All / any - Looking for a new car - what now for new diesels? - Smileyman

So the scrappage scheme has not been announced, and car road fund licence charges for new cars will increase at the start of April. Diesel cars will cost more to tax, plus there has been talk about city centre bans, higher parking charges etc - so what now for new diesel cars?

I've never owned a diesel car, but following a change of job I now drivie 400 miles a week, and with and my present car (2004 Nissan Primera) having 180,000 miles on the clock I'm thinking it will soon be time to change car, either new or new to me car, dare I take the risk with a diesel? Or stick to petrol?. Been looking at Peugeot 308, Nissan Pulsar, Kia Ceed, Seat Leon as examples of class / size. Looking for something to stand the test of time, cruise comfortably on motorways yet be comfortable & economical to run.

(I am aware that the new charges only applies to cars registered after 1st April, exisitng cars retain their existing charge)

Useful thoughts / comments welcomed!

All / any - Looking for a new car - what now for new diesels? - gordonbennet

Unless you want to drive into city centres daily, London first, i wouldn't worry too much for a few years yet.

Yes they'll increase tax on Diesels, they've been softening us up via the emissions propaganda campaign for a while now, it was CO2 for a good while now it's Diesel owner's turn to help prop the almost bankrupt UKPLC up for a decade or so, but increases should be gradual.

All / any - Looking for a new car - what now for new diesels? - RobJP

Buy a car that suits the mileage that you'lll be doing, and that drives the way YOU like.

I know some on here (skidpan, I believe, for one) have gotten on well with cars like the Octavia with the TSi petrol engine, getting very good fuel economy - probably close to that of a diesel equivalent, but without the DPF potential problems.

All / any - Looking for a new car - what now for new diesels? - SLO76
New tax rates will only affect new cars so used purchases won't change. Unless you regularly drive in a major city then there's no worry of anti diesel legislation really having much impact on you.

As for buying with longterm ownership in mind and factoring in your high mileage use plus assuming it's largely on motorway or A/B roads and not stop start town running then a diesel probably does still stack up for you. The smaller capacity turbocharged petrol engines generally aren't able to live up to their economy claims especially for high speed distance driving and there's are durability fears while this sort of use does favour lower revving Diesel engines.

If you go diesel then I'd immediately remove the 308 Peugeot or any other car which uses the same now notorious 1.6 PSA diesel. There's too many cases of costly engine problems on these, some at startlingly low mileages. This includes in your class size, the Ford Focus, Mazda 3, Citroen C4 and Volvo S40/V40. If you plan on running it to high mileage as you have with your old Nissan then it will almost certainly go wrong spectacularly at some point.

The Nissan Pulsar is a poorly received and pretty mundane offering. It's built down to a price and is basically a Renault Megane/Scenic underneath. It shares the same floorpan, suspension, engines and gearboxes but to be fair the 1.5 dci diesel is one of Renault's better offerings and is well tried and tested. I've seen them with 200k up in Clio's before so as long as it's serviced properly it should be reliable. It's reasonably refined, economical and gutsy enough. It does need a timing belt every 5yrs or 72k though and they are prone to snapping beyond this. The big plus on these is they're cheap, basically because no one wants them. I'd forget the 1.2 petrol turbo which is likely to be less long lived.

The Leon is a great wee car to drive, basically a Golf with a bit more spirit and a little less cash involved. The latest belt driven TSi petrol engines are good with even the 1.2 quite able to keep up with faster traffic. The 1.4 is genuinely quite rapid. Economy is good but the timing belt is due every 5yrs which as above is likely to add the guts of £400 to the bill.

The Kia Cee'd is a good option. The chain driven 1.4 and 1.6 diesels are well regarded and seem to last well. Comes with a 7yr warranty new so if you buy one then it must have a full Keep a dealer service history for this to remain usable, don't touch one without it and pay the extra to maintain it. This warranty is a good one and well worth paying to preserve. The car itself drives well, looks good and is well made.

I'd also add the Honda Civic 1.6 DTEC and Toyota Auris 1.4 diesel to your list. Both are robust and long lived. Honda's 1.6 diesel is outstanding with plenty of power and is capable of 70mpg on longer runs. It will cost more but it'll repay it with greater economy, performance and resale value. The Auris is limited in performance but I'd probably be wary of the larger 1.6 diesel which is actually a BMW unit as the firm doesn't have a great reputation for the lifespan of their Diesel engines. It's a nice well made car otherwise and like the Kia has an excellent warranty, this time 5yrs.

