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    Thread: Is there a market here for small engine diesel luxury cars in the US?

    1. 10-12-2012 11:17 AM #1
      I've lived years in Europe and towards the end I had a 2011 Opel Astra Wagon with a 1.7 turbo-diesel.... I NEVER felt like it needed more power even loaded. It would easily cruise at 160kph (100mph), while getting 45mpg and still have plenty of room to keep accelerating. I also rode in a few taxis that were Mercedes E220CDI and loved them!

      Now I know the Astra is no luxury car, but I wish I could buy a new E250CDI here in America, I want the room and luxury, but I have no need for power, I drive 40k miles a year and if I could just get something nice like an E-class that will also get excellent economy I'd be sold.

      My Astra dwarfing my cousin's Twingo


      What I want:

    2. Geriatric Member ATL_Av8r's Avatar
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      10-12-2012 11:22 AM #2
      If there was, they'd be here already
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      10-12-2012 11:24 AM #3
      Quote Originally Posted by I_like_waffles View Post
      What I want:
      id buy one of those. maybe even new.


      but no dice though, their target market here in the states wants lots of power off idle and to not have to use more than 30% throttle when merging (slowly) onto the freeway. a smaller motor that needed to be flogged even harder to function in traffic definitely wouldnt fly here...

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      10-12-2012 11:31 AM #4
      A3?
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      10-12-2012 11:34 AM #5
      Quote Originally Posted by Aonarch View Post
      A3?
      OP specified luxury
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      10-12-2012 11:37 AM #6
      Quote Originally Posted by ValveCoverGasket View Post
      id buy one of those. maybe even new.


      but no dice though, their target market here in the states wants lots of power off idle and to not have to use more than 30% throttle when merging (slowly) onto the freeway. a smaller motor that needed to be flogged even harder to function in traffic definitely wouldnt fly here...
      Welcome to Diesel Town, population: Torque.
      US Drivers act like they need hp, but it's really the torque wave they want to ride. Low Revs and minimal pedal input is the Diesel M.O.
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    7. 10-12-2012 11:37 AM #7
      A3 TDI

      Add options to fit your needs

      /thread

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      10-12-2012 11:39 AM #8
      Quote Originally Posted by ATL_Av8r View Post
      OP specified luxury
      Yeah that was why I put in the ? mark.
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      10-12-2012 11:40 AM #9
      Quote Originally Posted by Spdmini View Post
      Welcome to Diesel Town, population: Torque.
      US Drivers act like they need hp, but it's really the torque wave they want to ride. Low Revs and minimal pedal input is the Diesel M.O.
      yup, i have a mercedes diesel.

      i just dont see one of the larger luxury brands selling anything smaller than they already do, maybe if theyre forced eventually to do it via regulation.
      in europe mercedes makes all kinds of cars and not every e class is viewed as a fully loaded luxury car.... that and the price of fuel i think allow them to sell tiny motors in those cars without too much of an issue.

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      10-12-2012 12:04 PM #10
      Quote Originally Posted by I_like_waffles View Post
      What I want:
      I am all with you, that thing above also comes with:

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      10-12-2012 12:06 PM #11
      Basically, no. I think a lot of folks like the idea of them, I think that very few would actually go ahead and do it.

      To the extent that there's a market for diesel luxury cars, I think it's SUVs, not compacts. My feeling is that hybrids, EVs, and PHEVs are more marketable in the compact luxury space. And the market backs me up on that.
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      10-12-2012 12:13 PM #12
      my preference is for a large sedan/wagon with a small diesel. something like that low displacement e class wagon would be perfect. manual or no manual i dont care, but i dont really feel the need to row my own gears in something like that... but the mileage would be great

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      10-12-2012 12:21 PM #13
      Quote Originally Posted by ATL_Av8r View Post
      If there was, they'd be here already
      x2.

      The US doesn't have the right climate for diesels. Cars are not as expensive as Europe and we have far fewer taxes on displacement or emissions.

      I'll bet you if European countries dropped emissions/engine size taxes and lowered fuel prices big hulking engines would become popular overnight
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      10-12-2012 12:35 PM #14
      Friend of mine lives both in Germany and in the USA.

      In the USA he has a CTS-V which he claims costs less to buy, insure and fuel up than his Mondeo diesel he has in Germany.
      ■■■■■■■■■■■■

    15. Geriatric Member ValveCoverGasket's Avatar
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      10-12-2012 12:54 PM #15
      Quote Originally Posted by eunos94 View Post
      Friend of mine lives both in Germany and in the USA.

