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2014 Car and SUV Diesel Buyer’s Guide

The Next Wave Of Diesel Options

Text By Trevor Reed, Photography by The Manufacturers

Porsche
The Porsche Cayenne Diesel is available with a 3.0L V-6 turbodiesel that’s rated to get 29 mpg on the highway. The engine is tuned for 240 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque and pushes the Cayenne from 0 to 60 mph in 7.2 seconds. An eight-speed shiftable automatic transmission is standard along with a full-time, four-wheel-drive system. The drivetrain uses a Torsen limited-slip center differential along with the Porsche Traction Management system of electronic assistants to maximize traction and stability.

Coming Soon:
Porsche hasn’t announced any new diesel models, but the popular Panamera four-door sport sedan is sold overseas with the 3.0L turbodiesel. The soon-to-be-released Porsche Macan small SUV shares its architecture with the Audi Q5, so please let us entertain you with some wild speculation that there will be a Macan equipped with the 313hp and 479-lb-ft twin-turbo 3.0L diesel found in the European-spec Audi SQ5 TDI.

VW
Once again, VW has the most diesel vehicles for sale in the U.S., with seven different TDI models. The Jetta sedan, Jetta SportWagen, Golf hatchback, Passat sedan, Beetle, Beetle Convertible, and Touareg SUV are all available with turbodiesel engines. All models, except for the Touareg, use VW’s 2.0L four-cylinder engine that’s rated at 140 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque. That engine is hooked to either a six-speed manual transmission (the only manual available for diesels in the U.S.), or a six-speed DSG auto-manual transmission that uses a dual-clutch system instead of a torque converter like a traditional automatic. Jetta models now have a fully independent rear suspension, which replaces the unpopular minivan-style torsion beam setup VW tried for a few years to reduce costs.

The ’14 Touareg TDI continues to be sold with the first-generation 3.0L V-6, but it now makes the same 240 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque as Porsche’s Cayenne (up from 225 hp last year). The engine is mated to an eight-speed shiftable automatic and VW’s 4Motion all-wheel-drive system with a Torsen center differential and electronic enhancements. The Touareg is now available in R-Line trim that includes sport suspension tuning, 20-inch aluminum wheels, unique LED tail lamps, and lots of interior and exterior appearance upgrades.

Coming Soon:
Volkswagen has announced that the ’15 GTD “hot hatch” diesel based on the Golf will finally be coming to the U.S., equipped with a hopped-up, next-generation version of the 2.0L diesel engine and tuned to 184 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque. The more pedestrian version of the next-gen 2.0L will also arrive for the ’15 model year in the Jetta, Passat, and Beetle. Unfortunately, the limited-run XL-1 diesel-electric plug-in hybrid with its 800cc two-cylinder drivetrain capable of 262 mpge is not slated to come to the U.S.

Engine Specifications
Audi/Porsche/VW
Displacement: 2.0L
Configuration: Inline four-cylinder
Power: 140 hp at 4,200 rpm
Torque: 236 lb-ft at 1,750 rpm
Power: 184 hp at 4,200 rpm (GTD—Europe only)
Torque: 280 lb-ft at 1,750 rpm (GTD—Europe only)
Turbocharging: Fixed-geometry turbo
Bore x Stroke: 3.19 x 3.76 inch
Valvetrain: DOHC 16 valves
Head Material: Aluminum
Block Material: Cast iron
Transmissions: Six-speed manual or six-speed auto-manual

Displacement: 3.0L (first-gen)
Configuration: V-6 90-degree
Power: 240 hp at 3,500 rpm
Torque: 406 lb-ft at 1,750 rpm
Turbocharging: Variable-geometry turbo
Bore x Stroke: 3.27 x 3.60 inch
Valvetrain: DOHC 24 valves
Head Material: Aluminum
Block Material: Compacted graphite iron
Transmission: Eight-speed shiftable automatic

Displacement: 3.0L (second-gen, select ’14 Audi models)
Configuration: V-6 90-degree
Power: 240 hp at 3,500 rpm
Torque: 428 lb-ft at 1,750 rpm
Power: 240 hp at 3,500 rpm (A8 L/Q7)
Torque: 406 lb-ft at 1,750 rpm (A8 L/Q7)
Turbocharging: Variable-geometry turbo
Bore x Stroke: 3.27 x 3.60 inch
Valvetrain: DOHC 24 valves
Head Material: Aluminum
Block Material: Compacted graphite iron
Transmission: Eight-speed shiftable automatic

Diesel MPG Shootout
The fuel economy rating system by the Department of Energy outlines various test procedures meant to mimic driving in city traffic, highway cruising, or a real-world combination of both. Unless the Mazda6 or Mercedes-Benz E-Class pulls an upset, the Chevy Cruze and BMW 328d will hold bragging rights for the best fuel economy ratings for model year 2014.

Vehicle City Combined Highway
Audi A3* 30 34 42
Audi A6 24 29 38
Audi A7 24 29 38
Audi A8 L 24 28 36
Audi Q5 24 27 31
Audi Q7 19 22 28
BMW 328d 32 37 45
BMW 328d xDrive 31 35 43
BMW 328d xDrive Sports Wagon 31 35 43
BMW 535d 26 30 38
BMW 535d xDrive 26 30 37
BMW X5 xDrive35d TBD TBD TBD
Chevrolet Cruze 27 33 46
Jeep Grand Cherokee 2WD 22* TBD 30*
Jeep Grand Cherokee 4WD TBD TBD TBD
Mazda Mazda6 Skyactiv-D TBD TBD TBD
MBZ E-Class TBD TBD TBD
MBZ GL-Class 19 22 26
MBZ GLK-Class 24 28 33
MBZ M-Class 20 23 28
MBZ S-Class* 21 25 31
Porsche Cayenne 20 23 29
VW Beetle (manual) 28 32 41
VW Beetle (auto-manual) 29 32 39
VW Beetle Convertible (manual) 28 32 41
VW Beetle Convertible (auto-manual) 28 31 37
VW Golf (manual) 30 34 42
VW Golf (auto-manual) 30 34 42
VW Jetta (manual) 30 34 42
VW Jetta (auto-manual) 30 34 42
VW Jetta SportWagen (manual) 30 34 42
VW Jetta SportWagen (auto-manual) 29 33 39
VW Passat (manual) 31 35 43
VW Passat (auto-manual) 30 34 40
VW Touareg 20 23 29

*2013 MPG ratings; 2014 ratings may be higher.
Check fueleconomy.gov for the latest updates.

SOURCES
Porsche
Atlanta
GA
http://www.porsche.com/
Jeep
877-426-5337
http://www.jeep.com
Mercedes-Benz
3 Mercedes Drive
Montvale
NJ  07645
800-367-6372
www.mbusa.com
Audi Of North America
www.audiusa.com
Volkswagen
2200 Ferdinand Porsche Drive
Herndon
VA  20171
703-364-7000
www.vw.com
BMW of North America
300 Chestnut Ridge Rd
Woodcliff lake
NJ  07677
www.bmwusa.com
U.S. Department Of Energy
1000 Independence Ave., SW
Washington
DC  20585
202-586-4403
http://www.fueleconomy.gov
Mazda North America
800-248-0459
www.mazdausa.com
Chevrolet
P.O. Box 33170
Detroit
MI  48323
www.chevrolet.com
By Trevor Reed
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1 comments
CanadaDennis
CanadaDennis

The Skyactiv diesel Mazda is offering is the most intriguing of the whole group.   Unfortunately it is not available yet due to emissions testing.  Maybe will be available in the new year.