All modern diesels have particulate filters which will give grief if used for a lot of short stop start driving so you can rule them out if this is your typical usage but even if you do mostly distance driving a DPF will eventually fail anywhere between 70-150k and they're still quite costly to replace.

At the end of the day much of this comes down to money. How much do you want to spend?



Edited by SLO76 on 15/03/2017 at 00:27

All / any - Looking for a new car - what now for new diesels? - gordonbennet

There are two more options.

Toyota Hybrid, and i say Toyota as against any maker's hybrid purely because so far Toyota hybrids are proving remarkably durable, where the others are maybe not quite so proven or we have heard here eye watering failure costs mentioned not always immediately covered by makers.

or LPG converted petrol, this is a very niche fuel, careful research is needed for your own circumstances, it doesn't suit everyone, not all engines are recoemmended, filling points may not be ideal for you or prove expensive if all you have are big name oil companies or MSA's, if it does work for you it's an alternative that works out cheap over time, we've been running LPG for years now, paid 54ppl at Morrisons Wisbech on Monday on the way to Brancaster Beach...where it does work out well is if you like bigger petrol engines and slush boxes which are often cheaply bought due to fuel costs, but check the VED situation before you put a deposit on that Merc E55..:-)

Funnily enough a nice couple came into the filling station whilst i was filling up the Outback there, filler point is under rear bumper, the lady came up to me as i was filling and asked me quite nicely ''what are you doing?'', when i explained i have a feeling she thought i was pulling her leg.

All / any - Looking for a new car - what now for new diesels? - SLO76
Toyota's hybrid technology has proven very robust to date but it's not as efficient as a diesel on longer distance use where the bulk of the running is being done by the petrol motor which now has to carry the added bulk of the hybrid power train and batteries along with it plus the CVT system can be pretty unrefined when driven hard. Great choice for local use though and avoids much of the hassle with modern turbo diesels such as DPF, DMF and turbo failure.

I've always liked the idea of a big old slushmatic powered by LPG but looking at converted cars as they pass through auction has totally put me off. The idea of a second tank of highly flammable fuel being located in an area of the car which was never designed to take a fuel tank scares me with regards to crash safety.

The V8 P38 Range Rover an old friend has with the tank in the boot didn't look like it would do well in a heavy rear impact and the boot was dominated by the tank and pipe work all of which kinda eliminates the bulk of the reason for having such a big wagon in the first place. Wish manufacturers still offered official factory fitted LPG tanks as an option here but sadly I don't believe any do now.
I'd only run one if I didn't have a family to worry about.

Edited by SLO76 on 15/03/2017 at 08:45

All / any - Looking for a new car - what now for new diesels? - gordonbennet

Very fair point there SLO76 about the positioning of the second fuel tank and possible dangers.

On myMerc W124 it sits behind the existing fuel tank, which itself is an upright design full width just behind the steel rear firewall, and like the petrol tank across the boot, so probably as safe for people inside the Merc as the existing fuel tank, lose about half the boot (it is an 80 litre tank), but the car was never about luggage carrying nor a sole car.

The Outback's tank is a toroidal unit sitting in the spare wheel well.

The tanks are very strong, forget petrol tank minimal thickness or plastic even, and the extra tank doesn't worry me unduly, but i agree there are some cars where fitting an LPG tank would be unsatisfactory, and the conversion is not for everyone nor every car, if you worried about such things then it wouldn't be a good idea.

If anyone has statistics, anecdotes or any information about (properly fitted, not cable tied in by messrs bodgit and scarper) LPG tanks exploding in car accidents i would be interested to read.

Edited by gordonbennet on 15/03/2017 at 09:35

All / any - Looking for a new car - what now for new diesels? - SLO76
"If anyone has statistics, anecdotes or any information about (properly fitted, not cable tied in by messrs bodgit and scarper) LPG tanks exploding in car accidents i would be interested to read."

I've tried to find this information in the past as I've an LPG station round the corner from me. A properly fitted tank from a reputable firm should be ok especially located in the spare wheel recess but it's still not part of the origional design and won't have been crash tested with the LPG tank fitted.

I'd like to see ncap have a pop at this.
All / any - Looking for a new car - what now for new diesels? - RichardW

There's currently no extra charge for deisel cars in the new April VED. That's not to say that one won't be brought in in the future, but it's more likely to be for Pre Euro 6 cars.

