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  1. #1
    Frank
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    previous: 2006 9-3, 2001-06 9-5, 2011 9-4X
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    Diesel cars in the USA

    You always hear diesels are so wonderful and many complain there aren't many diesel cars available here. I am all for fuel efficiency and engines with good torque. But is a diesel car such a good deal?

    I was looking at the Jetta gas and diesel version with the same equipment level:

    Jetta SE with Conv $20,075 22/33 mpg (27.5 average)
    Jetta TDI $22,775 30/42 mpg (36 average)

    Difference: $2,275

    Average price of fuel at time of writing in Detroit area (from Gas Buddy)

    Gasoline $3.70
    Diesel $4.00

    If you drive 15K miles a year, you use this much fuel:

    Gasoline: 545 gallons x $3.70 = $2,016
    Diesel: 417 gallons x $4.00 = $1,668

    Savings with Diesel: $348

    Take the price difference of the gas and diesel powered Jetta's and it will take 6.5 years and 97.5K miles to break even. Diesel cars usually have a higher resale value but still.. what am I missing? Diesel is much cheaper than gasoline in Europe so that explains the popularity there.

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  2. #2
    Saab Fan
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    08 May 2011
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    Diesel is more expensive than petrol in England. I do 40k miles+ a year so it's a no brainer for my company to use diesel with the better MPG.

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  3. #3
    Wastin' money... JLausch's Avatar
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    '91 9kT, '10 9-5 Aero
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    The vehicles I end up looking at usually require premium fuel, so diesel ends up being about the same. In the case of my parents, they have a BMW x5 35d, 265hp and 425ft/lbs of torque. They see 28 to 30 mpg highway. The gasoline equiv gets about 21 to 22 highway, figure about a 4k price difference but it hauls 5 people and gear effortlessly. So you benefit there as well. The only thing that hurts is the urea injection. That fluid isn't cheap. It still ends up being cheaper to operate, but it's not a massive difference cost wise.

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  4. #4
    Frank
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    I am not that familiar with modern diesels. Do they still last much longer than equivalent gas/petrol engines? What about maintenance cost?

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  5. #5
    Wastin' money... JLausch's Avatar
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    '91 9kT, '10 9-5 Aero
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    Not sure about longevity, but normal maintenance seems reasonable...

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  6. #6
    Saab Fan
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    Our French pieces of junk are pretty reliable considering the abuse they get.

    Sent from my HTC Wildfire using Tapatalk 2

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  7. #7
    Alex Andrews (Lex)
    Saab Enthusiast Lex Andrews's Avatar
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    09 Mar 2011
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    Scunthorpe, United Kingdom
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    None. Something a little more French.
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    As long as you STAY away from post 2001 F9Q Renault engines.... These diesels are well known for dying especially with the turbo's. Ive had 2 of these units.
    Not had a diesel 9-5 or an Aero yet so not sure how they'd compare against a VW/Skoda, Peugeot, Renault, Ford diesel units.

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    More things change. The more they stay the same.

  8. #8
    Saab Fan
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    We generally have Citroen/Peugeot stuff. Think we had one kangoo but someone rammed it into the back of someting after less than a month

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  9. #9
    Mike
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    My dad has the Jetta Sportwagen TDI. The low end torque is great, but it can get a bit scary when it comes time to pass. Same thing happens with the 2.5 engine Jetta though. On the highway he gets about ~43 mpg going about 75-80 mph on the highway, and low to mid 30's in the city once the engine warms up. It drives like a regular gasoline engine except waiting for the glow plug to warm up (1, maybe 2 seconds) in the winter. At about 20k miles or more a year, it's a tad bit shorter pay back but not much of a difference. The biggest downfall to the diesel in my opinion is finding diesel gas stations in small towns. When you do it's typically a truck stop and the pump isn't a pay at pump, and the handle is covered with grime.

    Also, around these parts, the difference between regular gasoline and diesel is about $.20, and sometimes less.

    I've heard you can increase the gas mileage by more than 10% and get massive power/torque gains if you remove the DPF (diesel particulate filter), but that's a whole 'nother story when it comes legality and all that.

    I just did a quick KBB on a 2009 Jetta Sportwagen with 50k miles. The best I could guess for making them have equivalent options, but one diesel, one 2.5. The TDI came in at $19,861 and the 2.5 came in at $15,106. You're making back all your money back plus way more!

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  10. #10
    Ian Scott
    1 |0v3 |>@|\|(@|<35 drwatson32's Avatar
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    Current: 88 900t, 89 9000t autobox, 05 9-5 Arc wagon Past: 87 9000T, 91+85 900S, 84 900 8vt sedan,
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    When in the U.K, we rented a Seat Leon Kopa economotive... and DAMN I wish we could have brought it home. It was reliably getting 64mp imperial gallon on the motorways. Never below 50 in the cities. Sticker rated it for up to 70-something mpg... Funny thing was, that gas prices were so bad that I could cover more ground, in the USA, in my c900, on the same amount of money. I think it had a 1.6 turbo diesel that was no slouch... best comparison I can make is like Saab t8 power. After the trip, I began trying to find diesel cars on the market... but it's all high-end stuff. Cheapest is VW, and I don't like the styling and the price is still bit high. All of the US market diesels have larger engines and, likewise, lower mpg ratings. I really hope we do get more options someday, otherwise I'll just drive old iron 'till then. (Is there a way to get one of those Seat cars gray market? I loved that car in so many ways hehe)

    I'd imagine that a lot of people buy a diesl for the long haul, keeping it significantly longer than 6.5 years. At least I would.

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