Blog : Maybe we’re not quite ready to move to petrol

Keith Adams

Nissan Qashqai (1)

Just spent a week behind the wheel of the UK’s most successful family car, the Nissan Qashqai. It was good to be reacquainted, because I’d been pretty positive about it after my first drive, back in February, and I just wanted to reassure myself I’d not been too swept away by the whole launch brouhaha.

Back on home soil, and the news was all good. The Qashqai was as capable as I remember it, with excellent handling, a nicely finished and thoughtfully-planned interior, and sharp good looks, which – to me, anyway – move it away from the old car’s utilitarianism. No longer does it look like a straightforward people carrier, but it’s chunky, tough, good-looking car in its own right. And one that you just don’t have to clamber down into…

However, before any detractors knock it for being a big, pushy car that is way too much for the school run, it’s also worth bearing in mind that the Qashqai’s footprint is no larger than a Ford Focus’, and that its additional bulk comes from its height. If people like sitting high, after all, why not build a car that they want?

The car I’d been the most interested in at launch, and which I didn’t get the opportunity to drive, was the 1.2-litre petrol model. Here was another small displacement, high-efficiency model, which promised diesel-like economy, without the compromises one has to put up with when driving a car fuelled from the black pump. I’ve always liked the idea of driving a petrol with diesel-like economy, because no matter how good diesels have become in the past few years, you do still have to put up with narrow power bands, sluggish throttle response and the constant threat of getting your hands filthy or your shoes damaged every time you fill-up. Wasn’t it LJK Setright who once said, ‘gentlemen don’t drive diesels’?

I have to say that, during my week with the Qashqai, I did find myself quietly impressed with how this tiny engine managed to pull along such a substantial car, seemingly with little effort. And how, I could enjoy nice linear power delivery, and a near silent idle. Yes, for those moving from diesel back to petrol, there will be a period of acclimatisation – where you once again get used to actually experiencing and enjoying engine revs, as opposed to fearing them – but, with that out of the way, it really is a more civilised way of travelling.

Remember, too, your neighbours will thank you as well. Diesels may well be considerably quieter than they used to be, but the sound they make is still ugly – and, if you’ve ever walked down a busy high street, you’ll know exactly what I mean.

So why the slightly negative tone of the blog’s title?

Well, the average fuel consumption of the Qashqai during this period – in give-and-take driving – was 35mpg. I should say I did not drive it particularly hard and really did just give it a real world work-out, of urban, extra-urban and fast moving motorway driving. Really that’s not good enough as, in similar circumstances, I’d expect 50mpg or more out of a diesel version – something that’s backed up by the Renault Captur 1.5dCi I’m currently driving.

So, what’s the answer? I do wonder if small petrols really are the way to go. What gives these cars an advantage over, say, a 2.0-litre naturally-aspirated power unit in the same installation, developing broadly similar power and torque? What about Mazda’s assertion that larger, more cleverly tuned engines, are more effective? Remember Mitsubishi’s GDI or Honda’s VTEC-E systems? Weren’t they fiendishly economical without the need for a turbo?

I do think petrol is the way to go, but I’m yet to be convinced by the abilities of these pint-pot power units in larger cars, aided by turbos. I loved the Ford EcoBoost engine, I really did – but, because it sounded so good and thrived on revs, I ended up driving it to around 35mpg. Which is where we’re at with the Qashqai.

So, is petrol still compromised in European markets? Are we still wedded to diesels for the time being? Will hybrid drivetrains finally restore the balance in petrol’s favour? I await with interest to see how it pans out.

Nissan Qashqai (2)


Keith Adams


    • I purchased the new Qashqai 1.2 Petrol automatic. I am sorry but I cannot agree with the review. I have complained to Nissan about the fuel economy, smell inside the cabin of something burning and now black carbon deposit inside the exhaust pipe after just 2,000 miles. The heater runs on two temperatures, on any temperature range it blows hot air and only blows cool air when you dial the temperature gauge to Lo. There is no in-between! This is a brand new car for you!

      The average mileage i get is between 25 and 27 mpg. On a straight run from Manchester to London (190 miles) we achieved the best so far of roughly 32 – 34 mpg on the motorway.