      In the USA he has a CTS-V which he claims costs less to buy, insure and fuel up than his Mondeo diesel he has in Germany.
      this is news? cars, and all things associated with car ownership, are expensive in europe.

    16. 10-12-2012 12:59 PM #16
      Quote Originally Posted by mx07gt View Post
      A3 TDI

      Add options to fit your needs

      /thread
      I'd much prefer a wagon, and I've had too many bad experiences with VAG products :/

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      10-12-2012 01:15 PM #17
      We'll find out as within the next year there will be a bunch of luxury diesels on the market.

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      10-12-2012 01:19 PM #18
      There may be, as the diesel market is growing in the states. However, the only small engine diesel luxury vehicle sold here does not sell in any significant numbers. Audi A3 TDI. That said, the A3 is long in the tooth and a small hatchback.....an A4 wagon TDi may have been a better move.

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      10-12-2012 02:02 PM #19


      Mine. As luxurious as I can get in the US with my needs.

      If I was in Europe I would have a 3 series touring or A4 Avant diesel.
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      10-12-2012 02:04 PM #20
      any small engine is a pretty hard sell in the US.
      much less a small diesel in a big car.

      i would really like to see more small diesels, DI gassers, hybrids, etc in all segments.
      we have gone power and displacement hungry in the US and fleet fuel economy suffers because of it.
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    21. Senior Member dunhamjr's Avatar
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      10-12-2012 02:05 PM #21
      Quote Originally Posted by Aonarch View Post


      Mine. As luxurious as I can get in the US with my needs.

      If I was in Europe I would have a 3 series touring or A4 Avant diesel.
      every time i see this damn pic i want to go buy one.


      hmm... i guess my wife DOES need a new car...
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    22. Banned Chris Stack's Avatar
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      10-12-2012 02:08 PM #22
      Remember when BMW sold a crapload of these? Yeah, me neither.


    23. 10-12-2012 02:31 PM #23
      Quote Originally Posted by Chris Stack View Post
      Remember when BMW sold a crapload of these? Yeah, me neither.

      Remember when the OP said Small Engine Diesel? yeah, this is not it.


      I think there absolutely is a market for small engine diesel luxury AND non-luxury vehicles. The reason why that 335d didn't do well was because it didn't really offer that much more than a 328i in terms of performance and fuel economy, but it was priced very close to a base M3 when decently optioned.

      Now had BMW given us a 320d priced at around the same as a base 328i people would be willing to give up a little performance for a huge improvement in fuel economy and I suspect things would have been much different in the sales front. Small engine diesel today doesn't mean small power. Only a few years ago a 6 cylinder 3.0 E320 diesel made about 200 hp and 360 lb/ft of torque and it was refer to as a freight train. Today almost every maker which offers diesel powertrains can get very similar power figures from 2.0 and 2.2 4 cylinder diesel engines while achieving even better fuel economy. There's a market for these engines almost every where in the world, I don't see what makes the US market so different or special for these diesel engines not to make sense.

    24. Senior Member dunhamjr's Avatar
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      10-12-2012 02:31 PM #24
      Quote Originally Posted by Chris Stack View Post
      Remember when BMW sold a crapload of these? Yeah, me neither.

      true.
      but also. they went with the performance diesel, rather then the lesser powered frugal diesel.

      things could have been a lot different if they sold a 320d instead of the 335d.
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      10-12-2012 02:34 PM #25
      Quote Originally Posted by dunhamjr View Post
      every time i see this damn pic i want to go buy one.


      hmm... i guess my wife DOES need a new car...
      Do it. Mine is slightly modded though.

      Quote Originally Posted by dunhamjr View Post
      true.
      but also. they went with the performance diesel, rather then the lesser powered frugal diesel.

      things could have been a lot different if they sold a 320d instead of the 335d.
      I want a 335d bad. I could just never find one priced reasonably CPO.
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      10-12-2012 02:40 PM #26
      Quote Originally Posted by dunhamjr View Post
      true.
      but also. they went with the performance diesel, rather then the lesser powered frugal diesel.

      things could have been a lot different if they sold a 320d instead of the 335d.
      I doubt it.

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      10-12-2012 02:41 PM #27
      Quote Originally Posted by Aonarch View Post
      Do it. Mine is slightly modded though.

