Electric cars capture a good bit of attention with the turn of eco-friendly awareness. However, some drivers still prefer gasoline or diesel-powered internal combustion engines under the hood. If you haven’t driven a diesel automobile in a while, or want to explore the option in-depth, you’re likely weighing the pros and cons of driving a diesel. Keep reading to unravel what they are.
Pro — Better Fuel Efficiency Than Gasoline Engines
If you hate heading to the gas station every week, opting for a diesel engine can save you a lot of hassle. Diesel fuel contains 10-15% more energy than the same amount of gasoline, so you can drive between 20% and 35% further per fill up with a diesel vehicle than you will with a gasoline one.
Con — Diesel Is Almost Always More Expensive
You might not spend as much time at the pump, but you might end up spending more money. Diesel will almost always cost you more than gasoline — and it can be more difficult to find. You may come across gas stations only offering gasoline, which makes it more challenging to fill up. Several reasons effect this, including higher taxes on diesel fuel, as well as higher demand for this fuel in other countries. Since 98% of the cars in the U.S. run on gasoline, there isn’t as much demand for diesel, making it more expensive to import.
In spite of the lack of demand for diesel vehicles, it’s still easier to get parts for them than it is to repair some imported models. Plus, if you work on your vehicles, it becomes more cost-effective. You can order your parts and repair your favorite diesel engine in the comfort of your garage.
Con — Diesel Vehicles Are More Expensive
Diesel vehicles will cost you more initially. A base model for something like a 2015 Chevy Cruz would set you back $16,170 that year. The diesel model of the Cruz costs nearly $10,000 more, coming in at $25,660. That’s an enormous difference, especially considering you’ll spend more at the pump.
Pro — More Torque Helps With Towing
Diesel engines generate more torque than their gasoline counterparts, making them better for towing. If you put two trucks with a similar towing capacity — one using gas and the other using diesel — side by side, the diesel will have more base torque at idle or just above so it takes less effort to get your trailer moving. A Dodge Ram with a 5.7L Hemi generates 383 horsepower and 400 pounds-feet of torque. The same truck with a 6.7L diesel engine generates 350 HP and 650 pounds-feet of torque. There’s no competition.
Con — More Costly to Get Work Done
Diesel maintenance is more expensive than that of a gasoline engine, but diesel engines require more work less frequently, which can balance overall costs. If something breaks down, it’s more expensive to repair. It can also be more difficult to find a mechanic that specializes in diesel engines, which may leave you spending more money to take your vehicle to the dealership.
If you’re considering a diesel vehicle for your next daily driver, don’t let this scare you away. There are as many pros to driving a diesel as their are cons. It comes down to figuring out what will work best for you in the long run.