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A recent survey suggests half of Americans believe government has unfairly placed bets on electrified cars over clean diesel vehicles.
While diesel engines are beginning to gain ground in the North American market, their dominance in Europe could be coming to an end.
10. Full of torque
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.
Plenty of new diesel models are coming to America with industry watchers predicting the number of diesel-powered cars will double in 2014.
According to a recent study by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, diesel owners save about $2,000 to $6,000 over three to five years compared to owners of corresponding gas vehicles.
For decades, diesel-powered vehicles have been popular in Europe, but never garnered the same attention in America.
Diesel. Hot-hatch. Not much more needs to be said about the upcoming Volkswagen GTD, which will eventually make its way to American shores, giving enthusiasts a crazy amount of torque to go with practical hatchback dimensions.
A whole slew of new diesel-powered cars have been announced for the U.S. recently, and to help them gain mainstream acceptance, six German automotive companies are teaming up to start the “Clean Diesel. Clearly Better,” campaign, which hopes to educate Americans on diesel technology.
Diesel sales are on the up in America, with a 25.6 percent increase in 2012 thanks to favorable diesel fuel prices and more options for consumers.