Report: Subaru Diesel Could Find its Way into North American Models

Report: Subaru Diesel Could Find its Way into North American Models

Subaru is open to the possibility of selling diesel-equipped vehicles in the U.S., but according to Subaru Executive Vice President Tom Doll, several things will have to happen first. In an interview with Ward’s Automotive, Doll commented on emissions regulations and the price of diesel fuel.

“The emissions requirements in the U.S. are significant. And given the price of diesel fuel, where it is right now, it really does not pay to bring the vehicle into the U.S. ,” he said, then giving hope to diesel-lovers by also stating that, “We’re trying to see what happens. As the market sorts itself out, we’ll get ready, and then look at bringing the car (here).”

Currently Subaru sells its 2.0-liter 4-cylinder boxer diesel in Europe where it makes 145-hp and 258 ft-lbs of torque and gets around 34/41 mpg (city/highway) in vehicles like he Forrester 2.0D.

Two other factors will play an important role in Subaru’s decision. The first is what other automakers are doing, with VW recently announcing its new mid-size sedan (which will replace the Passat) will be offered as a diesel. Not to mention confirmation that Mazda will also bring a diesel model to the U.S. Another factor will be economies of scale. Subaru has long played a niche role in the North American marketplace, but has seen considerable growth in sales over the past year. If that growth continues and Subaru can see fit to offer the 2.0D diesel engine in models ranging from the Legacy, to Outback to Forrester, then a more sound business case could be made for the engine.

[Source: Ward’s Auto]

  • RichM

    Personally, I would put walk down today and put money down on an Impreza Outback Sport Diesel. I’m not alone judging by NASIOC.

    Subaru would probably be just as disappointed in the sales of a diesel Impreza/Forester as VW is of the Jetta/Golf TDi…..

  • Colum Wood

    Actually, I think VW is quite pleased with TDI sales. From the numbers I’ve seen, the Jetta TDI (Sortwagen in articular) is selling very well.

  • NHsubie

    I’d buy a diesel Forester today if they had one. According to the Facebook fan page “Bring Subaru Diesel to the US” [], it looks like there’s a good market that wants this engine.



  • christopher ryan

    Own two VW TDI’s that are converted to run on used vegetable oil. Just brought a Subaru Outback for the all wheel capability so my wife can get to work in the Northeast, would trade it in today for a diesel Outback if it was available.

  • Tom West

    Would buy a Subaru Forester or Outback diesel now if either were available. Disappointed that Honda canceled their US diesel plans. Would like to have a Pilot 6cyl turbodiesel. Ford needs to resurrect its light duty diesel project for the F150 and Expedition. I think they would sell. Strong reason for a diesel is gasohol garbage going to 15% ethanol for even worse mileage.

  • Karl Johan

    We need to get rid of who ever is lobbying “American’s don’t want diesel passenger vehicles, or it doesn’t meet emissions” SERIOUSLY WTF ppl.

  • Karl Johan

    We want diesels in the US. Quit the crap.

  • Robert Verzello

    I’m ready. I’d purchase a new Subaru Outback diesel today if if were available. Bring it on…

  • Robert Verzello

    Please bring the diesel to the United States.

  • Mark Lund

    It would be nice to see Subaru take a LEADERSHIP position on this issue. There would be huge demand for diesel Subarus.

  • Michael Zolen

    I would buy an Outback Diesel today, if available. I have been waiting for the Outback D since 2008. Subaru, put a diesel survey up on your web site, you obviously would be surprised at the positive response it would generate.

  • Jason Carpp

    It seems as though the Boxer Diesel will never reach American shores, the way regulations and laws are changing constantly, which bothers the hell out of me. The govt. wants people to drive fuel efficient cars, but refuses to offer us incentives to buy diesel powered cars. How stupid is that?

  • dm

    I am not sure how this could slip thru the cracks…I would buy EITHER of the two products if they made their way to the USA…
    1) AWD VW Wagon TDI
    2) Diesel Subaru
    3) Diesel Toyota Tacoma or Nissan Frontier or Mazda Pickup or GMC Canyon or Ford Ranger etc. etc.

    It is a travesty and smells rather fishy that none of the preceding items are available in the USA by this point. Regardless of cost, Subaru is missing out on their manifest destiny as the first AWD diesel cars (minus a few luxury offerings from M-B, Audi etc.)

    I (and probably everyone in Denver/Reno/SLC that skis/snowboards) would buy one right away.

  • Jerry Davis

    I would love to see more diesels here. Evidently the EPA does’t know it takes 1.5 gallons of ethanol to equal the energy output of a gallon of gasoline

  • Brendon

    It sucks for us Canadians because we dont have Emissions rules, so skip the USA and just give me a 2.0 turbo diesel wrx already, or any new diesels at all, im waiting for honda, nissan, toyota, and subaru to come out with diesels, I will buy one the day a decent car comes out, I do like the VW jetta for now

  • amped


    You are mistaken. There are emission laws throughout Canada. There are only a few cities that are exempt from emission testings.

