I am considering a diesel for my next car (specifically a Volkswagen Golf) and had a few questions. I understand modern diesel cars are much better now but still have issues in cold weather. In my area we typically get to single digit temperatures and on rare occasions temps below zero. (Fahrenheit) Do modern diesels start reliable at these temperatures? How long does it take to get heat to the passenger cabin as compared to gas engines? I understand a block heater will help but since I live in an apartment that is impractical. Can you install a remote starter on a diesel car?
Is there any reason to think the cost of diesel will rise drastically in the next few years? (as compared to the price of gas)
On the performance side, there are companies that sell aftermarket ECUs (IE chips) that claim gains of 15-30 Horsepower (depending on the specific engine). From what I have read on the Volkswagen forums people seem to think this is legitimate. Is it? And why would Volkswagen leave this much potential performance unused?
For those unfamiliar with after market ECU upgrades they typically give less than 10hp on their own and sometimes help other upgrades work better.