£5k to buy a family car. Petrol or Diesel?
Ah, a salient point 4ndy B. Approx. 8,000 per year. Monday to friday my wife will be doing a 20 mile round trip to and from work. I’ll maybe do a 100 mile trip the odd weekend or two but nothing regular.
“Go big and get a Passat diesel?” Tiny wife, large car. Not an option, sadly.Posted 6 years agosimon_gSubscriber
Diesels are better for:
– economy on longer trips
– torque lower down the rev range, so if you don’t use lots of revs they feel quicker/stronger
– tend to be lower CO2 ratings, so cheaper road tax
– tend to be cheaper to insure than equivalent performance petrol
– better tank range, so fewer fuel stops
Petrols are better for:
– warming up quickly on cold mornings
– quieter at idle and slow speeds
– cheaper to service
– mechanically simpler (fewer expensive bits to go wrong compared to modern diesels)
– generally cheaper to buy in the first place
If you do a lot of short trips, diesel economy won’t be anywhere as good as you’ll expect, and you’ll probably be bloody freezing for a lot of the winter – they can take a little while to get up to temperature and allow the heater to put out hot air.
Personally if I was doing less than 20k a year and buying a car that’s a few years old it’d be petrol all the way.Posted 6 years ago
I know this should be on Piston Heads or something but I hate forums (oh the irony) and besides, you can even get away with discussions about road cycling and bloody cyclocross on this website.
After weeks of deliberation, we’ve decided on a Peugeot 206 SW. I need an estate car for the dog to go in the boot, my kayak gear needs transporting and I generally have endless rubbish to shift (I’m not allowed a van). My wife is only slightly bigger than 5′ so a Volvo 7 seater isn’t going to work.
So, knowing nothing about cars, are there any major reasons for or against diesel over a petrol engine? 1.4 or 1.6 litre engine (I think).Posted 6 years ago
If you do a lot of short trips, diesel economy won’t be anywhere as good as you’ll expect, and you’ll probably be bloody freezing for a lot of the winter –
We bought a ’07 Golf GT (which had done 78k) as our hack car. Every morning and afternoon it does a 6 mile round trip on country lanes to drop the girls at school. By the time it gets home it’s always done about 40-45 mpg and it’s never felt cold.Posted 6 years ago
Much much more fun to drive than the V70 T5 it replaced and uses half the fuel – it’s now used for 90% of the trips we make.
If your buying second hand the first owner would have already taken the bigger depreciation hit. I’d go diesel every time now.neil853Subscriber
In all seriousness I just got a cheap petrol run around after having a diesel. I’m really not sure what the benefits of a petrol car are becuase I can’t see them. They may be slightly cheaper to service but as for that a diesel (to me) is nicer to drive, easier to drive, more economical etc. If I was doing the same again i’d get a diesel.Posted 6 years agoTheGingerOneMember
My understanding is for that mileage a diesel with a DPF will potentially be troublesome as you will not be driving far / long enough to get the engine hot enough to ‘clean’ the DPF (diesel particulate filter). It could therefore eventually get clogged and you will have issues with it – a lot of people I believe are finding this out after having been sold diesels, but only driving short distances.
I would get a petrol car myself as the slight extra cost of fuel from an mpg stand point will be small and potentially outweighed by savings in servicing, bills, lower cost of petrol and lower initial cost of the car minus the lower resale value / slightly higher depreciation etc.
In my opinion (which I’m sure many on here will disagree with shortly – see below!!)Posted 6 years ago
My understanding is for that mileage a diesel with a DPF will potentially be troublesome as you will not be driving far / long enough to get the engine hot enough to ‘clean’ the DPF (diesel particulate filter)
But for £5k he’s going to get a slightly older car that doesn’t have a DPF, so no DPF issues to worry about – my ’07 Golf doesn’t have one.Posted 6 years ago
For the mileage you are doing, I’d be getting a petrol.
20 mile round trip Mon-Fri – 10 miles each way in a diesel would mean it would take probably half the journey to get warm, when it wouldn’t be particularly economic anyway.Posted 6 years ago
A small petrol would warm up more quickly & in my opinion make more sense for the journeys you are doing.PeterPoddyMember
A small diesel will feel a lot more fun than a small petrol, which will be nothing more than simple transport.
As you know, I totally disagree with that. Why does a petol engine make a car ‘simple transport’?????
If it does, then a diesel makes it a commercial vehicle!
