So you want a vehicle that has lots of power and lots of torque. I get that- I mean, who doesn’t want that? What? you also want something with a respectable set of MPG’s? Consider this: Diesel. While gasoline is the dominant fuel in the United States, diesel remains a very popular fuel choice for the rest of the world- and for good reason.
Diesel engines get better fuel economy, and it’s not a close race either. When it comes to your fuel mileage, diesel is 1/3 more efficient than gasoline. Suppose you have a vehicle with a gasoline engine that gets 30mpg. An equivanent vehicle with a diesel engine would get 40mpg! Did you know that a Volkswagen Golf or Jetta TDI can get 40mpg on the highway and 31 in town? It’s true that other cars can get amazing mpg‘s like that, but the TDI makes them seem like roller skates. Not into European styling? Don’t need a large diesel truck? There are in-between diesel choices too, like the Jeep Grand Cherokee.
I know what you’re thinking right now- gasoline is cheaper than diesel, so why bring any of this up? There are lots of other reasons as to why diesel can be a better fuel choice. The gasoline vs. diesel debate has to consider lots of different aspects before you can decide which is the better fuel choice for you, so let’s look at a few.
I know right now, deep in your gut, you’re thinking that this can’t be true. Actually, this is the reason that lots of people choose a diesel engine over a gas engine. Diesel makes less CO2 and your vehicle burns less fuel per mile. However, diesel can produce soot and NOx, which could be harmful- but that’s why they make catalytic converters! Just because you see something visible coming out of the tailpipe of a diesel, it’s actually producing less carbon emissons than a gas engine.
The right diesel fuel and engine combination can actually produce some pretty good engine performance. If you’re using bio-diesel, however, your performance may not be optimal and a gasoline engine might be a better choice in this circumstance. What if you need to tow stuff? Diesel offers the torque. Mmm…. Torque….
Ride and Noise
If you really want a silky smooth ride, the gas engine might be your best choice. Modern diesels don’t produce the smoke under the hood that they used to, or the horrible roaring noises, they are still a bit louder and not as smooth as a gas engine.
Considering the way the prices of the two fuels fluctuate in comparison to each other, this example is probably a draw. Sometimes gas is cheaper, sometimes diesel. Up front, a gasoline engine is cheaper to purchase than a diesel engine, but the better fuel economy should pay for that difference in a couple years. Diesel engines also tend to last longer. Diesel fuel is actually an oil, and engines like oil. Gasoline is a solvent, working against your engine’s motor oil. If you have a large diesel engine, the price of an oil change is more.