Happy Birthday Rudolf Diesel! Check Out What Diesel-Powered Cars Are Available Today

If he were still alive today, German engineer Rudolf Diesel would be 154 years old this Sunday. To celebrate the birthday of the man who brought us – what else? – the diesel engine, we have rounded up all 18 cars available in the U.S. market from Audi, BMW, Chevrolet, Ford, GMC, Mercedes-Benz, Ram, and Volkswagen.

Just four of the 18 cars available with oil-burning engines come from American manufacturers; the remainders come, unsurprisingly, from German automakers. None of the Asian car makers currently sell any diesel-powered cars in the States.

Volkswagen takes the number one spot, offering six different diesel cars. All of them except the 2012 Touareg TDI SUV are equipped with the company's direct-injected 2.0-liter turbo-diesel I-4 that is rated for 140 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque; those cars are the 2012 Golf TDI, Jetta SportWagen TDI, Jetta TDI, and Passat TDI. The Touareg uses the same turbo-diesel 3.0-liter V-6 as Audi's 2012 Q7 TDI; in both cases, the oil-burning six-cylinder is good for 224 hp and 406 lb-ft. Audi's other diesel offering – the 2012 A3 TDI – uses the same 2.0-liter as Volkswagen's cars.

Mercedes-Benz ranks second with its range of BlueTec models, all of which use a turbo-diesel 3.0-liter V-6. The newer version of this engine, which is found under the hoods of the 2012 ML350 BlueTec and 2012 S350 BlueTec 4Matic, produces 240 hp and 455 lb-ft. The 2012 E350 BlueTec, GL350 BlueTec, and R350 BlueTec receive a less-powerful 210-hp version of the V-6 that makes a round 400 lb-ft of torque.

BMW offers just one diesel model right now, with the 335d sedan phased out at the end of last year. Bimmer aficionados will have to get their oil-burning fixes from the brand's midsize SUV: the 2012 X5 xDrive35d comes equipped with a direct-injected 3.0-liter turbo-diesel inline-six rated at 265 hp and 425 lb-ft.

Coming from The Big Three are a quartet of heavy-duty pickup trucks. Interestingly, diesel engines are only available on the heavy-duty variants of these trucks. From General Motors is the 2012 Chevrolet Silverado HD and 2012 GMC Sierra HD both of which offer an optional direct-injected, 6.6-liter Duramax turbo-diesel V-8 engine. That monstrous engine produces a hefty 397 hp and 765 lb-ft of torque. Not to be outdone by its crosstown rivals, the 2012 Ford F-Series Super Duty is available with a 6.7-liter Power Stroke that puts down 400 hp and an earth-churning 800 lb-ft.

Taking a different tack than the other U.S. automakers, the 2012 Ram 2500/3500 Heavy Duty offers a 6.7-liter turbo-diesel inline-six cylinder. That engine produces a reasonable 350 hp and a massive 800 lb-ft when equipped with the six-speed automatic; six-speed manual-equipped trucks make just 650 lb-ft.

Check out the full list of diesel-equipped cars along with their EPA mileage estimates and suggested retail base prices (including destination). What is your favorite diesel-powered car or truck? Let us know in the comments section.

 

Car Engine HP Lb-ft MPG MSRP ($)
Audi A3 TDI 2.0L I-4 turbo-diesel w/ DI 140 236 21/30 31,125
Audi Q7 TDI 3.0L V-6 turbo-diesel 225 406 17/25 52,325
BMW X5 xDrive35d 3.0L I-6 turbo-diesel w/ DI 265 425 19/26 57,595
Chevrolet Sliverado HD 6.6L V-8 turbo-diesel w/ DI 397 765 - 38,490
Ford F-Series Super Duty 6.7L V-8 turbo-diesel 400 800 - 38,020
GMC Sierra HD 6.6L V-8 turbo-diesel w/ DI 397 765 - 37,290
Mercedes-Benz E350 BlueTec 3.0L V-6 turbo-diesel 210 400 21/32 52,565
Mercedes-Benz GL350 BlueTec 3.0L V-6 turbo-diesel 210 400 17/21 62,445
Mercedes-Benz ML350 BlueTec 3.0L V-6 turbo-diesel 240 455 20/27 51,365
Mercedes-Benz R350 BlueTec 3.0L V-6 turbo-diesel 210 400 18/23 54,715
Mercedes-Benz S350 BlueTec 4Matic 3.0L V-6 turbo-diesel 240 455 21/31 93,425
Ram 2500/3500 Heavy Duty 6.7L I-6 turbo-diesel 350 650 (MT)/800 (AT) - 33,850
Volkswagen Beetle TDI 2.0L I-4 turbo-diesel w/ DI 140 236 29/39 TBD - available summer
Volkswagen Golf TDI 2.0L I-4 turbo-diesel w/ DI 140 236 30/42 25,005
Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen TDI 2.0L I-4 turbo-diesel w/ DI 140 236 30/42 26,310
Volkswagen Jetta TDI 2.0L I-4 turbo-diesel w/ DI 140 236 30/42 23,545
Volkswagen Passat TDI 2.0L I-4 turbo-diesel w/ DI 140 236 31/43 30,265
Volkswagen Touareg TDI 3.0L V-6 turbo-diesel 225 406 19/28 47,645

