Diesel has struggled for acceptance in the U.S. in the past, too many customers haunted by horrific dabblings with diesel in the 1970s, or the image of lifted trucks "rolling coals" tarnishing its reputation.
Anyone familiar with modern diesels will dismiss both and even overlook the occasionally difficult-to-find nature of the fuel, as they're now quicker, smoother, quieter and cleaner than ever. Automakers are beginning to realize that, too--and Buick is the latest to consider a move to diesel.
Edmunds reports that General Motors could be set to offer a diesel-engined Buick in the near future. According to a source, aligning the Buick range with its European counterparts in Opel is a strong incentive. That several European competitors are offering diesel--such as Audi and Mercedes-Benz--is also behind General Motors Company's [NYSE:GM] motivation to expand its diesel lineup.
No Buick model has been confirmed for diesel just yet, but Edmunds suggests the compact Verano is a candidate, sharing its platform with the Chevrolet Cruze. The Cruze is already offered as a diesel, competing head-to-head with the Volkswagen Jetta TDI.
Diesel versions of other models wouldn't be out of the question either. Both the LaCrosse and the Regal are derived from the Epsilon II platform, used in the Opel Insignia and the short-lived 2010 Saab 9-5. The Regal in particular is more or less identical to the Insignia, a car offered with several diesel options in the European market.
Meanwhile, Buick is also considering a power boost for its popular Encore. Currently available with a 1.4-liter turbocharged unit, a new range of GM-developed 1.6-liter units is being considered.