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Diesel Cars Gaining Acceptance Among Shoppers

  • Acceptance of diesel cars improving with U.S. drivers
  • New study says one-third of shoppers will consider diesel
  • Most shoppers call fuel economy a major reason

Nearly one-third of shoppers say they’ll consider a diesel car when it comes time to buy. That’s the latest from a new study by the National Association for Convenience and Fuel Retailing, which surveyed 1,200 Americans who buy gasoline.

According to the study, a whopping 31 percent of respondents said they’d consider buying a diesel-powered car. That’s a big number for the U.S. market, which has chosen gasoline cars in favor of diesel power for decades.

The study says the number-one reason such a high percentage of buyers would consider diesel fuel is better gas mileage. Nearly 60 percent of those saying they would consider a diesel car listed fuel economy as a reason. Other top reasons included that diesels are better for the environment, and the perception that they’re more reliable than gas-powered cars.

A growing number of shoppers seem to be embracing diesel even though it offers a few downsides. Namely, diesel models are typically more expensive than their gas counterparts. And diesel fuel tends to be more expensive than regular gasoline by around 25 cents on average.

Still, shoppers looking for a diesel-powered car will find an increasing number available on today’s market. Recent diesel additions include the Mercedes GLK250 BlueTEC and the Chevrolet Cruze. Other popular diesel models include several from Volkswagen, such as the Jetta and Passat. BMW also sells a popular diesel-powered version of its X5, dubbed the xDrive35d.

Some reasons shoppers cite for choosing a diesel car aren’t necessarily accurate. For example, while older diesels were more reliable than gas models, many researchers find little measurable difference today. Also, while diesel vehicles use less fuel than gas models, they’re often responsible for more emissions.

But as shoppers improve their outlook on diesel cars, it’s likely more automakers will add diesel engines to their U.S. lineups.

What it means to you: As more shoppers embrace diesel, look for more diesel gas stations — and more diesel vehicles to choose from.

Doug Demuro
Doug DeMuro writes articles and makes videos, mainly about cars. Doug was born in Denver, Colorado, and received an economics degree from Emory University in Atlanta. After graduation, Doug spent three years working for Porsche Cars North America. Eventually, he quit his job to become a writer, largely because it meant that he no longer had to wear pants. Doug’s work has been featured in a... Read More

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2 COMMENTS

  1. it is finally here more diesel cars. In Europe 70-90% of all cars are diesel. Every car company like WV, Audi, Mercedes, BMW, Toyota, Honda,Mazda, even american cars Chevy and for export are diesel. In Europe companies start to sell more and more diesel cars around year 1998 and sense then every year they do it more and more, they are small engines ( forget 3.8 or 4.6L ) those are 1.9TDi, 1.6 HDi, 2.0TDi, sometimes 2.5TDi all of them have plenty horsepower because all of them have a turbo. Diesel car It is for people who drive more miles a year. Diesel have great gas milage but dont forget price for new diesel car is always higher then gas car same model and service is always more expensive!!!! Always do little research before you buy.

  2. Also keep in mind that if you choose a Mercedes, Audi, or BMW diesel, the cost of fuel is generally on par with premium gas, which these luxury vehicles require. Because of the generally accepted 30% +\- better fuel economy, the luxury diesel is a much better value at the pump compared with a VW or the upcoming Cruze and Mazda 6, which accept regular gas.

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