2012 Diesel Car Lineup in the U.S. – What’s New

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MERCEDES-BENZ

On the heels of having introduced the E350 BlueTec sedan last year, Mercedes is upping the ante and bringing the S350 BlueTec sedan to the States, with the reengineered 3.0-liter V-6 engine from the ML350 BlueTec that produces 240 horsepower and 455 pound-feet of torque.  The S350 BlueTec gets 20 mpg (11.76 l/100 km) in town and 31 mpg (7.58 l/100 km) on highways.

The ML350 BlueTec, with 18 mpg (13 l/100 km) in town and 25 mpg (9.4 l/100 km) on the highway, is all new as well.

The E350 BlueTec gets a new color LCD display in the dash as well as a more efficient seven-speed transmission that brings it to 24 mpg (9.8 l/100 km) in the city and 34 mpg (6.9 l/100 km) on the highway but otherwise is largely unchanged.

The GL350 BlueTec SUV and the R350 BlueTec crossover wagon go into 2012 unchanged.

VOLKSWAGEN

The big news at Volkswagen is the all-new Passat TDI that has an incredible 800-mile (1288 km) range with 43 mpg (5.47 l/100 km) on the highway.  In town, the Passsat TDI gets 31 mpg (7.58 l/100 km).

The Beetle TDI is expected to arrive in the U.S. in the spring.  Volkswagen says that the 2012 Beetle 2.0L TDI will be the most fuel-efficient Beetle ever and estimates it will get 40 mpg (5.8 l/100 km) on the highway and 29 mpg (8.1 l/100 km) in the city.

The Touareg TDI was all-new for 2011 and is largely unchanged.  It gets 19 mpg (12.38 l/100 km) in the city and 28 mpg (8.4 l/100 km) on the highway.

Other Volkswagen diesels, including the Jetta TDI, the Golf TDI, and the Jetta SportWagen TDI, remain largely unchanged for 2012 and fuel economy for all three is 30 mpg city (7.84 l/100 km) and 42 mpg (5.6 l/100 km) highway.


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