Korea’s longtime producer of diesel-powered cars and SUVs is enjoying a resurgence after several years of strife and doldrums. Analysts believe it reflects in part growing consumer awareness of diesel engines’ advantages over gasoline in fuel efficiency and at the pump.

Ssangyong's global sales in first-quarter 2014 totaled 36,671 units, up 17.3% from year-earlier. Domestic sales of 16,797 vehicles jumped 26.4%. Virtually all the offerings were diesels.

Every Ssangyong SUV is equipped with diesel powerplants produced at the automaker’s engine plant in Changwon.

The Rexton W midsize SUV, Kyron large SUV, Korando small SUV and Actyon compact SUV have 2.0L mills that develop 138 hp or 155 hp. The Rexton W also can be ordered with a 2.7L variant that puts out 188 hp.

The Rodius large MPV is offered in Korea with a mostly aluminum 3.2L gasoline engine.

Ssangyong’s Chairman W luxury sedan comes with a brawny XGI 5000 5.0L, 306-hp SOHC V-8 diesel developed by Mercedes Benz.

 “The XGI 5000 provides a range of peak flat torque that is not attainable with gasoline engines, providing the driver with exceptional driving performance under all conditions,” the Chairman W sales brochure boasts.