For the most part, opting for a diesel is all about fuel economy, often matching or even beating hybrid models for a much lower price. At the same time, diesel engine's ample low-end torque makes them very drivable around town and also ideal for towing. In total, modern diesel vehicles are cleaner, quieter and more efficient than ever. And despite the actions of Volkswagen to circumvent emissions regulations, other companies have played by the rules to scrub diesel emissions of the harmful particulates that set this fuel apart from its gasoline counterparts. This involves a urea injection system that utilizes a fluid known as DEF that must be periodically refilled, much as you would windshield washer fluid (although the car won't run if you fail to top up). Really, forget any sort of stigma and give diesel a chance.
Why Edmunds Recommends the 2017 : Few cars manage to be as fuel-efficient and rewarding to drive as the BMW 328d. Available in sedan and wagon body styles, this diesel-powered version of the 3 Series offers the same set of attributes that make its gasoline-powered siblings so appealing: a magical ride and handling balance, top-notch interior trappings, supremely comfortable seats and a surprising amount of space. The wagon also boasts compelling utility and standard all-wheel drive. Finally, the 328d specifically sets itself apart with its strong power and truly impressive fuel economy of 34-36 mpg combined.
Why Edmunds Recommends the 2017 Jaguar XE 20d: As rewarding to drive as the diesel-powered 3 Series is, the Jaguar XE 20d might be even better. While it may not have the interior quality or space of its primary German competitor, Jaguar's baby sedan is nevertheless an engaging and fun car to drive — even with a humble turbocharged diesel four-cylinder under the hood. Jaguar has nailed this car's ride and handling balance. Really, given the XE's rather mediocre turbocharged gasoline four-cylinder, we think the 20d's engine is the one to choose for those who'd rather not pony up for the pricier and thirstier supercharged V6.
Why Edmunds Recommends the 2017 Jaguar XF 20d: Admittedly, the Jaguar XF is usually not as strong as other midsize luxury sedans, but its diesel engine provides the sort of fuel economy that its competitors simply cannot match without stepping up to much pricier hybrid models (and even that may not be enough). Seriously, achieving 35 mpg combined in a car of this size, feature content and style is impressive. You also get the XF's sharp driving dynamics — which get even better with the highly recommended optional adaptive suspension — plus a useful amount of space and the availability of all-wheel drive.
Why Edmunds Recommends the 2017 BMW X3 xDrive28d: The BMW X3 might be getting on in age since its last redesign, but it nevertheless remains one of the most appealing SUVs in its size segment. Its interior is a pleasing combination of minimalist design, high-quality materials and many available features, while its generous passenger and cargo space make it one of the most family-friendly choices. And, as a BMW, it should be no surprise that this little SUV is engaging and even rewarding to drive. Now, as for its diesel-ness, the xDrive28d boasts the typical blend of strong low-end power and superior fuel economy that can't be matched by a gasoline engine.
Why Edmunds Recommends the 2017 BMW X5 xDrive35d: That the BMW X5 is a desirable SUV should not be surprising — it is one of the most luxurious SUVs available at any price. However, despite its lineup of appealing power plants, the diesel-powered xDrive35d may actually represent the smartest buy. Its 413 pound-feet of torque translates into the sort of robust acceleration and overtaking capability expected of a grand SUV, while its 25 mpg combined represents the sort of fuel bill that most definitely is not. We should also note that it gets slightly better fuel economy than the new X5 xDrive40e plug-in hybrid once that model's rather modest all-electric range has been depleted. This is especially true on highway journeys.
Why Edmunds Recommends the 2017 Jaguar F-Pace 20d: The new Jaguar F-Pace is one of the most beautiful SUVs on the road. It's also excellent to drive. Normally, such descriptions would indicate some sort of functionality compromise, but in fact, the F-Pace is one of the most spacious SUVs in its price range and is even blessed with surprising ground clearance for off-roading. And, since we're talking about the diesel-powered 20d model, its 29 mpg combined easily outdoes its main BMW competition while providing similar power. This is probably about where someone should reference having one's cake and eating it, too.