  • diesel

    By my calculations if Tom Doll and Subaru North America were able to sell 20,000 diesel cars per year for five years the fuel saved during five years could fill a number of 55 gallon drums. If the drums would be lined up starting at the gates of the super green Subaru plant in Lafayette, Indiana, they would stretch all the way to Claremont NH stacked two high. I say squeeze the juice out of those oranges Tom, there are some thirsty diesel drivers walking around.


    Diesel, I will NOT purchase another Subaru (and I do want one) until they release Turbo Diesel or Hybrid. these cars should be getting 35 + MPG. today. Wake up Subaru!

  • NY NY owner

    Diesel emission technology has been on the market for passanger cars for years now… Corning makes these filtration devices and have been in passanger cars in Europe for some time. This is not your old smelly diesels anymore. Even at $4.50 per gallon it is very economical (saving over 25% on cost per mile) when you are getting 40 mpg (as compared to 21 at 3.50 per gallon)

  • Sam Sallee

    I’ve been wanting a diesel all-wheel-drive for a couple years now. I keep looking at Europe and Canada where they are available… WHY NOT IN THE UNITED STATES?? I want a diesel Subaru!

  • Jason

    I don’t want to sound pessimistic, but I can’t imagine we’ll ever get to see the Subaru Boxer Diesel here in North America, either the USA or even Canada. All because the US $#%@! govt. refuses to relax emissions standards enough to allow passenger car diesels to be made for USA customers. Why the hell that is, I’ll never know. But I think it’s bullshit. We should be allowed to decide what cars we should drive, not US govt.

  • Rafal

    2004 FXT (“STIG” shift;) with 100K’s and going. It’s the first car that I’ve never had any problems or defects other than maintenance. . . and I beat the hell out of that poor four-banger. Because of my longer commutes and highway miles I would buy any Subaru Turbo Diesel in a heart beat. . . get with the program SOA!!! – it’s the only reason I’m still holding on to mine, besides the fact that I absolutely love my car.

  • Jason Carpp

    I hope the Subaru Boxer Diesel makes it to North America. I believe it can be done. So it has competition, awesome! It’d give people something to choose from! Whether it’s sold in a Subaru doesn’t matter. I can think of a few vehicles that would benefit from boxer diesel engine. With its 2-litre size, it’s small enough to fit in the back of a VW Vanagon and puts out way more horsepower and torque than the largest air-cooled engine Volkswagen offered at the time, not to mention getting better fuel economy than even the diesel engine offered at the time for the Vanagon Diesel. I’m sure Subaru can find a way to make sure it meets or betters US EPA emissions requirements.

  • Frank

    I would immidiatly buy an outback diesel if available

  • Jeff H in TX

    More lame excuses from another empty headed bean counter auto CEO.

  • Smog Tech in CA

    VW high pressure fuel pumps on TDI engines are expiring on North American diesel because it doesn’t lubricate the way Euro diesel does. VW lost the lobbying war to the U.S. oil industry when the low sulfur diesel formula was finalized. Nobody tells Big Oil what to do. There’s an additional problem with premature particulate oxidizer failure, according to a VW tech I know.

    Nearly all the Japanese brands have excellent diesels in Europe, where NOx emissions rules are lax compared to California. There’s an expense arising from training the dealer network for compression ignition. VW’s fiasco is fair warning. Gasoline is a lot cheaper and easier to burn completely. Diesel engines cost more to build. U.S. diesel is tied to U.S. home heating oil. A stiff winter in the East can cause gyrating prices.

    CNG of course, burns cleanest of all. A CNG Outback would be real progress. Baby boxers (2.0 liters and smaller) 2WD Subarus burning gasoline would be cool too. Boxers are the highest form of reciprocating power. Vastly lower NVH, no balance shafts, superior power to weight than vee and inline designs since they need less metal.

  • Noah Lemelin

    Everyone please call 1-800-Subaru3 and voice your opinion. They will listen to us if we all call. They are missing out on a huge financial opportunity by not bringing the diesel line to the U.S.. As others have said, “it’s a no brainier”, but that’s the problem with marketing teams. They having little to no brains. lol. Sometime in life we must take chances if we seek big rewards. Take a chance with us Subaru. Give us a chance to own a Subaru Diesel. I’ll be waiting.

  • Wgdawson

    Why not make a Baja with a Diesel engine

  • joseph onzo

    C’mon if you REALLY cared… About the environment, You (automobile makers, government, ecologists, etc.) I.. and many others , would be driving a hybrid diesel with the CVT tranny! And mine would be a Subaru with Plexiglasbtop and huge moonroof!

  • Aaron

    And if we really cared about the environment would be making cars that run water but instead the us government pays off people who invent that that’s probably were all I taxpayer dollars are going.

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