Diesel or petrol for a larger car? - Molehill

With the family growing we are looking to upgrade my wife's Honda Jazz to something bigger for trips to see family. I fancy an estate, she prefers a MPV...anyway most of the driving is short urban driving in south London but then every 6-8 weeks there will be 500 plus mile round trips for seeing family or holidays. I have been advised that diesel isn't suitable for so much short driving but then most reviews suggest the diesel engine option!

If I get a newish diesel am I just going to end up with problems?

Diesel or petrol for a larger car? - RobJP

Yes, in short, a modern diesel is going to be a set of problems waiting to happen.

The additional costs in fuel for the petrol choice would be surprisingly small - if your annual mileage is 10k then you'll be looking at less than £200 per annum, most likely.

Considering a DPF replacement can easily cost £1,000, petrol really is the only logical choice.

Diesel or petrol for a larger car? - scot22

I have posted many times that I made a mistake buying a diesel which proved expensive. I had not discovered the forum then.

Still running it (like the car and replaced all the expensive things) but will never buy another diesel.

Diesel or petrol for a larger car? - Steveieb
There is one way to enjoy the benefits of a large diesel car without the complications. Try looking for one without a DPF. It means going back to a 2007/8 model,but many commercial operators are choosing to do this with their van fleets just to avoid the complications of the Euro 5 onwards.
Diesel or petrol for a larger car? - skidpan

If you buy a car fitted with the VAG 1.4 TSi you will get a diesel like driving experience (huge torque from low revs), a petrol rev band and diesel like economy with much better refinement than any diesel I have owned.

I have a 2013 Seat Leon 1.4 TSi 140 PS. Had it 3 1/2 years and in the 26,000 miles I have covered its averaged a genuine calculated 45 mpg. It has no DPF to worry about.

Was tempted by the 2 litre diesel in the same car when I bought it. If I had bought one I would have saved about £500 in fuel costs in 26,000 miles yet the car would have cost me £2000 more to buy.

Its going in March for a new Skoda Superb with the same engine, simply no economic sense in buying the diesel version.

Diesel or petrol for a larger car? - Molehill

The consensous is definitely petrol. Thank you for the feedback on the engine, the Octavia Estate is what I was considering buying.

Diesel or petrol for a larger car? - Smileyman

Add to the problems with DPF the fact that in the coming years diesel cars may be banned from entering certain places, so as a private buyer / user this is a very important factor to consider.

Diesel or petrol for a larger car? - gordonbennet

Depeding on budget, would a Toyota Hybrid fit the bill for you, gives its best in stop start city traffic yet will still return Diesel economy on those long runs.

The larger Prius plug in MPV is going to be a lot of money, but if you could manage with a Auris estate or Prius then either would do the job.

Diesel or petrol for a larger car? - Molehill

Ideally looking for something under £15k and I just assumed the hybrids were out of budget but it seems like that is not the case. Will definitely have a look at them.

Diesel or petrol for a larger car? - SLO76
Motorpoint have a load of 16 plate Auris Hybrid estates with low mileages at just over £15k but dealers will sell you a 65 plate with a little more miles for the same maybe less with a bit of hard bargaining.

They're good, well made and reliable but CVT gearbox can be a bit busy when driven hard. I found it very relaxing to drive in most road conditions, especially around town and I've never known anyone that's had one who's a bad word to say about them.

Well tried and tested running gear that's been tested to destruction by taxi drivers across the nation and the US.

Edited by SLO76 on 22/12/2016 at 22:13

Diesel or petrol for a larger car? - Big John

I looked at Hybrid technology (Auris/prius) when I procured a car last year but the extra capital cost ruled it out - possibly next time..

The petrol Superb mkII I bought has been great though - Great refinment and thus far average mpg 46.1

Diesel or petrol for a larger car? - Avant

If you're looking for manual transmission, there's a lot to be said for the Octavia 1.4 TSI as suggested. But most of us on here wouldn't recommend the DSG on the Octavia if you're buying used - too many reliability issues, and expensive repairs which often seem to happen when the car is just out of warranty.

