Last winter my wife and two kids and I took a taxi from downtown Paris to Orly airport, the taxi was a Mercedes 430 style body with a turbo diesel motor and a manual transmission. It was 6 in the morning so my interest level was low but I do remember the excellant excelleration and very smooth ride. We had a lot of luggage and my kids are nearly grown but everybody and every thing fitted nicely, and the car handled the load effortlessly.
I did ask the driver what kind of mileage he got and I believe he said high 20's per gallon (he was speaking French with a Vietnamese accent and talking in terms of liters per 100 kilometers)
Why can't we have this car in America? It's one terrific car. Or maybe we do have it and there aren't very many of them.
It's hard to believe there isn't a market for fast manual shift diesel cars. Maybe the marketing people are having too much sayso in the production process.
Maybe Mercedes is making a mistake here.