When shopping around for a car, there are a number of features you’ll naturally consider – from the cosmetic, to the functional. Do you want a large lumbering vehicle poised for the outback, or a swift city slicker to weave in and out of traffic? And what about extras like leather seats?
What you may not have considered, however, is whether you want that shiny new vehicle to take petrol or diesel in the tank. Hear us out, as it might be something you want to weigh up.
If you thought that diesel was just for trucks, you’re not alone. Many of us see the diesel pump at the petrol station – with its ultra-big handle – and think that it’s the juice for well, ultra-big vehicles.
But did you know, diesel can fuel a range of vehicles, from the teeny to the tremendous?
With that in mind, let’s look at the pros and cons.
The benefits of diesel
With its ability to ruin petrol-run engines, and its price at the pump, diesel often gets a bad wrap from your everyday driver. But truth be told, diesel has its own list of benefits.
For starters, it’s more powerful. Put simply, when put in a diesel-run engine, diesel can put more “oomph” behind the vehicle you’re driving, while placing less strain on the engine.
On a related note, you’ll get more bang for your buck. While the price at the pump may turn you off, a diesel dollar goes further – making long trips suited to diesel vehicles. You can see why trucks run on diesel now, can’t you?
The best bit? Diesel cars also emit less CO2.
The downsides of diesel
It’s not all daisies for diesel, however. Just like any car-related feature you’ll cross on your purchasing journey, it does have its own caveats.
As mentioned, diesel is more expensive at the pump. You may feel that the number ticking higher and higher feels astronomical in comparison to what you’re used to paying for a petrol-run vehicle. Even if you get more out of the tank.
You may also want to consider that, even though there is less CO2 going into the air with a diesel vehicle, the nitrogen oxide gases that come out of diesel engines get quite the bad wrap. They’re linked with bad air quality and breathing difficulties among those who consume the air.
Finally, diesel engines don’t do as well with shorter trips. Modern diesel engines are designed to run at their optimum once the engine reaches a certain temperature. Once at that level, their diesel particulate filter (or DPF) can run efficiently, reducing nasty emissions.
When the engine doesn’t reach this temperature, however, say on a short trip, the DPF can get blocked which can cause engine problems down the line.
Making the call: diesel or petrol
Ultimately, the choice between diesel or petrol-run vehicles comes down to the following factors:
- The length of trips you intend to take
Diesel engines run optimally when on longer journeys.
- The importance you place on emissions
Diesel engines emit less CO2. If the environment is a large factor in your decision, you may want to consider a hybrid.
- The price you’re willing to pay for filling up
Are you happy to put in an extra penny to get more out of the tank?
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