Why You Bought A Diesel

By Greg Spira on 23 May 2011
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There are myriad good reasons for purchasing a diesel-powered automobile.  These include incredible fuel economy, amazing torque, and greater reliability compared to gasoline engines.  Because diesel engines are known to last far longer than their gasoline counterparts, they have commanded higher resale values as well.

Sales figures show that more people are buying diesels than ever before.  Total diesel sales doubled in 2010.  3855 diesels were sold in January and this increased to 7604 in December.  Indeed, total sales for the year were 77,877.

Today, 13 diesel models from four carmakers, namely Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Volkswagen, are currently sold in the United States, and that number will soon increase.

We polled readers of The Diesel Driver to learn more about the reasons behind their purchase.

The poll asked readers the question “Why did you buy a diesel?” Readers ranked Fuel Economy, Power/Torque, Reliability, Reduced Emissions, and Residual Value Higher in order of their impact on their own buying decision.

749 readers participated in this survey and the results were crystal clear: fuel economy was the number one reason cited for purchasing a diesel, following by torque and power.

Readers ranked reliability third, reduced emissions fourth, and higher residual values last.

For many readers, the two first factors were uppermost in their decision.  Parker Despain “ordered a 335d for the torque and incredible economy,” Penney Morse Winter considers her BMW to be “greener and meaner,” explaining that “425 ft/lb gets me around the semis in the mountains of Vermont.” Jim bought two diesels “because of the surprising combination of incredible torque and exceptional mileage.”

Robert Campbell told us he “bought the Jetta TDI for the great MPG!”  while Dennis purchased his Golf TDI because he “wanted the same vehicle dynamics as my Acura Integra, but with better fuel efficiency.”  He is happy with the results, citing close to 50 mpg on the highway and “upper 30s for my city commute.”

83.1% of respondents were from the U.S., 9.8% were from Canada, and the remaining 7.1% came from countries in the European Union.