CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

WHY cant we have the HONDA Diesel?!

A diesel hybrid? Now that’s big $$ for not much added benefit over either one by itself. If a hybrid barely pays in terms of gas, and a diesel saves only a mderate amount of money, a diesel hybrid is a sure money loser. Sure, it’ll get great mpgs, but you’ll pay more than you’ll ever save in fuel costs.

The reason they have so many Diesels in Europe is that Diesel fuel for whatever reason, is taxed much less that gasoline in Europe making it feasible to pay the extra money a Diesel costs to bid. Here ,unless you can drive your car 300,000 miles it doesn’t pay.

You are correct, they did tax diesel less. Those taxes are now changing (diesel taxes going up) to reflect the higher CO2 emissions from diesel, and diesel car sales are expected to drop in Europe in the next few years as a response.

I read once that just because you have both a big block Chevrolet engine that is not being used and a non-running AMC Gremlin sitting out in the barn this does not mean it is required you put the big block in the Gremlin. You having 200 gallons of bio-Diesel is not enough reason to seek a diesel powered vehicle. Somehow the diesel engine has become taged or labled as the best answer to reducing the cost of personal transportation, I do not think the numbers support this linkage, it is simply an emotional linkage, like the idea to combine the big-block and the Gremlin.

I don’t want a Diesel Hybrid SUV. Most of my driving is highway…and I’m not sure how well a Hybrid will tow.

It shouldnt cost that much more to ad an efficient Diesel engine to some Hybrid setups. The one I am most interested in seeing is one where the Diesel is used to charge the batteries and maybe also run the car…I guess like the Volt? Right? A Diesel Volt…simply because the Diesel is more efficient…it would make the MPG numbers go way up…instead of 40-45MPG we would see 50-60 or so…I would guess.

I mean really how much more would it cost to put an efficient modern Diesel in place of the gas engine in the Volt? It SHOULDNT be that much more…I’d say what an additional 3K for the engine?..but I do understand… by the time it gets to the public who knows what they would charge.

I guess I dont really have room to talk…if I want something, I build it…and I have to remind myself that not everyone can do this or can get the same type of deals on cars that I do. I mean I have actually made money on every single car I have ever owned…after driving it for years. Thats what happens when you buy as low as I do because of needed repairs…so the rules are bent for me a bit.

I WILL get a Diesel engine from Honda one day and pop it into the Civic…They are just starting to become available from the JDM market…

I agree…

In certain situations a Diesel is more economical…Same with the Hybrid…in certain situations…

But just because it’s NOT the solution for ALL situations doesn’t mean companies should NOT produce them. There’s a valid market for Diesels and Hybrids.

Looking at VWs in the US and Ford diesels in the UK, it looks like a diesel 4 cylinder roughly equivalent to a gas engine costs about $1500 more. Hybrids typically cost $1500-$3000 more than a gas version, so a diesel hybrid would be about $3000 to $4500 more. Hard to make that pay off.

Diesel hybrid?

We’re working on just that here in my parts:

http://www.howard.edu/ceacs/dean/GM-EV1.htm
http://www.sofastithertz.com/main/2010/04/11/howard-university-ev-1-project/

Even though the CNG Honda is labled greenest by some companies that do this type of thing, I ask, can you buy this car today in the USA and will you be out of luck after you burn off the first fuel charge (meaning no or few places to fuel it up?).

Oh well…its easy to see no one wants a high mileage vehicle. I thought it would be a great idea to have an efficient Diesel both driving the vehicle and charging the batteries for full electric or the two in conjunction. I mean if we can extend the mileage of gasoline engines…what would happen when you extended the already great mileage of the Diesel… I’m not seeing how spending an extra 4-5K cant be justified esp since re-sale should hold up better. I am no financial genius and thats for certain, so maybe I just dont see it.

I only thought a Diesel with range extending benefits would be a very high MPG machine. Why doesnt that interest anyone? Oh well…I have had hairbrained ideas before…so… Just thought I’d put it out here and get people thinkin… I’m an idiot I suppose…lol

“It SHOULDNT be that much more…I’d say what an additional 3K for the engine?..”

