Ad Radar
Diesel Power
Mobile Icon BtnMobile Icon Btn RO
Newsletter

2013 Diesel Car And SUV Buyer’s Guide

U.S. diesels are back!!!

Text By Trevor Reed, Photography by Courtesy of the Manufacturers

With the majority of diesel vehicles on U.S. roads today being fullsize trucks or vans, it may seem like there aren’t many other diesel-powered choices on the market, but that’s about to change. Model year 2013 has plenty of car and SUV offerings that should be on dealer lots by the time you read this. Thanks to ever-tightening emissions standards in the diesel utopias outside the U.S., there will finally be parity between U.S. and international regulations, making it more cost-effective for manufacturers to bring diesels here. Here is a look at what 2013 has in store for the automotive diesel enthusiast.

Audi
The fancy member of the VW Group, known as Audi, will be offering at least two diesel-powered models this year. One is the small A3 hatchback, which is debuting its diesel version for the U.S.; it’s rated by the EPA to get 42 mpg on the highway and 30 mpg in city driving conditions. The A3 is powered by the same 2.0L inline four-cylinder turbodiesel engine found under the hood of its VW car cousins, which is good for 140 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque that starts at a low 1,750 rpm and keeps boiling all the way up to 2,500 rpm. While an 8.9-second 0-to-60-mph time won’t win many street races, the A3 closes in on Prius fuel economy during freeway cruises (the Toyota gets 6 mpg more on the highway), without the complexity of hybrid systems. The A3 may share its DNA with the VW Golf four-door, but it comes with a very luxurious interior and 39 cubic feet of interior storage at a base MSRP of just $30,250—not bad when compared to the $24,000 starting price of the Prius.

If that’s not enough room or diesel power for you, then the fullsize Audi Q7 TDI SUV, with its 240hp 3.0L V6, is also available (up from 225hp in MY2012). That comes at a price, though, with a base MSRP that starts at $52,000 (not including the delivery fee or any options). The base model is definitely well equipped, which is like saying the latest Nike Air Jordans are just nice tennis shoes. Each Q7 TDI has a long list of standard features and fine interior materials and is powered by the same engine found under the hood of its cousins, the Porsche Cayenne and the VW Touareg.

Engine Specifications
Audi A3 / VW cars
Displacement: 2.0L
Configuration: I-4
Power at rpm: 140 hp at 4,200 rpm
Torque at rpm: 236 lb-ft at 1,750 rpm
Turbocharging: Single, fixed geometry
Bore x Stroke: 3.19 x 3.76-inch
Valvetrain: DOHC, 16 valves
Head Material: Aluminum alloy
Block Material: Cast iron
Transmissions: Six-speed manual or six-speed auto-manual

BMW
The BMW X5 xDrive35d is the only Bimmer diesel planned for MY2013 so far, and it’s not a bad option. The all-aluminum 3.0L inline six-cylinder, which was also used in the last-generation 3-Series, has two turbos that combine their forced induction to make 425 lb-ft of torque.

That’s enough oomph to push the fullsize, all-wheel-drive SUV to 60 mph in just 6.8 seconds—and get 26 mpg on the highway. Standard equipment includes premium leather, 10-way power seats with three levels of heating, walnut wood trim, and other bells and whistles, such as a panoramic sunroof and 10-speaker audio system.

This gearbox, made by the legendary German company ZF, should provide smooth power delivery and significant fuel economy gains compared to the five-speed auto currently offered in the Grand Cherokee. Models with the diesel drivetrain will get an “Eco Diesel” badge (according to U.S. Patent and Trademark filings reported by Truck Trend), which has led to speculation it will be used on other upcoming diesel-powered Chrysler Group vehicles.

