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Best Diesel Cars On The Market

The Diesel Cars Everyone Should Consider

Our list of diesel cars includes the Chevrolet Colorado

Our list of diesel cars includes the Range Rover Velar

Diesel cars accounted for less than three percent of all new car sales in North America just prior to Volkswagen Group’s emissions scandal. As you can imagine, diesel cars have not sold very well since. Plummeted is the kindest way to describe sales. As a result of the scandal, Volkswagen Group isn’t offering any diesel cars for sale in America and limited numbers in Canada for the 2018 model year.

With VW Group brands Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche taking their diesel cars off the North American market, there are only a few to choose from. In fact, there are only 12 diesel cars, trucks, crossovers, and SUVs currently certified by the EPA for sales in the U.S. That number could rise by the end of the model year, though. RAM and Jeep are seeking certification of diesel engines for a few of their vehicles. With so few offerings, we might as well list all 12 that are currently certified instead of limiting ourselves to the handful of diesel cars that will be on the market.

1. Chevrolet Cruze LT Diesel

For the 2018 model year, the Chevrolet Cruze LT Diesel will be powered by the latest Chevy turbodiesel powerplant. The 1.6L four-cylinder turbodiesel is capable of 137 hp and 240 lb-ft of torque. The diesel is only available in Chevy Cruze’s with the LT trim package.

Since these diesel cars will be equipped with the LT package, we thought we would list the highlights of the trim package. The standard and optional equipment includes: 16-inch alloy wheels, LED running lights, heated mirrors, steering-wheel-mounted phone and audio controls, a six-speaker audio system with satellite radio, keyless ignition and entry, heated front seats, and a power driver’s seat.

2. Chevrolet Colorado LT

If Chevrolet’s diesel cars are not your thing, then try the 2018 Chevrolet Colorado. A 2018 Colorado can be powered by a 2.8L four-cylinder turbodiesel that produces 181 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. The engine is always paired to a six-speed automatic gearbox.

In the Colorado, the standard and optional equipment found with the LT package includes: 17-inch alloy wheels, air-conditioning, a power driver seat with manual recline, front bucket seats, a rearview camera, a seven-speaker premium Bose audio system with Chevrolet’s MyLink system, voice controls, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a touchscreen display, a navigation system, in-car 4G LTE Wi-Fi,heated front seats, automatic climate control, and forward collision and lane departure warning systems.

3. Chevrolet Equinox

The bowtie began offering its new turbodiesel in the Chevrolet Equinox for the 2017 model year. The engine will be carried over for the 2018 Equinox. The turbodiesel I4 will continue to offer up 137 hp and 240 lb-ft of torque. Even though the diesel option offers more torque, the optional V6 offered in the higher trim levels of the 2018 Chevrolet Equinox will be rated for a higher towing capacity.

As with the Cruze and Colorado, you will have to spring for the LT trim package in order to get the diesel option. This package will set you back a few extra thousand, but can include: remote start, automatic climate control, eight-way power driver seat, heated seats, a power liftgate, leather upholstery, rear parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring, a navigation system, heated mirrors, LED daytime running lights, a touchscreen infotainment system, voice controls, and smartphone integration.

4. GMC Canyon

The GMC Canyon is an upscale twin model to the Chevrolet Colorado, so it only makes sense that GM will offer a turbodiesel in the 2018 GMC Canyon. The diesel powerplant happens to be the same 2.8L turbodiesel found in the Colorado. Offering up 181 hp and 369 lb-ft, the diesel is paired to a six-speed automatic transmission.

Where GM diesel cars have to be equipped with the LT trim package to have a diesel powerplant, the 2.8L diesel is an option within the SLE or SLT trim packages for the Canyon. A 2018 GMC Canyon has quite a few standard features. These can include remote keyless entry, cruise control, OnStar, and 4G LTE Wi-Fi hot-spot connectivity. Most of the upgraded options come in packages. The SLE trim adds 17-inch wheels, power side mirrors, the IntelliLink interface, satellite radio, voice and steering wheel controls. Optional packages include the All-Terrain bundle that adds dark alloy wheels and all-terrain tires, an upgraded suspension, a rear locking diff, and hill descent control. The Convenience package adds automatic climate control, remote start, and a sliding rear window. The SLT trim includes all of the SLE standard stuff and the Convenience package becomes standard equipment.

5. GMC Terrain

2018 is the first time that the GMC Terrain will have a diesel option. For 2018, the GMC Terrain has been shrunk 3 inches and has shed 400 lbs, making it more like diesel cars than an SUV in handling and fuel efficiency.

