Drivers in the U.S. are finally coming around to the idea of diesel cars, it seems--as sales have increased by 25 percent during the first six months of 2014.

In data compiled by HybridCars and Baum and Associates (via Diesel Technology Forum), diesels show six consecutive months of sales growth in the States, the biggest increase coming in April when sales rose over 60 percent.

By contrast, hybrid sales have dropped in five of the last six months--largely following the rise and fall of Toyota Prius sales, the biggest seller in the hybrid market.

Diesel's sales increase reflects the increasing number of diesel vehicles available to consumers.

Numbers have consistently risen over the last four years, and are outpacing growth in the market as a whole--4.2 percent in the first six months of 2014--despite the price of diesel fuel itself rising consistently over time.

MORE: Our Guide To Every 2014 And 2015 Diesel Car On Sale In The U.S.

The sales increase is also impressive given regular gasoline vehicles have stepped up the economy game significantly over the last few years--with many regular compact cars now able to surpass 40 mpg in highway driving, according to EPA figures.

At 41 and 42 mpg, the best gasoline models get within a few mpg of cars like the Chevrolet Cruze diesel and Volkswagen Jetta TDI--though diesel drivers will often find their cars capable of beating EPA numbers at sustained highway speeds.

Currently, there are 27 cars and SUVs, nine vans and 10 pickup trucks available with diesel powerplants in the U.S. market.

Diesel Technology Forum expects that number to nearly double over the next 18 months--and diesel's three percent proportion of the U.S. market could itself double by 2018 as more vehicles hit the streets.


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