Why buy a diesel car?

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Ever consider a diesel car? Automakers are hoping you say yes, as they introduce diesel options in a broad range of passenger cars to meet more stringent gas mileage standards. I’m Claes Bell with the Bankrate.com Personal Finance Minute.

Making up only 3 percent of U.S. vehicle sales, they’re not exactly mainstream, but diesels do have some perks for drivers. That cloud of black smoke that used to travel behind diesels has largely been eliminated by new technology, and they still get about 30 percent better gas mileage than a typical gasoline car. They also tend to have better resale value, and give a better punch when you step on the gas that comes from higher torque.

There are downsides, though. It can be hard to find diesel gas stations in your area, and diesel is more expensive at the pump, ringing in at about the same price as premium gas. Also, choosing the diesel option for a new car can increase the sticker price by $2,000 or more, and you may find your selection limited to just a few models from select automakers.

For more on this and other personal finance topics, visit Bankrate.com. I’m Claes Bell.