The Astra isn't the only GM model getting a new diesel option in Australia. The performance Aero model of the Saab 9-3 is now available with a 177hp 1.9L diesel. The 295lb-ft of torque is apparently enough to motivate the 9-3 Aero TTiD at similar rates to the gas engined version. The gas-fueled model however cannot approach the 41.3mpg (U.S.) rating of the manual transmission model. Even the automatic version achieves 34.6mpg (U.S.). The diesel in the Saab has the two-stage turbocharger setup with a smaller turbo for quick low speed response and a second larger unit for maximum power. Here in the U.S., the Aero with the 2.8L turbo V6 is rated at a mere 16/24mpg by the EPA. Even accounting for differences in test procedures, the diesel is clearly far more efficient than the V6. Unfortunately, here in the States we again don't have this option.


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