For an automatic I'd go along with the Toyota hybrid suggestion. The Auris estate will be cheaper than the Prius: it has better visibility and a proper handbrake. Hybrids suit a more leisurely style of driving: if this suits you, go for one.

Diesel or petrol for a larger car? - veloceman
I agree with skidpan.
I'm on my third Leon. Latest is 150hp Tsi ACT
Absolutely brilliant. 0-60 in 7.8 secs and I average 48mpg.
Really torquey engine allowing yo to overtake without dropping down gears.
Covered a total of 30k mikes and no probs whatsoever.
Diesel or petrol for a larger car? - daveyK_UK
The 1.2 pure tech turbo petrol engine found in an increasing number of Citroens and Peugeots is even better than the 1.4 Tsi.
Diesel or petrol for a larger car? - Avant

By all accounts it's a good engine, but many of the Citroens and Peugeots it's fitted to have just about everything, including heating and AC, controlled by a touchscreen. Scrolling through menus on the move to change the temperature inside the car could be dangerous.

Diesel or petrol for a larger car? - daveyK_UK

the 1.2 puretech in the citroen berlingo multispace and Peugeot Partner Tepee is an absolute dream to drive.

Totally transforms how the car handles and drives.

Diesel or petrol for a larger car? - skidpan

The 1.2 pure tech turbo petrol engine found in an increasing number of Citroens and Peugeots is even better than the 1.4 Tsi.

It would appear from the reports that I have read that the 1.2 is a good engine but even though we looked at a Peugeot last year the car was so poorly packaged we walked away before driving it.

But better than a 1.4 TSi, never seen that written. Again based on reports it would appear well matched to the 1.2 TSi but for a 1.2 triple with 130 PS to be better than my 1.4 four pot with 140 PS takes some some inagination.

One example, Peugeot/Citroen only fit the 1.2 in small/wedium cars wheras VAG fit the 1.4 TSi 150 PS in cars as big as the Tiguan, Alhambra, Ateca, Octavia and even the enormous Superb. Even in a car that size it goes amazingly well, thats why I have one on order.

Diesel or petrol for a larger car? - daveyK_UK

the 1.2 puretech is sold in the C4 picasso, C4 grand picasso, berlingo multispace and rumoured to be available in the new space tourer 9 seater.

Likewise its availble in big Peugeot models such as the 7 seater 5008.

All the cars mentioned as big and probably bigger than a skoda superb.

The 1.2 puretech is superior to the 1.4 tsi, confirmed by honest john himself.

Of course, not being top of the tree doesnt make the 1.4 tsi a bad engine, but to claim its the best small turbo engine takes some imagination.

The new Suzuki 1.0 booster jet engine, the Ford 1.0 and 1.5 eco boost engines and the new Vauxhall 1.0 turbo charged engine are all worthy of mention.

The new Honda 1.0 and 1.5 are the 2 engines to look forward to, both out from March 17 onwards in the Civic and later the Jazz, HRV and CRV.

Diesel or petrol for a larger car? - skidpan

The 1.2 puretech is superior to the 1.4 tsi, confirmed by honest john himself.

Go on there, post a link when Honest John actually printed those word

Diesel or petrol for a larger car? - daveyK_UK

He often reccomends the 1.2 puretech, not the 1.4 tsi

please go and see for yourself

Diesel or petrol for a larger car? - skidpan

OK, you know my credentials, I have owned a 1.4 TSi for 3 1/2 years and have an new car on order with the latest version of the engine. Think that might suggest I rate it as being pretty good.

Never driven a 1.2 Peugeot/Citroen unit, the 308 SW was so badly packeaged that after a sit in one outside the showroom we left the dealer, no point wasting our (or his) time.

Have you owned either engine for a similar amount of time.

