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Diesel Engines Becoming Increasingly Popular in the U.S.

Vehicles equipped with diesel engines are becoming more popular as American consumers are looking for more fuel-efficient vehicles, and maybe aren’t thrilled with the prospect of buying an electric or hybrid car. Diesel engines are about 30 to 35 percent more fuel-efficient than a similar-sized gasoline engine, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. They also produce a lot more torque than gas engines, making them feel faster and more powerful.

“Surveys show the proportion of American car shoppers willing to consider a diesel has jumped to 32 percent last year from 12 percent five years earlier,” says The Detroit News. In order to keep up with this growing demand, more diesel models will be available stateside in the next several years.

A representative from auto part supplier Bosch who spoke to The Detroit News said that “between 2011 and 2014, the number of models equipped with clean diesels will double in the U.S. market, to 50 from 25.” To date, most vehicles in the U.S. equipped with diesel engines are either heavy-duty pickup trucks or German cars and SUVs, like the Volkswagen Jetta or BMW 3-series. Diesel engines that will be available in the U.S. soon are coming from Mazda, who will introduce its Skyactiv-D diesel engine in early 2013, as well as a Chevrolet Cruze diesel and a Jeep Grand Cherokee diesel. According to Car and Driver, Mini will likely introduce a diesel engine on its next generation Mini Cooper as well.

Sales of diesel vehicles grew 27.4 percent in 2011 compared with a 2.2 percent decline in hybrid vehicle sales, reports Autoblog. In addition to the increasing popularity of diesel-powered vehicles, part of the decline in hybrid sales may be attributed to the increasing fuel efficiency of non-hybrid gasoline models, such as the Hyundai Elantra and Ford Focus, both of which can achieve 40 miles per gallon on the highway.

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