A Honda on a Diesel Diet

A Honda on a Diesel Diet

(NY Times) - HONDA has spent decades establishing a reputation for fuel efficiency. But nothing in the company's current lineup, including its Civic Hybrid, can match the mileage of the diesel Accord that I recently tested in and around New York City.

Minus its diesel powertrain, the European-market 2007 Accord that I drove is nearly identical to the car that Honda had been selling in the United States as the Acura TSX . That Accord should give a solid indication of the mileage and performance American consumers can expect when Honda offers a diesel option for the redesigned 2009 TSX.

The Accord - a demonstration car provided by Robert Bosch, the German technology company, to highlight its fuel injectors and other diesel components - returned a remarkable 53 miles a gallon on the highway, 34 in the city and 44 in combined driving. Those miles included a bumper-to-bumper crawl through Manhattan, the worst possible conditions for fuel efficiency.

The model I drove was powered by a 4-cylinder diesel displacing 2.2 liters and producing 140 horsepower and a stout 250 pound-feet of torque - the force that drivers feel pushing them into their seats under acceleration. That huge torque relative to the engine's size is a main advantage of modern turbodiesels, making them well-suited to small economy cars and to burly S.U.V.'s that need torque for towing and hauling.

The America-bound Acura will use a new version of the 2.2-liter engine that I tested. The engine is notable for meeting 50-state emissions standards with no need to carry an onboard tank of urea, an ammonia-generating solution that other diesels use to scrub smoggy nitrogen oxides from the exhaust. Honda's patented pollution system generates its own ammonia to fulfill the same mission. While that cleaner emissions system wasn't installed on the Honda I tested, engineers expect it to have no discernable effect on fuel economy.

As with other diesels I've driven recently, the Honda's frugal highway mileage and versatile power are important advantages over the typical hybrid. The Accord covered the zero-to-60 run in just under 9 seconds in my testing, which doesn't sound spectacular on paper. But its passing power from 30, 50 or even 70 miles an hour was terrific, as the Honda easily shot past slower cars.

And as more hybrid owners are discovering, their cars deliver little or no mileage gain on the highway. That's because battery packs and electric motors add several hundred pounds, and the system also contributes negligible energy at freeway speeds.

Also unlike hybrids, which require drivers to go easy on the gas pedal, watch the speed limit and coast when possible to improve the mileage, the diesel Honda delivered brilliant economy with no special effort. Even spirited driving didn't dent the mileage much. The Accord delivered 50 m.p.g. even during a 75-m.p.h. cruise and 40 m.p.g. when I flogged it like a Nascar yahoo.

The Acura's only diesel telltale is an idle that's slightly louder than a gasoline car's, though it's not at all obtrusive. There was no trace of diesel smell or black exhaust and except for the enormous diesel decal on the car's side, my passengers would have been unaware that a diesel was under the hood.

I also recently spent a week with the Audi Q7 3.0 TDI sport utility, which will go on sale in January. That model, with a 3-liter turbocharged V-6, delivered about 25 m.p.g. on the highway. But the Audi's mileage seemed more fragile than the Honda's, dropping sharply in city traffic and in spirited driving. That was probably due to its sheer mass; the Q7 weighed more than 5,000 pounds.

Audi also demonstrates the performance possibilities of diesel with its exotic R8 V-12 TDI concept sports car, which I took for a too-brief test drive. That blood-red, all-wheel-drive Audi had a 12-cylinder diesel mounted behind my head, generating 500 horsepower and an astounding 737 pound-feet of torque. Audi claims the R8 will rocket from 0 to 60 in about 4 seconds and reach a top speed of 190 m.p.h., all while delivering 24 m.p.g. Audi has not said whether it will put the car into production.

