From the few Europeans that I’ve met, it seems that everyone and their mother has at some point owned a diesel automobile on the other side of the pond. Here in North America, however, we appear to have some sort of dieselphobia, with very little diesel cars on offer at all up until recently. But there are some very good reasons for us to shake that fear and demand more diesels from the manufacturers.
The most obvious advantage of diesel is the fuel economy: it’s excellent. If you see the most fuel-efficient cars in Europe, the majority of them are diesels. They all easily manage over 60 US mpg. And in this day and age, fuel efficiency is absolutely a good thing. With the price of fuel rising steadily, those extra mpg will begin to matter more and more. And although this doesn’t necessarily apply to all regions of North America, diesel is certainly cheaper than gasoline here in Toronto. So you use less and you pay less for it, what more could you possibly ask for?
Diesel engines also rev a whole lot less than the average gasoline motor. They typically top out at about 5,000 rpm, while most gasoline motors will go up to at least 7,000. Despite old diesels being quite loud, on modern diesel cars the lower revs usually mean they’re quieter, making long road trips much more enjoyable.
But come on, this is a gearhead website. Fuel economy and quietness be damned, we want power, right? Well, good news! Diesel engines produce a lot more torque than comparable gasoline engines. This means you’ll have great acceleration, and let’s face it, acceleration is much more important than top speed nowadays. Everything can comfortably drive well above the speed limit anyways, and you haven’t even got much opportunity to hit top speed on most racetracks. With a diesel you’ll get to enjoy plenty of oomph at the lights everyday. So come guys, let’s all lobby the automakers for more diesel. Maybe we’ll get lucky and BMW will send the M550d xDrive, pictured at the start of the article, over to this side of the pond. Pretty please?