Diesel cars are forever making the headlines and petrol cars are not that far behind. We'd love to be able to give you a straight answer on which one to go for, but we can't. So to help you make up your mind, do you go with your head or your heart, have a gander at this.
Which is cheaper to buy?
Broadly speaking, your diesel is a tad more expensive to buy than your petrol versions. You might be sitting there thinking, no way this can't be true, but think about it. A Ford Focus 1.5 TDCi diesel can cost around £700 more than a 1.0 litre Ecoboost petrol. That's not to say that you'll always be forking out more for your diesel, but generally, that is the case.
When it comes to your sports cars, then petrol usually seems to be the preferred option, which means that your diesel tends to come out on top and be the cheaper version. For example, take the 3.0-litre petrol Maserati Ghibli, costing £4,000 more than the 3.0-litre diesel. Cost can be a huge factor when deciding what car to buy and can make or break some people's decisions when deciding whether to choose between petrol or diesel.
The award for the best performance goes to...
Think of it like this, on one side you've got your traditional petrol engine that's smoother and sharper as ever with a rev like no other, and then you've got your diesel, better torque and more pulling power, your drive is bound to be more relaxing, right?
If truth be told, diesel is more powerful than petrol engines, which could explain why they are noisier and their vibrations are much higher compared to petrol cars. Diesel isn't as bad as it used to be, the clattering has long gone and newer models tend to sound more and more like petrol engines these days. Your turbocharged petrol engine can offer you plenty of oomph and would definitely suit a more 'sportier' driving style.
This isn't to say that diesel can't have fun and petrol engines can't be relaxing, there's so much more to their performance than this.
Running cost-wise, diesel tends to be cheaper to run than petrol cars. After the initial payment, you tend to save money with diesel. The fuel economy is definitely up there on the list of things to consider. The more miles to the gallon you can squeeze in there, the less time you'll spend at the petrol station, which would likely be your biggest ongoing cost.
The pump price per litre can be the bane of your life, especially when it keeps creeping up and up. The price of petrol usually tends to be lower, but this is outweighed by how efficient diesel is and their miles per gallon.
On the whole, diesel's do tend to offer better economy figures, who doesn't love a good figure these days. If you make your choice on whether to get a diesel or petrol-based on figures, diesel all round. If you're a tourer and love trekking the country doing lots of miles, particularly on motorways and A-roads, then a diesel is going to be your best bet fuel wise. On the flip side, a petrol engine would be great for short city trips and getting you around the block.
Which is better for the environment?
Hands up if you love talking about emissions? No hands raised, ever. Generally, CO2 is our favourite emission that we all like to talk about. As a general rule, diesel engines tend to produce fewer CO2 emissions than petrol. The smaller the engine, the closer the CO2 performance, so you might find the odd petrol that actually emits less CO2 than your average diesel.
If we're talking about the new Euro 6 too, this is just another change that's been brought in to affect diesel drivers. Diesel cars tend to get the brunt of it and have a number of rules and regs they have to follow, but thanks to Euro 6, diesel cars can offer you the best fuel economy and they do escape most charges, for now, they do anyway.
Do you have a choice?
Is it too close to call? The decision is down to you at the end of the day. There is no hard or fast rule as to which fuel type you should choose. It all comes down to how you use the car and what penalties will be put in place over the next few years as to how the Government plans to tackle air pollution.
We all love a good clean air zone these days and hopefully, this clean advice will help you make an informed decision. We've also got hybrids and plug-in hybrids to add to the mix now too, there's just so much choice, who knows which way your head will turn?