      I cannot believes all the hype surrounding this vehicle. I downgraded from an Audi A8 – 3.0d quattro because I wanted to economise on my fuel consumption. I used to get over 42 mpg with my Audi quattro. I made a mistake buying this vehicle. I ended up with a slow inefficient and uneconomical vehicle. Paid £23,000 for this vehicle.

      Last time i buy a car trusting all these reviews!

  1. Three letters, LPG. I’ve been running my 75 2.5 V6 auto on it for a while now and with little or no restraint have been getting a regular 24 MPG average. Thats gives an equivalent running cost of a deisel returning 48 mpg (lpg costs 68.9p a litre here vs 137.9p diesel) which is I beluve better than the auto diesel 75, and close to the 5 speed version.

    Of course LPG cars are terrible saftey risks and might explode at the drop of a hat (as you may have noticed by the huge numbers reported every day). They are nasty and unreliable and the long thatbis beluved the happier I am as I like my cheap fuel, and want it to stay that way!

  2. Agree with Andrew, my 2.0 autobox gets close to that.

    Diesels the way to go? If it’s something you aren’t servicing yourself, absolutely. Fleet vehicles, HP etc.
    Private buyers, if you do mega motorway miles, diesel is the only option.

    Otherwise, given the complexity of modern diesel engines, servicing costs, DPFs, DMFs, EGRs, FAPs etc. etc. as a private used car buyer I’m yet to be convinced back into a modern diesel.

  3. I read about the modern small petrol engine an am very impresed with quoted outputs and claimed MPG. I also read how everyone is disappointed by the results, especially on MPG.

    I’ve driven turbodiesels since 1992 and am so used to how they deliver their power, I find a petrol engine a bit sluggish and hard work. I am interested in possibly moving back to petrol, but am concerned that they seem to be as complex as modern diesels -Ford getting 125 bhp out of a one litre triple means it’s not a simple engine.

    The question is actually more complex than diesel v. pertol. It goes down to which type of engine in your chosen car is the best. I drive a Volvo and you almost never see a petrol version these days. If I was buying a VW, say a Golf, the 1.4TSI is tempting, but is probably very complex. My wife drives an up! and there’s no choice in the UK: it’s petrol. The up!is a small car with a realtively simple (bit modern) one litre triple. Why would you want anything else in such a car?

    So…it’s down to make, model and type of car in deciding diesel v. petrol. And from what I can see of the Qashqai, it’s the engine and transmission choice which is the weak link in an otherwise brilliant car.

  4. If like me you’re a fan of 2nd hand luxury and then you’re pretty well stuck with diesel after about ’06. There just aren’t many petrol E-classes, 5-series and Jags sold these days. I’m not convinced that they are as unreliable as is often made out though. Plenty of Sprinters make it to 300k miles these days (6 years work for a courier van), it’s the rust that tends to kill them, not the supposedly temperamental diesel engines. The high pressure diesel pumps are only £125 on ebay….

  5. Diesels are intrinsically more efficient, because they run at higher compression ratios than petrol engines. Small displacement petrol engines are a con. In the mpg tests they are used in a completely unrealistic way, with very gentle use of the throttle and unrealistically slow acceleration times.

    I doubt the turbo kicks in much during the official tests. So all the tests tell us is small engines give good mpg. Then the manufacturer bolts on the turbo so they can claim good horse power and performance fugures. What they don’t tell you is the figures come from two totally different styles if driving.

    You can have the mpg or the performance, but not both at the same time. Whereas a torquey diesel gives you performance you can use.

  6. I’m not at all surprised that a small displacement petrol is thirsty. The reason for this is probably that the ECU is mapped to mimic lheavy footed driving giving the driver the impression that he or she only needs to tickle the throttle whereas in reality it is more than being tickled by the car itself.

    As for the scarcity of diesel Volvos, I had no problem picking up a couple of them. Regarding diesel’s narrow power band & sluggish throttle response, I have only ever noticed that on an L series when cold. A modern turbo diesel has minimal turbo lag & thanks to 16 valve technology, will rev as much as you need it to.

    There are downsides to modern diesels of course. The EGR valve went in my second diesel Volvo although an RAC mechanic fixed this with a blanking plate & a trip to a friendly MoT testing station revealed that this had no effect on emissions which begged the question as to why one was actually put on the car in the first place!

