Print 46 comment(s) - last by JediJeb.. on May 23 at 11:14 AM

The website offers fuel costs and MSRP of 18 2012-2013 vehicles

The U.S. government just introduced a new section to its website that allows consumers to compare the payback of certain hybrids and their traditional gasoline counterpart.

The website offers fuel costs and MSRP of 18 2012-2013 vehicles. Consumers simply choose a hybrid model and move the sliders appropriately to see the payback period and fuel savings for that particular vehicle. The calculations are based on fuel prices, city-highway driving percentage and annual miles.

"Based on MSRP and fuel costs alone, hybrid vehicles can save you money versus a comparably equipped conventional vehicle," said

Some of the vehicles available on are the 2012 Ford Fusion Hybrid, 2012 Toyota Prius C One, and 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco.

An example of the information that the website offers is a comparison of the 2012 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid and the gasoline-powered 2012 Hyundai Sonata SE. According to, the hybrid Sonata costs $2,655 more than the conventional version and takes about 5.1 years to pay back.

The government is certainly looking to push consumers toward more fuel efficient vehicles, especially with the White House's recent proposed 54.5 MPG CAFE requirement for 2017-2025 model year vehicles. This standard would save customers $6,600 at the gas pump for the lifetime of a 2025 vehicle.


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RE: Great
By Argon18 on 5/21/2012 6:16:45 PM , Rating: -1
Also unsurprising, there's no mention of any of the new clean diesels from VW, BMW, or Mercedes. These new clean diesels pollute less than a gasoline car, emit less greenhouse gasses than a gasoline car, and get MUCH better MPG than a gasoline car.

RE: Great
By Jedi2155 on 5/21/2012 6:52:55 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure how much urea costs, and the maintenance on that as well. How about the reliability of direct injection on a diesel?

I'm hearing a lot of horror stories of VW DI engines going out with a $10,000+ repair cost under 50,000 miles.

RE: Great
By Jedi2155 on 5/21/2012 6:56:06 PM , Rating: 1
Could someone also please enlighten me how reliable they are? Normal multi-point injection is around 40-60 PSI, Gas DI ~2000 PSI. Diesel DI ~25,000 PSI.

That just sounds insanely high, and no wonder most automotive companies don't do it.

RE: Great
By Argon18 on 5/21/2012 8:06:01 PM , Rating: 2
Direct-injection has been commonplace on diesels since the early to mid 1990's. It's a very mature technology, at least on diesels. On gassers, it's quite new however, and I think they're still working the bugs out. Diesel reliability and longevity has always been considerably better than on gasoline engines. I've over 300,000 miles now on both of my diesels, and they still pass the strict city emissions tests. As for "most automotive companies" making diesels, consider this: over 60% of new cars sold in Europe are diesels. Ford, Chevy, Honda, Toyota, etc. all sell very reliable small diesel cars... just not in the Unites States.

RE: Great
By Jedi2155 on 5/21/2012 9:18:35 PM , Rating: 2
I think diesel technology in general is more reliable than gas, but I was particularly concerned about DI diesel. How much repair/maintenance did you have to do on those 300k miles?

RE: Great
By Argon18 on 5/22/2012 11:12:56 AM , Rating: 2
Re: Your question about reliability of DI diesels, there are a variety of different implementations. Direct Injection itself a concept, not a specific technology. The early DI diesels (1990's) used a belt (or chain) driven rotary pump, just like the old indirect diesels. Reliability was excellent, same as the indirect diesels.

After that came some interesting different implementations, like VW's "pumpe deuce" unit-injectors where an individual injection pump was incorporated into each fuel injector. That had its quirks, like requiring a very specific type of engine oil and no other.

Now that we're into "3rd generation" direct inject diesels, all the automakers seem to have converged on Common Rail direct injection. Common Rail allows for the highest injection pressures (31,000 psi in the latest models) and is inexpensive to build.

BTW the higher the injection pressure, the better. Higher pressure allows for tighter control of ignition timing, fuel atomization, emissions, etc.

RE: Great
By sigmatau on 5/21/2012 10:07:49 PM , Rating: 3
I wish the US had more choices. With VW being the major source to the average American, it makes diesels look bad. VW's reliability is beyond crap.

Ford finaly brought the real Focus to the US. Maybe they will bring a good diesel here too.

RE: Great
By Reclaimer77 on 5/22/12, Rating: 0
RE: Great
By Reclaimer77 on 5/22/2012 9:27:59 AM , Rating: 1
edit: Diesel vehicles are $5-7 extra.

RE: Great
By Argon18 on 5/22/2012 9:46:36 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure where you found the "$5k - $7k extra" figure, but I doubt its accuracy. The Mercedes E320 diesel is less than $1k difference from the gasoline E320. And on the various VW's, the MSRP is less than $2k difference IIRC.

Also, one piece you're equation is missing is the resale value. Diesels have vastly higher resale value, at least here in the US. We have been selling our older cars on ebay. We sold our 1998 Passat 1.8t (gas) with 160k miles for $3500. We sold our 1997 Passat TDI (diesel) with 180k miles for $7200. That's nearly double the price! Plus the '97 is the older body style, which makes it even more remarkable. Look on ebay, craigslist, etc. and you'll see that no matter whether its a VW, or a Mercedes, or a Dodge pickup - the diesels have a very significantly higher resale price.

