• 2014 Audi A6 TDI and A7 TDI rated at 38 mpg highway
  • 2014 Audi Q5 TDI rated at 31 mpg highway
  • New Audi diesel models arrive late this summer

Audi is expanding its lineup of fuel-efficient diesel models for the 2014 model year, adding TDI versions of the A6, A7 and Q5. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) fuel economy ratings for the models reflect significant efficiency improvements compared with gasoline-powered versions, especially in highway driving. The new models are set to arrive in showrooms late this summer.

The 2014 Audi A6 TDI is rated at 24 miles per gallon city and an impressive 38 mpg highway. That's a 7-mpg highway fuel economy improvement compared with the next thriftiest A6, the 4-cylinder gasoline version. In combined driving, however, the A6 TDI achieves 29 mpg -- just a 1-mpg advantage over the base gas model.

Buyers of the A6 TDI get more than just the diesel motor. The TDI version comes standard with Quattro all-wheel drive and Audi's Premium Plus package that includes extras such as navigation and xenon headlights. Pricing for the 2014 Audi A6 TDI starts at $57,500.

The 2014 A7 TDI offers better fuel economy than its gasoline sister model. It delivers 24 mpg city/38 mpg hwy and 29 mpg in combined city and highway driving. That's a solid 8-mpg advantage in combined driving compared with the base A7 with a gasoline V6, and a 10-mpg bump in highway fuel economy.

Like the A6 TDI, the A7 TDI includes the Premium Plus options package. Pricing starts at $66,900.

The new Q5 TDI beats out the base 4-cylinder gas version by 4 mpg in city driving and 3 mpg on the highway. In fact, with ratings of 24 mpg city/31 mpg hwy and 27 mpg in combined city and highway driving, the diesel Q5 offers even better fuel economy than the Q5 Hybrid.

With a starting price of $46,500, the 2014 Q5 TDI is less expensive than the hybrid, too.

Each of these three new TDI models uses a 6-cylinder turbodiesel engine and 8-speed automatic transmission. The motor makes 240 horsepower and a robust 428 lb-ft of torque -- enough to scoot either the A6 or A7 TDI from 0 to 60 mph in just 5.5 seconds.

Diesel has long been an efficient alternative to more popular gasoline power, but it's this combination of performance and efficiency that makes the latest diesels -- such as this trio from Audi -- more compelling than ever.

What it means to you: If you want efficiency and performance in a luxury sedan or SUV, check out the new Audi diesel models when they arrive late this summer.

author photo

Nick Palermo is an automotive writer and lifelong car nut. He follows new and late-model used vehicles for AutoTrader.com, writes about vintage cars for Hemmings Classic Wheels and blogs on all things automotive at LivingVroom. He lives in Atlanta with his wife and twins.

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