That’s 200,000 miles at today’s price differential. Very few people will keep their car long enough to justify the diesel on a cost basis. If you want a diesel, they are available. Just not widely available. If I were Honda, I wouldn’t offer a diesel in the USA given the long payoff.

Honda Blackbird; you are not an average American buyer. Before the Smart Car was introduced in the US, it was marketed in Canada as the original European diesel model. Consumer Reports tested one and proclaimed it “unsuitable” for US tastes. Mercedes, who owns the company, came to the same conclusion, and abandoned the small diesel in favor of a larger gasoline model, and more gadgets. Additional modifications were made to suit US “tastes”.

For the same reason, most European and Japanese cars have stick shifts, while Americans overwhelmingly like automatics. In spite of all the gobal covergence, there are three markets from a design point of view; The US (large cars, large engines, comfort and everything automatic), Europe & Japan(efficient, cost-effectve vehicles with good handling), and the rest of the world, where first cost and fuel efficiency are more important than comfort, long life and reliability.

Countries like Canada, Austaralia, New Zealand are more frugal version of the US market. The best selling cars in Canada have been the Honda Civic, before that the Chevy Cavalier, and before that the Ford Tempo. But most of these economy cars had automatic, and a host of power accessories. Australians also drive smaller cars (they refer to full-size US cars as “Yank Tanks”) but they like their comfort.

I have several well-to-do male friends and relatives in Europe and they all shift gears in that heavy traffic; to do anything else is outright feminine! Telling a German he needs automatic and climate control is akin to telling him to wear pink!

It’s a great idea, just $$ are the problem. Say you take a 25 mpg car, and look at 100000 miles and $4/gallon fuel. Costs $16,000 in fuel over that period. Assume either a diesel or a hybrid takes you to 50 mpg. Save $8,000 - quite a deal! Now assume a diesel hybrid takes you to 75 mpg. Now you save an additional $2,666. Still pays off over the 100k, but takes much longer.

At $3/gallon the $$ benefits are less, of course: $6,000 for the first jump, only $2,000 savings for the second, getting close to breakeven. Roll in higher diesel costs and it’s even harder.

A good portion of the reason Diesel engines are more expensive is because of the low numbers of them produced. Start producing Diesels in the numbers of gas engines and the cost will go WAY WAY down.

Right.

Better to rant here than take the frustration out on those around you.

Emissions requirements are also different in Europe. European spec’ed diesels require incredibly complex emission system to conform to EPA requirements in the USA.

Diesels are gutless from a performance standpoint. That’s why you don’t see diesels in GT racing. They tend to have great low-end torque, but nothing up top. As FoDaddy mentioned, if you take any car that has both diesel and gas variants, the gas engine will give better performance every time. If you want to pull something, diesel is great. If you want to go really fast or accelerate quickly, it isn’t.

Not so. Drive a diesel Jetta or a diesel Touareg before you make that blanket statement. Modern diesels aren’t anything like their predecessors.

I am in FULL agreement with Mike… And that Gremlin is going to do some CRAZY BURNOUTS with that Big Block…LOL… If I had the two sitting looking at each other I guarantee you that the big block will make its way into the engine bay of that Gremlin…Thats just how I am put together.

If more companies go on the bandwagon and made MORE Diesels the additional cost penalty will become so small as to be insignificant…No? Diesels do have a small amount of extra complexity andmost of that is in the fuel system design and execution. The rest of the engine is much more robust so there are some real reasons why they cost more…but buid more and they will get cheaper for sure…I just want to see us properly using the tech we have available to us…and not hiding it under a cloud of Dark Diesel smoke…which doesnt exist anymore in these modern powerplants…oh well Im ranting again. The idea is…we can do MUCH better in the MPG dept if we were really giving it the college try…There is a place for Diesels in the design of vehicles…hybrids or otherwise…