Top Gear was interesting this week. They did a hyper-miling race from Basel in Switzerland to Blackpool in England. Three diesel cars - a VW Polo Bluemotion, a Subaru Legacy TDI wagon and a Jag twin-turbo TDI sedan. The VW and the Subaru were driven carefully with an eye on gas mileage, and the Jag (driven by Clarkson) was driven taking no account of range and fuel consumption.
All three made it to Blackpool - between 750 and 860 miles depending on their chosen routes - and all on a single tank of diesel. All three had zero on their miles-to-empty displays, and fuel gauges buried on "E" a good 40 miles before reaching the finish. Yet the Jag had another 120 miles-worth of diesel left in it.
Think about it for a moment - that's a 1000 mile range on a luxury car on a single tank. The VW is a practical runabout that can do 800 miles on a tank, and the Subaru is a wagon that can do 750 miles on a tank.
I ask again : why do the manufacturers not import and sell diesel vehicles in America? They're cheaper than any hybrid, they're cleaner than most petrol cars now, and they have high torque, very driveable engines that deliver astonishing gas mileage - 80mpg or more (imperial) which is 67mpg US.