RE: Great
By Reclaimer77 on 5/22/12, Rating: 0
RE: Great
By alexwgreen on 5/22/2012 10:39:30 AM , Rating: 2
I can't argue with your point on diesel being more expensive. In the UK, and many other European nations, Diesel is actually more expensive. Diesel also suffers a penalty when calculating emissions for business tax purposes. BUT, even with this and the higher initial outlay (though certainly not as bad as you make out, TDi engines perform better than there capacity would suggest, so the valid comparison is usually with the next size up of gas engine) diesel makes sense for more people than not.

And as for reliability, I know more people with DI Diesel powered cars (VW, Audi, Renault, Peugeot etc) than anything else, and reliability has not been an issue for many of these. And just about ANY taxi you get into in the UK will be a DI diesel.

I was always led to believe that the reason Diesels were never really introduced to the US was a lack of availability of good quality diesel at regular forecourts, leading to reliability issues. Now if the quality of your diesel hasn't improved, and yet it still costs more, then you should be asking questions of your administration, (or perhaps those companies contributing to their campaign costs.)

As a final anecdote, direct injection diesel powered audis have won the 24 hrs of Le Mans 5 out of the last 6 years. The 6th went to Peugeot with another DI Diesel car. The manufacturers site economy and reliability vs petrol as the reasons for this success.

Sorry if that came over as a rant, I just don't get some of the false information about diesels out there.


RE: Great
By Reclaimer77 on 5/22/2012 10:51:57 AM , Rating: 1
I'm not spreading ANY false information. Where in the hell did I say diesels weren't reliable or couldn't win Le Mans? Huh?

I was simply detailing, factually, the economic differences to explain the disparity between US and Euro diesel adoption. There's NO reason to get offended and take this as some kind of attack on diesel. Grow up.

And yes, VERY recently diesel prices have caught up, or passed, petrol in Europe. But for decades this wasn't the case, and obviously this was a BIG factor in why diesel caught on so well there. Are you going to dispute this too?

Another fact you conveniently ignored is that many diesel engines used in Europe simply cannot be brought to the U.S because of regulations, or are not cost-effective to do so. I guess I'm making that up too?

If I'm wrong and there are no economic reasons at all, why isn't diesel used here more? Or do you people just tell yourselves that "yanks hate diesel" and that makes sense to you?

RE: Great
By alexwgreen on 5/22/2012 11:01:16 AM , Rating: 2
Apologies, I should have worded it differently (and maybe replied to one of your other posts). My objection was largely to the claims of poor vw reliability, inferred to be in relation to the topic of DI Diesels.

I should read less quickly.

But the point stands, vw diesels are notoriously reliable.

I can't argue with financial analysis.

RE: Great
By alexwgreen on 5/22/2012 11:11:53 AM , Rating: 2
Still not doing very well replying to the correct posts. Oh well :)

RE: Great
By GotThumbs on 5/22/12, Rating: 0
RE: Great
By Mint on 5/22/2012 10:58:48 AM , Rating: 2
Regulation has little to do with it. It's mostly the nature of the market:

2-10 cents of tax difference is meaningless compared to price swings. If any significant part of the US tried switching to diesel, the price would jump to force the worldwide diesel:gasoline consumption ratio back again.

Until we're sure that we'll figure out how to make biodiesel economically, increased diesel use in the US is a bad idea.

RE: Great
By Keeir on 5/22/2012 2:36:40 PM , Rating: 3
Until we're sure that we'll figure out how to make biodiesel economically, increased diesel use in the US is a bad idea.


When you refine a gallon of oil, you get amounts of Diesel, Gasoline, Jet Fuel, and "Others". There is an ideal mix where your going to get the most "miles" per gallon of oil.

The US doesn't use this mix, because the transportation market favours gasoline extensively. Even with our refinaries tilted to standard gasoline production, the US still exports Diesel Fuel.

Europe on the other hand, consumes far more Diesel and too little gasoline for the correct mix.

If we want to get the most per barrel of oil, the US market should embrace Diesel and the European Market should embrace Gasoline in terms of increasing the percentage of fuel used. The US probably has the right idea in taxing per energy content. And Europe probably has tax rates that are more in line with the true road maintainence + enviromental effects of buring fossil fuels.

An ideal cost/resource transporation mix would include EVs, PHEVs, Hybrids, Diesel and Gasoline cars/trucks. Diesels have their place, especially in middle to high mileage 50 mph+ cases.

RE: Great
By Reclaimer77 on 5/21/2012 6:58:08 PM , Rating: 4
I'm hearing a lot of horror stories of VW DI engines going out with a $10,000+ repair cost under 50,000 miles.

I'm not surprised. VW has horrible reliability.

RE: Great
By Dr of crap on 5/22/2012 8:20:45 AM , Rating: 1
I keep hearing that too, yet.... they keep buying VW's.

RE: Great
By AEvangel on 5/22/2012 10:31:08 AM , Rating: 2
Thanks goodness that would be covered under warranty.

Powertrain limited warranty* (All models except 2011 Touareg)
5 years/60,000 miles (whichever occurs first) Powertrain Limited Warranty.

Powertrain limited warranty* (2011 Touareg)
10 years/100,000 miles (whichever occurs first) Powertrain Limited Warranty.

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