Diesel vehicles coming to Canada in a big way

Old 09-29-2011, 09:20 AM
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Default Diesel vehicles coming to Canada in a big way

Nico Berg is looking for a big family rig with three rows of seats and his wife has already told him a minivan is out. No chance. Nada.

So that leaves some sort of crossover wagon or sport-utility vehicle.

"What do you think of the (Cadillac) Escalade?" says the North Vancouver physiotherapist of this massive SUV with the shiny grille and a base price of $85,935.

I tell him it's a pickup truck with a fancy body, a ride tamed by suspension tuning and lots of electronic gizmos and gadgets. But even the hybrid version ($95,080) is pretty thirsty, and this wide body is a nightmare to park at the mall.

"What about a diesel?" I counter.

"Aren't they smelly and noisy?" he counters.

In a word, no. Not any longer. I tell him to test drive an Audi Q7 TDI ($58,900 base) or a Mercedes-Benz GL 350 BlueTEC ($70,500) and get back to me. Neither is anything close to a minivan and either would fill his family needs and cut the fuel bill by 25-40 per cent versus a comparable gasoline-powered SUV. Now he's off to the dealership for a closer look.

Honestly, though, it's not a big surprise that Nico Berg is both skeptical and disinterested in a diesel family vehicle expensive or otherwise. Diesels account for just 2.9 per cent of all the passenger vehicles on the road in Canada. Gasoline? It fuels 92.7 per cent of what's being driven by Canadians. And for the record, gasoline-electric hybrids account for a paltry 0.3 per cent, according to DesRosiers Automotive Consultants.

Those numbers are about to change, however, regardless of whether or not Nico Berg and his family join the diesel parade. A flood of new diesel-powered vehicles is coming between now and 2016, notes Dennis DesRosiers in his latest "Observations." Among the many diesel positives, he adds, is fuel economy. Case in point: during a recent Toronto-to-Quebec road trip, DesRosiers managed to average 6.2 L/100 KM in a Mercedes-Benz E350 BlueTEC.

"Equally as impressive were the things it didn't do: smell bad, start hard or comport itself like anything other than the world-beating, kilometer-crushing torque monster it so clearly is," notes DesRosiers.

Read more: http://m.ctv.ca/topstories/20110923/...ay-110925.html
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