The Vincentric 2013 Diesel Analysis showed that of the 26 diesels measured, 12 had total cost of ownership that was lower than their all-gasoline powered counterparts.
The average price premium for a diesel was $5,392, with average fuel cost savings of $2,117. When all costs to own and operate a diesel were taken into account, the average cost of ownership for diesels was $1,017 more than their all-gasoline powered counterparts. The range between the best and worst savings was significant, with the 2013 Mercedes-Benz GL Class Diesel saving buyers $8,315 while the 2013 Chevrolet Express Diesel G3500 cost buyers $10,720 more to own. The full study is published below.




There are many different approaches for comparing diesels to their all gas counterparts. At Vincentric, we have prepared different reports to help users to understand the financial dynamics of diesel vehicles. By doing so, we enable users to better understand the expected costs (or savings) of driving a diesel, resulting in the ability to make a more informed decision when considering the purchase of a diesel vehicle.
Fuel prices used in these reports are based on a weighted average over the previous five months, so you may notice that they don't necessarily reflect current prices during times of rapid fuel price changes. This is done to help ensure that the analysis reflects current market trends and not market extremes.
The reports assume 15,000 miles are driven annually, and the vehicle is owned five years. It is also worthwhile to understand that the numbers shown are U.S. averages, although the same analysis can be done for any state or the District of Columbia.
Please note: The reports below use data from our August, 2013 database update. Vincentric compares diesel vehicles to their all-gas counterpart based on a similar trim level. Cost differentials may differ if other trims are analyzed. Since this analysis was originally released, some vehicle configurations selected for the gas powered models have been changed to facilitate more relevant comparisons.



U.S. consumers have been slow to embrace diesel passenger vehicles. There has been a lack of understanding of the benefits of clean diesel technology. This report demonstrates that in addition to improved environmental benefits of diesels, a strong financial case can be made for the adoption of some of these vehicles. However, consumers seeking shelter from high gas prices won’t always find the relief they expect by turning to diesels. In this analysis, there were 12 diesels that can be financially justified purely based on the total cost of ownership numbers.

    • 2013 Mercedes-Benz GL350 Diesel (-$8,315)
    • 2013 Mercedes-Benz S350 Diesel (-$6,532)
    • 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Diesel (-$4,071)
    • 2013 Audi A3 Diesel (-$3,688)
    • 2013 BMW X5 Diesel (-$3,155)
    • 2013 Mercedes-Benz ML350 Diesel (-$1,620)
    • 2013 Volkswagen Jetta Diesel (-$1,443 )
    • 2013 Volkswagen Touareg Diesel (-$940 )
    • 2013 Volkswagen Passat Diesel (-$794)
    • 2013 Mercedes-Benz E350 Diesel (-$637)
    • 2013 Ford F-350 Diesel (-$530 )
    • 2013 GMC Sierra 3500 Diesel (-$68)

In addition to carbon emission improvements, diesels are known for their improved fuel economy. The models that provide the greatest benefit over their gas only counterparts are:


    • 2013 Mercedes-Benz S350 Diesel (-$4,640)
    • 2013 Mercedes-Benz GL350 Diesel (-$4,580)
    • 2013 Audi A3 Diesel (-$3,973)
    • 2013 Audi Q7 Diesel (-$3,327)
    • 2013 Volkswagen Touareg Diesel (-$3,027)

Of course for those who are looking to minimize fuel purchases, it is important to know the diesel vehicles with the lowest overall fuel costs. They are:

    • 2013 Audi A3 Diesel ($9,199)
    • 2013 Volkswagen Golf Diesel ($9,199)
    • 2013 Volkswagen Jetta Diesel ($9,199)
    • 2013 Volkswagen Passat Diesel ($9,369)
    • 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Diesel ($9,971)

The chart below shows further detail regarding the items related to cost of ownership and fuel consumption for each diesel. In addition, by clicking on the vehicles names in the chart, you will see a detailed comparison of the two vehicles.

The results of this analysis show that 12 of the 26 diesel vehicles measured have a lower overall cost of ownership than their gasoline alternatives. The chart below shows three key items related to cost of ownership for each diesel, which include:

    • The Price Premium - This shows how much more you pay for the diesel.
    • Cost of Ownership Differential - This shows how much more (or less, if a negative number) it will cost to own and operate the diesel compared to a similar all-gasoline powered vehicle.
    • Fuel Cost Differential - This shows the fuel savings obtained by the diesel. Buyers often only look at fuel savings due to its reduction in the use of petroleum, although from a strictly financial perspective the Cost of Ownership differential is the relevant number.    


