies. Earlier this week—in a turning of the table—Toyota (the hybrid champion) signaled its own diesel intentions.  In Tokyo, Toyota vice chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada unveiled a new 1.4-liter clean diesel for passenger cars.  Automotive pundits predict that Toyota will soon offer diesel-powered models as high-torque fast-off-the-line alternatives to its growing line of hybrids.

Check out all the clean diesel cars for sale, and more background info, at eBay Green Driving.

Photo Credit: Volkswagen

 

Read more: Eco-friendly tips, Green, Technology, Transportation, , , , , , , , ,

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eBay Green Driving

eBay Green Driving helps drivers save money at the pump, and reduce their environmental impact. It offers user-friendly tools and resources, as well as eBay's unique green vehicle and parts inventory, in a single location, to help people determine the best ways to "green" their daily driving routines. The site covers the full range of efficient technologies: electric vehicles, hybrids, clean diesels, compressed natural gas and ethanol vehicles, as well as high-MPG gasoline vehicles. Green Driving's Fuel Type Comparison Tool was developed in cooperation with the Department of Energy's fueleconomy.gov. World-class content is provided by leading writers and researchers in the field of eco-friendly automotive technology.

17 comments

+ add your own
1:32AM PDT on Nov 1, 2014

Live long and prosper

3:03AM PDT on Jul 4, 2013

Hurrah, that’s what I was trying to get for, just what a stuff Presented at this blog!! Thanks admin of the site.
Selling My Car

4:21AM PDT on Oct 17, 2012

Really, guess you don't traveled to Europe much.

10:36AM PDT on Oct 11, 2012

thank you!!

4:14AM PDT on Oct 11, 2012

Thanks for the article and info.

3:11PM PDT on Oct 10, 2012

noted

7:24PM PDT on Oct 8, 2012

Good to know that diesel is getting cleaner. Thanks for posting.

9:32AM PDT on Oct 8, 2012

Thanks, CelloMom O.

That would sure be a fuel saver.

3:17PM PDT on Oct 7, 2012

Here you go, Don:
Volvo V60 Plug-in Diesel Hybrid. Claims 124 mpg (in reality probably more like 70-80mpg).
Nice design. Plenty of space in the back for several cellos.
For now, most of these are kept in Sweden.

11:40AM PDT on Oct 7, 2012

Why not develop a diesel hybrid? That would be the best of both worlds.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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