Reader Question: Diesel Cars?

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Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!

Jill asks: Can you give me some advice about diesel-powered cars? I listen to you on David Knight.

My reply: At the moment, there are no new diesel-powered cars available for sale in the U.S. You can get a diesel engine in many new trucks as well as few crossovers (but just a few). Unless you need to tow a very heavy load, I cannot recommend buying a new diesel-powered anything; the cost is exorbitant and the benefit (in terms of mileage) not enough to justify the cost, especially when factoring in the higher cost of diesel fuel as well as the no-longer-lower cost of diesel maintenance.

That said, I do recommend used diesels, especially those made by VW before VW got curb-stomped for defying the Feds (i.e., “cheating” on federal emissions certification tests). VW was the only car company that sold a whole lineup of affordable diesel-powered cars, such as the Golf and Jetta and Beetle. These are well worth buying because they are affordable – and because their mileage (50 or more MPGs on the highway) is spectacularly higher than their gas-engined equivalents. Also, they are not encumbered with over-the-top systems such as DEF (the older models) to get past the eye of Sauron. VW was selling these in large numbers through about the 2016 model year, so there are still lots of these available on the used market and they’re still pretty new.

You should be able to find a nice, low-miles Golf or Beetle or Jetta TDI for $15,000 or so – and I think you’ll be very happy if you decide to get one!

. . .

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  1. Jeep is the only non-truck brand who off the top of my head still makes diesels

    Imo though, 2dr mk6 Golf Tdi or Beetle Convertible are the best bets, as they’re rare and will appreciate as the years go by. Manuals can get over 50mpg and with a simple tune, you’ll get more power and efficiency


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