Diesel engines used to be far more common on the roads, but environmental issues, among other things, caused many automakers to switch to unleaded fuel. Now, technology has worked to make diesel fuel cleaner, which means automakers are again trying to produce cars running on diesel.
Two automakers are bringing diesel-engine passenger cars to the market in 2013, Chevrolet and Volkswagon. While the price of diesel is a bit more expensive these days than unleaded fuel, the mileage is superior.
While the positive of diesel is 20 to 30 percent higher fuel economy, the downside is that the engines are more expensive and there’s a perception on the market that the car would be “noisy, smoky and slow,” according to the USA Today.
Still, the Chevrolet and Volkswagon models debuting this year are drawing interest already. The market for diesel cars is also growing, according to Edmunds.com. Diesel cars and SUVs accounted for 1 percent of all vehicle sales in 2012, which is a very small number, but a fairly large increase compared to the 0.2 percent seen in 2007.
“This absolutely starts the conversation about diesels with mainstream buyers,” said Bill Visnic, Edmunds.com senior analyst. “These vehicles move the needle. Lots of people would like a Grand Cherokee, but they don’t want the fuel costs. At 32 mpg on the highway, the diesel can draw new buyers and broaden the vehicle’s appeal.”
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