Why Edmunds Recommends the 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel: If you're looking to tow with your midsize SUV and would rather not have a huge fuel bill when you're not towing, well, the Jeep Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel is just the SUV you're looking for. Boasting 420 lb-ft of torque, the 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 "EcoDiesel" engine contributes to a maximum towing capacity of 7,400 pounds, which is the same as the also optional 5.7-liter gasoline-powered V8. At the same time, its fuel economy is dramatically better than the V8. Otherwise, you'll be treated to the Grand Cherokee's other attributes of a refined driving experience, a luxurious cabin and superior off-road capability.
Why Edmunds Recommends the 2017 Land Rover Range Rover: With its opulent cabin and ultra-refined driving manners, the Range Rover is as much a competitor for high-end luxury sedans as it is other SUVs. Therefore, it may seem a tad odd to put a growly diesel engine in it, but in reality, this engine suits the Range Rover extremely well. Unless you're a horsepower fiend, you should find the diesel offers plenty of grunt and a much lower fuel bill, while disguising its diesel-ness quite well. From the comfy, quiet confines of the cabin, you'll be hard-pressed to detect the tell-tale diesel sound.
Why Edmunds Recommends the 2017 Land Rover Range Rover Sport: As desirable as the V8-powered Range Rover Sport models are, they come saddled with an awfully steep fuel bill. As such, the diesel-powered model may actually be your best bet, as it provides strong, low-end power for acceleration and overtaking as well as more palatable fuel economy. Really, a diesel engine is just well suited to the Range Rover Sport and you'll find it to be surprisingly quiet. Besides, it still benefits from the same refined driving manners, plush cabin and go-anywhere capability as its gasoline-powered siblings.
Why Edmunds Recommends the 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS350d: Though it has a slightly new name for 2017 — it was formerly known as the GL — Mercedes' grand three-row crossover continues to be one of the best SUVs you can buy, regardless of size, price or engine. With its diesel-powered GLS350d model you get strong fuel economy that for many drivers should negate its relatively pokey acceleration. And, like every GLS, you'll be able to haul as many as seven people in absolute comfort with a superb ride, opulent interior and just about every luxury feature you can think of. Plus, 2017 also sees revised styling, an updated tech interface and a new nine-speed automatic transmission that benefits performance and fuel economy.
Why Edmunds Recommends the 2017 Chevrolet Colorado: Not too long ago, the only way to get the torque of a diesel engine in a truck was to pony up for one of the gargantuan engines found in an equally gargantuan heavy-duty pickup. Well, there's nothing gargantuan about the Chevy Colorado. Its 2.8-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel puts out 181 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque. That's a full 100 extra pound-feet of torque compared to the Colorado's 3.6-liter gasoline V6. When properly equipped, the diesel-powered Colorado can tow 7,700 pounds, which is 700 more than the V6. Importantly, its fuel economy rating in combined driving is 5 mpg better than the gas V6.
Why Edmunds Recommends the 2017 GMC Canyon: So everything we said up there about the Colorado diesel also applies to its GMC Canyon twin. Now, the GMC version does get different styling and a slightly nicer interior (and we do mean slightly), but otherwise you still get the same, more maneuverable midsize pickup dimensions, reasonably spacious cabin and a comprehensive features list.
Why Edmunds Recommends the 2017 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: The Ram 1500 may be getting on in years, but it remains one of our favorite pickups — and the EcoDiesel is our pick of the litter. This truck once again proves the wisdom of pairing a diesel engine with a pickup, as its ample torque is perfectly suited to the hefty towing and hauling needs of pickup owners. Meanwhile, its fuel economy is leaps and bounds better than rival trucks with similar capabilities. You also get the Ram's superior ride and handling, attractive and easy-to-use cabin, and timeless styling.