Subscribe to Trend in Google News! Subscribe
Azerbaijan supports all int’l efforts to ensure transparency in extractive industries – minister
Azerbaijan supports all int’l efforts to ensure transparency in extractive industries – minister
Iran intends to increase exports through Astara
Iran intends to increase exports through Astara
Azerbaijan shares data on oil transported via BTC pipeline in 9M2021
Azerbaijan shares data on oil transported via BTC pipeline in 9M2021
Loading Bars
Azerbaijan discloses names of returned Armenian servicemen
Uzbekistan exports $625 million worth of fruits and vegetables in 9 months
UK records highest daily COVID death toll since early March
Ukrainian Bees Airline plans to launch Odessa-Tbilisi-Odessa flights starting October 22
Iranian official dismisses 'tensions' at Astara customs, says activity with Azerbaijan soars
Turkmenistan starts rice harvest in Dashoguz region
Azerbaijan supports all int’l efforts to ensure transparency in extractive industries – minister
Refining activity of Iran's Fajr Jam Gas Refining Company soars
Iran’s Persian Gulf Petrochemical Industries Corporation sets new record
Azerbaijan's defense minister visits newly established commando military unit (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Iran’s PMO declares data on load/unload operations in Jask Port
Iran intends to increase exports through Astara
Turkey reveals cargo traffic via its ports from Portugal for 8M2021
Exports of Iran to Kyrgyzstan booming
President Ilham Aliyev receives Croatia's Minister of Foreign and European Affairs
Iran's Energy Exchange announces products to be on sale on October 20
President Ilham Aliyev expresses condolences to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Iran’s Bahar Azadi gold coin price rebounds
Azerbaijan transfers captured Armenian servicemen back to Armenia
Uzbekistan plans to exempt import and sale of meat products from VAT
Turkey shares data on maritime cargo shipment with Russia for 8M2021
Azerbaijan shares data on oil transported via BTC pipeline in 9M2021
USAID to provide additional funds for Kazakhstan to fight COVID-19
Turkey announces data on cargo traffic with Italy for 8M2021
Kazakhstan imposes export restrictions for some timber types
Azerbaijan names locations of future national parks in liberated territories
Azerbaijan demands certain steps from Armenia at UN International Court of Justice
Iran’s 9M2021 Turkish cement imports up
Iran to host meeting on economic co-op with Turkmenistan
Georgian foreign trade turnover increases
Iran increases petrochemicals production
Kazakhstan sees increase in number of open trading accounts
​Iran allocates more funds for oil and gas projects in Ilam Province
Turkey unveils data on cargo traffic via its ports from Spain
Georgia's domestic export up in 9M2021
Value of Turkish cement exports to Georgia for 8M2021 down
Turkey shares data on cargo traffic with Greece for 8M2021
Turkey reveals cargo volume handled from Egypt in 8M2021
Azerbaijan shares data on number of vaccinated citizens
Azerbaijan confirms 2,102 more COVID-19 cases, 863 recoveries
Cargo traffic on Azerbaijan's section of TRACECA for 8M2021 revealed
IMF lowers breakeven oil price level for Azerbaijan
Saudi index hits 15-year peak as most Gulf bourses gain
Israel's Bank Mizrahi Tefahot to issue $1.1 bln of CPI-linked bonds
Iran seeks to complete semi-finished project related to Lake Urmia's revitalization
Iran imports trucks to renovate transportation fleet
IMF revises up forecasts for Azerbaijan’s non-oil GDP growth
Iran`s domestic appliances production increases
IMF reveals forecast for Azerbaijan’s annual inflation
Iran's imports from neighboring countries up
Turkey discloses volume of cargo shipment via its ports from Singapore for 8M2021
Hungarian companies to attend Rebuild Karabakh EXPO
Azerbaijan raises gas exports via BTE pipeline
IMF predicts growth for Azerbaijan's GDP
Azerbaijani ministry denies rumors about full transition of schools to online lessons
Slovakia interested in deepening relations with Azerbaijan - FM
Turkey reveals cargo traffic with Morocco for 8M2021
Data on cargo shipping between Turkey and Algeria for 8M2021 revealed
Turkey shares data on cargo traffic with Israel for 8M2021
TAP partially stems increase in gas prices – managing director
Iran to sell oil through private sector
Iran started exploration of mining sites in South Khorasan Province
Minister talks preferential loans issued in Azerbaijan since early 2021
Bakcell will be ready to implement eSIM project in Azerbaijan
Iran reveals COVID-19 data for October 19
Iran's steel production increases
Iran eyes to boost domestic production in mining, industrial and commercial sectors
AccessBank eyes increasing loan portfolio mainly in segment of micro, agricultural entrepreneurs - Acting Chairman of Board (Interview)
National bank of Georgia shares data on payment cards issuance
Average mobile internet download speed continues to grow in Azerbaijan - Ookla
Galt & Taggart publishes overview of Georgia's economic growth
USAID selecting Turkmen business projects for co-financing
Eni Turkmenistan Ltd opens tender for supply of wellhead equipment
Azerbaijan exported most of its oil to Italy in 9M2021 - State Customs Committee
Iran ready to attract investment in renewable energy sector - minister
Azerbaijan - supporter of normalization of relations with Armenia, says FM
Azerbaijan, Slovakia eye signing agreement on economic co-op
Slovakia to supply Azerbaijan with de-mining machines in near future
Azerbaijan denies rumors about impeding exports from Iran to Russia
Iran Standards and Quality Inspection Agency releases car quality report
Iran to complete railway transit corridors - RAI
Baku Expo Center to soon open 'Rebuild Karabakh' exhibition
Joint press conference of Azerbaijani and Slovak FMs held in Baku (PHOTO/VIDEO)
VTB Bank in Georgia to back up creation of Nuclear Medicine and Diagnostic Center
Uzbekistan to produce its first electric cars
Turkey's steel export to Uzbekistan surges in value for 9M2021
Turkey shares data for cargo traffic via domestic ports from Ukraine in 8M2021
Azerbaijani, Slovak FMs holding expanded meeting (PHOTO)
Turkmen state concern to buy chemical products via tender
Azerbaijan’s 'Kalbajar' tanker leaves for first voyage
Renewables’ share in global energy supply to increase to over 25%
Georgia shares data on COVID-19 cases for October 19
Iran discloses volume of exports from Parvizkhan border terminal
PwC announces new strategy: The New Equation
India’s active Covid cases fall below 200k for the first time in seven months
Russia’s investments in US government securities in August remain at July level
Death accident takes place during construction of road in Azerbaijan's Kalbajar
Quake off Greece's Karpathos shakes eastern Mediterranean
Renewable Energy Agency talks on projects in Azerbaijan’s liberated lands
Israel's El Al Airlines starts talks to buy smaller rival Arkia
All news