My son is a writer and car nut and has a chance to drive a lot of different cars. Usually as part of his review process of a new model, he comes and picks up my wife and I and we go out to dinner in the car. He’s taken us out in two new Audi models that are diesel powered. But they are not the loud, noisy diesel sedans of the 1970s, they are what the company calls Clean Diesel. I don’t know how clean they are, but I can tell you they sure are quiet and comfortable. We didn’t even realize they were diesel until he told us.
My diesel car I drove a Peugeot 505 D diesel in the mid-1980s. The car was comfortable but loud, and my kids later told me they loved it because they could hear me coming down the street if they were doing something they weren’t supposed to be at home. It was extremely reliable and got very good mileage. Diesel fuel was also cheaper than regular fuel at that time, adding to the value of driving it. The diesel engine was very slow and it was no sports car.
Clean Diesel The technology seems like the Holy Grail for car engines, with higher torque, lower emissions and better mileage than similar gasoline engines. According to Audi, their diesel cars get 15 percent better fuel economy than similar gasoline engines and produce 20 percent less CO2 emissions.
Audi A7 TDI The first car we had a chance to ride in was the 2014 A7 TDI which has the Clean Diesel engine. This is a graceful, sweeping sedan with a curved roofline. The four doors have no window frames, when you open the doors, the window glass sticks up alone. The inside is very spacious and the ride is very sporty. It has all the latest technology and my son tried to explain it to me, I know it has satellite maps and a radio. Even though it’s like a four-door coupe, the car has a large hatchback, with a large truck space that extends into the cabin. The hatchback closes itself with the touch of a button. Because it’s an Audi, the sound insulation is very good and you cannot hear a loud engine or feel vibrations.
Audi A8 L TDI A few weeks later we went out in Audi’s big luxury sedan (also with the diesel engine) and it was like riding in a limousine. We sat in the back of the 2014 A8 L TDI and the seats are huge. There is a lot of leg room and the L in the name means this is the longer, extended version. There is a big armrest with cupholders and even a refrigerator between the rear seats. The car we rode in had video screens on the back on the front seats, maybe to entertain very rich kids. It’s a large car but when my son drove it fast, it threw us back in the seats and seemed like a sports car. My son and I took a trip to the Beverly Hills Hotel in the car and it was perfect for a weekend vacation like that. I got the idea the A8 is better to be driven in, and the A7 is better to drive.