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Published: Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013 12:00 a.m. CST

<p>(BPT) - Not that long ago, finding a diesel car or truck - a truck with fewer than 18 wheels, anyway - on an American highway was about as rare as an icy road in July. Not so today. The era of dirty, smelly and noisy diesel vehicles has gone the way of the 8-track tape player, clearing a path for high-profile and increasingly popular diesel sedans, SUVs and pickup trucks.</p><p>Fueling great mileage</p><p>One of the main advantages of diesel vehicles is their excellent fuel economy. Diesel fuel costs about 7 percent more than gasoline at the pump but it can take a car or truck much further down the road. On average, a vehicle running on diesel fuel gains 30 to 35 percent in fuel efficiency over a vehicle running on traditional gasoline. Diesel fuel has a greater amount of energy per gallon than gasoline, says Neil Hoff of CHS, a company that produces diesel fuel for fleet operations across the country. This is why a diesel car can average closer to 50 miles per gallon on the highway.</p><p>Similar to traditional gasoline, consumers can upgrade at the pump to a premium diesel for added performance. &ldquo;Using a premium diesel fuel, such as Cenex Roadmaster premium diesel, can increase fuel efficiency and power by another 5 percent,&rdquo; says Hoff. &ldquo;The premium diesel packages are also ultra-low sulfur, which is cleaner-burning than a standard diesel. Drivers appreciate the combination of added power with fewer emissions.&rdquo;</p><p>Responding to demand</p><p>Though long popular in Europe, diesel vehicles have not yet enjoyed widespread popularity in the United States. However, American automakers are taking a cue from consumers who desire an alternative to gasoline-fueled cars.</p><p>For example, Chevrolet has introduced its 2014 Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel, a compact car that boasts 46 mpg on the highway; and the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee diesel claims to drive up to 730 miles on one tank of gas. Other companies, including Volkswagen, Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche all offer diesel varieties that carmakers hope consumers will warm to. Trucks are not left out of the equation, with diesel pickups available from Chevrolet/GMC, Ford and Ram.</p><p>Laura Anderson of Minneapolis has owned a diesel-powered Volkswagen Passat for more than a year. &ldquo;I do a lot of highway driving,&rdquo; says Anderson, &ldquo;so the great fuel economy and the power of the diesel engine are what sold me on giving diesel a try. I&rsquo;m very glad I made that decision. I love my car, and I love saving so much money on gas.&rdquo;</p><p>Powered by technology</p><p>Diesel engines, too, have undergone great advances, such as high-pressure injection technologies that promote engine health and longevity. &ldquo;Diesel engines have come a long way in the past decade and are certainly more marketable than they used to be,&rdquo; says Hoff.</p><p>&ldquo;Today&rsquo;s diesel engines are quieter and smoother running than ever. When you pair that with great fuel economy and reduced sulfur levels, for consumers, that&rsquo;s a combination that&rsquo;s hard to beat.&rdquo;</p><p>For more information on diesel fuels, and to find out how you can nominate someone you know for free fuel, visit <a href="http://withyou.cenex.com/tanks-of-thanks/" rel="nofollow">www.TanksofThanks.com</a>.</p> <img src='http://www.brandpointcontent.com/printsite/ImageWriter.ashx?articleid=18802&memberid=8729' border='0' width='1' height='1' />

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