Diesels in America: 4 Makes, 15 Models

The diesel-versus-hybrid game in America continues as a no-contest landslide victory for the gas/electric hybrid. Since the Prius came to town and blew the doors down by promising, and delivering, 40+ mpg while using regular gas, deisel-powered cars have fallen behind in a game they never had a shot of winning.

Could a comeback victory be in the works?

Not anytime soon, unfortunately. For the 2012 model year, only four automakers will offer diesel engines. (I’m not including American heavy duty pickups here, since those workhorses use diesels for their massive towing power rather than fuel efficiency.)

No less than 18 automakers will offer around 37 hybrid models in the U.S. for 2012. Always one to root for the underdog, I’m hoping diesel can gain some steam as people realize the technology is clean and has years of proven reliability and longevity without requiring expensive battery changes down the road. Toyota, Subaru, Honda and Nissan all offer oil-burners in other countries, and would here, too, if the market demanded.

For now, though, here are the 2012 U.S. diesel options:

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