Diesel engines were in bad need of a makeover: noisy, smoky and smelly. But the mileage was so much better, the nation's truck fleets have long preferred diesel. Enter the age of "clean diesel."
David Sowers, head of Dodge Ram Truck marketing shared some of his diesel knowledge while at the Denver Auto Show. "It surprises a lot of people," Sowers said. "There are no more outward signs, that old smoke and smell, or even the clatter."
In this reporter's test drive (highway and city), mileage averaged between 24 and 27 miles per gallon, far beyond what I expected from a 6,500 lb. vehicle. The ECODiesel engine yielded an instant mileage on highway cruise of a steady 30 mpg.
This generation of clean diesel engines is clearly part of American cars' near future. Sowers suggests that for the long range, another quantum leap may be required. "In 2025, when the corporate average fuel economy number is 54 (mpg) unadjusted, that's a big jump when you sell a lot of trucks."