  7. Indeed, 35mpg does not seem to be much to write home about. On mixed driving our old K-series Tourer will deliver only marginally worse results (on a lighter car though). The problem with mixed driving is, that the times when the throttle is only feathered are not really determining the overall fuel consumption. But it is the lower part throttle range, where lean burn strategies, throttle less engines and all the other modern fuel saving tricks of petrol engines really kick in. The petrol engine still suffers from quite a loss in efficiency away from the ideal conditions. The smaller power band of the Diesel engine is a small price to pay for an engine with not much variance in efficiency, be it on part, half or near full throttle.

  8. Quote: Wasn’t it LJK Setright who once said, ‘gentlemen don’t drive diesels’?

    Probably, but LJKS was a toffee nosed dinosaur who wrote reams of pretentious drivel.

    I am prepared to defend the above statement because i read “Car” magazine from the late 70s to late 80s including his column.

    Diesels have a narrow power band? Not a decent one. My old Honda 2.2ictdi pulled from 1,200 rpm to the cut out (as I found when I was overtaking a van). My new 2.1 diesel pulls strongly from 1,300 to 4,000 rpm or 35 to 125mph in 5th with a gear still to go.

    Don’t like the sound? My old Saab 3.0V6 diesel sounded wonderful when you wound it up. The Honda had a nice turbo whistle when I wound the window down and my new one warbles pleasantly under hard acceleration. Better than a whining Ecoboost any day.

    None of the modern TFSI / Ecoboost engines will not deliver anywhere near the laboratory figures in real life. I also have concerns with respect to the longevity of a tiny engine dragging a big car and being hammered to do so.

  9. @9. I have read many articles in R&T by Mr Setright and found his writing to be entertaining with an unusually sensory angle, seldom covered by other journalists. I only wish he had written more books and finished his auto biography. He certainly wasn’t pretentious having spent time driving and reviewing lorries, besides he was a man of deep and varied knowledge far beyond the realms of motoring.
    As for EGR valves, they serve an unfortunate purpose and planning them off, even with re-programming may lead to poorer low speed fuel consumption.

  10. Might not a 1.2 be a bit small for a car this size, even with the modern technology. I think this is probably an uprated version of the 1.2 three cylinder that powers my Micra, which in this application regularly achieves a minimum of 47 mpg and has achieved 62 mpg on a long journey.
    For the Qashqai, I’d say go for the diesel or the 1.6 petrol.

  11. Petrol engines have to have a stoicometric mixture throughout the rev/load range, and their maps are for emissions not power or economy. First and foremost.

    EGR cuts NOx by well over 60 per cent and anyone with ideas of an EGR delete on later Diesels can forget it as they run on a delta pressure system, even if the remap algorithm does delete it other parameters in the ECU will have to be overwritten and if done by muppets can end up scrapping your ECU.

    Why do you think Toyota is giving up on diesels in its passenger cars very soon?

    As soon as E6 regs for diesel cars is in force you will see why.

  12. Interesting….

    For what its worth…

    I would much prefer a petrol over a diesel, I like the smooth and revvy nature…my car is only available here as a diesel and we get on OK.

    My other half has a Toyota avensis estate 1.8 auto.

    Its one of those weird CVT autos.

    She gets 41/42 all the time out of it.

    That is 2 hours commuting, a regular thrash (especially when Im driving) to the south of France…and take my word that is a well laden car.

    It cost £10K less than a diesel, goes well enough and has no turbo/dpf/dual mass flywheel/fancy injectors etc and its timing chain.

    This instance petrol makes sense…it is after all cheaper than diesel.

    I wonder if that same car well run in, with its tyres pumped up correctly would the mpg perk up a little?
    35 sounds terrible for that sort of car

  13. I won’t change from a diesel unless my mileage decreases massively. I’m not convinced by these turbo petrol engines both reliability and MPG wise. The Ecoboost engine is praised by journalists but given the amount of fires experienced in the US is enough to put me off. Keith’s colleague HJ advises his readers that the only Citroen DS3 to go with is the THP150 – if you want sub 40 mpg plus £150 VED per annum fine plus the reliability record of this engine is shaky. I’ll stick with my e-HDI 110, which is capable of 600 miles plus on one tank and £0 VED.

