Posted By RichC on February 23, 2006
No, the new diesel SUVs are not here yet … even if you can cost justify them. I’ve been monitoring the diesel options soon to be available from the likes of Mercedes (Alabama build SUV GL-class above), BMW and Audi as they have all commented that more diesels will be available in the United States soon — a relative term. Currently diesel lovers are limited to a handful of ‘car-sized’ vehicles from Volkwagen, a single Jeep Liberty ‘smallish’ SUV and a ‘lone,’ but superb, Mercedes E320 CDI ($50K+). In 2005 BMW let Automobile Magazine know that they were planning to offer a diesel in ‘something’ by 2007. (no new news that I could find as to what models)
Audi has been working on a SUV killer ever since Volkswagen Touareg received lavish praise in the US and around the world … particularly in rally racing in Dakar and DARPA challenge with the diesel versions. (VW only brought a handful to the US, and only the $58,000 V-10 version. – see 3/2005 VW Press Release) According to Edmonds Inside Line, the Audi Q7 platformed vehicle will show up first as a V-8 and then finally with a diesel option in 2008. If the preliminary numbers reported are correct, you can leave your checkbook behind and start the application for your second mortgage.
I suspect that once the ULSD is successfully available throughout the US (2007 model year vehicles) and the EPA approves the NOx reduction technology and particulate filters, that diesel craving American drivers will soon have a few more efficient vehicles to chose from.