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Car and Driver Feb 2009 - some good points but they fail to compare cars across the same class. No Jetta TDI to Jetta 2.0T or 2.5 comparison.

"Hybrid vs. Diesel"
They're crazy for diesel cars in Europe, where oil burners have outsold gas burners since 2006. But it won't happen here, never mind that we've already enjoyed more than 11,000 miles in our VW Jetta TDI long-term car. It brings punch, turbocharged midrange torque and a 4500 rpm redline, resulting in a vigorous runabout with a low pulse rate while cruising. Mileage so far is 37.3 mpg.
But the price of diesel fuel is a deal killer. A stop in early November at an Exxon station in the Gulf Coast town of Port St. Joe Florida was typical: At $3.30 per gallon, diesel was 94 cents more than regular, a 40-percent difference. A few weeks later, we often saw diesel priced $1 a gallon above regular in Texas.
Using the nationwide average price for diesel ($2.66) and regular gasoline ($1.89) from www.eia.doe.gov in late November, we compared the Jetta fuel costs with those of the hybrids ehre, using the EPA combined mileage for each car. Fuel cost for the diesel calculated out to 8.1 cents per mile versus 5.6 for both the Altima and the Camry, or 45 percent higher for the VW diesel over those two hybrids. So much for diesels as economy cars.
While turbo-diesels have a well earned reputation for energetic acceleration, thee hybrids here leave the Jetta for dead as it saunters to 60 in 8.1 seconds, a full second slower than the Altima and a half second behind the Camry.
For Al Gore types worried about greenhouse gasses, the diesel is a loser, too. Diesel fuel produces more carbon dioxide per gallon burned due to its higher energy content, according to www.eia.doe.gov, but it also emits more CO2 per BTU of energy. Using EPA combined mileage, the diesel Jetta emits 0.67 pound of CO2 per mile compared with 0.57 for the Altima and the Camry.
The powertrain warranty on the Jetta is five years of 60,000 miles. Nissan, Toyota, and Ford warranty the hybrid system, including the battery, for eight years or 100,000 miles (10 years or 150,000 miles in the 10 states that have adopted California emissions regulations). While "powertrain" and "hybrid system" warranties don't cover the exact same list of parts, the latter seems to offer more protection.
Diesel-car prospects for the US? Between dim and dubious.
 

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I've said this for a while, diesel is slowly shifting towards performance, not economy. More power in the Jetta TDI is only a half performance/economy product. The Audis and BMWs will be oriented towards performance. For example, the new BMW V6 diesel has more torque than any other engine in their current lineup. I think their v12 has a little more but isn't made anymore. They could have used the smaller engine to boost economy but it would still offer good performance. Since there is no official Audi TDI, let's hope they offer both options : performance v6 engine and an economical 4 cylinder.

And since most people buy a Jetta TDI for economy and it was hyped as a green TDI, it's fair to make this comparison. It's not a direct comparison by any means but merely fair.
 
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Diesel used to be the clear winner...not so much anymore.
 

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Unfortunately, it's true. VW was hyping 60 mpg highway on the new TDI. Mid 40s is a big difference...hybrids are getting the development money, diesels are mostly for Europe. Different driving styles and different markets.
 

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Emissions are too strict on passenger cars. They should put some emissions controls on trucks since that would offset all the passenger car diesel emissions.
 

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This article assumes that you bought the car new and compares it to new cars. I bought the car used and at the price point and model year, the older cars are still worth it. And most of those long warranties only apply to the original owner - they shorten the warranty to the second owner.
 

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If they want to bring the Polo here, that would help....

I saw a news report on the new ford flex being very competitive with the prius, both were revealed at the detriot auto show....they look pretty good...again, looks like diesel is moving into the performance engine option.
 

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if they started using diesel engines in the hybrids I'd be worried about normal diesel or turbo diesels like the TDI's being bumped from the market. Chitty's article on the hybrid reality is spot on though and I think there will be a place for everyone for some time to come. The hybrid market is aimed more at those who want to do just what politicians do...feel good policy. The folks who actually use a vehicle for real life outside the big city have found that the turbo diesel powered auto is more efficient and usally lower maintainance than an equivilant gas powered vehicle. Even at 30% higher fuel costs the diesel is still a winner because of longevity and maintainance costs. Hybrids may have better mileage in the city doing stop and go when compared to the turbo diesel but get them on the highway and the turbos rule. I'm new to the TDI having picked up my 2006 jetta this week but I've been driving an F350 powerstroke for the last 10 years. In my opinion the diesel is much more sound and the expenses I've saved in 140K miles for tuneups and maintainance have been worth it all. The book value of the truck is much higher than the gas versions too as is also true of the TDI's. Hybrids and diesels are a niche in the US and likely will be that way for some time.....its a niche I'm happy to be part of too.

Frank
 
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