Top 10: Petrol v diesel - estates

Diesel may offer better economy on paper, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it always provides the lowest overall running costs compared to a petrol equivalent. Diesel costs more at the pumps and there’s almost always a purchase premium, so it can take an unfeasibly high mileage to claw back the diesel premium in mpg savings.

Here are ten of our favourite estates, with like-for-like petrol and diesel versions compared to show which is the most cost-effective over the long term. 

If you’d like to compare any make or model you can use our Fuel Cost Calculator.

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Mercedes C-Class Estate – petrol

Diesel requires 69,232 miles to break even

We’d recommend petrol here, but it’s a very close thing. If you’re only planning on keeping your C-Class Estate for 2-3 years and you won’t hit the breakeven point, it’s almost certainly worth going petrol – the 2.0-litre petrol unit in the C200 is a noticeably stronger and quieter engine than the 1.6-litre in the 200d.

However, as usual, longer-term ownership and big mileages make the diesel worthwhile, not least because you’ll be at the fuel station far less – with a 66-litre fuel tank, the C200d has a theoretical tank range of more than 900 miles. 


CHASBEE52    on 20 November 2016

78,605 to break even that's assuming nothing goes wrong and you have taken into account more frequent servicing to protect the turbo, The sad fact is that modern diesels are complex and when diesels go wrong it's often very costly.
Turbo failures are not uncommon, EGR valves and particulate filters that wont regenerate. Swirl devices that break and head cracks are all things to consider when the vehicle starts to gain miles. Diesels do not suit short journeys so don't consider one if you only travel a couple of miles each day.
I have spent some time looking at this fuel choice and I am not convinced Just the cost of more frequent oil changes makes a big dent in any savings that a diesel may make on fuel. If I drove a taxi or a delivery van where the engine is running all day ten it would make sense.
As diesel starts becoming a scourge in cities then expect this to have an adverse effect on depreciation.
I currently own a diesel but my next car will be petrol if not a hybrid. I change my oil and filter every 5000 miles .
I guess you take your choice.

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