Last summer’s gas crisis made people wake up and realize that economic cars that get good gas millage and are less harmful to the environment are going to become more of a necessity in decades to come. Hybrids are all the rage, but they have plenty of downsides such as relative high costs, expensive to maintain, and well most of them are pretty lame. So what can we do to get good fuel economy and have cars that don’t suck? Get more diesel cars and make them affordable.
Do a search on cheap diesel cars and you will pretty much find a couple rabbits and Mercedes 300D’s and not much else in the US. New cars are coming out and some of them are actually pretty cool. Volkswagen is leading the trend with cars like the TDI Jetta and the Audi R8, while American car companies of course don’t have much of anything but large and quite expensive trucks.
While I still think electric cars can be the future for the time being Diesel engines provide us the ability to have crazy good fuel economy, solid reliability, and most of them utilize turbos which can make the potential to have more power and more fun easy to achieve.
The rest of the world has had a large selection of diesel cars for years and some even produced by none other than American car companies. So question is why can’t we get these? Maintenance and operating costs of diesels are relatively low and they tend to have the uncanny ability to rack up thousands of miles and take lots of abuse. If you do not agree just take a quick look at the average milage of the still running examples of the first two cars I mentioned before from VW and Mercedes. Chances are you can easily find several clean and perfectly good running examples with 300K plus miles.
So my call to the big three is take advantage of some of the cars that we have given to the rest of world and bring them here. If we don’t then I’m sure companies like Toyota and VW will lead the trend and leave us behind once again.