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2010 VW Passat BlueMotion Diesel Goes 1,531 Miles On A Single Tank

Posted in Alt Fuels, auto industry, Diesel, Fuel-efficient, Newsworthy, Volkswagen by Kurt Ernst | October 6th, 2010 | 8 Responses |

My brother in law lives near West Palm Beach, FL, and every summer he does the trek to the family cabin outside of Traverse City, MI. It’s about 1,525 miles each way, and if he owned a VW Passat BlueMotion diesel, he could make the trip without stopping for fuel. If, that is, the Passat BlueMotion diesel were available in the United States.

A 2010 VW Passat BlueMotion diesel, piloted by a journalist from the UK’s Sunday Times, just set a world record by going 1,531 miles on a single 20.4 gallon tank of diesel fuel. If you do the math, that works out to be slightly better than 75 miles per gallon, which is substantially better than real-world highway mileage returned by hybrid vehicles. The record attempt was monitored by officials from Guinness World Records, and the vehicle in question was a standard production Passat BlueMotion. I’m sure the driver did what he could to pad the numbers (draft a few tractor trailers, perhaps?), but there were no other modifications done to the vehicle.

Which raises a good point: why are we having hybrid cars rammed down our throats by virtually every manufacturer, when clean diesels are a viable (and already in production) alternative? It can’t be because of emission standards in the US, since the EU’s latest standards are much more stringent. The only reason I can think of is the misperception that, “Americans don’t like diesels”.

What American’s don’t like is cars that don’t work well. Twenty five or thirty years ago, this included diesels, and Oldsmobile (among others) failed miserably in their attempts to bring diesel to the masses in the early 1980s. Today’s diesels are a whole different breed, and they have none of the problems associated with earlier oil burners. Diesel fuel (including the low sulphur stuff required by modern engines) is more common than it ever has been, and diesel powered cars are a lot more enjoyable to drive (in my opinion, at least) than hybrids. VW has no problem in selling every TDI they import, so when will other manufacturers learn that Americans will embrace diesels, so long as they don’t suck?

Source: Autoevolution

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8 Responses

  1. Set says:

    Amen. Seriously, I couldn’t agree more. Do you know how many people drive the old Mercedes diesel’s because they’re the best/only diesel they can find? I mean, it’s a good car, but I’m sure a lot of them would choose a newer alternative if they had the option. BMW, Mercedes, and VW seem to be the only ones placing diesels in anything but trucks. A real shame. The turbo diesels really are a hoot to drive in the right platform. The only time a diesel will lose to a hybrid is city mileage. In every other facet, diesels are better.

  2. Kurt says:

    Set, my wife and I took a vacation to Germany in 2007 (before the economy went south). I wound up renting a Skoda Oktavia TDI (roughly the equivalent of a VW Jetta TDI Wagon), and the car was phenomenal. It could hum along all day at Autobahn speeds and still return reasonable mileage. We spent 2 weeks driving all over Germany (even up to Leipzig and Berlin), and my total spent on fuel was only $300, less than 1/3 of what I’d budgeted.

  3. eddie_327 says:

    in europe mercedes sells a blu-tec e class with a seven speed trans twin turbo diesel that makes 50 miles per gallon and has great pick-up.imagine a eight speed trans with a electric supercharger just for the top end they(mercedes) would have 60 easy

  4. Kurt says:

    Eddie, I hope that we start to see more options for clean diesels in the U.S. The time is right, and September’s sales number seem to agree with that – hybrid sales are down, but clean diesel sales are up.

  5. Robert M. says:

    “What American’s don’t like is cars that don’t work well.” Really? There are plenty, plenty of examples that contradict this assertion.

  6. Aaron says:

    same is the case with Hybrid. It have problems right now but wont in the future if you use it then only companies will come to know of short comings and improve the technology. The hybrid cars give great deal of MPG like for prius or some other cars.

    • Kurt Ernst says:

      Aaron, my problem with hybrids is that current models aren’t particularly entertaining to drive. They’re slow, they’re heavy and they handle like a 1975 Buick. I agree they have potential, but they’re not going to get from where they are to where they need to be overnight. In the mean time, a fuel efficient turbo-diesel is a better choice for those of us who like to drive.