      I want a 335d bad. I could just never find one priced reasonably CPO.
      i am very tempted. but we have decent cars now. she is driving an 04 tdi passat wagon. a new tdi jetta sw would be an even bigger payment. we just had a kid (4 months) and are still getting used to the new bills and budget after paying a nanny.

      i do want a 335d for myself.
      i have found a couple that were pretty good. though i am not finding a color combo that really grabs me... and again, back to the budget thing with the nanny and my Saab 9-5 SC is paid off.

      modding doesnt bother me.
      hell i still have a set of mk5 HR ultra lows and mercedes alphards in the garage i could toss at it.
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      10-12-2012 02:43 PM #28
      Quote Originally Posted by Chris Stack View Post
      I doubt it.
      i dont.

      a 40-45mpg BMW 320d would have been great.
      i am sure they would have sold many of those instead of selling 328's.

      AND a 320d wouldnt have run into as many cost issues, since the 335d's price was pushing up against the 335 gasser.
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      10-12-2012 02:45 PM #29
      Quote Originally Posted by dunhamjr View Post
      i dont.

      a 40-45mpg BMW 320d would have been great.
      i am sure they would have sold many of those instead of selling 328's.

      AND a 320d wouldnt have run into as many cost issues, since the 335d's price was pushing up against the 335 gasser.
      So...335d didn't sell because 335i, but 320d would sell despite 328i?

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      10-12-2012 02:50 PM #30
      Quote Originally Posted by Chris Stack View Post
      So...335d didn't sell because 335i, but 320d would sell despite 328i?
      yes and no.

      people look at a $50-60k price and say DAMN, i want the bestest, fastest, badasserest car i can get.

      down around $32-35k... the decision to get the BMW that gets 25mpg or 45mpg becomes pretty simplistic.

      also because diesel buyers are not going to stretch from the Jetta/Golf TDI price point of $23-30k... up to $50-60k. but moving slightly up market to get the 320d at $35k would not have been too big a stretch.

      edit:
      do i think a 320d would have been the greatest sales hit of the world? no, not what i am saying.

      would it have sold much better then the 335d? yep.
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      10-12-2012 02:52 PM #31
      I'd love to see more Diesel offerings...

      Every time the manufactuers try though the things just don't sell. Like another poster said given the market we live in, the answer is self explanitory because they are not here!

      The biggest reason they do so well in europe is mostly due to the size of the roads in a lot of places favoring smaller cars, and of course the biggest reason being fuel costs.

      Fuel is still really cheap in NA compared to most of the world, and the premium you pay for a diesel over a gasser doesn't really justify the fuel savings. I honestly don't think the average driver much cares about the differences in how the motors perform, it's usually just about the $$$.

    32. 10-12-2012 02:56 PM #32
      Quote Originally Posted by Chris Stack View Post
      So...335d didn't sell because 335i, but 320d would sell despite 328i?
      no, the 335d didn't sell because it offered 328i performance and fuel economy at 335is price. a 320d would give you good performance, really good fuel economy at 328i or below price. People who wanted performance bought the 335i, more budget minded people bought the 328i. The 335d basically an out of place vehicle.

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      10-12-2012 02:57 PM #33
      Quote Originally Posted by dunhamjr View Post
      i dont.

      a 40-45mpg BMW 320d would have been great.
      i am sure they would have sold many of those instead of selling 328's.

      AND a 320d wouldnt have run into as many cost issues, since the 335d's price was pushing up against the 335 gasser.
      Would committed, real BMW drivers have gone for it? We'll see, since they're bringing that diesel for the X3 and X1, and probably 3-series, soon. Personally I wouldn't bet on it selling well outside the SUVs.
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    34. 10-12-2012 02:58 PM #34
      Quote Originally Posted by Chris Stack View Post
      So...335d didn't sell because 335i, but 320d would sell despite 328i?
      The 335d didn't sell because it was too expensive (similar price to the 335i) without much of a fuel economy or performance improvement over the 328i. The 320d could sell for a price similar to the 328i but offer not much inferior performance for significantly improved fuel economy. Hence, yes it would sell.

      The 335d was a mistake.

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      10-12-2012 02:58 PM #35
      Quote Originally Posted by Shomegrown View Post
      We'll find out as within the next year there will be a bunch of luxury diesels on the market.
      What's going to be coming out?
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