Originally Posted by Einzelherz
A gooseman thread. Feelin' old now.
Since I've never owned one, what is the appeal of a front drive diesel other than fuel economy?
The primary appeal is fuel economy, but driveability is a big plus too. They match the way the vast majority of people drive much better than gasoline engines. Quentin is right, but most people only rarely crack 4,000 rpm.
Look at the gearing of most gasoline cars today. A 4cyl Camry turns like 2,000 rpm at 75 MPH in sixth. The ~240+ ft-lb available from a diesel at that RPM is really nice in terms of avoiding downshifts while climbing hills. And the fuel economy is better to boot, yielding easy 500+ mile cruising ranges. Downside is the purchase cost and complexity (repair cost) of diesel engines.
If the US Government would abandon the stupid 2.5 MPH bumpers and US consumers would get over their fear of towing with anything smaller than an F150, you'd see the advantage of passenger car diesels in terms of towing capability as well. The 140hp Golf diesel is rated to tow over 3,000 lb in Europe.
For enthusiasts who enjoy winding their cars out gasoline engines are better for sure, but as always, we're in the minority.
<--- Owned a 2000 Jetta Tdi, which my mom still has.