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Old 05-03-2012, 02:57 PM
GreasyJack GreasyJack is offline
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Montana
Posts: 4,965
There's two things the guy isn't mentioning or isn't aware of:

One, like others have said, the test cycles (and gallons) are radically different. For comparison, the 140HP 2.0L TDI engine we DO get in the US is rated at 70 MPG highway in the UK, but only 43 in the US so that's most of the difference right there. The emissions equipment and tuning on the two are slightly different, but that only accounts for an MPG or two.

Secondly, the 105HP 1.6L diesel model he's prattling on about is a spectacularly slow car by the current US new-car standards. It's 0-60 is about 13 seconds, which I believe would make it the slowest car sold in the US, which is not a distinction any car maker wants. Especially when the Passat is supposed to be one of VW's more upscale offerings.

The US's emissions standards do make diesels somewhat more expensive to sell in the US, although the difference between US and European standards for diesels is much much less than it has been historically. In the end though, the major stumbling block is still that you have to pay more for the diesel, and current fuel prices mean that the new car buyer will essentially never break even. And they are never going to pay MORE for LESS performance. VW has managed to keep selling diesels in the US partly by being shrewd about what engine options they offer. They only bring in the highest performance diesel they offer so that, in terms of performance, the TDI engine ends up being between the entry level 4-cylinder gas engine and the high-performance (V6 or turbo) gas engine. So people will pay for better mileage AND slightly better performance, but not just mileage alone.

Last edited by GreasyJack; 05-03-2012 at 02:59 PM.