DETROIT – In spite of the recent Volkswagen emissions-testing scandal, consumers looking for a diesel-powered vehicle will still find a wide range of choices at local dealerships.
Diesels have taken an image hit in recent weeks, and as previously reported by Edmunds, the EPA says it’s going to pay closer attention to testing them in the future.
Yet, even though Volkswagen has placed a hold on diesel sales for the moment, shoppers still attracted to the fuel economy of diesel engines will find a selection of models currently available or soon to be released by other automakers.
BMW’s diesel offerings include the 2016 328d sedan and wagon, good for 180 horsepower, 280 pound-feet of torque and up to an EPA-estimated 36 mpg combined. Also available are the 2016 535d and 2015 735Ld xDrive, both of which can be ordered with a 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder diesel that makes 255 hp and 413 lb-ft of torque.
Chevrolet currently sells a diesel-powered version of the 2015 Cruze and plans to make the redesigned 2016 Cruze sedan available with a new 1.6-liter four-cylinder diesel.
A Chevrolet spokesperson declined to provide Edmunds with further details but did note: “We have made no changes to our current or future diesel portfolio in light of the recent developments.”
The 2017 Jaguar XE sport sedan, arriving at U.S. dealerships next spring, will feature a 2.0-liter four-cylinder diesel option, with 180 hp and 318 lb-ft of torque.
Mercedes-Benz has a long history with diesel power plants, and for the new model year the Stuttgart firm will offer U.S. buyers the 2016 E250 Bluetec powered by a 2.1-liter four-cylinder diesel, which puts out 195 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. It returns an EPA-estimated 33 mpg combined with rear-wheel drive.
There is also a variety of diesel-powered SUVs available.
BMW offers the 2016 X3 xDrive28d with a four-cylinder diesel, while the larger 2016 X5 xDrive 35d has a 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder diesel. Both represent the most efficient examples of their respective model lineups.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee is available with a 3.0-liter V6 diesel that delivers 240 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque, and the word is that Jeep will eventually offer a Wrangler with a diesel option, although a Jeep spokesperson wouldn’t confirm any details.
Mercedes offers diesel-powered versions of many of its SUVs as well, including the new-for-2016 GLE300d and GL350 Bluetec. One should also be able to find a 2015 GLK250 Bluetec on a dealer lot.
There are also diesel engines offered by Volkswagen Group brands that actually do meet emissions requirements. These include the 2016 Audi A6, A7 and A8 sedans, and 2016 Q5 compact SUV, with their available 3.0-liter V6 diesel that puts out 240 hp and 428 lb-ft of torque. These models are specified by the TDI designation. Porsche uses a variation of the same engine in its 2016 Cayenne midsize crossover SUV.
Of course when many people think of diesel power, trucks are the first things that come to mind. And although diesel cars and SUVs have staked out their place in the U.S. market in recent years, consumers looking for a pickup will find a broad selection from which to choose.
For example, the current Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra HD full-size pickups are available with a 6.6-liter V8 diesel that generates 397 hp and 765 lb-ft of torque, and when the 2016 models arrive at Chevrolet dealers late this fall, it’s expected that they’ll have a similar option.
But the big news on the GM truck front is the new diesel power plant that’s available on the 2016 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon midsize pickups. This optional 2.8-liter inline four-cylinder diesel engine can be expected to deliver 181 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque.
Ford’s 2016 F-Series Super Duty pickups can be ordered with a 6.7-liter V8 diesel that puts out a very competitive 440 hp and 860 lb-ft of torque.
Nissan is making the available 5.0-liter Cummins V8 diesel a key selling point for its new 2016 Titan XD full-size pickup. It will produce 310 hp and 555 lb-ft of torque.
There’s a 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 available in current Ram 1500 models that makes 240 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque. But for those who need more payload and towing capacity, the 2016 Ram 3500 with the 6.7-liter Cummins inline-6 diesel can produce up to a whopping 900 lb-ft, making it the segment’s torque leader.
Edmunds says: Just because most Volkswagen diesels are off the table doesn’t mean that there aren’t plenty of other fuel-efficient diesel-powered vehicles available.