Engine Specifications
BMW
Displacement: 3.0L
Configuration: I-6
Power at rpm: 265 hp at 4,200 rpm (MY2012)
Torque at rpm: 425 lb-ft at 1,750 rpm (MY2012)
Turbocharging: Dual, sequential
Bore x Stroke: 3.31 x 3.54-inch
Valvetrain: DOHC, 24 valves
Head Material: Aluminum alloy
Block Material: Aluminum alloy
Transmission: Six-speed shiftable automatic

Jeep
According to Automotive News, Jeep will have already stopped production of the 2013 Grand Cherokee by the end of December, for the greatest reason we can think of. Jeep plans to release the ’14 Grand Cherokee as early as January 2013, with an optional 3.0L VM Motori turbodiesel making more than 400 lb-ft of torque, backed by the ZF 8HP eight-speed automatic transmission.

Jeep/VM Motori
Displacement: 3.0L
Configuration: 60-degree V-6
Power at rpm: 237 hp at 4,000 rpm (estimate)
Torque at rpm: 406 lb-ft at 1,800 rpm (estimate)
Turbocharging: Single, variable geometry
Bore x Stroke: 3.27 x 3.62-inch
Valvetrain: DOHC 24 valves
Head Material: Aluminum alloy
Block Material: Compacted graphite iron
Transmission: Eight-speed shiftable automatic

Mercedes-Benz
Mercedes-Benz has jumped headfirst back into the U.S. diesel market and will be offering six luxury vehicles with two different engines and three levels of diesel power in the near future. The newest diesel model, the GLK250 BlueTEC 4MATIC, will arrive as early as January 2013 with a 2.1L four-cylinder engine that uses a pair of turbos to produce 190 hp and an impressive 390 lb-ft of torque, which should easily motivate the compact SUV. The diesel-equipped GLK will also come with an engine start/stop function that shuts off the engine instead of idling and a seven-speed automatic transmission to maximize fuel economy.

The 210hp, 400-lb-ft version of the 3.0L V-6 Mercedes-Benz diesel will be available in the E350 BlueTEC sedan. It’s also available in the ’12 R350 BlueTEC 4MATIC. Unfortunately, the R-Class crossover will not be sold in the U.S. for MY2013, but that means you might be able to get a deal on one left on a dealer’s lot. On the bright side, the Americans who build the R-Class in Alabama will continue to have work assembling the tall wagon for other markets.

The rest of the MBZ diesel lineup includes an optional new version of the 3.0L engine with upgraded heads for better breathing and a new turbo that allows the power to be bumped up to 240 hp and 455 lb-ft of torque. The lucky Benzes to get this engine are the flagship S350 BlueTEC 4MATIC sedan, the soccer-mom-favorite ML350 BlueTEC 4MATIC, and the GL350 BlueTEC 4MATIC large SUV. In 2012, the S-Class diesel made its first appearance since model year ’96.

Engine Specifications
Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class
Displacement: 2.1L
Configuration: I-4
Power at rpm: 190 hp at 6,500 rpm
Torque at rpm: 369 lb-ft at 1,600 rpm
Turbocharging: Dual, sequential
Bore x Stroke: 3.27 x 3.90-inch
Valvetrain: DOHC, 16 valves
Head Material: Aluminum alloy
Block Material: Cast iron
Transmission: Seven-speed shiftable automatic

Mercedes-Benz (except GLK-Class)
Displacement: 3.0L
Configuration: 72 degree, V-6
Power at rpm: 210 hp at 3,800 rpm (E-Class and R-Class)
Torque at rpm: 400 lb-ft at 1,600 rpm (E-Class and R-Class)
Power at rpm: 240 hp at 3,600 rpm (GL-, ML-, and S-Class)
Torque at rpm: 455 lb-ft at 1,600 rpm (GL-, ML-, and S-Class)
Turbocharging: Single, variable geometry
Bore x Stroke: 3.27 x 3.62-inch
Valvetrain: DOHC, 24 valves
Head Material: Aluminum alloy
Block Material: Compacted graphite iron
Transmission: Seven-speed shiftable automatic

By Trevor Reed
Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!
0 comments