Since the Volkswagen diesel scandal that erupted in September 2015, the diesel engine has had a tough go of it. No sooner than it makes a new appearance in some model or other, than rumours start to fly that it will be discontinued.
General Motors has now announced that it is abandoning its foray into diesel engines in two of the company’s Chevrolet and GMC models. After a few short years on the market, GM is pulling the plug on the diesel variants of the Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain.
The company confirmed the news to The Car Connection website, and it’s not hard to see how it came to its decision: demand was simply too weak. The engine in question is a 1.6L 4-cylinder with an output of 137 hp and 240 lb-ft of torque, wedded to a 6-speed automatic transmission.
We actually test drove this version and came away pretty unconvinced by its qualities. Not only were power and torque middling at best, but the fuel economy wasn’t much better. Overall, we would have expected better.
Then there was the question of cost. The premium to pay to get the diesel engine instead of the base engine in either of the two models was $4,200. Considering how little consumers were gaining at the pump, it’s not surprising that consumers stayed away.
GM is bringing a few other adjustment to the models for 2020, notably a reorganization of the product line, obviously with the diesel variants disappearing, and a few changes to the choices of colours available.
Colours aside, the big news of course is the jettisoning of a powertrain that the company had been betting on.
There's one segment in which the diesel option remains highly relevant and popular, of course, and that would be HD pickups.