The Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal was a real blow to the reputation of diesel cars in the US. But there are a few models still on the market that are really worth a look. Because so much diesel production was closed down, there are only 12 diesel cars are in production for 2018 from six companies. BMW, Chevrolet, GMC, Jaguar, Land Rover and Mazda are producing some great cars in options that will appeal to everyone. There are plenty of cars, SUVs, crossovers, and trucks whose diesel engines can't be beaten. And they get great fuel economy! Volkswagen may have been caught using technologies to cheat the system. That means the remaining diesel producers are using those technologies to produce vehicles just as economical as their petrol counterparts. And often better than them.
Chevrolet Cruze LT Diesel
The Cruze comes in both petrol and diesel, with the latter option arriving at a $2,800 upgrade. Why shell out for the diesel? Aside from being a pretty handsome car, the diesel Cruze gets 30 mpg in the city, which is not bad, and 52 mpg on the highway when fitted with a six-speed manual transmission, which is fantastic. In city driving, petrol and diesel models get the almost the same mileage, but on the highway, the diesel version gets you an extra 12 mpg. The Cruze is also a comfortable, well equipped compact sedan with a good range of safety features. If you spend a lot of time on the highway, you'll be saving a fair bit of money on fuel in the long run, and you'll have a powerful, compact car to do some smooth driving in.
BMW 3 series
Although not the fastest in the 3 series, the 328d is a great diesel car that gets very respectable fuel economy for a higher performance vehicle. The 328d has a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo diesel engine paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission that's been voted among the best in the Industry. It's a stunning car, in every sense: a diesel engine paired to the BMW's legendary engineering really brings out the full potential of the 3 series, with all of the power and fluidity on display in a way that gasoline engines just can't do. The 3 series is also packed with extras including LED headlights, driver seat memory settings, automatic wipers, push-button start and the requisite auto-dimming, power folding, heated side mirrors. Of course, it's fuel economy is staggering particularly when you consider the power under the hood. It registers 30 mpg in the city and 41 mpg on the highway, practically unheard of for a luxury car in its class.
Mazda has a knack for making fun, well built and sophisticated cars that seemingly slip under the radar. The CX-5 is a kicky crossover is a perfect example of why Mazda makes such great cars with its sharp steering, responsive handling, and sleek stylings. The 2018 version brings you a fuel system previously unavailable in the US: the urea-injected diesel engine produces less nitrous oxide and less carbon monoxide and has been hailed as the next generation by its fans. The pollution reducing 2.2-liter turbodiesel engine mates exclusively with a Mazda six-speed automatic transmission, delivering 173 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. Coupling all of that power with cool 40 mpg on the highway means that the CX-5 puts all of the fun back into driving, and reminds us why we shouldn't give up on the old oil burner just yet.
Range Rover Velar
Another new entry for 2018, this crossover fits nicely into the lexicon of Land Rover products while still claiming a particular place in the canon. Not quite a Range Rover sport but more than an Evoque, Range Rover fans will fall in love with the Velar's ultra sleek design, luxurious feel and tons of options across the five trim levels. The 2.0L turbo diesel is borrowed from the Jaguar F-Pace, but unlike the F-Pace, the Velar gives you all-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission as standard. Couple that with leather upholstery, power seats, an 11-speaker sound system, power folding door mirrors, and navigation and it isn't hard to see the Velar's appeal. Though most Range Rover drivers won't care too much about fuel economy, there's plenty of it in the Velar: 27 city/25 combined /30 highway aren't numbers you see too often on an SUV, and you're forgiven for being a bit smug about it when you tell your friends. Plus, if you really want 21-inch wheels and leather trims wherever your eye lands, the Velar is happy to do that for you too. T
Just as the Velar borrows its engine from the F-Pace, the Canyon borrows it's from the Chevrolet Colorado, another fantastic diesel truck. The inline diesel 4 has great fuel economy, and a towing capacity of up to 7700 pounds, making it perhaps the only truck that will actually save you money in the long run at the gas pump. But the Canyon really stands out with its upscale looks and square jaw, resembling the beastly beauty of the Ram. GM have gone out of their way to pack the Canyon with standard features like remoteless key entry, 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, cruise control and a host of amazing upgrades. For more offroading, there is an All terrain bundle that adds dark alloy wheels and all-terrain tires. You can also upgrade your suspension and add a rear locking differential and hill descent control. At that point you hardly need a road at all- just find a hill and have some fun scaling it.
The Jaguar XF was introduced in 2007, and diesel options have been available in the US since 2016. Simply put, this is a beautiful car that will astound you with its fuel economy. The lightweight all aluminum chassis is smooth with subtly curved lines, and the interior is bathed in the sumptuous leather that you would expect from a car of this class. Similar to the Jaguar XE, the XF has the option of a 2.0 ltr turbo diesel, 4-cylinder powertrain that generates 180 hp and 318 lb-ft of torque. The XF comes standard with Jaguar's Drive Mode system which automatically adjusts the steering, throttle response, and transmission response when you are driving in rain, snow or ice. This is a big car that makes a big impression, and that diesel grunt is unmistakable, though it's actually much quieter than a normal diesel engine. However, the handling remains nimble, and the suspension will make you wonder if the car is even on the road, or floating above it.