Diesel power served 3 ways

Mercedes' V6 diesel engine is now available in several SUVs and one car in the U.S. market. No matter which hood you find it under, it'll surprise you.

Few Americans without a commercial truck driver's license have much experience with diesel engines.

Mention diesel, and most people picture a clanging, rattling rig belching out black smoke.

They'd be surprised then by the Mercedes-Benz 3.0-liter V-6 turbo-diesel, which appears in three DaimlerChrysler vehicles: two Mercedes and a Jeep (no word yet on whether the Jeep will continue to use this engine after the impending break-up of DaimlerChrysler).

Some enthusiasts will say "You won't know it from a gasoline engine." In the one of these vehicles, that's conceivably true. In the others - it's not bad, but you'll hear and feel the difference.

All three cars get better fuel economy than with a similar gasoline engine. In one case, however, it's only slightly better.

Because of emissions regulations, none of these vehicles are available in all 50 states. Honda, Audi and Volkswagen all have plans to introduce diesel vehicles within the next couple of years (VW dropped out of selling diesels after the 2006 model year while they catch up to stricter U.S. emissions regulations).

So-called 50-state diesels will be here soon, though, so it's good to get acquainted now.


Grand Cherokee


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