Car groups have been investing heavily in electrification in recent years. Whether it is hybrid, 100% electric or micro-hybrid technology, everything indicates that the battery will be the protagonist of the automotive world in the medium term.
However, we keep talking about diesel motor vs gasoline because there is still a lot of money on the table, and generally speaking, almost all brands are committed to it. Although, there is an intention in much of the world to stop harmful emissions from motor vehicles.
At the same time, we cannot lose sight of another, more concrete reality: the internal combustion engine continues to be the preferred option today and still has a long way to go. Whether as the sole driver of the car or as part of an integrated system with electric power, we will continue to hear the sound of pistons on our streets and highways for years to come.
It is normal for brands to have to amortize all these next-generation engines, and let’s not forget that they also comply with the latest anti-pollution regulations. We put the comparison between a diesel motor vs gasoline in this bag. Because although it may not seem like it, diesel engines still have a lot to give.
As we have said, cars with thermal engines now have the largest market share, although changing trends have opened up more and more space for alternative technologies. We know that many users still think about the differences between a diesel motor vs gasoline, either because there are no restrictions on use where they live, or because they are the most appropriate for various reasons.
Urban Cars and Utilities: The Absence of Diesel
There was a time when there was a place for diesel in the A-segment offer. However, the annual kilometers and full urban use mean that the demand for these cars is almost exclusively for gasoline. As a result, the manufacturer has decided to eliminate diesel engines in its smaller model range.
The utilities are going the way of the city car; that is, it is increasingly difficult to find diesel versions of class B cars, but there are still some; Let’s compare fuel consumption.
In a car of this size, according to official data, there is not much consumption difference between gasoline and diesel. In some cases, the difference is only tenths. Since typically, they are not driven for many miles, being the city the preferred environment for these cars, it seems reasonable to think that gasoline might be a reasonable choice.
Compact And Sedans: The Situation Is Not Defined Between Diesel Motor Vs Gasoline
In compacts there is more diesel on offer and it has some weight. Both the diesel and gasoline options are available with the latest technology (earning the same ‘C’ ecological label), so each consumer can choose according to their preferences. There is a certain consumption gap that benefits diesel, but it is still salvageable. In ease of use, gasoline wins; and in performance, since both are turbocharged, there is not much difference.
With sedans is where we enter the swampy territory of consumption, since we begin to see big differences in some cases. And the distance is quite significant. It’s time to get out your calculators and figure out which option is best for everyone.
SUV And a Choice That Must Be Taken Care Of
If there are already important differences in sedans, they become crucial with SUVs. Don’t forget that SUVs are heavy, tall, and generally less aerodynamic. From an efficiency point of view, this type of bodywork is by definition bad. Nothing to do with a tourism-type car, which is more balanced in every way. Yes, it is a fashionable segment, but you have to be careful when choosing an engine, because daily fuel consumption can vary significantly between a diesel motor vs gasoline.
Sports Cars and The Diesel Boom Waning
It sounds exaggerated, but less than ten years ago, diesel was included in all of them. Yes, with diesel engines everything moves with ease, even sports cars. In those years, when there were even rumors about the production of the Audi R8 TDI, such a thought was normal. There are still very high-performance (and even more efficient) diesels, but it is already difficult to find a sports diesel formula in the current range.
The «Minivan» Wins with Diesel
This is another type of car that requires some thought before choosing between a diesel motor vs gasoline. It’s always been a diesel vehicle, which is normal, because they’re heavy vehicles; they tend to be heavily loaded, so they tend to use a lot of fuel when running.
It is true that you can achieve reasonable consumption at sustained speeds and smooth driving with gasoline. But if what you are really looking for are limited benefits without giving up carefree driving, nothing is better than diesel.
Commercial Vehicles Definitely Side with Diesel
This trend is changing and even this type of vehicle has 100% electric technology for the «last mile». Although powerful and modest gasoline engines have arrived, the commercial vehicle segment is a clear example of the diesel engine for two reasons: cost containment and efficiency when moving heavy loads.
Diesel Motor Vs Gasoline: Analysis of Some Variables
There are big differences between the two types of engines and fuels. But the main reason to choose one or the other depends on factors related to your preferences.
Starting with the purpose of the car, the distance traveled, the cost, and ending with the level of pollution. All these are factors to take into account when making a good decision.
Either way, it may be important to move past the diesel motor vs gasoline discussion and concentrate on fuel quality. While it is true that diesel fuel is cheaper than gasoline, there are several disadvantages to using it.
Perhaps most important (if you’re not one of those people who is very concerned about CO2 emissions or carbon particles in the air) is the need for more maintenance. In the long run, this could make diesel cars more expensive.
We can also talk about insurance costs. Insurance companies charge higher rates for diesel cars.
Finally, as has already been mentioned, it should be noted that the quality of the diesel is essential for the proper functioning of the engine.
As mentioned above, the most profitable option for long-distance travel is to choose a car with a diesel engine. In this sense, the diesel engine is ideal for annual trips of more than 35,000 kilometers.
The opposite is true if the vehicle is intended to be used for short trips. If you are looking for a vehicle that you will use mainly for daily commuting (in the city) or the occasional family trip, you will probably drive less than 20,000 km per year. In that case, it is better to choose a car with a gasoline engine.
Diesel Motor Vs Gasoline: Performance
The performance or lifespan of the car is also a crucial factor in knowing which engine is better to choose. Once again, the ability to drive long distances must be taken into account, which definitely indicates the longevity of the vehicle. Today, diesel-powered cars are receiving awards for their longest lifespan.
Whether it’s cars or light trucks, experts agree that diesel engines are generally less reliable due to the way the engine works (it needs pressures up to 2000 bar to operate).
While this is the same mechanism that reduces diesel fuel consumption by 15-20% compared to a gasoline engine, it also increases maintenance. In any case, this quality is ideal if you are interested in a bulky vehicle that supports a lot of weight. But when it comes to sports cars, touring cars, or city/farm/ranch trucks, the gasoline engine is the best ally.
Diesel Motor Vs Gasoline: Summary and Comparison with Electric Vehicles
A car with an internal combustion engine is more economical and autonomous, so we can consider it more efficient for use on modern roads and streets. In other words, an internal combustion engine does what it’s supposed to do, drive a car from point A to point B. But that doesn’t mean it’s done using the least amount of energy possible (that’s efficiency).
Internal combustion engines are not the most efficient engines developed by technology. At best, the efficiency of an Otto gasoline engine is between 20% and 30%. The efficiency of diesel cycle engines is between 30% and 45% (to reach 45%, generally hybrid diesel). The efficiency (or performance) of electric motors is greater than 75%; most electric motors installed in electric vehicles are around 90% or more.
When comparing a diesel motor vs gasoline, until recently diesel engines were considered to have more than twice the power of gasoline engines, and in some cases triple or quadruple this measure. Currently, this distinction no longer exists, mainly because:
- The materials used to make engines have changed.
- The internal pressure of running a diesel engine, especially a turbocharged engine, can shorten its life.
- The motor oils used today reduce friction, keep engines clean, and dissipate heat better.
- Public roads are less demanding on the engine.
- Performance technology has optimized the engines to avoid fatigue.
You can find more information about this and other related topics on our site mecanicadiesel.org/