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Diesel cars represent just a sliver of all U.S. auto sales, comprising around 3%, according to the latest figures from the Bureau of Transportation. But diesels make up over 16% of all car registrations in Europe. Battery-powered vehicles recently took first place in Europe, but diesel continues to dominate the used car marketplace because they last up to 500,000 miles with a high resale value. Used diesel cars go for much less than new electric vehicles while still getting over 50 mpg, helping you save money at the pump. They are known for fast acceleration, strong towing capacity, and lasting reliability.

What is diesel? These engines use oil to pressurize the fuel before injecting it directly into the combustion chamber to produce more energy than gas-powered vehicles. Most drivers love revving up to high speeds in just a few seconds or using the added torque to easily haul thousands of pounds, even at low speeds.

Diesel engines come with added responsibility. They need regular oil changes, filter changes and housing replacements to withstand this much pressure. Shop for diesel truck parts when buying used to make the most of your new ride. During combustion, the oil compacts the fuel in the injectors to release it as a fine mist for a complete burn. Poor quality fuel and oil can clog the injectors, constricting the flow. Replace the diesel fuel injectors on older models to increase fuel efficiency and power.

With so many different kinds of vehicles for sale, there has never been a better time to go diesel. Learn about the best diesel brands and manufacturers on the market today to find a vehicle that will save you money down the line.

Mercedes-Benz

Known for their luxury vehicles, Mercedes-Benz has been making diesel cars and SUVs for years. The S-Series sedans and E-Series cars remain at the top of their class for fuel efficiency and power. The German company has been steadily working to reduce emissions using the most efficient cooling and injection systems. The latest OM 656 and OM 654 produce record power while consuming 6% less fuel than earlier iterations. Most models are rated A or A+ in terms of efficiency. MB is looking ahead by making sure these engines comply with future emissions guidelines. However, they recently decided not to sell new diesel vehicles in the U.S.

Ford

Ford has been an American institution since it was founded in 1903. It makes the best-selling F-Series line of pickup trucks, including the Super-Duty F-250, F-350, and F-450, with the latest models powered by 6.7 Powerstroke engines. They are known for delivering unparalleled torque and towing capacity to help you get the job done and have become the go-to choice for millions of Americans.

Ford diesel trucks use exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) coolers to reduce harmful emissions by recycling the exhaust. The system can clog or overheat due to excessive hauling. Replace the coolant system by installing new EGR coolers every 80,000 miles to improve engine performance.  If you want to save money on fuel, the Ford Focus also comes with a 120bhp turbo diesel engine for up to 61 mpg.

GMC

General Motors has its own line of heavy-duty diesel vehicles for towing and hauling to compete with Ford. The Sierra Heavy Duty comes with the 6.6 Duramax Turbo Diesel V8 engine for up to 445 horsepower, 910 lb.-ft. of torque and a max towing capacity of 36,000 pounds.

The smaller, less powerful Sierra 1500 uses the 3.0L Duramax Turbo Diesel engine but gets an impressive 24 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway if you don’t need as much room to tow. The company also makes the popular Yukon SUV with up to 277 horsepower, 460 lb.-ft. of torque and a max towing capacity of just over 8,000 lbs. With nine seats, it’s perfect for family getaways.

BMW

The German company Bayerische Motoren Werke makes some of the fastest and, dare we say, sexiest diesel passenger vehicles in all of Europe, with 366 dealerships in the U.S. The twin-turbo engine on the X5 xDrive 35d SUV gets modest fuel efficiency but can go from 50-70mph in 3.7 seconds with plenty of cargo space to boot. The 320d is the fuel-efficient sports car of your dreams, reaching up to 120 mph with fast acceleration and up to 54 mpg. The 540d offers more torque and towing capacity with a solid 30 mpg combined fuel rating.

Roundup

The diesel market isn’t what it used to be. Manufacturers use this technology to improve performance and efficiency in today’s fuel-conscious world. Buying a used diesel can help you save money on your next vehicle. Inspect the condition of the engine and replace aging systems to increase the value of your investment.

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