Proponents of clean diesel engines have seemingly taken a large step forward in winning the hearts and minds of the American automotive consumer, according to new registration data from R.L. Polk & Co. The numbers suggest that buyers, when given a choice, pick diesel engines at a higher rate than previously expected and far surpassing the choice of, say, a hybrid system.
For example, using the 12-month period from January 2009 to January 2010, we see that 8 percent of buyers chose the Toyota Camry Hybrid, which has been available since the 2007 model year. During the same 12-month period, the Audi Q7 TDI had adoption rate of 30 percent, which is even less than the 49 percent of VW Jetta customers who chose the clean-diesel TDI version.
That's good news for all of us who have been waiting for European manufacturers (and domestic ones) to wise up to the fact that there's a market for clean diesels in the States -- which means, of course, a larger selection of fuel-efficient and torque-heavy fun machines (we hope).
A breakdown of some adoption rates for diesel engines by model, via Autospies:
Audi A3 TDI: 20 percent
Audi Q7 TDI: 30 percent
BMW 335d: 8 percent
BMW X5 xDrive x35d: 17 percent
Mercedes-Benz GL 350 BlueTec: 18 percent
Mercedes-Benz ML 350 BlueTec: 13 percent
Mercedes-Benz R 350 BlueTec: 12 percent
VW Jetta TDI (Sedan and Sportwagen): 49 percent +
Volkswagen Touareg TDI: 33 percent