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To answer LOL101:
The mpg that the article states for each car is the EPA mpg which has been known to have wrong calculations for many cars.
The mpg of a diesel is higher than it's sticker says and get's even better over time.
Also I'm sure diesels pay off for themselves faster than many hybrids.
Maintenance costs are somewhat higher for diesel engines, but they last a lot longer than most gasoline engines and with good services they shoudln't be too much of a hassle.
Why am I being blocked when I try to say that these are also the only diesel vehicles?
When discussing pay-back, the extra cost of diesels also pertains to used and trade-in values. They cost more new and are worth more used thereby reducing the pay-back time.
I drive a 2002 Jetta TDI, 200K miles, original owner, $21.5K purchase price, and continue to get an average of 46-49 Highway, 40-42 City (depending on conditions and speed driven). The car runs like a champ, and the dealership CSR's just smile every time I bring it in for required maintenance (every 10,000 miles, so twice a year, on average). My goal is to make it to 500,000 miles, which should easily be attainable. The car has paid for itself, and I DO NOT miss having a car payment every month, unlike many of my peers!
Assuming an owner takes care of their car (with all routine maintenance being accomplished as per the manufacturer), the cost of a diesel is well worth the initial investment! Add that to the fact that I will never have to buy a replacement Hybrid battery, and ownership justification merely becomes "Can I handle driving the same car for 15 years or more?"
I may not have all of the new bells and whistles, but I do have a dependable car that is still very fun to drive!