Maxima diesel coming up. But…

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But wait. it might be only available with a stick shift.

While many people claim to “love” driving a stick, most Americans (that’s about 95%) still chose an automatic transmission when it’s time to actually buy a car. Even more in a large sedan.
So Nissan’s decision is actually a way to say: “We’ll offer a diesel, but we don’t want anyone to buy it”.

Honda is also supposed to get us a Diesel Accord next year.

I think there is something fishy going on with diesels in America. Have you noticed that diesel is about $1 more than gas.
That’s pretty new. It wasn’t like that a couple of years ago.
Mercedes is going as far as claiming this is a plot engineered by gas companies to prevent American customers from buying diesel cars.
Diesel should not cost more than regular gas.
It could be great if it was a bit cheaper than gas, like in some European countries. While still giving us over 20% advantage in MPG.

Something weird is going on, and once again, the US customer is paying for it.

Conversation 10 comments

  1. Hey Vince, Didn’t you know that the HUGE increase in heating oil, diesel and gasoline was designed to bring in Billions of dollars so that the Republicans could give us a VERY SMALL percentage back in our Economic Stimulus Federal Checks to buy our votes come November?

  2. Agreed… Something fishy has happened with diesel in the last two years. Low sulfur would raise prices but that should be temporary and the price increase happened after the LSD switch. Also, it takes a little more oil to produce a gallon of diesel than gasoline but that is probably offset by the fact that refining diesel is less complicated than gasoline. Also there is about a 4 cent differential in taxes on diesel (more tax on diesel). However, I don’t think any of that accounts for the $.60/gallon differential we’re seeing in retail diesel prices. Something fishy but I’ll be damned if I can figure out what.

  3. The oil cos decided if you get 25% better milage in a deisel they should benefit and charge 25% more. That keeps the profit in thier pockets. Keep in mind a deisel can run on vegatable oil so look for price increases there also when people start using vegie in thier cars.

  4. Personally, I’d love to drive / own a Maxima diesel with a manual transmission … but I’m one of these “no stick, no sale” people. However, given preferences of the (vast) majority of North American drivers not offering an automatic transmission in a vehicle like this is a HUGE mistake. Without an automatic transmission sales of the diesel Maxima will go no where in a hurry … this is doomed to fail even before it is introduced so why Nissan would even bother is a complete mystery.

    Regarding the cost of diesel I can see at least some reason why it might be a bit more expensive than gasoline. The amount of gasoline produced from a barrel of crude oil is greater than the amount of diesel that can be produced. From one barrel of crude 19.15 gallons of gasoline AND 9.21 gallons of diesel can be produced (source: I don’t know the cost of refining gasoline versus refining diesel so I can’t comment on this aspect of the cost.

    I will say it would be strange if the price of diesel were historically only slightly higher than gasoline and then suddenly spiked much higher (ie, unless consumption of diesel spiked as well). It is possible that there may be some merit to Mercedes claims. It would definitely not be in the interests of oil companies for there to be a large number of diesel cars in North America. One of the most significant advantages of diesel engines is that they can run on bio-diesel and / or used vegetable oil without too much difficulty. With a gasoline engine you’re pretty much tied to the oil companies. With a diesel engine this is not necessarily the case.

  5. Settle the F#$@ down. That’s not true, it’s honda and toyota trying to derail the best diesels ever made. Nissan will offer the proper transmission just wait.

  6. Why must we Europeans drive 4-cyl diesels with a stick in order to consume 40% less gas than you do? If USA banned automatics and forced people to drive REAL transmissions, it would save millions of barrels.
    The next stage would be taxing V6s in V8s just like they’re here, This would save billions of barrels… I really hate you sometimes.

    Diesel is more expensive than gas here as well, but it wasn’t so. Diesel had allways been adleast 20% cheaper, but since 70% of new cars are diesels, the price has risen.

  7. I thought diesel fuel was cheaper in Europe because regular gasoline has a super high tax?

    I’ll bet truckers are asking the same questions.

  8. Who told you diesel is cheaper in Europe? Diesel is MORE expensive here as well, and gas in general is much more expensive than in the US yet we get by cause despite the increase in diesel price over petrol, diesel still offers superior economy. Yet in Europe we also get super efficient petrol engines. Because of the stupid oil-wars by Mr Bush (among other reasons) we are screwed here. Of course oil companies ARE milking us but given how in 15 years time there might not be any Oil left (other than the reserves of the US) perhaps its better for it to increase so the public as well as companies around the world start taking things to the next level and stop relying on Oil

  9. As of Jan 1st,2008, the US Government mandated that the sulfur (which acts as a lubricant) in diesel fuel be replaced with a synthetic to make it burn cleaner. The process of refining out the sulfur and adding the synthetic is why diesel costs more than gas.

  10. Good move on the governments part to make larger profits off of everything that is transported to market by diesel trucks. We all end up paying more for products as a result. By the way, where did all the billions of dollars for the stimulus economic checks come from? The first post here seems to hold a great deal of truth.

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