Waiting for my next ‘diesel’ vehicle

Posted By on July 19, 2007

The July 13, 2007 Businessweek offered a special report that showcased 10 diesel vehicles along with an article on The Coming of Clean Diesels. Not all models shown are available in the U.S. just yet, but these clean diesels might be something to look forward to. The luxury models from Cadillac, light trucks from Chrysler, GM and Ford, premium vehicles from Mercedes and Audi and the comfortable thrifty ones from Volkswagen should all eventually make it to our shores. (50 state VW spring 2008) The UK Honda models continue to stand out in my opinion; perhaps its the hope of economy, power and reliability that traditionally has come from Japanese designed vehicles?
10 diesels
Here are the Businessweek points. As a loyal VW owner, would you look at the Honda Civic, Accord, Pilot, Ridgeline, Odyssey, CR-V or Element if it were diesel powered? (need I ask?)

2007 Honda Civic Diesel CTDi
Honda Civic Diesel Fuel economy: 55 mpg in combined city and highway driving
Honda is expected to introduce its diesel technology into its U.S. cars in 2010. Look for a diesel Civic to start, and possibly a CRV SUV. The British Honda Civic Diesel 2.2 CTDi is a “green car” with a super-clean engine and very low carbon dioxide emissions. Honda has talked about how its engineers hated diesel technology until they figured out a clean system. An Accord diesel test car, though, recently set a record of 92 mpg.

2008 Volkswagen Jetta TDI (Spring of 2008)
2008 VW Jetta TDI Fuel economy: 36 mpg city/45 mpg highway (estimated)
Volkswagen skipped the 2007 model year for diesels because its new cleaner technology wasn’t ready. The company regularly sells more than 30,000 diesels a year. The new TDI is due in dealerships next spring. Horsepower in this new 2.0-liter, common-rail diesel engine is up 40% over the previous 1.9-liter, four-cylinder, with torque up 33%. Those figures mean an increase in drivability.

Comments

  • Steve

    Rich–

    I would definitely like to see the Civic at 55mpg!

    I wonder though, if Honda diesel will choose mpg over performance or vice-versa when they finally arrive?
    You will recall that the Honda Accord hybrid offered almost no improvement in mpg, instead using the electric to increase/enhance performance.
    Knowing nothing else about the market, I assume this is why it failed so quickly. If this arm-chair market analysis is correct, I worry about the same thing happening for Honda Civic diesels (ie, when it arrives it’s closer to 43 mpg, and then it dies when nobody chooses to buy them).

    I even wonder about the Jetta for Spring 2008: The estimated mpg of 36/45 is the same as my Jetta 2004 TDI, while the HP & torque are substantially boosted…would the mpg be much higher if the engine wasn’t quite so sporty?
    Could VW offer 2 models: 1 for people more interested in mpg (me!), and a 2nd, more performance-oriented model like the one featured in the article?

    Steve

  • I agree with Steve. I’d love to see some of the upcoming diesels tuned for efficiency instead of performance.

Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.