All / any - Looking for a new car - what now for new diesels? - Smileyman

Thanks all for your replies, very interesting food for thought - I'd seen some Peugeot 308 1.6's with good prices, almost too good prices so now I understand why. Some years ago I did investigate the LPG option, I refuse to have a car without any form of spare tyre so stopped at that point.

The issue of spend is not the sole factor, equally important is avoiding a short-life problem car. My current car is the second in succession that I have taken above 170,000 miles - also a Nissan Primera, K reg 1.6 petrol engine, more economical with fuel than the present car. As for Renault parts, yes these have plagued my current car, indeed the prime reason for looking to change is a developing gearbox problem, a Lugana 6 speed box, this issue was discussed some years ago on the Primera Owners Club site.

There is no immediate need to rush on my part, will get a proper assessment from reliable independent garage before making any decision - interestingly, earlier this week I was called by a Nissan dealer offering an attractive price on a top of the range Pulsar diesel, ex-demo car, well it's month end in 2 weeks!

All / any - Looking for a new car - what now for new diesels? - SLO76
"earlier this week I was called by a Nissan dealer offering an attractive price on a top of the range Pulsar diesel, ex-demo car, well it's month"

If you intend on running it til it drops then it might be worth a look. It is really just a Renault under the skin but the 1.5 dci is pretty tried and tested, it's been around since 2003 and like I say I regularly see Clio's with mega miles going through the ring and sounding fine. The Pulsar drops like a stone used though so it wouldn't be a good bet if you intended on changing after 2 or 3 years but keep it serviced correctly and change the timing belt on schedule and it should last well enough. Just don't pay too much for it!

Being used to a high mileage P12 Primera which wasn't exactly a drivers car when new means even the Pulsar will feel modern and fresh by comparison though personally I'd rather spend a bit more and buy something a little more robust and enjoyable to drive.

If the old Primera is still going then take the time to go try out a few cars to see what you think. The Kia Cee'd with 7yrs worth of manufacturer warranty would be hard to beat as a longterm prospect as long as you have a Kia dealer near by. It's a nicer car all round than the Pulsar, so is the Civic and Auris for that matter.

Edited by SLO76 on 15/03/2017 at 22:59

All / any - Looking for a new car - what now for new diesels? - bazza

Sounds very much like an Auris or Prius hybrid would suit you. Although as SLO says they're most efficient in towns, nevertheless owners are posting averages in the 50s and 60 s. One of our posters owned a Yaris and achieved over 60 mpg on the motorway day to day. The other bonuses are a long 5 year warranty (more on the drivetrain) and a reputation for durability second to none. Toyota have mastered hybrid tech, their biggest problem is mainstream journos don't like them, as they're not thrashmobiles in the old-fashioned sense. I test drove a Prius and found it just like a conventional auto. They're not exciting in a GTi sense but well worth considering for the task you need.

All / any - Looking for a new car - what now for new diesels? - Stanb Sevento

If you take the politics out of it there is no reason for diesel will disapear, they can be at least as clean as petrol, and some are already, The problem is the cost is so high it will not be viable in small cars, I've seen an estimate of £2500 over petrol.

This situation is likly to change when petrol cars are fitted with a petrol particulate filter. Its just round the corner with VAG planning to fit one to all new models. and the immenent release of a World Health Organisation on the dangers of petrol cars ( HonestJohs has refered to it several times in his Q&A section )

There are a number of new engine designs on their way that look interesting, like VAGs new 1.5L TSi engine, up to 165 HP, high torque and a 22% increase in efficiency. Its a Miller cycle engine with variable valve lift. Diesel efficiency in a petrol engine and out later this year and I want one.

Edited by Stanb Sevento on 16/03/2017 at 08:41

All / any - Looking for a new car - what now for new diesels? - corax
. Its a Miller cycle engine with variable valve lift. Diesel efficiency in a petrol engine and out later this year and I want one.

Amazing how a design patented in 1957 is being utilised today in a modern engine. You could argue that those early engineers were geniuses, or is it that all the various methods of combustion have already been investigated in those early days, and todays engineers have nothing left?

Edited by corax on 16/03/2017 at 10:26

All / any - Looking for a new car - what now for new diesels? - Stanb Sevento

It is amazing corax, a sort of golden age for ideas. I guess modern manufacturing and in car computing power help as well.

 

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