By pure coincidence I was in Asda today and had a read at the lastest motoring weeklies. Auto Express had a group test of the Polo 1.2 TSi 90 PS, the Citroen C3 110 PS and the Hyundai i20 100 PS. The performance winner was the Polo (just - even they seemed surprised) but they were not that complimentary about one aspect of the Citroen saying the engine was very noisy when pressing on. The Polo was the test winner which surprised me since when we tested the exact same model we found it to be a slug with few redeeming features. Very disapointing after its big brother the excellent 1.4 TSi.

Autocar was also testing the C3. One comment in particular made me take note, basically it said that the test car suffered from turbo lag like all the 1.2 puretec engines. It also commented it can be noisy on the move. They are features the 1.4 TSI does not suffer from.

So come, tell us if you have actually owned either car to base you opinion on.

Diesel or petrol for a larger car? - skidpan

The 1.2 puretech is superior to the 1.4 tsi, confirmed by honest john himself.

He often reccomends the 1.2 puretech, not the 1.4 tsi

OK, so while the Mrs washed the dishes I had a quick scan of the road tests for Citroen /Peugeots and also at the various VAG brands.

I could find no statement where Honest John said that the 1.2 Puretech was superior to the 1.4 TSI and could find no recomendation of the 1.2 Puretech over the 1.4 TSi.

Honest John is very complimentary about the 1.2 Puretech, much more so than the Auto Express and Autocar are in todays editions but he is equally complimentary about the VAG TSi in all its versions especially the 1.4 TSi.

So unless you want to get Honest John himself to give the official verdict I suggest we call it a draw.

Diesel or petrol for a larger car? - veloceman
Mmmmmmm
1.4 Tsi 150bhp, 184 ftlb, 0-60 7.8
1.2 pure tech 130bhp, 169 ftlb, 0-60 9.6
According to real mpg they are almost exactly the same.

I know which I prefer!
Diesel or petrol for a larger car? - skidpan
Mmmmmmm 1.4 Tsi 150bhp, 184 ftlb, 0-60 7.8 1.2 pure tech 130bhp, 169 ftlb, 0-60 9.6 According to real mpg they are almost exactly the same. I know which I prefer!

Its not just the PS and torques, its where they are produced and you have also to consider turbo lag.

I had a Mini Cooper S, 2005 vintage, the one with the supercharger. 172 PS and 162 torques, looked good on paper. But in the real world it was not. The max torque was at just over 4000 and the max power was at 5500 ish meaning a pretty narrow power band. Below 4000 there was not a great deal of shove, in truth on the road our old Puma 17 with less PS and torques drove far better and did not feel much slower.

Looking at the Peugeot 1.2 it has 130 PS at 5500 and 170 torques at 1750. In comparison the VAG 1.4 TSi has 150 PS from 5000 - 6000 and 184 torques form 1500 to 3500.

On paper the Peugeot looks very good but the power band on the VAG is definitely better along with the obvious higher PS and torques. The VAG has no turbo lag at all but not having driven one I cannot really coment on the Peugeot other than to say it has been written several times that lag exists.

The outputs of the Peugeot with 1.2 110 PS are way better than the VAG 1.2 TSi with 90 PS and when we drove a Polo we found it very disapointing. We did not expect it to be as good as the 1.4 TSI but we expected it to feel sprightlier than a 7 1/2 year old 1.2 Nissan Micra. So I can only wonder how the 1.2 110 PS Peugeot drives when Auto Express in this weeks test found very little performance difference between it and the 90 PS Polo.

As I said, numbers are not everthing.

Diesel or petrol for a larger car? - bazza

I've just had a decent drive of the fiesta 1.0 Ecoboost and can only marvel at how good it is. Although there are some threads indicating potential weak spots, it is a superb motor. I have yet to try any other but if they're on a par with this, there's no point at all in choosing diesel for a small or medium size car in my opinion. My 1.9 diesel feels like a tractor in comparison. I do have misgivings over engine longevity though, I hope I'm wrong but it's unlikely these small boosted petrols will be as durable with deferred maintenance and lack of understanding in Joe public's hands.

Diesel or petrol for a larger car? - RT

I do have misgivings over engine longevity though, I hope I'm wrong but it's unlikely these small boosted petrols will be as durable with deferred maintenance and lack of understanding in Joe public's hands.

