Fuel economy and environmental concerns are pushing 31 percent of new car shoppers to consider diesel-powered cars, a survey recently found.
Conducted by the National Association for Convenience and Fuel Retailing (NCAS), the online survey asked 1,200 consumers about fuel preferences. Among the factors weighing on those consumer’s minds, fuel economy was the most important, followed by environmental friendliness.
Registrations for diesel cars and SUVs increased 55 percent in California between 2010 and 2012 according to R.L. Polk & Co. Meanwhile the national growth rate was 24.3 percent over the same period.
Automakers are responding to the increased demand by beginning to offer more diesel-powered cars. Mazda will introduce a diesel version of its all-new Mazda6 mid-size sedan this year, and Mercedes is selling a diesel version of its GLK small SUV.
Long a wellspring to diesel enthusiasts, Volkswagen is also bolstering its North American product line accordingly. When its next-generation Golf reaches the U.S., it will be joined by the GTD, a diesel version of its sporty GTI hatchback.
There’s plenty more coming, too. Chevrolet is introducing a diesel Cruze using an engine based on those found in its Opel cars, and more European diesels will be coming soon.
That’s because Euro 6 emissions standards will be implemented in September, 2014. When that happens, U.S. and European emissions regulations will be close to converging. That will open the door for Land Rover to begin sending its upcoming diesel hybrid version of the Range Rover SUV.