Is 2008 the year of the diesel? (probably more like 2009).
Most Americans have a bad impression of diesel cars. We think of them as loud, hard to start and foul-smelling. We sneer at them for lacking the get-up-and-go of their gasoline-powered cousins. And we dislike them for their perceived environmental sins, chiefly the polluting brew of sulfur and nitrogen compounds that they emit into the atmosphere. All those complaints were fair a generation ago, when the twin energy crises of the 1970s propelled diesels into national popularity and kept them there for a decade. Back then, many drivers ignored diesel’s faults, or were unaware of them, because diesel cars ran 30 percent farther on a gallon of fuel than similar gasoline-powered cars. It felt savvy to buy a diesel, even daring. Then fuel prices dropped in the mid-1980s, and drivers abandoned their clattering, odoriferous fuel sippers. They went back to gasoline.