Fun? Diesels are nasty peaky things these days. Give me a 1987 Pug 205 1.8 diesel WITHOUT A TURBO any day
PS Molgrips, I got 49.0mpg over 150 miles in our petrol Focus yesterday…… 😉Posted 6 years ago
20 mile round trip Mon-Fri – 10 miles each way in a diesel would mean it would take probably half the journey to get warm,
As already stated, our Golf is up to temperature within 2-3 miles. Our driving is traffic free though which may make the heating up process quicker than town driving.Posted 6 years ago
Our XC90 heats up quicker than the Golf for some reason.LHSMember
I’d get one of these
Golf Diesel Estate
http://www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/201048374206779/sort/priceasc/usedcars/maximum-mileage/up_to_80000_miles/fuel-type/diesel/body-type/estate/maximum-age/up_to_7_years_old/price-to/6000/model/golf/make/volkswagen/radius/1500/postcode/sw148qe/page/1?logcode=pPosted 6 years ago
In my actual real world experience, small diesels with similar 0-60 times to small petrols feel much more fun, due to large amounts of low end torque. YMMV, naturally 🙂 Plus diesels are not peaky nowadays – VW ones were for a decade or so. Don’t listen to PP he is a bit.. y’know.. funny in the head like.
The temperature thing is less of an issue if you are driving on open roads, as sharkbait says. It’s idling that’s the issue – they hardly use any fuel idling so they take forever to warm up in traffic.Posted 6 years agoClongMember
My wife has a diesel 206 SW and its a great car. Its 2002 car, in 6 years of ownership the only problem its had has neen a anti-roll bar drop link needed replacing. All of £10 and 30 mins work to replace. Does very good MPG, usually around 55 mpg, although computer usually states less than the actual for some reason. Journeys are around 20miles, during maternity leave the journeys were shorter at around 5 miles, mainly for just pottering around and the MPG average dropped to 49mpg. Its a good engine, far smoother than the diesel in my audi. It’s not a particulery big car, despite the estate looks, but the missus loves it and is on the midget scale too.
Servicing wise, change the oil/filter once a year. No different to a petrol. Cam belt, anywhere from 60,000 upto 90,000 depending on the type of driving done. The only oddity with the cambelt is that the manual states to use a device to measure the precise tension. Talking to people in the trade, its rarely if ever used. Often recomended to change the water pump at the same time.
No DPF on the 206 to worry about, no Dual mass Flywheel either. Mechanically, the 206 diesel lump seems to be sound. I have my doubts about the electrics, but they have proved sound so far. Overall the car is a bit “baggier” than a simliar aged German car. I.E the gear change is a bit loose, but thats about the only fault i can level at it.
As for the diesel v petrol thing, i sat down and worked it out for the my car, the diesel was about £500 more to buy over the same spec petrol (im talking second hand btw). The annual running costs of the diesel was about £400 less, based on 10,000 miles a year. That was based on 50 mpg for the diesel and 40mpg for the petrol. I usually average 55mpg in the Audi, but i have got 75mpg on a couple of occasions, so the actual figure is a bit less.Posted 6 years ago
sharkbait – Member
20 mile round trip Mon-Fri – 10 miles each way in a diesel would mean it would take probably half the journey to get warm,
As already stated, our Golf is up to temperature within 2-3 miles. Our driving is traffic free though which may make the heating up process quicker than town driving.
Our XC90 heats up quicker than the Golf for some reason.
My daily commute is <1 mile to NSL roads, which are largely traffic free at that time of the morning.Posted 6 years ago
It takes ~4 miles for the temp needle to start lifting off cold. It then takes another mile or so to read ‘normal’, although I realise that these gauges aren’t exactly linear.
I could get it to warm up quicker by revving it more, but not sure what that gains. That’s driving a Seat Ibiza, 1.9 VAG TDI.
It would seem the insurance on the Ferrari is spectacular and any invitations to a prospective new Mrs results in requests for my bank card details. Fink I’ll stay as I am fanks. She’s small, cute, cuddly and in charge, Sticking with a Pug 206 SW as well but thanks for the suggestions.Posted 6 years ago
Thanks for the post as well Clong. Very helpful. As is everybody else’s.Kryton57Subscriber
Also worth considering that, if you are getting a loan to replace a car factor that in to the “annual cost”.
