After years of carrying a rather negative stigma in the U.S., it appears that consumers here in the states have drastically changed their opinion of diesel automobiles.
In fact, among consumers likely to purchase a car in the next two years, almost a third (31 percent) said they are likely to consider a diesel, according to a recent study by Consumer Reports based on the findings of a recent survey conducted by the National Association for Convenience and Fuel Retailing (NACS).
Top reason noted for considering a diesel car? You guessed it – better fuel economy.
The other top four reason for potentially opting for a diesel powertrain, drawn from an online survey of 1,200 Americans, included better for the environment, more reliable, less maintenance than gas engines and the ability to use biodiesel.
Consumer Reports, however, is quick to note that some of those perceptions might be a bit misleading. For one, while diesel models can provide for greater fuel economy, the powertrain’s often carry an added expense because diesel fuel tends to be higher than regular gasoline.
Secondly, while perceived to be better than the environment, the smog-forming emissions are typically greater with diesel engines than with gas-fueled cars, notes the report.
Consumer Reports also notes that while the idea that diesel engines are more reliable might have been true in the past, that’s no longer the case. Based on their research, there hasn’t been a significant difference in the reliability data provided for gas and diesel engines to make that assessment.
Still, the shift in consumer opinion about diesel cars is likely welcomed news for automakers adding more diesel models to their U.S. line-up – even if the perceptions of the technology is little off.
Photo Source: The Car Connection