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Click image for a high res gallery of the 2009 Acura TSX

AutoblogGreen spoke with Honda of America spokesman Sage Marie at a media event yesterday about the company's plans to introduce a clean diesel to the US market in 2009. The new 2.2L diesel engine is already available in the European Honda Accord which is sold in North America as the Acura TSX. At the 2008 Detroit Auto Show, Acura announced the engine would debut in 2009 but rumors earlier this fall indicated the program had been put on hold or canceled due to technical issues. Honda was reported to have experienced issues passing emissions with the automatic transmission version of the TSX.

According to Marie, the program is in "wait and see" mode and the delay is due to commercial, not technical, reasons. A combination of factors, including continuing high prices for diesel fuel and the general collapse of car sales in recent months, was cited as the problem. With volumes of all cars in decline, Honda is reluctant to introduce what is expected to be a low volume model. Instead, the company will watch both the overall market and diesel sales in particular and reevaluate as needed.


[Source: Honda]


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  • 11 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Diesel price is unfortunately punitively higher than regular unleaded at this time (over 50% higher in my area)

      It makes no economic sense to purchase a new diesel passenger vehicle at this time - the purchase price and fuel costs are higher than vehicles running on regular unleaded.

      If you like the driving experience, however...the new diesel Jetta has top marks from Consumer Reports.

      A diesel Jetta is a much more fun car to drive than the Prius, but you'll pay the price.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I spent some time with my fuel purchase records the other day to see how much money I had "saved" by running a diesel car. Comparing what I put into my '06 Jetta TDI versus the average gasoline prices for my region, I ended up averaging a savings of $15 per fillup. Only on my most recent fillup did I lose money, and it was only about $1.50 or $2.00, compared to the several hundred dollars saved over the previous few dozen tankfuls.
        • 6 Years Ago
        There must me something missing in these number. How do you save on a fillup when diesel fuel is more expensive? I guess you are comparing to some car, which you imagine has a much larger tank or something.

        Maybe you are trying to compare cost per mile but mistakenly used the relative cost per fillup. You may have a point on the cost per mile, which the EPA Fuel Economy Guide shows the annual estimated fuel cost for the 2009 diesel Jetta at $2,045, while the gas Jetta at $2,580. A savings of $535 per year.

        I believe the diesel Jetta cost more to purchase compared to the gas Jetta, so more calculation would be required to truly determine savings.

        On the other hand the Prius is within a hundred or two of the diesel Jetta (MSRP), that might be a more meaningful comparison. The Jetta is technically a subcompact at 91 cu. ft. of passenger space, and the Prius is a midsize with 96 cu. ft. of passenger space, but close enough for this comparison. Again per the EPA FEG the 2009 Prius has an estimated annual fuel cost $1,335. A savings of $710 for the Prius. But that FEG for 2009 was printed a while back and thing may have changed. Checking online show that the new numbers are $1,191 for the Jetta diesel and $589 for the Prius, or approximately twice as much fuel cost to run the Jetta. Your 2006 must be getting over twice the mileage of the new Jetta.

        But this is not autoblogcheap, it's autobloggreen. So if you compare the emissions of the Jetta, it is rated at 6.4 tons/yr CO2 and has an air pollution score of 6 with 10 being the best. The Prius on the other hand is rated at 4.0 tons/yr CO2 and air pollution score of 8. Looks like the Prius is not only cheaper to fuel, but better for the environment.

        I can see why Honda decided not to bring in the diesel engine.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Those prices sound about right for me and my '05 Jetta TDI, on a per-mile basis.

        @oollyoumn: the Prius comes out ahead on CO2 numbers when both cars are driven on fossil petroleum extracts. When I'm running B99.9, though, my net CO2 is far lower, owing to the amount of CO2 removed from the atmosphere in order to grow my renewable fuel. Environmental advantage: Jetta, by a ton. (Actually, several tons, every year.)
      • 6 Years Ago
      I owned a 2004 Jetta 1.8T...i filled its tank every 350-380 miles. I sold it after 2 years and bought a 2004 Jetta TDI and I filled its tank every 700+ miles...my best run netted 806 miles. They both had the same size tank. You do the math. Still think diesels are dumb?
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'm dissapointed as well. I was looking to replace one of our cars this year and the new version of the Honda Accord with a diesel was going to be in the top list. Off to the new Prius or Insight.
      • 6 Years Ago
      "Honda is reluctant to introduce what is expected to be a low volume model."...
      Then why are they still building Acuras at all? They dropped every youthful and cool 2 door coupe/hatch and focused on ugly family haulers. I drove an Integra for 8 years and 175,000 miles and it was a great car, as was the CL, RSX, and NSX. However, Acura somehow lost its way, went with an incomprehensible model naming scheme, and no longer has vehicles I desire. That could also explain Acura's dismal customer detention rating which ranks well below average.

      • 6 Years Ago
      @oollyoumn...

      Take this into consideration...The Prius (and insight) are specially designed cars with carefully engineered aero packages, tires, etc. in order eek out the last bit of distance from each gallon of fuel. The Jetta (for comparisons sake) is a regular car that has an efficient diesel engine dropped in and posts similar MPG numbers. Now, imagine this for a moment...take the Prius/Insight, drop in a diesel, remove 400+ lbs (or whatever the battery packs weigh) and run it on biodiesel. You'd have mileage numbers that would blow the socks off of both the jetta and hybrids and running on biofuels would bring the CO2 numbers wayyy down as well.

      Just a crazy thought...
      • 6 Years Ago
      Considering the diesel premium in the initial purchase. The diesel premium in buying the fuel and the low price of gasoline. Add in the low sales volume of all cars, this is a no brainer decision. Why import a car you have little reason to expct to sell in enough quantities to make money? Dealers would also have to stock parts to service the car, I am sure is the last thing a dealer wants now is more expenses.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Where's Honda Shareholders? They have no voice in this? If Honda can BLOW Money on Hydrogen, they can afford to build a Diesel, not only a Diesel, but a Diesel-Electric Hybrid.

      You know a Car with a Real Future.
      • 6 Years Ago
      What a shame. I was hoping to buy a Honda or Acura diesel in 2009. Both our cars are running but high mileage.
      Back to the drawing board. Perhaps I should consider converting an older Honda Accord to electric?
      Once again the car manufacturers make sure they don't get my money.