Jetta TDI - 42 MPG

In Europe, every second car buyer choose diesel over gasoline cars. Why?

To start with, diesel engines can get 30% better efficiency than a gasoline engine of the same size. Refined diesel engines are cleaner than a couple of years ago and have better fuel economy. In Europe, diesel is also priced about the same as gasoline.

In U.S., only 3% of car buyers opt for a diesel car.

This may soon change.

All car makers want to make models that go farther on a gallon of fuel. In that race diesel is gaining some ground. General Motors, Chrysler, and Mazda are all preparing to offer diesel models in 2013.

Improved fuel injection and electronic engine control technologies in diesel cars give you:

  • Increased power
  • Improved acceleration
  • Increased efficiency

Remember, the goal is to get cars going an average 54.5 miles a gallon by 2025. This is twice as much as today’s standard.

Diesel is well-liked and has a lot of support among the people who already drive a diesel model. The initial price tag is higher, but over the years you can save on the better fuel economy.

How about pollution and the bad smell? Diesels must meet the same emissions standards as gasoline vehicles. Emissions of particulates and smog-forming nitrogen oxides are still relatively high. Better emission control technologies and ultra-low sulfur diesel or biodiesel will reduce these pollutants over time.

Volkswagen offers the most clean diesel vehicles right now. With seven models, there is an option for almost everyone. The diesel-powered Volkswagen Jetta TDI ranks among Consumer Reports’ top sedans that cost under $25,000. Jetta TDI runs 609 miles per tank, which is 42 miles per gallon. The better mileage may save you $200-$300/year compared to the gasoline version. It costs more, but less than the hybrid version.

Selecting the diesel option will add at least $2,000 or $3,000 more on the MSRP. Does the higher price tag make up for the fuel savings? It is difficult to answer that question.

But diesels have another distinct advantage, and that is resale. A low-mileage Jetta TDI diesel may fetch more than $3,000 compared to a gas-powered Jetta in the same condition. Diesel engines are often considered having better durability than gasoline engines.

Sources: Volkswagen and