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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

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Buying Guide
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2012 Volkswagen Beetle

2012 Volkswagen Beetle

MSRP $19,795 2.5 (Manual) Hatchback

EPA MPG:

22 City / 31 Hwy

Safety (NHTSA):

★★★★

Horse Power:

170 @ 5700