Nearly everyone I know thinks that diesel cars are lame. I have always appreciated them at least for the fact that they make suicide impractical (takes about 30 years to get cancer, whereas a gasoline engine will kill you within an hour from carbon monoxide poisoning). They also hit peak efficiency at about 60,000 miles and run for perhaps 200k to 300k.
Recently I learned (from the show 30 days) that they can also run on vegetable oil. I also (through some judicious use of google) learned that it is not terrifically difficult to make biodiesel from vegetable oil.
In addition – one can get biodiesel delivered to one’s house in 55 gallon drums, for about $3 a gallon. The last diesel price I noticed was $3.65 – a couple of weeks ago.
Sort of makes me wonder why more people aren’t snapping up those old Benzes and TDIs on craigslist, and relieving themselves of a dependence on foreign oil!