There are a lot of folks today subscribing to the theory that hybrid cars are the wave of the future, and the big auto companies love it. After all, they’re the ones pushing hybrids, and charging a pretty penny for them, as well. As gasoline has risen in price over the last four to five years, however, consumer demand has swung to other fuel-saving technologies and alternative fuels. Fortunately, an old standard, diesel fuel, is making a comeback in more than the heavy-duty truck market.
Diesel fuel has long been known to provide more bang-for-your-buck than traditional gasoline, which is why it is such a standard in the shipping industry. The only reason it hasn’t been more popular than it has is because until recently, the technology surrounding diesel fuel didn’t need any particular refinement, so the cars that used diesel fuel were noisy, dirty, and not terribly efficient. The strides being made by a few manufacturers have certainly turned the tide, however.
Leading the charge toward more U.S. consumer friendly diesel offerings is Volkswagen. Their TDI products, which have actually been available in VWs off and on since the 1980s, offer refinement, performance and comfort that many manufacturers are just now trying to attain.
The Volkswagen Passat TDI is most certainly a trailblazer in this area. Stylistically, the Passat is as vanilla as any other mid-size sedan on the road today, perfect for shuttling kids to school or co-workers to lunch. It does as well as an impressive entry-level luxury car as it does a practical everyday driver, and the reviews that come out every year tend toward the positive more often than not. The crushing blow that the Passat delivers now is its incredible 1,000- mile range with the TDI diesel engine. That being said, however, one has to remember, that isn’t because the Passat attains over 100 miles per gallon. No, the EPA estimate is a much more mundane 31 miles per gallon in the city, and 43 on the highway. Still respectable numbers for a non-hybrid automobile that costs less than the V6 version of the same car. What’s the trick, then? It’s got a bigger fuel tank.
Still, that shouldn’t put a damper on consumer enthusiasm about the number 1,000. It’s still a big step forward. Additionally, word is that Volkswagen is working on a still more efficient diesel engine for the 2015 model year.
So, are you ready to make the switch to diesel? In some regions, that may be a big decision, while in others, it really isn’t such a big deal. Not all markets have a heavy diesel following, while in other markets, there are lots of families who already own diesel vehicles, so it’s easy to find. If you’re near to rural areas, you probably have access to diesel fuel at every gas pump you pass. On the other hand, finding diesel in a city can be tough, particularly if there’s a good number of people picking up on the hybrid/electric craze. Of course, Volkswagen has got a a vehicle for you, too, if that’s the case.
The 2014 Volkswagen Passat TDI has got a starting MSRP of $26,675, not including all the little extras such as taxes and destination charges, dealer prep fees and other assorted add-ons. It regularly receives JD Power awards, and has been positively reviewed by practically every automotive journal on the planet. If you’re in the market for a solidly built, high-quality automobile that won’t break the bank the way a Mercedes or BMW will, than the Passat TDI might just be the perfect vehicle for you.