Fuel The Revolution: Should Your Next Car Be Diesel?
All figures claimed. Photographs supplied
Electric and hybrid cars may be getting all the press lately, but if you really want to make a solid car choice, you shouldn’t ignore diesel. They’ve shaken the label of being the noisy, slow, smokebelching tractors of the motoring world – they’re now faster, quieter and a whole lot more fuel and CO2 emission efficient, thanks to some cutting- edge tech. The kicker: they’re still more powerful when it comes to carrying and pulling. Granted, Dieselgate did nothing for their rep, and in most cases they’re still slightly more expensive than their petrol peers; but if you choose right, they can be a cheaper and more durable choice (with better resale value to boot).
12% is the percentage increase in total diesel sales from 2012 to 2016 (from 26 to 34% of total sales)
The heatseeker hatchback
The diesel sibling of the venerated GTI is a little slower to the hundred, but it’s still fast (130kW and 350Nm) and shares the driving dynamics. It’s also R39 000 cheaper, is cheaper to run, and offers lower emissions. We’re sold. vw.co.za
Price: R506 700
Fuel: 4.9L/100km* | CO2: 129g/km*
Runner-up: BMW 120d
The sleek sedan
BMW 320D Gran Turismo
This sleek model sips fuel like a miser, but provides brisk performance (140kW and 400Nm), plush luxury and all-round appeal. And it looks amazing. bmw.co.za
Price: R613 800
Fuel: 4.6L/100km* | CO2: 120g/km*
Runner-up: Audi A4 2.0 TDI
The smarter SUV
Land Rover Discovery StD6
The ultimate all-rounder has a 3.0l 6-cylinder turbodiesel engine offering plenty performance (190kW and 600Nm), and consumption figures that are impressive considering its size and weight. landrover.co.za
Price: from R980 000
Fuel: 7.8L/100km* | CO2: 207g/km*
Runner-up: Mazda CX-5 2.2DE Akera
The badass bakkie
Toyota Hilux 2.8 GD-6 RB Raider
This Black Limited Edition takes a potent bakkie (130kW and 450Nm) and makes it better looking. That also means your resale value should be better too. You can also opt for the more expensive four-wheel-drive option. toyota.co.za
Price: R538 900
Fuel: 7.6L/100km* | CO2: 200g/km*
Runner-up: Ford Ranger TCDI Wildtrak
The clever crossover
Renault Duster 1,5dCI EDC
Bombproof, and epic value for money, this is the perfect model in this range, as it has a little extra torque (10Nm more) and a handy auto transmission. renault.co.za
Price: R299 990
Fuel: 4.8L/100km* | CO2: 126g/km*
Runner-up: MINI Cooper Countryman D
In praise of diesel
Depending on the car you choose.
- Diesel engines can last longer. But on the flip side, their services can be more expensive.
- They can be a better buy. In general, petrol cars depreciate faster and have lower resale.
- Diesel cars can be fast. Better low-speed torque equals better towing, load-moving and overtaking.
- Their running costs are less. On average, diesel cars consume 25 to 30% less than petrol cars, and diesel is a cheaper fuel.
- The tech is changing the game. Thanks to cutting-edge gizmos like piezo-electric injectors, diesel–particulate filters, CommonRail direct injection and more tech trickery, there’s better fuel control, which results in cleaner combustion and emissions that are 20% lower on average.