Today's new lineup of clean diesel vehicles are light years better than some of the noisy, stench-riddled oil burners of years past and consumers are starting to take notice. Recent data collected by Bosch shows that last year alone, the U.S. light-duty diesel "take rate" had shot up to almost 30 percent. The "take rate" is easily defined this way: given the choice of diesel or gasoline, how many go for the oil burner. The numbers are much higher than most industry analysts expected and even far exceed the hybrid take rate, which is closer to 10 percent.
Even though the take rate is high, diesel penetration in the U.S. market is low. Why? As you may notice, the take rate only comes into effect if a diesel engine is optional or available for a given model. Very few models are offered up with diesel engines here. In fact, only the nine models listed below were listed for the 2009 model year (take rates for each model are displayed to the right).
- Audi A3 TDI: 20 percent
- Audi Q7 TDI: 30 percent
- BMW 335d: 8 percent
- BMW X5 xDrive x35d: 17 percent
- Mercedes-Benz GL 350 BlueTEC: 18 percent
- Mercedes-Benz ML 350 BlueTEC: 13 percent
- Mercedes-Benz R 350 BlueTEC: 12 percent
- VW Jetta TDI (Sedan and Sportwagen): 49+ percent
- Volkswagen Touareg TDI: 33 percent