I Love Diesel, But… - Reader's Letters
I, like so many avid readers, do truly love and appreciate the diesel invasion in the 1/2-ton and midsized truck market. FINALLY! My only concern is are they going to be worth the added cost?
Unfortunately, the good old US government taxes, or as I like to say, punishes, diesel buyers by taxing fuel at a much higher rate than gasoline. I would honestly say it's a 35- to 45-cent increase over 87 octane based on my observations from traveling around the country. The other issue I have is how the government has made diesel manufactures add DEF, SCR, DPF, and other emissions systems. All of those are adding cost to the diesel engine option.
I've been a loyal GM owner since I started driving, but I can honestly say, when I buy a new truck in another year or so, I'm going to look at almost all of the truck manufactures out there. Fuel economy and efficient power will be my driving force in my next truck purchase. I would like to own another diesel, but I know I can buy a lot of gasoline for the added cost of the diesel engine option. Unless they lower the tax rate on diesel fuel, to make it more cost competitive with gasoline, it's going to be a tough pill to swallow I'm afraid.
We certainly share in your frustration. The fluctuation of diesel pricing versus regular unleaded appears to be cyclical, at least here in sunny Southern California. At the moment, #2 is less expensive than regular, but how long it will stay there is anyone's guess. And convincing the government to change the tax rate is likely never going to happen.
Are diesels worth it? In our studies, the answer has been yes, but ultimately, it comes down to which vehicle you're comparing, how many miles you drive, cost of fuel, and how long you intend to own the vehicle. If you drive a lot and intend to run your vehicle into the ground, then diesel makes sense. If you're the type that gets a new vehicle every two years, you may want to stick with gasoline. We're going to dig deep into the subject of gas versus diesel in our next issue, so stay tuned!
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