Diesel engines on average offer about 25% greater fuel efficiency than a traditional combustion engine, or roughly the same amount of a hybrid, says George Magliano, IHS Global Insight analyst. But the extra value comes in the selling price. The average diesel-powered vehicle will cost about $2,000 more than a traditional internal combustion engine, while a hybrid variation might cost upwards of $7,000, depending on the make and model, he says.
The diesel option on the Grand Cherokee in 2008 cost $6,000 extra, but the resale value of the diesel Grand Cherokee commands up to a $10,000 premium to the gas model today.
Mercedes-Benz, for example, estimates that between 75% and 85% of its customers will choose diesel when given both options.