NEW YORK — Car shoppers are warning up to diesel-powered vehicles such as the Volkswagen Jetta TDI, Chevrolet Cruze Diesel and Porsche Cayenne Diesel, according to a new report by IHS Automotive for the Diesel Technology Forum.
"Automakers are introducing more diesel-powered models every year and consumers are warming up to the efficiency and unique characteristics of the powertrain," said Allen Schaeffer, executive director of the Diesel Technology Forum, in a statement. "In fact, many drivers report fuel-economy benefits that consistently rival a hybrid."
The registrations of clean diesel and hybrid cars and SUVs showed double-digit increases in vehicle registrations in 2014, the report said.
Clean diesel cars and SUVs showed an increase of 13.5 percent in 2014 over 2013, and hybrid cars and SUVs increased by 15.1 percent. Diesel-vehicle registrations hit 7.4 million in 2014.
California, Massachusetts and Nevada lead the nation with registrations for diesel vehicles.
Diesel vehicles typically achieve a 20-40 percent improvement in fuel economy versus a similar gasoline-powered vehicle, the Diesel Technology Forum noted.
The EPA said: "Diesel vehicles may be making a comeback."
"Diesel engines are more fuel-efficient and have more low-end torque than similar-sized gasoline engines, and diesel fuel contains roughly 10 percent to 15 percent more energy than gasoline," the EPA said. "So, diesel vehicles can often go about 20 percent to 35 percent farther on a gallon of fuel than their gasoline counterparts. Plus, today's diesel vehicles are much improved over diesels of the past."
However, diesel fuel is more expensive than gasoline.
The AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report on Monday pegged the average price of a gallon of unleaded gasoline at $2.42, while diesel fuel costs $2.86 per gallon.
Edmunds says: Is a diesel vehicle in your future? Your dealer can help you weigh the pros and cons.