Car Engine HP Lb-ft MPG MSRP ($)
Audi A3 TDI 2.0L I-4 turbo-diesel w/ DI 140 236 21/30 31,125
Audi Q7 TDI 3.0L V-6 turbo-diesel 225 406 17/25 52,325
BMW X5 xDrive35d 3.0L I-6 turbo-diesel w/ DI 265 425 19/26 57,595
Chevrolet Sliverado HD 6.6L V-8 turbo-diesel w/ DI 397 765 - 38,490
Ford F-Series Super Duty 6.7L V-8 turbo-diesel 400 800 - 38,020
GMC Sierra HD 6.6L V-8 turbo-diesel w/ DI 397 765 - 37,290
Mercedes-Benz E350 BlueTec 3.0L V-6 turbo-diesel 210 400 21/32 52,565
Mercedes-Benz GL350 BlueTec 3.0L V-6 turbo-diesel 210 400 17/21 62,445
Mercedes-Benz ML350 BlueTec 3.0L V-6 turbo-diesel 240 455 20/27 51,365
Mercedes-Benz R350 BlueTec 3.0L V-6 turbo-diesel 210 400 18/23 54,715
Mercedes-Benz S350 BlueTec 4Matic 3.0L V-6 turbo-diesel 240 455 21/31 93,425
Ram 2500/3500 Heavy Duty 6.7L I-6 turbo-diesel 350 650 (MT)/800 (AT) - 33,850
Volkswagen Beetle TDI 2.0L I-4 turbo-diesel w/ DI 140 236 29/39 TBD - available summer
Volkswagen Golf TDI 2.0L I-4 turbo-diesel w/ DI 140 236 30/42 25,005
Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen TDI 2.0L I-4 turbo-diesel w/ DI 140 236 30/42 26,310
Volkswagen Jetta TDI 2.0L I-4 turbo-diesel w/ DI 140 236 30/42 23,545
Volkswagen Passat TDI 2.0L I-4 turbo-diesel w/ DI 140 236 31/43 30,265
Volkswagen Touareg TDI 3.0L V-6 turbo-diesel 225 406 19/28 47,645
jordan
Check your facts automobile mag. The hp numbers and EPA fuel economy numbers are for the gasoline model not the diesel. And BMW does in fact still sell the 335d. It is still in the same body style as the older 3 series.
GolfTDI
I have a 2010 VW Golf TDI manual and a 2011 VW Touareg TDI. I love both of them. The Golf is very fun to drive, much faster than its 140hp would make you think, has a big back seat, the quality is better than a lot of $50k cars, I average 44mpg in 50% city driving, and I get 53-57mpg on the highway. The Touareg is an amazing family car. It is extremely comfortable, fast (C/D did 0-60 in 6.9 seconds), has a huge back seat, drives really nicely, I average 27mpg in roughly 55% highway driving, and it gets about 35mpg on the highway. My favorite thing about diesels is probably the effortless acceleration provided by the huge low-end torque. I think diesels make complete sense, because you can get great fuel economy without compromising on performance, space, or driving dynamics and they will actually save money, no hybrid can do that. The EPA ratings for diesels are way off, with my cars I get between 25% and 30% better fuel economy than the EPA ratings. Every diesel owner I know also fuel economy significantly better than the EPA ratings. All the thing people don't like about diesels are no longer true. The cars don't smell bad, they're actually quieter than gas cars, the fuel is easy to find, diesel is currently $.25 per gallon cheaper than regular gas where I live (it is usually about $.10 more than regular here), the cars are fast and actually feel faster than gas cars with similar performance, they don't have any trouble starting in cold weather, and the heater warms up just as quickly as any gas car I have driven. The Audi A3 TDI has the same 140hp 236lb.ft. 2.0TDI engine as the Golf, Jetta, JSW, and Passat. The aricle lists the engine for the A3 2.0T.
R. McLeod
I mean, Yes, the table does show some mileage info, but I would have really liked to read more about the benefits in the article. Some feedback from owners would have been interesting. Thanks.
R. McLeod
This article shares only that there ARE diesel vehicles available, but says nothing about the benefits that the diesel engine offers (i.e.: increased fuel economy, greater engine life.) Nor does it mention that the new diesels cars have very good emission ratings. I have two diesel cars, and am thrilled that I receive a minimum 1000 miles per fill-up on each. I've never plugged the engine heater in, and have had them start at -15 degrees, no problem. Diesel fuel is costing me only 3-5% more than regular gas, but I receive double the mileage per gallon compared to similar size gas vehicles.
a1addict
A3 TDI specs are for the gasoline engine shared with GTI, others...come on guys, check your data- a little.
marcsf
The A3 uses the same diesel engine as the other VWs, the 200hp, 207 torque is for the gas version.

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