  14. Diesel costs 5 pence a litre more than petrol, the cars are more expensive, and unless you do at least 15,000 miles a year, there is no gain in buying diesel over petrol. Also in small cars, it’s quite easy to get over 60 mpg in a petrol car on a long journey and I notice Nissan has withdrawn the diesel version of the Micra as the petrol cars are cheaper to run for most people.

  15. If you do a reasonable annual mileage at decent speed, diesels are perfect.
    For small cars, often doing low mileage around towns and rarely getting a chance to go above 30/40, the diesel particulate filters on modern diesel cars are a nightmare, as they have a tendency to clog up at low speed, and are very expensive to replace.
    Thus very few urban cars are sold with diesel engines these days…

  16. It’s about time we stopped poisoning people with the smelly and heavily polluting diesel engine ! OK they do more mpg, but is all the smoke and smog really unimportant ? If a petrol can do 35 mpg with a banr door like the Quashqaim it can surely do better with a “normal” car. My recently acquired MG TF, built by the Chinese with its 1.8 N-series engine, (a K-series with improvements), can do 35 mpg. There is an urgent need to de-dieselise the car fleet before we all die from the pollution they chuck out. Just how much money is really saved by this 15 mpg difference once the inevitable DPF and EGR repairs have to be done ? Over 12k miles the difference in fuel cost is around £520 once the better consumption of the diesel and the higher cost of derv is factored in.

  17. My cousin’s in laws have a diesel Note. His parents have the petrol (1.4) model. The petrol does 49 mpg all the time and 53 on a motorway run. The diesel does between 50 and 60 mpg but with diesel costing 25p a gallon more than petrol and is cheaper to work on.

  18. There is a place for diesels still, its just those with DPF problems from new to say private customers or companies that do short delivery operations have possibly not been educated enough to understand what they need a regen I am not implying folks are stupid either but from my experiences with customers its sink or swim. Of course they have an handbook but who reads it cover to cover?

    With E6 its going to be worse with DPF/SCR with twelve sensors on the after treatment side if any of those sensors fail or pick up an anomaly once the engine shuts down it wont re-start, that’s no good is it?

  19. Having bought a new Skoda diesel 4 years ago Ive been very pleased. It does 55mpg on average, on the motorway 60+ . The EGR has been troublesome, it was replaced at 35,000 mls for £700 which isnt too bad considering it costs me £30pa tax. I shall however be returning to an older petrol model that I can service myself fairly soon. I dont do more than 10,000mls pa and so it isn’t as cost effective as it could be.

  20. #9.I’d much rather read Setright’s wonderfully erudite “drivel” than the genuine drivel contained in Tony Evans’s post !

  21. #23 at least I purvey GENUINE drive as distinct from LJKS ersatz drivel! It can be as wonderfully erudite as you like but it was still total drivel. Think of me as Phillip Glenister at the party in the drinks advert if that helps 😉 .

    Back on topic…

    I have a 200CDI C class with a DPF. I cover about 18,000 miles per year. The DPF has not been any problem, nor the EGR. It averages 55mpg in mixed driving but I regularly see 65mpg, and on two occasions 69mpg on long runs (this is fill to fill, not off the trip computer). It will manage almost 800 miles on a tank of fuel, 4 up with luggage before the fuel light comes on.

    My wife has a diesel Golf that does 10-12,000 miles per year ditto without problems. Even with her leaden right foot the Golf rarely drops below 50mpg and mostly averages 55mpg on mixed driving. We have had almost 70mpg on a long run.

    Advantages of the diesel are that if you drive it sensibly it is capable of excellent MPG. The low down torque means that you rarely have to extend the engine to make progress (most of us don’t drive like our hair is on fire).

    Although more expensive to buy, and more expensive if they go wrong, they hold their value better at resale time and a diesel engine tends to have better longevity.

    I must admit that I prefer the low revving torquey nature of a diesel to a high revving petrol engine any time.

  22. I see nobody is admitting to the huge pollution issue, caused by smoke and oxides of nitrogen. Oxford Street has a car ban, yet is the most polluted in central London. I wonder why !!