The same 1.6L turbodiesel found in the GMC Canyon is an option in 2018 Terrains equipped with either the SLE or SLT trim levels. These trims are equipped differently than their namesakes in the Canyon. In the Terrain, the SLE trim doesn’t add much to the standard equipment of the lower SL level, but it does come with several upgrade packages. First up is the Driver Convenience package that includes a power driver’s seat, heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, and remote engine start. The SLE trim also gives you access to the Infotainment I package that offers a larger touchscreen, a nav system, an SD card reader, and a 110-volt outlet for the rear passengers. Lastly, the SLE level offers the optional Driver Alert I package. This package includes heated mirrors, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and rear parking sensors. You can also opt for a panoramic sunroof and a trailering package. If you choose the diesel engine, the Drivers Convenience package becomes standard equipment with the SLE trim.

Upgrading to the SLT group gives you leather upholstery, the Driver Convenience package, and the Infotainment I package (sans nav system) as standard equipment. Optional packages include the Driver Alert I and the Driver Alert II packs. The Driver Alert II pack adds low-speed forward collision warning and mitigation with automatic braking, as well as lane departure warning and intervention. The Infotainment II package also becomes available in the SLT trim. This gets you the nav system back. Lastly, buyers can opt for the Preferred package, adding a power liftgate, driver seat memory settings, a heated steering wheel and a power passenger seat. The Preferred package becomes standard equipment in the SLT trim if you select the diesel engine.

6. BMW 328d

If you want the fastest BMW 3-series possible, the 328d is not the car for you. On the other hand, if you are considering diesel cars for their fuel economy, the 2018 BMW 328d is the ride you want. EPA estimates place its fuel numbers at 30 mpg in the city and 41 mpg on the highway.

On top of outstanding fuel economy, a 2018 BMW 328d can be equipped with a plethora of features. The 328d is powered by a 2.0L four-cylinder turbodiesel paired to the smoothest shifting eight-speed automatic imaginable. The powerplant generates 180 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque. The BMW 328d has a long list of equipment options that includes: LED headlights, push-button start, automatic wipers, dual-zone automatic climate control, BMW Assist emergency telematics, power-folding and heated side mirrors, auto-dimming mirrors, and driver-seat memory settings. If you opt for the 328d wagon, you will get a panoramic sunroof, roof rails, and a power liftgate.

7. BMW X5 xDrive 35d

The 2018 BMW X5 is the legendary Bavarian automaker’s largest SUV. As such, it is the company’s most luxurious SUV as well. The base models are powered by gasoline engines, but the xDrive 35d is equipped with a 3.0L V6 turbodiesel that offers 255 hp and 413 lb-ft of torque. As an added bonus, it is fitted with AWD.

The standard features of a 2018 BMW X5 xDrive 35d include: 19-inch V-spoke wheels, adaptive HID headlights with Corona headlight rings, LED fog lights, power heated front seats, wood trim, SensaTec upholstery, a 10.2-inch display screen with BMW’s proprietary nav system, iDrive with touchpad control, a panoramic moonroof, and front and rear parking sensors. If you step up to the Executive package, you get a heads-up display, wireless charging, a WiFi Hotspot, and ceramic controls.

8. Jaguar XE

For 2018, the Jaguar XE has a 2.0L turbodiesel available across all trim levels. These diesel cars have an output of 180 hp and 318 lb-ft of torque. Jaguar has also improved its driver assistance features for the 2018 model year.

Standard features for the 2018 Jaguar XE are: a sunroof, power front seats, dual-zone climate control, a touchscreen media interface, and selectable driving modes designed to help tackle rain, ice, and snow. Because the turbodiesel is available as an option across all trim levels, you can upgrade all the way through the R-Sport level. The S and limited-run Portfolio trims can only be equipped with a supercharged V6.

9. Jaguar XF

The 2018 Jaguar XF is a great midsize luxury option if you want to shed the German yoke. The Jaguar XF does not have class-leading performance, but it brings a lightweight all-aluminum chassis and suspension that gives it an awesome road feel. As with Jaguar XE diesel cars, the XF can be equipped with a 2.0L turbodiesel I4 that generates 180 hp and 318 lb-ft of torque. It is an engine option across all trim levels except the S and Portfolio packages.

