2013 Audi TDI rangeEnlarge Photo
The latest generation of diesels are significantly cleaner than their older brethren, with particulate filters and urea injection reducing harmful emissions. And, the economy and performance of modern diesels often beats their gasoline equivalents, while strong torque and low noise make them more relaxing to drive too.
As gas prices increase, diesel sales are steadily rising as more and more consumers make the switch to reduce their fuel bills.
Below is the GreenCarReports guide to every 2013 and 2014 model year car on sale in the U.S. We've updated the article to take account of some of the latest models.
The Volkswagen Group's ubiquitous 2.0-liter, four-cylinder turbodiesel powers the outgoing Audi A3 TDI, replaced soon by the new A3 TDI in sedan form. With a six-speed S-Tronic double clutch transmission the current car gets 42mpg highway and 30mpg city ratings.
Several models have joined, or are set to join the 2013 Audi Q7 TDI (28 mpg highway) this year too. That means diesel versions of the A6 and A7 sedans, the Q5 SUV, and the 24 city, 36 highway, 28 combined 2014 Audi A8 L TDI.
It's great news for BMW diesel fans--after a few months of "will it? won't it?", BMW has confirmed it'll sell a diesel 3-Series in the U.S, badged 328d. The car was officially unveiled at the 2013 New York Auto Show, and there's even better news--a wagon version will also be available.
BMW does still sell the 2013 BMW X5 xDrive35d, which uses a 3.0-liter, twin turbocharged inline six-cylinder diesel. It produces 265 horsepower and uses a six-speed steptronic auto transmission for strong performance... but that power does come at the cost of ultimate economy, with a combined figure of 22 mpg.
2014 Chevrolet Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel, 2013 Chicago Auto Show [photo: Brian Kersey for Chevrolet]
2014 Chevrolet Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel, 2013 Chicago Auto Show [photo: Brian Kersey for Chevrolet]Enlarge Photo
One of 2013's most eagerly-anticipated diesels is from Chevrolet, in the form of the 2014 Cruze Diesel. The 2.0-liter diesel punches out 148 horsepower, and drivers will stir a six-speed manual gearbox to reach 60 mph in 8.6 seconds--quicker than a Jetta diesel. Official EPA numbers still haven't landed, but Chevy is estimating 42 mpg on the highway.
We do know it uses urea injection to clean up emissions, its 4.5-gallon tank lasting around 10,000 miles. And we know the Cruze Diesel's price--$25,695, including a mandatory $810 destination charge.
U.S. automakers are really getting on the diesel bandwagon. First there was the Chevrolet Cruze Diesel, as above, and then came news of the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel.
The 3.0-liter V-6 turbodiesel puts out 240 horsepower and 420 pounds-feet of torque, more than up to the challenge of towing or off-road use. Official fuel economy hasn't been announced, but Jeep predicts 21 mpg city and 28 highway for the two-wheel drive model, and 20 city, 28 highway for the four-wheel drive. More could be possible in the real world--diesels often overachieve compared to their EPA numbers.
Further good news? If demand is there for the Grand Cherokee, even the Wrangler could get a diesel engine.