Nairobi News

LifeWhat's Hot

Which way, diesel or petrol?

Not long ago, diesel engines were considered noisy, dirty and crude but the story is now different and so is the dilemma with car buyers.

Manufacturers have refined diesel engines making them cleaner and more powerful. Pundits put it that diesel is good for long distance while petrol is for short distance driving.

When it comes to mileage, diesel engines win easily. But the decision cannot fully be determined by which fuel is cheaper as there are many factors to consider.

Many a time the diesel variant of the same car will cost slightly more than the petrol variant by a few thousand shillings.

Of late though, the difference is slowly disappearing but it is still worth checking. Remember, most cars are bought on loan so the possible saving you are trying to make (on fuel) as a business person when buying a diesel vehicle will be offset by the overall higher price and interest compared to petrol models.

Many of us do not go into such detail but the thrifty ones really do. Nonetheless, diesel vehicles still fetch better resale value than their petrol counterparts.

It is important to know the distances you plan to cover. For instance, if you will be driving more than 70 kilometres a day, it is best to go for a diesel car. If you plan to cover below 30, you are better off in a petrol vehicle.

The number of times you plan to use the car also plays a role in the choices. If you will be using the car once or twice a day or only on weekends, the petrol variant is better.

If you are many commuters sharing the same interest or those in the transport business, go for the diesel model because by the end of it all, it will be cheaper. For a single user, petrol models make more sense.

Maintenance costs

Traditionally, diesel engines have been more costly to service and maintain. Presently, there are diesel vehicles with the same service intervals as their petrol counterparts though the service interval is largely determined by recommendations of the manufacturer.

Regardless of the ever fluctuating fuel costs, diesel has remained cheaper. Sounds good particularly if you put in mind the mileage advantage when using diesel.

The same is replicated across many countries so the choice never leaves you whenever you go.

Convenience and performance

From the superior mileages exhibited by diesel engines, it is obvious diesel will offer you more convenience because you will visit the pump station much less often particularly if you make daily long distance runs.

You are also able to do fewer gear shifts because diesel engines do higher gears at low speeds thus more relaxing.

Noise and dirt are no longer associated with diesel engines especially after advancement in diesel injection technology.

Excessive vibration has been a problem for years but the improvement on diesel engines could be the reason why we would soon write off diesel as subsidised fuel.

Petrol will give you smoothness. Diesel will give mileage and pull a lot bigger loads at low evolutions without compromising your drivetrains.

Turbocharged petrol engines are known to heat up so quickly thus efficiency is met in short distance runs particularly in cold weather.