While the American divisions of the world's car manufacturers push complex hybrid cars as a solution to our bloated fuel consumption, most of the rest of the world has embraced modern Diesel technology. American's perceptions of Diesel vehicles are often clouded by visions of commercial trucks and the sluggish cars of decades ago, but in the meantime, Diesel performance has been transformed. This picture is me in an Opel (Saturn) Astra rental car cruising down the German Autobahn last week at 229 kmh (142 mph). It's a budget model with a 1.9 liter four cylinder Diesel, and in 3000 miles of driving we averaged over 40 mpg.
With gasoline running around $8 or more per gallon in Europe, they have managed to raise the average car's fuel economy to over 35 miles per gallon. Yet today there are almost no high mileage Diesel vehicles available in the USA. Go figure.