Cooley On Cars
Your Emails: Why all the hate for diesel cars?Brian Cooley explains why diesel cars have struggled to gain traction in the US market.
[SOUND] Hi folks, Brian Coulie from On Cars. Taking another one of your emails about high tech cars and modern driving, this one comes in from Roheet in New York City. Who wants to know, why all the hate for diesels in the US? He said, is it America's general hatred for diesels or our laws that prevent really good diesel engines from coming to the US? He says I have an X3 diesel, and I absolutely love it. He says, I also think you guys should make episodes weekly instead of me having to wait two weeks for new On Cars. All right, Rohit, last question first, that would just about kills us. But good news is, we are working on bringing you more On Cars episodes, more frequently instead of making you wait the long two weeks between shows. So sit tight for that, we'll have some good news on that coming up soon. Now let's talk about diesels and why they're still basically struggle in the US. Well they're doing a lot better than they use to. The first problem with diesel dis is the memories of the 80s. This is the world's first diesel V8 in a [UNKNOWN] car. Back then American car makers made a big push around some times of real difficult fuel economy and prices to bring out a new wave of diesel. Late 70s, early 80s in particular, and these cars were crap. I mean, they were spewing smoke as all diesels did in those days. They were noisy, they were slow, and they were unreliable. They were just a lousy power train, not well done, it was a pre-tech era. As a result Americans learned to hate them. Then you have really well-made diesel, typically Mercedes, a lot of C class. Diesels in those days that were slow. Zero to 60 in days, not seconds. And they spewed a lot of junk out of the tailpipe. And they made a noise like ten thousand cobblers putting heels on shoes. It was not a pretty time. And a lot of folks have not forgotten that. Then, the next thing you've got as we go forward into a time when diesels are beautiful, fast, clean, and wonderful today, is the fuel cost Diesel costs more in America then gasoline. We've always had cheap gas here. And diesel is a little bit more then gas on a national average in recent times. Largely because of taxes and distribution costs, but who cares. As a consumer all I know is, that costs more, and I'm not really sure I'm going to earn it back with the higher MPG of the engine, or at least, not sure if I'm going to do so immediately There's also a car cost issue. Diesel models in the US tend to be more premium, that's the ones that they bring here and they tend to have a high premium not just on a trim but also the diesel powertrain costs more to make in most cases. It's a more heavy duty engine. It's got an exhaust scrubbing technology, a gas engine car doesn't have installed on it. That makes the vehicle a little harder to do an earn-back on from supposedly lower prices. One of the big exceptions would've been Volkswagen. They had a wide array of diesels across their line at affordable prices, but they didn't do diesel any favors. Their ability to bring emissions scandal onto an entire brand, almost onto an entire auto industry, also tripped up The whole diesel picture for other makers in this country. [MUSIC]