Much has changed since Rudolf Diesel patented his eponymous powerplant back in the 1890s—and since the domestic diesel debacle of the 1970s—so that today’s top diesel-powered vehicles are some of the cleanest, most efficient choices available. In fact, instead of billowing black smoke, they’re now more likely to produce green benefits that include EPA grades north of 40 mpg.
On the other hand, there’s also an array of trucks and SUVs that rely on the technology’s towering torque outputs to deliver some casually impressive capabilities.
And in all applications, the robust construction of diesel engines, required to handle their higher compression ratios, delivers the kind of improved durability that helps further offset the somewhat higher purchase and fuel costs.
As a result, paring the current crop of about 25 choices down to just the 10 best diesels was no easy task, with Autobytel looking to present a mix of top sellers and multiple nameplates for maximum customer satisfaction.