Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Give Me A Diesel A-Daisy...

Why, with a very few exceptions, can't we buy small diesel-powered vehicles in North America?
When I visited St.Pierre, a French possession just off Newfoundland's South coast several years ago, there was a slew of 1.2 -1.5 liter turbo-diesel cars, trucks, vans and what-have-you on the island's roads. Most of Europe manages to get around in this sort of vehicle, as does much of the rest of the world, while burning a lot less fuel.
The modern diesel is nothing like the noisy, sluggish, smelly, rough, high-emission engines of even a decade ago. With gas prices here right now at $1.20 Cdn a liter ($4.50+ a gallon), I'd dearly love to be able to pick up a good, used small diesel-engined van, wagon or small UTE.
As things stand now, only VW has any significant number of diesel cars/wagons available here, and used prices on those are accordingly very high. Both the North Amercian-based and Japanese automakers produce diesel versions of most of their vehicles for sale in Europe; why don't they make them available on this side of the Pond???