Vehicles Being Compared

(Click on the vehicles to see a detailed cost of ownership comparison)

Price Premium


Cost of Ownership Differential

Fuel Cost Differential

2013 Audi A3 Diesel vs 2013 Audi A3





2013 Audi Q7 Diesel vs 2013 Audi Q7

5,671 1,665 -3,327

2013 BMW X5 Diesel vs 2013 BMW X5

-943 -3,155 -2,650

2013 Chevrolet Express Cargo Diesel G2500 vs 2013 Chevrolet Express Cargo G2500

11,085 8,870 -1,449

2013 Chevrolet Express Cargo Diesel G3500 vs 2013 Chevrolet Express Cargo G3500

11,485 8,620 -1,764

2013 Chevrolet Express Diesel G3500 vs 2013 Chevrolet Express G3500

12,184 10,720 -1,127

2013 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 Diesel vs 2013 Chevrolet Silverado 2500

8,194 773 -1,665

2013 Chevrolet Silverado 3500 Diesel vs 2013 Chevrolet Silverado 3500

8,198 2 -1,993

2013 Ford F-250 Diesel vs 2013 Ford F-250

7,285 1,189 -392

2013 Ford F-350 Diesel vs 2013 Ford F-350

4,700 -530 -527

2013 GMC Savana Cargo Diesel G2500 vs 2013 GMC Savana Cargo G2500

10,951 8,728 -1,449

2013 GMC Savana Diesel G3500 vs 2013 GMC Savana G3500

11,914 10,076 -1,127

2013 GMC Sierra 2500 Diesel vs 2013 GMC Sierra 2500

8,229 803 -1,665

2013 GMC Sierra 3500 Diesel vs 2013 GMC Sierra 3500

8,172 -68 -1,993

2013 Mercedes-Benz E350 Diesel vs 2013 Mercedes-Benz E350

1,128 -637 -1,259

2013 Mercedes-Benz GL350 Diesel vs 2013 Mercedes-Benz GL450

-7 -8,315 -4,580

2013 Mercedes-Benz ML350 Diesel vs 2013 Mercedes-Benz ML350

1,666 -1,620 -2,086

2013 Mercedes-Benz S350 Diesel vs 2013 Mercedes-Benz S550

-1,879 -6,532 -4,640

2013 Porsche Cayenne Diesel vs 2013 Porsche Cayenne

2,764 2,535 -2,569

2013 Ram 2500 Diesel vs 2013 Ram 2500

7,652 524 -1,562
    2013 Ram 3500 Diesel vs 2013 Ram 3500 7,999 535 -1,562
    2013 Volkswagen Beetle Diesel vs 2013 Volkswagen Beetle -283 -4,071 -2,857

2013 Volkswagen Golf Diesel vs 2013 Volkswagen Golf

5,447 3,192 -1,788

2013 Volkswagen Jetta Diesel vs 2013 Volkswagen Jetta

991 -1,443 -1,788

2013 Volkswagen Passat Diesel vs 2013 Volkswagen Passat

2,498 -794 -2,229

2013 Volkswagen Touareg Diesel vs 2013 Volkswagen Touareg

3,638 -940 -3,027

  Represents diesel vehicles with a lower total cost of ownership compared to their all-gas counterpart.

 Represents the five diesel vehicles with the lowest fuel costs compared to their all-gas counterpart. 




In most cases studied, the diesel vehicle had a higher market price than its gas alternative, which causes several cost factors to increase including depreciation, finance, opportunity costs and fees and taxes. The 2013 study also shows that diesels typically have slightly higher insurance, repair and maintenance costs. However, diesels offer dramatically lower fuel expenses due to their improved MPG. In addition, on a percentage basis, diesels have lower depreciation, but due to a higher purchase price, their total depreciation costs are higher. Therefore, it’s important for consumers to look at their needs and the specific models available to them because depending on the current deals, driving patterns and intended length of ownership a diesel can still be a great value.


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To view the press release regarding the 2013 Diesel Analysis, click here


 If you are interested in learning more about other Industry Reports from Vincentric, click here.