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A Car That Gets 65 Miles Per Gallon?! Not in the US

Picture this: a brand-new, five-seat compact car, complete with a navigation system, gas mileage up to 65 miles per gallon, and a $1,300 tax deduction with purchase. Are you ready to buy? Well you'll have to move to Europe first!

High oil prices mean that Americans are hungry for more gas-efficient cars. But, the new Ford ECOnetic Fiesta,, which runs on diesel, will not be offered to the American driver. To find out why diesel is a deal breaker,


Diesel pollution risks have motivated state lawmakers to tax diesel pumps more than gasoline. In addition, there are not enough refineries to produce large supplies. Mix in the fact that the Fiesta's diesel engine is made in pricey Britain, Ford doesn't think it can sell enough to make the car a smart business decision in the US.

There are indications that other (ironically foreign) companies will start selling ultra-clean-diesel cars in America. Volkswagen and Mercedes have cars coming out soon, which include a pollution trap that must be maintained. Purchasers of these new diesel cars will also receive a tax credit.

Do you think diesel will solve the US's gas woes, or will it just risk more pollution when the cars aren't maintained?


ilanac13 ilanac13 9 years
i don't really think that diesel is going to be the solution for us. i think that we've all known about it since trucks have used it for ages, but if we're trying to find ways to be better for the environment, then this may not be the best way to go. i like the idea of 65 miles to a gallon though, so i hope that they keep working at it and see what can be done.
True-Song True-Song 9 years
Of course! I look forward to it.
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
Torg - I don't have time to respond to you right now, can I do it in a PM later? Snow - You CAN legally drive them, you cannot legally buy new ones and bring them into the state (though that has changed and now you can buy 09 models in both Cali and NY). But you CAN legally drive ones that are over 2 years old and thus considered "used". I know this because one of my jobs is to buy cars at auctions for a dealer to sell and one of my dealers is in NY.
Nyrina-Windu Nyrina-Windu 9 years
I favor any car that saves me, and that's not completely ugly :)
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 9 years
Hausfrau- I've only lived in NY and Cali, and pre-2000 cars are hard to come by. I did have one friend who drove diesel (a peugot) and everyone LOVED it. But my guess is Cali and NY would be the states people would be most interested in driving diesel, considering the popularity of hybrids here, so to say diesel isn't that popular, when we legally CAN'T drive them is a little misleading.
True-Song True-Song 9 years
Haus, a couple things. One, I don't mean to be challenging, but I would love to see an article or something about Civic Hybrid sales. I have googled a bit and haven't seen anything. Do you remember where you read that? It wouldn't surprise me if you're right, there was a prius craze that, in my opinion, peaked around the gas spikes post-Katrina. On the other hand, though, I chose a Civic because I think Priuses look like space ships, and I like my car to look normal. (The original models looked like crappy Ford Focuses, the new ones are the rounder space ship ones.) It also surprises me that they have "failed" since they're still making them, and they don't seem to have changed them very much. As far as I know, they still look just like regular Civics, but they say hybrid on the back. (The original ones also had a small spoiler on the back, but it's not like most people knew to look for that, though I do and wave at other owners.) It would also seem like the Honda Insight would have been much more popular, then, since it was very distinctive looking (and got even better mileage.) Two, I'm curious as to just how green most people think the Prius is and how that compares to how green it actually is. Is your assertion that most people think it has zero emissions or gets, like, 100 mpg? Do you just mean that most people think the Prius is the most fuel efficient car there is, where you know of at least one kind of diesel car that you're seeing 70 mpg, and then the Honda Insight that also is rated at up to 70 mpg? Three, the Prius would not be the best option for me, another reason I went for the Civic. I live in a pretty urban area, but when I bought it I had a 20 mile, mostly freeway commute, and now I drive quite a bit for work, mostly on the freeway. The Prius gets better city mileage because it's a Full hybrid system, basically an electric car with a gas helper engine, so it is completely electric at speeds under 35 mph (or so, don't quote me). The Civic, on the other hand, is and Integrated Motor Assist system, basically a gas car with an electric helper engine. So, the gas is running all the time, but the electric motor gives a boost when pulling away from an intersection, accelerating, or going at a high speed. Four, I'm curious, did the person you know who drives a TDI have to do something special to the engine? I've been googling a bit, and I saw where someone set a record for 76 mpg using biodiesel, and I saw the new VW Golf diesel hybrid (best of both!) that will get 69 mpg when released. But from what I saw (and granted, I didn't spend tons of time to dig deep) most people were getting mid 40s and "hypermilers" could stretch it into the 50s (on a trip, no AC, etc). If that's not been your experience, though, I would love to hear more about it (here or PM me). Our last car purchase was in '05, but the Man is due for a new one soon, and we've known we want to make it a diesel car for a while now. The decision is whether to get a new one or to get, say, an old Mercedes and to make our own biofuel. I would love to get an old