We've known diesel has been gaining popularity in the US market over the years, but the pace with which oil-burning models have been accepted by American drivers has surprised Volkswagen, one of the fuel's leading proponents.

"Our going-in assumption, because we were going to have to conquest a lot of customers from competitors, was that those customers would be very wedded to petrol powertrains," said Volkswagen of America CEO Jonathan Browning. "We thought the step to convert them to the Volkswagen brand was going to be a fairly substantial step in itself, and then it would be an even bigger step to convert to diesel."

According to AutoCar, Volkswagen holds a 72-percent share of light-duty diesel sales in the US market, and while that's not wildly remarkable considering the overall size of the US market, the fact that 22 percent of VW's sales as of October 2013 have been diesel is quite impressive. Leading the way is the Passat TDI, built in Chattanooga, TN, a model earmarked for 17-percent sales but trending at about 30 percent.

"In fact, because [the Passat TDI] is such a compelling offer - almost 800 miles range, and with the typical US driving profile, it is possible to get even better-than-published fuel economy with the diesel because there's a lot of highway driving - customers are just raving about it," Browning told the British mag.

As we thoroughly enjoy the torque, economy and quiet operation of modern diesels, we're thinking this is good news. What model sold in the US – from Volkswagen or beyond – would you like to see add a diesel powertrain option? Have your say in Comments.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 132 Comments
      Avinash Machado
      • 1 Year Ago
      Mazda6 Diesel would be nice.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Avinash Machado
        [blocked]
          johnhkart
          • 1 Year Ago
          And I've already been reading about some issues with it! I'm sure they will get the bugs out.
        Robbie Jindal
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Avinash Machado
        That is already confirmed for 2014
      Ecodiesel1
      • 1 Year Ago
      Tiguan 4Motion TDI, are you listening VW??? :)
        montoym
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Ecodiesel1
        Hell, any VW 4motion TDI would be nice, especially a car. That's the one thing missing from all of this, if I want an AWD diesel from VW/Audi, I have to step up to a CUV or spend the bucks for an A6, A7, or A8, none of which I'd like to/can do. I'll take mine as a Golf thank you very much.
      Wetstuff
      • 1 Year Ago
      Great list below... Volvo V60 or KIA SUV for me. Even that new Fiat, small work van. ..but no more modern VWs for me - they may have the volume, but in the rush to get there they seem to have fired all their quality inspectors. Jim
      Sergiy G
      • 1 Year Ago
      Subaru: Outback, Forester and Crosstrek.
      theharpyeagle
      • 1 Year Ago
      I don't care what model it is - I am waiting for a reasonably priced car equipped with the 3.0 TDI V6 biturbo.
      scionxd48
      • 1 Year Ago
      2.0 MultiJet TCT in the Dodge Dart. 168 hp and 260 lb-ft torque in the Alfa Romeo Giulietta, and it's not a slouch. 7.9 second 0-62 time, almost on par with the 1.4 TB MultiJet gas engines, and the most powerful diesel available in the Alfa. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfa_Romeo_Giulietta_%282010%29#Specifications
      Black Dyanmite
      • 1 Year Ago
      The only real reason to consider a VW, unless having an incredibly unreliable car is really what you wanted all along.... BD
      JRBEINGINEER
      • 1 Year Ago
      “Diesel fumes cause cancer…” http://green.autoblog.com/2012/06/20/diesel-fumes-cause-cancer-and-brake-dust-isnt-exactly-healthy/ “Diesel particulates…linked to autism in children” http://green.autoblog.com/2013/06/23/diesel-particulates-other-air-pollutants-linked-to-autism-in-ch/ “Engine exhaust may be contributing to bee colony collapses. A UK study into how diesel exhaust fumes may affect bees' ability to pollinate flowers…” http://www.autoblog.com/2013/10/07/engine-exhaust-contributing-bee-colony-collapses/ “World Health Organization says diesel fumes cause cancer.” http://www.autoblog.com/2012/06/13/world-health-organization-says-diesel-fumes-cause-cancer/
        F'nBrower
        • 1 Year Ago
        @JRBEINGINEER
        So I started reading the link to WHO study, it points out that it takes prolonged exposure to the particulates and that having a diesel vehicle is fine. What's your point?
          JRBEINGINEER
          • 1 Year Ago
          @F'nBrower
          What the article says is: “Said one scientist, ‘I don't think it's bad to have a diesel car. I don't think it's good to breathe its exhaust.’" Not exactly the same as “…having a diesel vehicle is fine.” My point is that it’s not good to breathe diesel exhaust.
          Patrick Henry,The2nd
          @F'nBrower
          Actually JRBEINGINEER. That is exactly the same. And nobody believes that its good to breathe diesel exhaust. And your science links are wrong anyway.
        may
        • 1 Year Ago
        @JRBEINGINEER
        Funny thing is - report by Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research shows that direct injected gasoline engines also produce partuculates (have you ever seen a video on youtube with someone going out of the snow or revving cold gasoline engine with a tiny black smoke?). And they're the worst - the smallest ones. Direct injected gasoline engines should have particulate filters too! http://www.autobild.de/artikel/gefaehrlicher-russ-aus-benzin-direkteinspritzern-2773267.html (try Google translate)
      Michael S
      • 1 Year Ago