  23. I have to say that i am not impressed with these little engines in big heavy cars. As much as technology has moved on a lot, a little engine is going to take a lot of pressureto produce the power needed to move a car as big as the cashcow, and therefore the stress will mean less life.
    Anyway I don’t believe that diesels or petrol are the future, and neither is hybrids. It is hydro fuel cells and if the latest research pays off we could all be driving them in 10 to 15 years.
    Oh and by the way I drive a diesel and I love it! A D5 Volvo S60 which has so much torque you don’t need revs.

  24. Diesels make most sense in larger cars that do high mileages and are on the motorway a lot. I would say a diesel Skoda Favorit that does 55 mpg, compared with 38 for a petrol 1.8, that’s doing 15,000 miles a year makes perfect sense as the DPF is unlikely to get clogged and the engine appreciates regular long distance workouts. However, for small cars doing less than 10,000 miles a year, there is no gain in using a diesel as petrol technology has made these cars nearly as economical as a diesel for less money and less hassle.

  25. Forget the small displacement petrols and look at slightly larger versions.
    A small engine that struggles will never return decent MPG a slightly bigger one can be better?

    I have recently bought a Volvo V40 T3 (150) 1.6T petrol, the official combined average is 53.3MPG, I am returning between 45.2 and 49.7MPG.
    The lesser on short runs and the higher on dual-carridgeway cruising.
    The car feels light and lively because the motor is large enough to easily propel its bulk.
    The MPG I am achieving is within 10 MPG of the diesel with equivalent performance, what’s more the petrol is cheaper to buy and service and has a 50% longer service interval. Both of which more than negate the higher road tax.

    Competent modern turbo petrols are hard on the heels of diesels both in economy and torque/power.

    The biggest hurdle the modern petrol has is public perception- people think they have to buy diesel to get a cheap to run car.

    Cheap road tax and ridiculous unachievable headline MPG figures of diesels are distorting the market and misleading consumers.

  26. @13 – Most manufacturers already have Euro 6 compliant Diesels on sale or well on the way. Toyota are giving up on Diesel because they are obsessed with Hybrid technology. Lots to go wrong there as well I would imagine.

  27. The general public are so ill-informed, diesel= 60 mpg, it must be green!.
    The diesel car, even Euro 5, simply spews out Nox from the tailpipe, and Nox is a killer,a killer of children, the elderly, the asthmatics etc, Nox gases combine with other elements to form tiny particulates which lodge and trap deep into the lungs, leading to disease and premature deaths
    The Greenwash, “as motor vehicle manufacturers we take the environment seriously”, if the car makers really had a green conscience they would drop half the cars from the range.

  28. #22 £700 to replace an EGR valve? it is a £200 part (it costs about £10 to make) when I changed one on a Honda it was a ten minute job, easier than changing a spark plug.

  29. The irony being that there is a pollution problem (NOx) caused by the drive to be environmentally friendly and lower CO2 emissions…

  30. @32. Depends entirely on what variety of car you have. Some older models are a diy job; some carb cleaner and plonk back on. All the current VAG cars require removal of the drive shafts to get at the bugger. Ive heard of Audis costing over a grand! Yes the EGR valve and is cooler is a £200 part.
    As for all this junk about diesels being poluting, I think it’s being vastly overstated. They may produce slightly higher emissions than petrol cars but nothing like in the days of yore! The power of the environ’mental’ lobby is the reason why they have EGR valves on them.

  31. For all they were quite slow by modern standards, the normally aspirated diesels from the nineties went on forever and weren’t crammed with electronics. I had a 1996 Seat Ibiza 1.9 SDI, which would struggle to reach 100 mph on an autobahn and overtaking had to be planned( though it did cruise quietly at 70 mph), but in 50,000 miles, apart from a glow plug, never developed another mechanical fault and the engine was still sweet as a nut at 100,000 miles. I do believe only an accident ended this car’s career as the dealer said a well serviced one would last for 200,000 miles.

  32. Getting back to Qashqais, I drive all variants frequently, and found the 1.2 petrol a lot more capable than I’d expected. Sure, I missed the mid-range turbodiesel heft (I much prefer driving on torque rather than horsepower), but it wasn’t slow or in any way lacking refinement, and although it took a while longer to reach Audi-esque motorway speeds, it could easily maintain high cruising speeds as long as there was no need to pick up again from slower speeds, such as after roadworks.

