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Eurodiesels in the US
March 20, 2014 10:07 PM   Subscribe

A while back, I was in Europe for an extended period of time, and there I ended up driving two very similar cars (what may have been a Renault Clio and a Citroën C4). They were 5-door manual diesels, and I really enjoyed driving them. What cars like this are sold in the USA?
posted by the man of twists and turns to Grab Bag (12 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
Probably a VW Golf TDI.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:10 PM on March 20 [2 favorites]


Ford Fiesta. They have a five-door manual diesel version, known as the ECOnetic, but I couldn't tell you if that's exactly what it is in the States. I have an auto version and it's a pretty fun ride.
posted by turbid dahlia at 10:20 PM on March 20


If you google around, you'll find that for various reasons the US emissions(and californias) orgs won't let in ANY little diesels except for VWs, and very recently BMW, mercedes(who own jeep and dodge), and mazda. Other than that it's just trucks and stuff, besides this one jeep liberty from a few years ago.

It's really annoying, there are no small diesel cars like that here. They never even sold the diesel smart.

I think Blazecock is right that the golf TDI is the smallest diesel car you can buy in the US. It's the only small hatchback, other than the audi A3(which is just a luxury golf anyways)

If you check this you'll see how dismal the landscape is. The ford mentioned by turbid dahlia isn't available here because ford thinks it wouldn't sell.
posted by emptythought at 10:23 PM on March 20


VW will bring in new diesel engines later this year.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:41 PM on March 20


I think the Golf TDI is the only five door in the US. I really like mine. It's spacious, soundly built, and pretty fun to drive around town. Going 350 miles between fill ups under city conditions and 450 or up on the freeway is charming (and I'm really not trying to save fuel).

There might be more some day, now the US has switched to ultra low sulfur diesel. This means the European spec motors will work in the US. Chevy is already selling a diesel version of the Cruze.
posted by wotsac at 11:00 PM on March 20 [1 favorite]


There's also the Chevy Cruze diesel, meant to compete directly with VW, which has gotten some good early reviews. And Audi sells diesels here as well.
posted by Dip Flash at 12:26 AM on March 21


2013 and earlier Audi A3 TDI, if you want a little more car than the VW.
posted by bensherman at 1:26 AM on March 21


There might be more some day, now the US has switched to ultra low sulfur diesel.

This has stopped the last 10 years of diesel development from getting to US shores - common rail stuff that is now only just getting to the US has been commonplace in Europe for over 10 years and it is FAR better for power and economy. I drove 150hp Diesel Golf GTD cars in the UK in 2001 that would still get better then 450 miles on a fill up even driven like an utter hooligan. 500+ miles if not. So if the OP wants to get as close to those (hugely better) Euro diesel options then the latest possible models are what you want to get. They don't sell the french cars to any degree (if at all) over here (and the french make good diesel engines, much as it pains me to admit). Next best is VAG group (VW/Audi/Seat etc). BMW diesels are good, but if you want a small car I'm not sure what options you have really - the 120d is supposed to be very good but I'm not sure if it is small enough.

The 2015 Golf is something I'd want if I was after a diesel and I would - without question - save my pennies for the GTD.

So, in short, it's new cars of European origin at the very least, and most likely the 2015 models. Nothing domestic is even going to come close.
posted by Brockles at 5:49 AM on March 21


> mercedes(who own jeep and dodge)

Daimler-Chrysler dissolved about seven years ago, and Daimler AG effectively divested the remainder of its holdings in Chrysler in subsequent years. Since 2009, Chrysler has been effectively (and, since earlier this year, in actuality) a division of Fiat. (Source: Wikipedia; the corporate history timeline is accurate in broad strokes, although details starting from Fiat's takeover acquire a peculiarly uptalked tone of voice...)

tl;dr: I would look to Fiat's product lines for clues of any future diesel passenger vehicles from Chrysler, since eg. the Chrysler 300 started as a rebadged Lancia.
posted by ardgedee at 6:39 AM on March 21


Boyfriend who knows a crazy amount about cars also agrees that Golf TDI is the closest.
posted by magnetsphere at 7:14 AM on March 21


Yeah it's a shame that so few of those euro turbo diesels make it to the USA. I rented a cheap Spanish car called a SEAT León a few years ago in France, and that thing was great. Used hardly any fuel, went fast, and the windshield wipers automatically switched on in the rain, which is so obvious I have no idea why it's not a universal thing.
posted by w0mbat at 12:47 PM on March 21


VW has been selling their European Diesel engines in the US for some time now, so a current generation (2008 or a bit later, my google-fu isn't in full effect this morning) VW will have a very serviceable engine in it. On one hand, the 2015 sounds like enough of an improvement to wait for, under the hood. But on the other, they're looking to do a feature delete to bring down the price. Depending on ones taste, the 10% cost saving may be totally worthwhile, and VW may preserve the cabin qualities that make the TDI not just a good car, but a delightful one. But that remains to be seen.
posted by wotsac at 9:47 AM on March 23


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