      The high share of TDI sales might also be attributable to how crappy VW's base engine offerings have been in the U.S. The boat anchor inline-five in the Passat is a great motivator for the diesel. Should be interesting what affect the new 1.8 turbo will have on the TDI.
      Vwfanatic
      • 1 Year Ago
      My 2011 Golf TDI is my 14th VW - first was a new `68 Bug - and find that my TDI is the best VW I have owned. My most recent VW was a MKV R32 and my TDI has the same 236 ft/lbs torque while doubling the MPG. More and more "gas stations" are also pumping diesel so there is no problem refueling. My TDI came with a DSG 6-speed that is a perfect match with the diesel's torque. VW needs to expand TDI availability across the entire model line.
        J
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Vwfanatic
        We both have an affinity for torque. My 2003 1.8T with APR-tuned ECU, Eurojet SMIC and boost pipes along with a few other mods now puts out 250 hp at the crank and 273 ft-lbs of torque while maintaining daily driveability. My highway mileage is in the low 30's while cruising, but will drop to the mid-20's when driven briskly.
          may
          • 1 Year Ago
          @J
          That's not even close to TDI's 50mpg when cruisingand around 40mpg with some fun driving.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
        PeterScott
        • 1 Year Ago
        Partially correct. Fuel is expensive, and they don't produce as much engine heat to warm the cabin in the winter. But the are a lot quieter/cleaner than they used to be.
        dComments
        • 1 Year Ago
        I have a 2008 Jetta (gasoline) and my friend has a 2012 Jetta Diesel and his car is quieter than mine. Also, there is no smell or smoke at all and he gets about 45-50 mpg. I think diesel pickups are louder but the new passenger vehicles are really quiet. Also, his Jetta doesn't take any longer to warm up than my car does. I remember that diesels from the 80's were loud and we'd have to wait for the glow plug to warm up. The new diesel passenger cars are really spectacular. I wish I bought one but back in 2008 the dealer was marking then up by about 5k. Last year when my friend bought his, there was little difference in price.
        atc98092
        • 1 Year Ago
        I don't believe you deserve a down-vote, as I believe you were just asking a question based on what you have heard. Yes, the diesel pickups are noisy, but if you were standing next to a recent VW, BMW or Mercedes diesel, you might not even recognize it was a diesel. The diesel "smell" in the past was primarily from the sulfur in the fuel. Today's diesel has almost no sulfur any more, plus with exhaust treatments any odor is pretty much gone. The diesel fuel itself still has a "smell" but so does gas, and in fact gas fumes are more harmful to you than diesel fumes. Plus, gas evaporates at a far lower temperature than diesel, so the amount of fumes is far lower. You are just more accustomed to the gas smell compared to diesel. Yes, diesel costs more per gallon than gas. But you must do a little math, and figure your cost per mile, not per gallon. Because of the 30-40% MPG improvement over an equivalent gas engine, even with higher cost per gallon you end up paying less to actually drive it. Again, modern diesels are designed better, and they will warm up faster than they used to. The reason they don't warm as quickly is because less of the energy from the burning fuel is wasted as heat. It is a more efficient process than a gas engine. That said, in colder climates many diesel owners have block heaters to take the initial chill off the engine and provide easier starts and faster heating. You really should try driving one. The low end power is fantastic, and you can get spoiled by the fuel economy :)
          Robert
          • 1 Year Ago
          @atc98092
          I was amazed at how quiet my dad's 2013 f250 was compared to his 03. Even the trucks are quiet, relatively speaking.
          montoym
          • 1 Year Ago
          @atc98092
          @ Robert: Agreed. Listen to any HD pickup made since about '08 (when the new regulations went into effect) and the difference is amazing. They are way, way quieter now than before. At idle, they are no more bothersome than any gas pickup idling next you.
      DaveMart
      • 1 Year Ago
      ' In 2012, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which is part of the World Health Organization (WHO), classified diesel engine exhaust (DEE) as carcinogenic to humans (Group 1). (Earlier post.) Now, a study by researchers from the Netherlands, the US, and France estimates that approximately 6% of annual lung cancer deaths in the US and UK—combining both environmental and occupational exposures—may be due to DEE exposure. This translates to about 9,000 annual lung cancer deaths in the US and about 2,000 annual lung cancer deaths in the UK that may be attributable to DEE.' http://www.greencarcongress.com/2013/11/20131128-dee.html
        DaveMart
        • 1 Year Ago
        @DaveMart
        So, genius, what are you downrating? The medical findings, or my mentioning them?
          DaveMart
          • 1 Year Ago
          @DaveMart
          I was too harsh. No doubt you were a child in an area where there were a lot of diesel fumes? Perhaps a lot of lead, too?
          musiclevelz5
          • 1 Year Ago
          @DaveMart
          Deaths from gasoline are most likely many times greater than diesel also. You have to look at the big picture, not through a narrow window.
          DaveMart
          • 1 Year Ago
          @DaveMart
          'Most likely?' If you want to make a claim, how about researching and sourcing it, not simply hand waving?
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