Last post on May 09, 2013 at 9:32 AM
You are in the Sedans
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BMW 3 Series, Infiniti G37, Acura TL, Lexus IS 350, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Cadillac CTS, Volvo S60, Audi A4, Acura TSX, Car Comparisons, Sedan
Jan 11, 2013 (11:24 am)
During my family visit in the Old Country this Xmas, I drove my dad's Audi A4 1.9TDI (2005, I think).
Would never switch my 328i for it (or previous WRX/STI, or any other good gasoline engine), not in milion years. The clacking sound is still something to get used to. I appreciate better fuel economy and torque, but everything else is better on a good gasoline engine: sound (as for pleasure of well-running engine), noise level, vibrations, weight. Yes, the torque is higher on diesel, but it lasts for 1000 rpm and then it's gone - and when it's gone and you forget to shift, you get run over. May not be such a problem for those new 7-, 8- speed automatic transmissions, but my dad's A4 had 6-speed manual. I love manual transmissions, but not on diesels, apparently - you end up shifting back and forth, always caught on wrong gear (car stops accelerating after the torque peak in merging/passing, or it starts vibrating when left on too high gear for current speed - often issue in city driving).
No, diesels are not such a pleasure as some may like you believe. Some of those issues may be (have already been) overcome on newer models, but in my opinion diesel engine belongs to tractor trailers and other heavy duty workhorse machines, not for passenger cars. SUVs - maybe.
#15482 of 16087 new Lexus IS owner?
by steve_ HOST
Jan 11, 2013 (11:22 am)
A reporter would like to speak to a woman who is a new Lexus IS owner. If you fit the description, please send your daytime contact to predmunds.com no later than 3 p.m. PT/6 p.m. ET, Friday, January 11, 2013.
#15483 of 16087 Re: Diesels [dino001]
Jan 11, 2013 (12:18 pm)
In 2001 I was in Italy a couple of weeks for business and drove some kind of small minivan like vehicle. I can't even remember the make but it was diesel and a manual transmission(5 spd I think). I was impressed with how quiet and smooth it was. I didn't find the torque disappearing and remember driving around lake Garda and the curvy roads enjoying the scenery and shifting through the gears. Freeways were also worry free. I remember being passed by a Smart on the freeway at about 150 klicks and saying "holy crap, I wouldn't go that fast in that thing!"
Point is, I think it depends on the particular diesel engine. I also believe I would try at a least a couple of modern diesels with 7-8 spd auto trannies before I made a blanket statement that all diesels belong in semis or farm tractors.
#15484 of 16087 Re: Diesels [dino001]
Jan 11, 2013 (12:31 pm)
Thank you. That was a helpful review. I almost forgot the turbo diesel lag that I felt in the bimmer I once had a fraction of a century ago. It was a good car, but the lag was still felt at times. And diesel wasn't widely available at regular gas stations either. There's no reason for me to reconsider buying a diesel yet, and if it's mpg I'm after, I may consider a reliable hybrid like Prius. I was about to reconsider turbo diesel cars. So thanks again.
How do you guys feel about the Lexus 300h? Is it a prettied up Camry hybrid? Which would you buy?
#15485 of 16087 Re: Diesels [m6user]
Jan 11, 2013 (1:32 pm)
Perhaps you're right, but VAG's 1.9TDI (previous gen 4-cylinder diesel) was a highly acclaimed motor, a special favorite in high-mileage used car markets, like my Old Country's (Poland). My dad's is abot 100k miles, which is nothing for those engines. Granted, that engine is also an older-generation, developed prior common rail technology. It is known for high durability and good resistance to abuse due to substandard fuels and hard working conditions. All great, but the price was noise, vibrations and short torque curve.
The new enviro-friendly diesels are known for overcoming many of those issues (lower noise, not as much vibrations, better power delivery), but the price paid is steep - high maintenance and much reduced durability. So, if having to choose between noisy durable diesel, or quiet fragile diesel, I choose gasoline engine.
I think many Americans confuse marriage of reason between Europeans and diesel with some kind of love without limits. Europeans opt for diesels mostly because their governments push them to do so by taxes on both vehicles and fuel and because diesels to get better gas mileage. In the world of fuel priced at $6-8, a lawn mower may be attractive for people mover.
#15486 of 16087 Re: Pretty dead here [flightnurse]
Jan 11, 2013 (1:59 pm)
What will Porsche do to meet these tougher CAFE requirement? Import a diesel 911???
I think the average would be included in VW total...so the Golf's, Jetta's, etc would do the heavy CAFE lifting...
#15487 of 16087 Re: Diesels [dino001]
Jan 11, 2013 (2:28 pm)
Would never switch my 328i for it (or previous WRX/STI, or any other good gasoline engine), not in milion years.
Not sure comparing a 328i to an older A4 1.9 TDI is a fair comparison. I'm driving a 2013 328ix loaner today with 1,400 miles on the odometer. Great car, but I have to say that the 335d would be my strong preference for both performance and fuel economy over a 328i. Had to shut off the engine start stop feature to maintain my sanity in stop and go traffic. There is no diesel clatter in my friend's 2011 335d and it definitely has more punch when you need to accelerate on the highway. He gets an honest 40 mpg on highway cruising at 75 mph and 30 mpg overall. The trip computer on the 328ix loaner shows 23.3 mpg overall; probably heavy city driving.
That said, the current 8,400 rpm NA V8 M3 with a 6-speed manual is about as sweet as a 3 series gasoline engine can get. I'd be the first to admit that if a really sporty, engaging drive is what you want, hard to beat a naturally aspirated high rpm manual transmission car like the M3.
#15488 of 16087 Re: Diesels [dino001]
Jan 11, 2013 (4:46 pm)
Dino of course some of the engine in Europe aren't as refined as others. To pass judgement on the car you drove in europe with one that are imported here is like saying, there isn't much difference in a M6 and a Yaris...
Drive a Passt or Jetta diesel you will be quite surprised on how well they run and really how quite it is for a diesel.
#15489 of 16087 Re: Pretty dead here [ivan_99]
Jan 11, 2013 (4:50 pm)
Ivan, I'm not too sure about this, if it is true please post a link so I can read it. Because I'm sure Infiniti and Lexus would be linked to Nissan and Toyota. Since Infiniti, Lexus and Porsche are imported as their own brand, one would assume that they are separate brands.
#15490 of 16087 Re: Diesels [habitat1]
Jan 11, 2013 (7:07 pm)
It would not be fair, pricewise, compare 328i to 335d. To me valid choice would be 335i vs. 335d - that would be no contest, IMHO. I understand all the limitations of comparisons between new BMW and old Audi. However, to be fair i terms of pricing, four cylinder diesel is one to make real comaprisons to the lower-powered gasoline engines, whether smaller 6-cyl, or turbo four.
My point is, US based consumers THINK they want diesel because they see them in Europe and assume that's what Old World people want. All I'm saying, popularity of diesel there is artificially stimulated by public policy, taxation and other incentives. Anybody, who enjoyed American-market based ELLPS, would never even consider a diesel, except perhaps commercial vehicles, like taxi cabs and such. Moreover, the traditional advantages of diesels are going away. Bottom line - still clacking engine, less so than before, but more upfront cost, more maintenance, more prone to failures, sensitive to fuel quality, who knows if will last as long as older generations.