In contrast to Europe, where they account for more than half of new cars sold, diesel-powered models hadn’t really caught on with U.S. new car buyers. In the past two years, though, numbers show that more and more Americans recognize the benefits of the new generation of “clean” diesel engines.

That is, the advances in diesel technology have resulted in today’s diesels being nothing like their crude forebears of the ‘80s, while they are also up to 40 percent more fuel efficient that comparable gasoline-powered versions.

According to data from HybridCars.com and Baum and Associates, sales of diesel-powered cars in the States increased by 25.6 percent in 2012, almost double the total market’s 13.8 percent increase rate.

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