Diesel cars haven't been popular due to history of unreliable Diesel engines, not the NOX issue.Great review rear headroom legroom is always a bug bear for me as well l have a tall daughter to consider, a lot of cars are cramped in the back these days and not so practical for long commutes, its surprising how hard Ford Focus seats are. Sat in the front and back of my neighbours MK2, headroom was total crap in the rear you would not want to do more that 25 miles in it, seat were like sitting on cast iron. Have known a few friend who have owned Focus's and developed back problems doing regular long commutes in them they had to end up selling them . Malibu seats look very comfortable ideal for your long commutes.
Having a diesel depends really in what part world you live, they are very popular in Europe 98% of BMW 5 Series are diesel sales, BMW are making big profits in Europe from diesels where gas is $9 a gallon so the extra 1/3 MPG it get and low C02 means it escapes a lot of EU C02 based taxes.
In countries like the USA and Japan diesels are not very popular be cause of the NOx pollution, EU has been using ultra low sulphur diesel in cars for ages, but the EU now see's they can make a lot of money on taxing NOx pollution as a new way of raising more tax revenue out of the motorist, so diesel are becoming the new evil in the EU, just as the US is offering a growing but limited range of diesel models.
Here is a guy who has run up a million miles in diesel on a Ford 1.8 diesel for 16 years, the 67 years old only had one problem with the gearbox he had changed, most diesels will rack up huge milages last run longer, it's normally the body shell that rots through before the engine packs up. Lots of ole gasoline Crown Vics & Town Cars make it to a million miles as well, but l don't think car makers like them doing it as they don't get many repeat buyers, Peugeot suffer with this in Europe with its diesel cars they run for ever, it's only the body shell that ends up rotting through first.
Will look out for your new Mondeo review when it finally arrives 3 years to later than the US Fusion, the 1.0L 3 cylinder ecoboost version just seems so wrong for pulling such a big car.
And gasoline is significantly cheaper than diesel fuel as well. Locally gasoline is selling for as low as $2.889 a gallon, which is about $.764 per liter, while national average is $3.30 a gallon, $.873 per liter. Diesel fuel is more in the $3.60 a gallon range, about $.953 a liter.
Of course, the USA doesn't tax fuel as heavily as many countries.