2013 Buick VeranoEnlarge Photo
Aside from a few dubious efforts in the 1970s and 1980s, diesel has until now been the preserve of big rigs, pickups and the occasional European offering brought over to the U.S.
More recently though, wider acceptance of the fuel--aided by rising gas prices--has seen other manufacturers dabble. One of these is General Motors, and luxury arm Buick is considering the use of diesel in some of its vehicles.
According to Edmunds (via Motor Authority), a source within the company says Buick is keen to align its range with some of the products offered in Europe under GM's Opel brand. Some European manufacturers Buick sees as competitors--including Mercedes-Benz and Audi--are also offering diesel models, prompting GM to follow suit.
The source didn't reveal which of Buick's models could be offered with a diesel engine, though one likely candidate is the Verano sedan. This shares its plaform with the Chevrolet Cruze, recently offered with a diesel engine to compete with popular models like the Volkswagen Jetta TDI.
The LaCrosse and Regal are also candidates. Both sit on GM's Epsilon II platform, which also underpins the Opel Insignia--of which the Regal is a close relation--and the short-lived Saab 9-5. Both models feature diesel engines in their European lineup.
Diesel is an increasingly popular choice for U.S. consumers, as modern units offer not only excellent fuel efficiency but strong performance and impressive refinement. While the fuel is typically more expensive than gasoline and modern units often require urea injection, customers who regularly travel at highway speeds can benefit significantly over the equivalent gasoline vehicle.
Buick hasn't forgotten gasoline itself, and is also considering more powerful engines for the fast-selling 2013 Encore crossover.
Currently supplied with a 1.4-liter turbo unit found in several of GM's smaller models, 1.6 liter gasoline and diesel engines are also under consideration.
Would offering diesel engines be a good move for Buick--and would its buyers take diesels to their heart as buyers of some of its European rivals have? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.