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 |  Aug 28 2013, 1:01 PM

10. Full of torque


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When it comes to alternative fuel vehicles, hybrid and electric cars are all the rage these days. However, diesel still has its selling points and a diesel-powered car may be the right ride for you.

Some may say that horsepower is what matters, but anyone with a basic understanding of an internal combustion engine can tell you that it’s simply a byproduct of torque. Besides, torque plays an important part in the sensation of speed.

The feeling of a turbo-diesel pushing you back in your seat is hard to beat, and something that few hybrids (if any) can imitate. In the case of Volkswagen’s diesel Jetta and Golf, with 236 lb-ft of twist, there’s more torque available than in even the performance models: the GLI and GTI, which have just 207 lb-ft.

Yes, diesel vehicles have a lot of torque and while that’s a lot of fun for the everyday driver, it’s a necessity for trucks. Towing heavy loads requires plenty of grunt, which is why all heavy-duty trucks come with an available diesel power plant.

It also means that a V6 diesel can do the work of many V8 gasoline engines, which is why Mercedes equips its BlueTec V6 diesel in many of its SUVs.