car (with a bench front seat!), but then you have to be much more careful with putting biodiesel in it, because basically it is so pure that it will immediately sweep any gunk away and ruin the engine. So, you have to start with a blend that is mostly regular diesel and work your way up. On the other hand, if you start with a brand new diesel car, you can put 100% biodiesel in there right away, but since it already gets amazing mileage, you may as well use regular diesel. (Plus no bench seat for me, far less tinkering for him.) In conclusion (to my essay here on cars), I'm in favor of anything that gets people out of their Hummers and thinking about how much they use. I think one of the most important things in my car is the meter that tells me at any given time what my current mpg is and my average. It's a powerful incentive to let off the gas a bit, slow down, and watch the number climb. Full hybrid system, Integrated Motor Assist, Stop-start, Diesel, Hydrogen, Natural Gas, I'm excited about it.
cotedazur cotedazur 9 years
Hausfrau is right on... I live in France, and everyone drives diesel here! Diesel is taxed less than gas so it's cheaper, the cars need less maintenance, they get better mileage, they pollute less, and if you get a TDI engine they're a lot of fun to drive. I've seen a few Priuses around, but when you have the diesel alternative a hybrid seems much less appealing.
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
oh and I should add a caveat... Torg the Prius is probably the best choice for you because I think you live in a city right? In the city, the Prius gets better mileage than a diesel because under 55 mph it runs on battery. However, if you had a lot commute on a highway or drove mostly on highways (very little stop and go) then a diesel is a better choice because they get better mileage that way.
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
Snowbunny you've completely missed every point I've made. I'm not bashing Prius drivers, but diesel engines have been around 4x as long and are available in all the states (CA and NY only have the older ones, pre 2000, but since its a diesel, they last far longer than other cars). The problem with the Prius is that its NOT as clean as people think it is. And there IS a better investment and greener option available. As far as the trendy part, thats a fact as I've said, I think twice now, there are numerous studies to back it up. I don't fault people who drive Priuses, I fault people who don't do their homework and more than them, the US gov't for keeping these better options out of the country to protect their special interests in Michigan.
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 9 years
Hausfrau- the hybrid is popular because it is our only option right now. Honda made a car that runs on hydrogen and gave out 250 testers to people in Cali, I wonder how that is going. What would make a diesel car less trendy than a hybrid? And why wouldn't someone be able to make a diesel hybrid eventually? As far as the "Priuses are trendy" they've been around for like 5 years now. I think people would love something new. I drive a civic hybrid and I love it. I don't even get what priuses have to do with this post? This car is made by Ford not Toyota? Just another way for the right to bash people who choose to drive Priuses..."omg look at that elitist in a Prius!" (Laughs from her Hummer).
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
Torg - The Civic Hybrid didn't sell nearly as many as they predicted. The Prius accounts for 75% of hybrid sales. There was discussion at Honda as to whether or not to continue making the Civic Hybrid. Then they did a study and basically found out that people didn't like hybrids that looked like regular models, they wanted something that looked hybrid-y. So manufacturers now are struggling to come up with those kinds of autos. The Prius brand is so successful that Toyota is thinking of spinning it out to its on brand entirely.
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 9 years
The conservative radio hosts have been talking about this car for a bit now. EPA is keeping the car out. Doesn't make sense to me.
True-Song True-Song 9 years
The Civic Hybrid failed? In what way?
milosmommy milosmommy 9 years
wow that's pretty impressive hausfrau...if only we could get on board.
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
sorry, I meant to say 3x the mileage... my cousin's TDI does 65/73
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
The clean diesel that is in the pumps right now is just as clean as regular gasoline, its all low sulphur, add to that that a diesel engine does in some cases 2x the amount of mileage and thats a pretty clean car. Then consider that a diesel engine needs far less maintenance (oil changes at ever 10,000 miles or more) and that we know exactly how they work, how long they last, how to repair them, and how to make them better and it begs the question, why are hybrids even around? The answer is that people who drive hybrids want other people to know they drive hybrids. Its a status symbol. There have been numerous marketing studies that have proven this and one only has to look at the failure or the Civic hybrid to realize that its a pretty accurate statement. Plus the people in this country still picture black smoke when they picture a diesel even though that couldn't be further from the case now. I'm never one to be envious of Europe, but when it comes to this situation, Europeans are dead on and this country is sorely lacking.
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
It's still going to end up being the responsibility of the owners. There will definitely be people who just won't maintain them properly, just as there are people who don't get their cars smogged and thus let the registrations lapse.
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