    The 1.6 diesel is my preferred variant however.

  33. Nissan now have an exciting and diverse range of cars, a far cry from the dull as dishwater Primeras and Almeras from 10 years ago. I can see why Nissans are selling so well now, they have the traditional Nissan virtues of reliability and economy, but now with distinctice designs.

  34. What LJKS wrote, before the turbo diesel era, was that diesel’s power curve was that of a petrol engine with the torque peak removed. Anyone who drove a Golf diesel or a Mercedes 240D. in the ’80s knew the truth of that. Slow describes it well, along with a trail of black smoke when accelerating – not that fellow road users noticed that you were trying hard to keep up. The turbo changed all that in the power stakes, but not the horrendous pollution.

    For the last decade, the general public has gradually discovered that the DPF has removed the larger soot particles, leaving just the smaller stuff to enter your lungs. Look ma, no black plume! Direct injection petrol engines have the same problem of minute particulates in comparison to standard port fuel injection, so look for these to start sporting DPFs shortly. It looks as though chasing the last couple of percent in fuel economy probably isn’t worth it for petrol units. DPFs are Heath Robinson cheapo ways of meeting regs for the first couple of years of a new car. Then they die. Surely the mind of man can come up with a better idea.

    Of course, the eggheads sporting briefcases and designer glasses while pretending to be bureaucrats in Brussels have decided that lower CO2 output is THE THING. To the point of being utterly ludicrous. That’s what’s causing all this chasing of fuel economy and gaming of official consumption figures. There appears to be little or no reining in of these unelected twits deciding what vehicle CO2 levels should be, so common sense is missing.

    The other thing to remember, as we all lumber through reports each day of conflicting “scientific” reports (coffee is bad for you, no! coffee is good for you, drink olive oil and you’ll live to be a hundred, etc, etc) is this:

    Diesel fuel has at least 15% more energy per gallon than petrol. Selling fuel by volume rather than energy value is thus stupid, but convenient. So a lot of the chasing of fuel economy has been based on a false premise all along.

    It’s pretty typical of the rathole modern society is relentlessly chasing itself down. Logic be damned, let the social scientist bureaucrats in Brussels set silly rules based on NOTHING in particular except whimsy. And we let them carry on in this never never land of fantasy, that’s what I don’t get.

    Hybrids, not of the plug-in variety but small batteries of about 1 to 2 kWh, are the future. All they are is like a big spring (battery) storing up the excess energy from the overrun going downhill, and what used to be braking energy. Why? Because they actually do work in the real world, no matter whether you run a diesel or petrol, and give measurable fuel economy increases in stop and start driving because you run on stored battery energy a lot of the time. For pure motorway runs, not worth it. Of course, to me as an engineer, hybrids are so logical, everyone will rail against it and bring up the Prius as proof. Proof of what, is of course, never logically explained. Not all hybrids have to work like a Prius or be be an absolute snooze to drive. That’s just Toyota at work.

  35. I got in the past 2 Jaguar S-Type V6, a 3l manual and the twin turboD, auto 6 speed, there wasn’t really much difference in terms of performance, both 200+BHP, slight deficit for the diesel was well made up by masses of torque and peak power 2000 revs below the petrol. I actually think a 2,5L might struggle against the TD… MPG in town on petrol (25-28)which isn’t that bad, compared to 20 for my Grand Voyager V6 and not that great with derv (30-33) M-way was the derv terrain, you can touch the 50 against 32-34(mind it was only the 5 speed petrol, younger 3L had 6 speed manual(are they better on m-way ?) I now drive an Alfa 147 JTD, quite a feisty little hatch, really, it’s never given less than 54 MPG on full tanks, seen peaks just above 60 on m-way whilst going to France. True the EGR went, got a plate and the car seems to work even better, as if the boost was more linear… It wouldn’t have made sense as a new car, JTD were much dearer, cost more on servicing, but 2nd hand, there very little difference after 5 years, find a low(ish) mileage like I did (90K )with FSH and you can’t go wrong for low cost motoring/bangernomics as it’s called on this site.

  36. @Bill Malcolm

    Great points. I remember the old ZX XUD with no turbo, it just chugged along without any great power output. Reliable and economic though.

