A few years back a change in the world order was comically illustrated by the fact that the best selling rapper was white and the number one golfer was black.

Much has happened to Eminem and Tiger Woods since then: Now, as Europe, once the world's largest diesel market, clamps down on oil burners, North America is seeing something of a surge.

US customers have traditionally treated diesel with disdain – something that should be left to truckers - but diesel technology got a major boost at the 2018 North American International Auto Show this month as six car makers announced new clean diesel options for passenger cars, SUVs and light trucks. 

The announcements demonstrate a commitment to clean diesel technology as a fuel-efficient choice for consumers, and for achieving cleaner air and fuel economy targets, according to Allen Schaeffer, executive director of the Diesel Technology Forum.

He added: "The new generation of clean diesel vehicles has been more scrutinised and evaluated than ever before. Consumers that choose diesel in their next vehicle will experience the unmatched combination of no-compromise driving performance, very low emissions, fuel efficiency, operating range and towing capacity.

"The introduction of new diesel options in truck models like the Silverado 1500 and the F-150 demonstrates the continued significance of this powertrain for consumers and auto manufacturers around the globe."

In 2017, more than 65% of the 17.2m vehicles sold in the US were trucks or SUVs. Ford's F-series pickup, GM's Silverado and FCA's Ram pickup represented the top three best-selling vehicles in America. The F-150 has been the best selling truck in America for more than 40 years and the top selling vehicle of any kind for more than 35 years.

New diesel offerings, 2018/2019 model years: 

  • GM's 2019 Silverado pickup: 3.0l V6 diesel option among six powertrain choices 
  • Ford's 2018 F-150 pickup: 3.0l V6 PowerStroke diesel option among six powertrain choices 
  • Fiat Chrysler's 2019 Ram 1500 pickup: 3.0l diesel option among five powertrain options 
  • Chevy's 2018 Equinox crossover: 1.6l turbo-diesel option among three powertrain choices 
  • Chevy's 2018 Cruze and Cruze Hatch compact sedans: 1.6l diesel option among three powertrain choices 
  • Jeep's 2019 Wrangler compact SUV: 3.0l V6 EcoDiesel option among three powertrain choices 
  • BMW's 2018 540d sedan: diesel xDrive option among six powertrain choices 
  • Kia Sorento crossover: diesel option coming soon