Delivery of diverse diesel passenger car lines in the U.S. isn’t an uncertainty anymore, but rather a waiting game. There’s almost no question that the world’s automakers will soon offer more diesel cars to Americans, it’s just a question of when.
With that in mind, we’re especially curious about a post Kia put up on its PR Facebook page asking if any of its fans would drive a diesel. The post was in response to a speculative piece published by EfficientAutomobiles.com, that suggested a North American diesel Optima was likely in the future.
While that post doesn’t seem to be based on much more than guesswork, the company’s response at the very least acknowledges it.
Offering a diesel engine could actually make sense for the brand, given that we already know some of its key competitors plan to do the same very soon. A diesel-powered Chevrolet Cruze is on the way, and we’re expecting Mazda to start offering its SkyActiv-D engine in the new Mazda6 which we already saw as the Takeri concept.
Historically, oil-burners have struggled to catch on in the U.S. with low horsepower ratings and rpm limits that were outshone by gas competitors with relative ease. Despite that, preferences are shifting quickly to favor more efficient engines.
At the moment, European customers are only offered the 1.7-liter diesel Optima with 134 horsepower and 239 lb-ft of torque, which would be a good engine candidate for American sale. With its chunky curb weight around 3,300 lbs, however, a diesel Optima might not appeal to U.S. customers, but the same power in the upcoming Forte could make a good mix or torque and efficiency.