A while ago I wanted to trade my (paid for) 2002 BMW330i saloon for a Passat 2.0TDi – its our second car and primarly my bike car since my job changed to one that didnt need a car – I do 2500 miles a year on it. Its important to bear in mind I still do use it for work, sometimes for long trips so I need comfort and reliability rather than an old Mondeo…
The difference in costs for what I wanted (an ’08/9 Passat) was 2.5k – Thats a lot of petrol in the BM. On the family multicar insurance there little difference (£20) between the two. The saving will be £100 in Tax but I will be paying 2.5k for the privelage. Still getting 30mpg on the BM with a bike on the roof.
Plus its brilliant fun and keeps me young ;0)Posted 6 years ago
What can I say, our experience very very is different (2.0 turbo’d engine on ours though, but driven sensibly)… maybe your thermostat’s fecked?!
Nah – thermostat is fine – I’ve owned the car for almost 5 years and it has always performed like this.
It could be that I drive the car more gently….or….
It could just be the gauges are calibrated differently. I was told by a mate of mine who used to work as a mech eng at Ford, that they are calibrated to show a certain view to the driver that might not reflect exactly what’s happening to the engine.
For example, it might be warm enough for the car to be driven ‘fully’ so the gauge will move into the ‘normal’ area even if it isn’t up to full temperature. As it continues to heat up, it won’t continue rising, but will remain in the ‘normal’ area – the driver doesn’t need to know that the temp is in fact rising from 67 deg. C to 90 deg. C, only that it is ‘normal’.
Perhaps your engine is considered to reach a ‘normal’ position, earlier than mine due to things like manufacturing tolerances, oil specification etc….??
Sorry – going on a bit now.Posted 6 years ago
One last point. I am currently lift sharing with a guy who is using his wife’s 1.4 Fabia petrol at the moment (he blew up the turbo in his Pug 406).
It doesn’t have a temp gauge, but a little blue light when you start the car up to warn you it’s cold – this disappears in <0.5 miles of driving. Presumably the engine isn’t actually up to temperature yet, but it is deemed to be warm enough that the driver doesn’t need to know it’s ‘cold’. A more ‘digital’ version of what I’ve gone on about above.
It takes ~4 miles for the temp needle to start lifting off cold
On my car the time taken for the needle to move varies massively depending on the weather…
Oh and all these ‘keep yourself young with a fast car’ comments are stupid. Youth is a lot more than how you drive, quite obviously.Posted 6 years agothisisnotaspoonMember
Normaly you’d expect me to wade in and recomend and MG midget here, so I will 😛
Modern petrol engines are rubbish. 1.6l engine in 1.6ton of steel, it feels crap. Modern cars have so much safety gear and ‘stuff’ that you need more power, which means more fuel.
Old cars (think morris traveler to MK1 escort kind of era maybe?) were lighter so petrol engines worked. Stick the midget in 4th and it’l hapily drive arround all day, why because it weighs fek all and the engine wasnt built to be rev’d but did have a lovely powerband.
All modern cars, even small cars, are 1200kg+, thats 2 midgets, but most engines arent any more powerfull at the 2000-3500rpm range than the cast iron 8v lump in the midget. Thus they’re horrible.
I’m now convinced diesels work better for normal driving in modern cars and do 40% more mpg (ish, I can get 40mpg in the c-max petrol, the diesel will do upto about 60).
The downsides are:
diesel injectors – £900 (about a third for the equivalent petrol injector, and not somethign that goes wrong on a petrol as they’re at 3bar, not 300bar)Posted 6 years ago
DMF flywheel – £900 (rare on a petrol)
DPF – £800 (none on a petrol)
Modern petrol engines are rubbish
This is clearly bolx. The engines are a million times better than in the MG’s time, and for me a load of safety equippment is a good thing not a bad one.
Isn’t your engine a V8 anyway? If it is that clearly explains your torque.
I’m now convinced diesels work better for normal driving in modern cars
I agree – but I think if you don’t muller the things with short trips the expensive repairs are rare. Plus I don’t think DPFs are service items.
but most engines arent any more powerfull at the 2000-3500rpm range than the cast iron 8v lump in the midget
I’m highly sceptical. Show me a dynograph comparing your car with a modern one.Posted 6 years agoClongMember
Ahh yes spoon, migets start out lightweight but after you’ve have had to weld the sills/wheel arches/etc for the nth time, your carrying an extra few hundred kg of metal anyway 🙂
Dont think the miget will work out to well on the dog/canoe transport thing either. Of those failiure you mentioned, only one applies to the 206 and on all the diesel cars ive had, i have yet to change a single injector.Posted 6 years ago
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