Tremendously popular around the globe — that is, with the exception of the United States — diesel-powered vehicles can offer more efficient means of transportation compared to their more conventional gasoline-powered counterparts. This, however, is changing, as Americans are starting to warm to the idea of diesel cars as a worthy alternative to hybrid systems.
In addition to superior fuel economy, diesel-powered vehicles offer a healthy dose of torque with comparable power to the usual gas engines. Therefore, the added economy comes at little detriment to performance. While larger-displacement diesels have been mainstays in several heavy-duty pickup truck models, the same technology is trickling down to more daily driver oriented cars and is making quite the resurgence inside many luxury vehicles.
General Motors (NYSE:GM) is just getting back into the diesel game after a questionable foray several years ago that wasn’t met with great enthusiasm. Notably, prominent companies such as Ford (NYSE:F) and Toyota (NYSE:TM) have stayed on the sidelines, at least for now. Instead, the two companies — and others — are putting a greater emphasis on their hybrid systems and powertrains for the American market.
Here’s a list of seven manufacturers that offer diesel models that are now — or will be, in the near future — available to American consumers.
Volkswagen (VLKAY.PK) is really making a strong push for a grasp of the American diesel market. The company offers two variations of its Jetta model — the sedan and Sportwagen, pictured above — as well as its Golf compact, the larger Passat sedan, and its full-size SUV, the Touareg, all with its TDI diesel powertrain.
The Golf and Jetta are rated for roughly 30 miles per gallon in the city and 42 on the highway — though many have reported mileage well into the 50s if driving conservatively. The Passat, with Environmental Protection Agency ratings similar to the Golf and Jetta, managed to secure a record of 77.9 mpg on a drive through the lower 48 states. As for the Touareg, it can muster 20 mpg in city, and 29 on the highway — not too shabby for a full-size SUV.