Standard equipment for a base XF includes: Jaguar’s Drive Mode feature to assist in rain, snow, and ice. The system works by adjusting the steering, throttle response, and transmission shifting to accommodate each road condition. Other notable features are a 380-watt Meridian surround-sound system and the Jaguar Touch infotainment system. Stepping up to the Premium level gets you driver-seat memory settings and a power-adjustable steering column. Once you hit the Prestige trim, you get a nav system, keyless entry, park assist, and leather seats. R-Sport gives you adaptive headlights, blind-spot monitoring, a two-tone interior package, and a blacked-out grille.

10. Jaguar F-Pace 20d

The Jaguar F-Pace is a compact SUV that comfortably seats five in outstanding luxury. The F-Pace is available in six trim levels and has four engine designations. The only diesel engine designation is the 20d. Like the Jaguar diesel cars listed above, the 2018 F-Pace 20d is equipped with a 2.0L turbodiesel that creates 180 hp and 318 lb-ft of torque.

The 20d is available across four of the trim levels offered in the F-Pace. Standard and optional equipment for the 2018 Jaguar F-Pace with the 20d designation can include: a power liftgate, rear privacy glass, keyless ignition, a panoramic sunroof, Jaguar’s driving modes, automatic climate control, power front seats, leather upholstery, Jaguar’s InControl Protect emergency communication services, a touchscreen infotainment system, a rearview camera, driver-seat memory functions, adaptive xenon headlamps, heated front and rear seats, a navigation system, and the Adaptive Dynamics package that adds adaptive suspension as well as a special drive mode to optimize grip in challenging road conditions.

11. Range Rover Velar

2018 will introduce the Land Rover Range Rover Velar to the world. The Velar is a crossover that to falls between the Evoque and the Range Rover Sport in the Land Rover hierarchy. The available 2.0L turbodiesel is why the Range Rover Velar makes our list of diesel cars.

The 2018 Range Rover Velar is available in five trim levels. The turbodiesel is available as an option in all but the Standard and SE trim packages. The turbodiesel engine used is borrowed from the Jaguar F-Pace and has output figures of 180 hp and 317 lb-ft of torque. All Velars will be equipped with all-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic gearbox.

The diesel engine first becomes available in the second-tier S trim level. S trim equipment and options include: leather upholstery, LED daytime running lights, power seats, an 11-speaker Meridian sound system, a great nav system, a power liftgate, along with power-folding door mirrors with approach lights. Stepping up to the R-Dynamic SE trim will add driver assistance features, heated and cooled massaging front seats as well as several appearance upgrades. The final trim that offers the turbodiesel is the R-Dynamic HSE. This package adds 21-inch wheels and leather trim from stem to stern.

You can also add several options to any trim level of the Land Rover Range Rover Velar. Buyers can add sustainable wool-based upholstery, a 23-speaker sound system, a heads-up display, four-zone climate control, a rear-seat entertainment package, advanced tow-assist, an air suspension, a panoramic sunroof, a top-down parking camera system, and Land Rover’s Terrain Response 2 system.

12. Mazda CX-5

Mazda’s mantra is to meld its sportscar know how with every model it builds. The CX-5 is further proof of that ethos. From its poised chassis to its sharp steering and responsive handling, the 2018 CX-5 is bound to become a driving enthusiasts top pick.

For 2018, Mazda is bringing a urea-injected version of its 2.2L turbodiesel that was previously only available in Europe. Unlike the variety of gearboxes that can be found in Mazda’s diesel cars, this engine will only be mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. The diesel powerplant has an output of 173 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. On top of above average output figures, the diesel-fueled CX-5 offers owners 40 mpg on the highway.

Mazda has played things close to the vest when it comes to this diesel SUV. Details such as what trim levels will have the diesel as an option have not been released yet. Let’s assume it will be available across all trim levels. With that assumption in mind, options could include: a touchscreen with Mazda’s Connect infotainment system, a backup camera, LED headlights, Bluetooth, keyless ignition and entry, heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, blind-spot monitoring, automatic turn-swiveling headlights, a power liftgate, leather upholstery, a nav system, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning and mitigation, lane keep assist, and a heads-up display.

Well, there you have the 12 diesel cars, crossovers, trucks, and SUVs that will be available in North America for the 2018 model year. We hope that you have found this list helpful.

About Nikola Potrebić

Despite driving a piece of junk, Nikola still manages to survive the harrowing experience called "A road trip in a Yugo," day in, day out. On the other hand, precious few things move him as muscle cars do. Especially those from the bygone golden era, which makes him wonder why wasn't he born a few decades earlier? Well, at least he's been given the opportunity to enjoy the likes of the Pontiak Aztek, Chrysler PT Cruiser, Fiat Multipla, and other lovely millennials, right? Come to think of it, I'll stick with my Yugo. Thank you very much!