As fuel prices continue to trend upward, consumers have increased their demand for more fuel efficient vehicles. And while plenty have turned their eyes on hybrid vehicle technology, many are also favoring vehicles with a more mature powertrain in diesel engine technology. And leading the charge is Volkswagen, according to a recent study done by the Diesel Technology Forum (DTF).
In the United States, for the first quarter of 2012, clean diesel sales ascended 35 percent over Q1 2011, a trend – and it is a trend, since diesel sales were up 27 percent in 2011 – that the Diesel Technology Forum (DTF) says is due to higher fuel prices pushing people into the efficient oil-burners. Of all diesels sold in the U.S. for 2011, 58 percent of all diesel sales were Volkswagen TDI vehicles. More significantly, diesel Jettas made up 44 percent of all diesels sold in the U.S. last year. Considering the similarities between the United States and Canadian markets, this data is most likely relative to what is happening in Canada as well.
“I expect clean diesel auto sales to increase further as several new diesel cars are introduced in the U.S. market in the next year,” said DTF’s executive director Allen Schaeffer in a statement.
It’s easy to see why the Volkswagen Jetta TDI is so popular. For instance, the diesel variant of compact sedan affordably carries a starting MSRP of $15,875 in Canada, and consumes minimal fuel. Official numbers put the Jetta TDI with a six-speed manual transmission at 6.7l/100 km in urban and 4.6l/100 km in extra urban environments. Impressively, the engine is no slouch with 320 Nm of torque @ 1,750–2,500 RPM. Who needs to worry about expensive hybrid technology when a diesel engine can be both super efficient and fun to drive?