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Study claims diesel vehicles are cheaper to own

A new survey has been published looking at the cost of ownership for gasoline vehicles compared to diesel vehicles. The University of Michigan conducted the study for Robert Bosch, LLC.

The study determined that diesel vehicles save owners between $2,000 to $6,000 in total ownership costs during a 3- to 5-year period compared to similar gasoline vehicles. The data was compiled by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.

"Overall, the results of our analyses show that diesel vehicles provide owners with a TCO (total cost of ownership) that is less than that of the gas versions of the same vehicles," according to the study. "The estimates of savings for three and five years of ownership vary from a low of $67 in three years to a high of $15,619 in five years.”

2014 Volkswagen Golf Variant (aka Jetta Sportwagen for the U.S. market)

The study claims that Volkswagen Jetta owners saved $3,128 while Volkswagen Golf owners saved an estimated $5,013 compared to owners of similar gasoline-powered vehicles. The study also finds that all of the diesel vehicles had better miles per gallon figures then gasoline versions with diesel is offering between 8% and 44% higher fuel economy.

The study also shows that nine of the 10 diesel vehicles held their value better the comparable gasoline vehicles.
One has to keep in mind, however, that Bosch has quite a big financial stake in these results as it produces high-pressure fuel pumps for diesel manufactures like Volkswagen which have a tendency for failing in late model vehicles.

Source: Autoblog

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Sorry but I have to call foul
By Dr of crap on 7/1/2013 12:45:52 PM , Rating: 2
MOST cars for the first 5 years WILL NOT cost thousands in repairs. In fact most will only need regular maintenance. Yes there will be the occasional one that has a bad part that will cost the owner big dollars, but that is the exception.

This study is way messed up.

RE: Sorry but I have to call foul
By djc208 on 7/1/2013 1:14:29 PM , Rating: 2
I think that's what makes the study valid. If you push the dates out it gets more interesting but harder to determine since once parts start failing it's hard to keep comparing information. Bare minimum over what should be the most reliable period of a vehicle's life, is a diesel still worth it? This says yes.

As you aluded to, most diesel owners also buy them for the longevity they have been known for, and that's a different animal. Diesel repairs can get very expensive very quick, it would be interesting to see how that advantage holds up over longer periods of time, but there are so many variables it would be impossible to really compare the two to the point no one could cry foul.

RE: Sorry but I have to call foul
By kmm1191 on 7/2/2013 10:42:30 AM , Rating: 2
MOST cars for the first 5 years WILL NOT cost thousands in repairs. In fact most will only need regular maintenance.

That's why the cost savings reported in the study are so low. Compre the Jetta TDI to the Jetta gas model. Oil changes on the TDI are every 10k miles vs 3k miles on the gas. Diesel fuel costs are somewhat higher than gasoline (about 9% higher where I live), but I get close to 50% better fuel economy. I drive about 19k miles/year, and just in fuel and oil change costs I'm saving close to $1200/year.

I average about 42mpg combined. The Jetta gasoline model is 28mpg combined. Fuel costs where I am today are around $3.50/gal for gas and $3.80/gal for diesel. It fluctuates, but diesel is roughly 9-10% more expensive than gasoline where I live. Over the course of 100k miles that's going to be about $3500 in fuel savings alone. Over the course of 100k miles the TDI will need 10 oil changes, and the gasoline model will need 33. That's a big chunk of change there as well, even if a diesel oil change is marginally more expensive.

By superstition on 7/3/2013 11:52:30 AM , Rating: 2

The DSG servicing isn't inexpensive and VW only offers a manual TDI in a very basic Passat trim line. VW's reliability track record hasn't been so good. Fuel system failures have been a problem, according to accounts on tdiforum. They say metal shards go through the fuel system, causing an expensive replacement.

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