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

By Paul Riegler on 23 August 2011
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More and more buyers picked a diesel in the first half of 2011 and the reasons behind this are clear. Not only do diesels have better fuel economy but they are typically cleaner than the gasoline-powered equivalents and one doesn’t have those pesky (and expensive) batteries to worry about a few years down the road.

Most automakers build diesels although you wouldn’t know it by walking into a U.S. showroom.  A total of 14 models from four automakers, Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Volkswagen, will be available for the 2012 model year.  This includes the brand new Mercedes-Benz S350 BlueTec and the Volkswagen Passat TDI as well as recent entries such as the Mercedes-Benz E350 BlueTec.

With diesel sales on the uptick, why are there still so few on the market?  The answer is that building a diesel engine that meets stringent U.S. emissions standards is expensive and most car makers simply don’t bother because they aren’t convinced that diesels will sell in the U.S.

With diesel sales up 39%, the editors of The Diesel Driver are pleased to present the diesel passenger car lineup for 2012.


A brand new Audi A3 is just over a year away so Audi is not making any major changes in the current A3 TDI.   The 2011 Audi A3 TDI gets 30 mpg (7.8 l/100 km) in the city and 42 mpg (5.6 l/100 km) on the highway.

The Audi  Q7, which gets 17 mpg (13.83 l/100 km) in the city and 25 mpg (9.4 l/100 km) on the highway, remains unchanged for 2012 as well.


BMW has been leading the marketing charge in the U.S. for diesels (witness the company’s brilliant “Changes” Super Bowl commercial).  Unfortunately, with the launch of the new F30 3er Series planned for next spring, production of the 335d, the car that The Diesel Driver’s readers picked as the 2011 Diesel Car of the Year, is ending and BMW of North America is not offering a diesel 3er with the launch of the next generation 3er.

This leaves the X5 xDrive35d, which gets 19 mpg (12.38 l/100 km) in town and 26 mpg (9.0 l/100 km) on the highway, as the automaker’s sole diesel offering in the U.S. for 2012 and it continues largely unchanged going into the 2012 model year.

Click here to continue to Page 2 -2012 Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen Lineups

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