• Aug 11, 2008



We knew last month that the Jetta TDI was qualified for the tax credit. Now, word is out that all of the new-generation clean diesels for Volkswagen (TDI) and Mercedes-Benz (Bluetec) will be joining the elite handful of vehicles that qualify for a federal alternative-powertrain tax credit. Formerly reserved for just hybrid vehicles, the diesels have been designated as advanced lean-burn-technology vehicles that meet the Alternative Motor Vehicle Credit standards of the IRS. The credits vary based on the vehicle. In the case of Mercedes, the ML320 qualifies for $900 while the GL320 is good for $1,800. If diesel still isn't your thing, the IRS has also qualified several Ford hybrids as eligible too. Of those, the highest credit (a sweet $3,000) goes to those consumers who take home an Escape or Mariner two-wheel drive hybrid crossover.

[Source: Automotive News, subs. req'd]



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  • 18 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Rebates should start with anything that gets a certain minimum, say 30 city, regardless of powertrain design. The mileage should go up 1 per year until a target is reached, say 50, which is doable today, or 60, or more. Legislators should leave the engineering to engineers.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I find it odd that when people talk about diesel they always talk about germans. Honda said that they will be bringing diesel to USA in either 2009 or 2010.

      Germans are either too costly (bmw, benz and even VW) or too poorly made (I am looking at you VW). Honda on the other hand is affordable, everyone will be able to get their diesel, plus Honda is very reliable.

      Think about it, neither GM, Ford, Toyota or Chrysler will offer passenger diesels, Honda will have a diesel Accord or diesel Acura in just 2 years.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Go to Europe and drive a Honda diesel. They are downright terrible. The only reason the Japanese manufacturers are even building diesels is because the European market demands it, they have nowhere near the technology or experience building diesel engines as the European manufacturers do. You have obviously fallen for the marketing hype that all Japanese cars are of great quality *snicker, snicker*
        • 6 Years Ago
        While the next-gen Honda diesels might be worthwhile once they get here(Subaru's too), this article was mentioning cars which have diesels which are available now.

        Both VW and M-B have these diesel engines in vehicles you can go to your local dealer and purchase today(barring any supply issues). Try going down to a Honda dealer today to buy your diesel Accord and see what happens.

        But, that said, I'm sure the Honda diesel will be eligible for the rebate once they are released as well.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Nothing odd there, honda introduced their first diesel a few years ago for the new (currently being replaced) genereation of euro Accord. TDI engines, which are shared across most brands in VW group (VW, Audi, Skoda, Seat) sell, let's say, many times more than Honda's engines. Another thing, this article is about what is available now, not what will come in 2-3 years, the article with honda's press release is from last year.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I expect you might be eating your words in about 3-6mos. I don't expect diesel to maintain such a premium over gasoline for too much longer. I'm not so sure it will be lower than regular unleaded again, but closer to mid-grade or premium.

      Also, considering that diesel still holds an economical advantage(for those able to do the math rather than simply compare the per gallon price), even with the higher premium, that advantage will increase further as diesel prices close the gap with gasoline.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I'll take that bet. Every winter as demand for fuel oil rises, the price of Diesel goes up, as the two fuels compete for feedstocks. Also, the price of gas goes down. Summer is typically the time prices come closest to parity.
        • 6 Years Ago
        damn comment system. Supposed to be a reply.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I love these diesel fans who think that these ultra complicated GERMAN diesels are just going to be maintenance and reliability sweethearts. LOL.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Portland, Or; major gas/fuel station near the freeway. Unleaded gas $3.89. ULSD 4.39. Not exactly the $1.00 per gallon difference that is so often mention on these blogs.
      • 6 Years Ago
      These rebates are b.s..

      My MINI Cooper gets better fuel-economy than nearly all these cars in the program, except the Japanese Hybrids (most of them), and I don't get squat.

      It's so discriminatory/biased.

      It should be based on a mpg cut-off an that's all, not on who has cut a deal with the government and who hasn't.

      • 6 Years Ago
      Wow, since the premium for the Diesel on the ML is only $1000, this could make it a really attractive offer. Of course, there'll be little or no negotiating a lower price on the diesel, while I'm sure some dealing can be done on the ML350.
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