    I think the future is electric, battery or hydrogen tech will get better. The problem then, if everyone is charging a car off the grid, is that the power infastructure will need to be improved ASAP – the only option here is nuclear. Modern stations don’t have the same issues as older ones that get bad press.

    The Prius was needed to get the technology popular and proven. Before that, any battery driven car was sneered as as a cross between a Sinclair C5 and an Enfield Thunderbolt.

  37. i have the best of both worlds, disco 300 tdi for everyday use its economical bags of power for towing once up to speed is great reliable and pretty simple.
    at weekends i burble round in my sd1 v8. so dont notice the fuel consumption really, avin said that i could p~~ that up a wall in one night, instead i love my sd1 and enjoy it too the max…

  38. 35mpg? sounds fantastic to me , I dont get within 10 mpg of that with the R32! I bet that Qashqai doesnt cost £500 to tax either!

  39. I drive a BMW X3 2.0d auto permanent four wheel drive and get an average of 45mpg, have achieved 52mpg on a run – i know what i would prefer to be driving.

  40. @46, That’s all well and good, but just like the 3 series saloon, when something goes wrong its always £800 and above.

  41. There is lots of great opinions on here.

    The other half has a Toyota avensis auto estate 1.8 petrol. it does 41-42 to the gallon, even with my caning it.

    why bother with a diesel?

    I need a large 4×4 for work, and you have no choice other than diesel…I really wanted a v8/lpg…

    Politicians should go back and do what they are good at…feather their own nest and screw their expense account.

  42. @48,I have always said a city runabout is better off being a petrol, obviously diesel has a place only they are getting too complex and expensive.

    Funnily enough the old Avensis is revered amongst cabbies for its economy.

  43. @ Francis, we are taking the Avensis to France tonighty. it will be loaded to the gunnels, the satnav is pretty good…and even with a cast iron right foot it still gives 40+mpg…
    It is a CVT transmission which feels weird, but is smooth.
    The other thing everyone forgets is that a diesel car costs more to start with, before it needs a big job doing…

    The scummy politicians have sold us down the river, the 1.9DTI VAG engine lasted forever, and was frugal, and went like stink.

    the current diesels are quieter, but not as good on fuel and crippling when they pack up

  44. i have the old 300 tdi disco very reliable and cheap to run, the people who say to me why cant they be that simple anymore, ie particle filter faults and lights coming on? what do they mean???

  45. Reading the posts in the thread in July 2020, all post before 2015, in 2015 when the truth was revealed by USA EPA and VW ( and others) , car makers all cheating the regulators with code which switched off Nox control outside the emissions test. How naive of many of the posts, We won;t get fooled again!

  46. In they half decade since this thread started hybrid technology has moved on

    My Brother & his girlfriend are thinking of replacing their diesel with one because they found it didn’t deliver the expected savings, especially on lots of around town driving.

  47. Honda will stop making petrol and diesel cars by 2022 and will only make hybrid and electric vehicles, while Volvo stopped making diesels last year. Also diesel has almost disappeared from the supermini class as advances in petrol and hybrid technology has made diesel redundant. It’s now possible to buy a car like a Toyota Yaris hybrid which can achieve 80 mpg.

  48. The high costs of the exhaust hardware a of fully compliant Eu6 diesel car, compared to the cut-price diesels which were pseudo-compliant due to their ECU defeat devices caused the demise of the diesel supermini. 2020 marks the entry of the first hybrids in Europe in 2000, the Honda Insight and Toyota Prius

    • Diesel started to become uneconomic unless you did high mileages, and problems with engine technology that could be very expensive to repair started to turn buyers away. The switch to hybrid technology and more efficient small petrol engines made diesel unrealistic unless you did over 15.000 miles a year or owned a large SUV, where diesel made more sense. I did go over to diesel 20 yeas ago when the fuel was cheaper than petrol and the engines were simple and unbreakable and saw the benefits immediately, but by the mid noughties, the advantage had gone.

      • I remember the mechanic I used to use suggesting I shouldn’t get a diesel when I was thinking of getting a new car a few years ago. I got the impression he had to sort out a lot of low mileage ones that were causing problems due to mostly being used for around town driving & never having any long runs on a motorway.

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