That's a major concern - during the first 3 years their servicing will be cut to the bone to reduce running costs - after that it could get even worse.

It may not be very visible in the Back Room, we're mostly petrolheads in some form, but the days when every man (yes it was sexist) was expected to know how to do full car maintenance are long gone.

Diesel or petrol for a larger car? - SLO76

I've just had a decent drive of the fiesta 1.0 Ecoboost and can only marvel at how good it is. Although there are some threads indicating potential weak spots, it is a superb motor. I have yet to try any other but if they're on a par with this, there's no point at all in choosing diesel for a small or medium size car in my opinion. My 1.9 diesel feels like a tractor in comparison. I do have misgivings over engine longevity though, I hope I'm wrong but it's unlikely these small boosted petrols will be as durable with deferred maintenance and lack of understanding in Joe public's hands.

I love the sound and character of these wee 2 & 3cyl turbocharged engines but there's no way they'll stand up to the usual abuse and neglect small cars suffer at the hands of penny pinching fleet users and owners who know nothing about the mysteries under the bonnet. Sadly there are loads of cases of engine failure online regarding Ford's 1.0 Ecoboost and Fiat's 2cyl Twinair and I've no faith in the firms fixing it properly after years of well documented problems with their diesels they ignored. As much as they lack the performance and character of their turbocharged buzz box rivals I think Mazda will be proven right in their choice to stick with larger normally aspirated engines. Real life economy matches and often betters the smaller turbos too.
Diesel or petrol for a larger car? - corax

I do have misgivings over engine longevity though, I hope I'm wrong but it's unlikely these small boosted petrols will be as durable with deferred maintenance and lack of understanding in Joe public's hands.

If they are engineered properly (strong internals, well balanced), then there shouldn't be a problem, but it depends on where the money has been spent.

BRM produced 600hp from 1.5 litres in the fifties - admittedly, it wasn't designed to last 100k+.

Diesel or petrol for a larger car? - RT

I do have misgivings over engine longevity though, I hope I'm wrong but it's unlikely these small boosted petrols will be as durable with deferred maintenance and lack of understanding in Joe public's hands.

If they are engineered properly (strong internals, well balanced), then there shouldn't be a problem, but it depends on where the money has been spent.

BRM produced 600hp from 1.5 litres in the fifties - admittedly, it wasn't designed to last 100k+.

I suspect that BRM mechanics were at little more attentive to servicing requirements - full engine rebuild every 200 miles, the maximum length of a Grand Prix.

The real world problem is that engineers don't design for abuse and missed services.

Diesel or petrol for a larger car? - skidpan

The real world problem is that engineers don't design for abuse and missed services.

How could they and still keep costs at a sensible level. If they designed/manufactured to allow the biggest numpty on the planet to have a trouble free 10 years with no issues would you willingly pay the extra. If you follow their maintenance schedule you will more than likely have a trouble free life. It hardly their fault if owners/operators try and save a few pence a year or are just plain stupid.

Just remember its only the ones who have issues we normally hear from. The silent majority who maintain their cars correctly and have no issues don't generally use these forums.

Lets take the Peugeot/Citroen 1.6 turbo diesel as an example. There have probably been millions made and fitted in a huge number of brands. Hardly surprising that there have been failures. We had a Focus fitted with one, serviced correctly it still continues to give its current owner reliable service and its 11 years old. We had a fleet of Peugeot/Citroen vans where I worked fitted with the same engine. They did galactic mileages but were serviced correctly and we did not have a single issue over the 6 years or so I was there while they operated them. They replaced the Vauxhall Combi with the legendary 1.7 Izusu engine and we did a have a single turbo failure in one of those. The dealer who carried out the maintenance tried to blame lack of maintenance for the failure, he failed and had to fix under warranty. One of several reasons we changed brands.

Diesel or petrol for a larger car? - RT

The real world problem is that engineers don't design for abuse and missed services.

How could they and still keep costs at a sensible level. If they designed/manufactured to allow the biggest numpty on the planet to have a trouble free 10 years with no issues would you willingly pay the extra. If you follow their maintenance schedule you will more than likely have a trouble free life. It hardly their fault if owners/operators try and save a few pence a year or are just plain stupid.

I don't disagree - just highlighting the real world situation this new breed of tiny, undersized, overstressed engines will have to face.

Despite the advances in engine design/manufacture and oil specifications, I'm not convinced that 20,000 miles between oil changes is a good idea - especially as oil filters haven't changed much, nor got any bigger.

Diesel or petrol for a larger car? - gordonbennet

We've gone full circle almost, from cars that needed 5k oil changes, back to cars that really need 5k oil changes and, just as the owners of early turbos discovered to their cost, need a bit of nous in use too.

The problem now is as mentioned previously, where men (warning sexist remark) mostly once had an idea of car mechanics...often forced to fix their own due to economics and a drummed in aversion to credit...many young men arn't quite so familiar with the oily bits now so even mundane and stupidly cheap DIY oil changes now means a visit to the garage and a large bill for steeply upmarked oil, money can still be tight hence sensible interim servicing, as we here often advise simply doesn't happen.

Diesel or petrol for a larger car? - skidpan

We've gone full circle almost, from cars that needed 5k oil changes, back to cars that really need 5k oil changes and, just as the owners of early turbos discovered to their cost, need a bit of nous in use too.

Early turbo installations were very basic compared to todays and the oils used back then were very different as well.

Considering the improvements in the installations and lubricants I am quite happy to keep changing the oil in my turbo cars every 10000 miles or every year using a high quality oil of the type specifed by the manufacturer.

When I had a BMW I sucked the oil out every 12 months and replaced with new, only took 10 minutes plus a 10 minute drive to warm it up. Cost of 5 litres of BMW LL04 oil was about £20 (Total Quartz Ineo MC3) so daft not to do it.

Diesel or petrol for a larger car? - Nomag

Interesting comments. One of the problems with forums which I frequently visit is one can get a skewed opinion of the reality. I've had two DPF equipped diesels run to 90k miles with routine servicing and no problems with DMF, DPF, EGR etc however HJ's comments would have you believe you are guaranteed big expense after 80K. I keep cars 5-6 yrs from nearly new and seem to be in the minority among my friends who all have company vehicles or buy on PCP and keep 3 yrs. They are unlikely to get any problems. Also.HJ often sites the outcome of a trouble free one year road test as a recommendation for a car e.g. the 308 pure tech he had. But let's face it v few people should have problems with a new car in the first year of ownership. I'm sure it's a good engine but it's still unproven long term. Admittedly there is less to go wrong than a modern turbo diesel but a lot more to go wrong than an old fashioned normally aspirated petrol.

Diesel or petrol for a larger car? - SLO76

Interesting comments. One of the problems with forums which I frequently visit is one can get a skewed opinion of the reality. I've had two DPF equipped diesels run to 90k miles with routine servicing and no problems with DMF, DPF, EGR etc however HJ's comments would have you believe you are guaranteed big expense after 80K. I keep cars 5-6 yrs from nearly new and seem to be in the minority among my friends who all have company vehicles or buy on PCP and keep 3 yrs. They are unlikely to get any problems. Also.HJ often sites the outcome of a trouble free one year road test as a recommendation for a car e.g. the 308 pure tech he had. But let's face it v few people should have problems with a new car in the first year of ownership. I'm sure it's a good engine but it's still unproven long term. Admittedly there is less to go wrong than a modern turbo diesel but a lot more to go wrong than an old fashioned normally aspirated petrol.

Reason for pointing out likely DPF issues in this case was because the OP originally stated "most of the driving is short urban driving in south London." Use a modern DPF equipped diesel for this sort of usage and you will suffer regular issues. We were simply responding according to the question asked.
Diesel or petrol for a larger car? - Nomag

Yes - sorry, and I completely see your point for this usage. I drifted a bit from the question!

 

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