Shunned, blacklisted, forgotten, times are tough for diesel. After being extolled by our politicians in the 1980s and developed accordingly by our industrialists, diesel is more on loan than ever. These same decision-makers who today consider it too polluting and who are therefore in the process of crucifying it, with a Euro7 standard currently under discussion and which could even be fatal to them sooner than expected. However, we still have to remember that this fuel deserves your full attention in some cases. Here are the answers to your questions.

1. Is diesel more polluting than petrol?

No, diesel is no more polluting than petrol. To dispel this accepted idea, just remember that all internal combustion engines go through the same certification cycles. Therefore, when a Euro standard comes into force, all engines must comply with it. The last obligation in this area, Euro6.d.full, which from 2021 all “fuels” comply with, such as petrol. In fact, diesel “naturally” emits more particles than lead-free. To make them as “clean” as petrol, it is therefore necessary to implement even more complex and expensive pollution control systems. It is also for this economic reason that manufacturers are abandoning it as tolerances are reduced.. Ironically, “diesel” emits less CO2 than gasoline. Also for this reason they were subsidized by the state ten years ago …

2. Is the diesel efficient?

The BMW M340d uses a 3.0 turbo straight-6.© BMW

Yes, modern diesels are efficient. In fact, their performance has never been better. Less “lowered” than petrol engines, “fuel oil” conserve more space thanks to often larger displacements but above all thanks to an ever greater torque compared to petrol engines. At Peugeot and Citroën, the 130 bhp 1.5 BlueHDi develops around 300 Nm of torque compared to the 230 Nm of the PureTech 130, two maximum values ​​achieved at 1,750 rpm.. In fact, as soon as the car is loaded or the terrain becomes more complicated, diesel often turns out to be a better ally. Playing a little in bad faith, it should be remembered that some diesels also offer sporting performance, especially from German manufacturers. As proof, our recent measurements of the BMW M340d Touring and the Audi S6, respectively of 1,956 and 2,100 kg on our scales and which, time trial in hand, lower the 0 to 100 km / h in 5.2 and 5.8 seconds …

The only flaw of diesel, a noise to which we are less and less accustomed due to the progressive disappearance of these engines, it is true that they were originally noisier.

3. Is diesel cheaper than petrol?

Diesel fuels consume less and less

This is a fact that remains indisputable: diesel-powered engines are almost all more sober than petrol-powered ones. We affirm this all the more easily that we still notice it on the occasion of the approximately 300 cars that pass each year on our base in Montlhéry for our independent measurements. Sure, in the city, gasoline / electric hybrid engines are breaking records, but all routes combined, diesels remain better, both in city cars like the Clio (5.1 l / 100 km), and in compact cars like Audi. A3 (5 l / 100 km), small road cars like a Skoda Octavia (5 l / 100 km) or heavy SUVs like a Peugeot 3008 (6.2 l / 100 km).

Diesels are now also expensive to drive

Given the gradual realignment of the taxation of diesel on that of petrol to no longer give any advantage to the former, there is no longer any advantage to the pump, quite the opposite! But as the price changes are quite frequent lately and since the diesel is increasingly sober, the cost per 100 km remains more often than not in their favor..

4. Is it difficult to drive with a diesel in France?

Even if it is not the time to use this fuel, it remains easy enough to use it. It all depends on where you live and where you travel from. Today, it is only around the famous ZFEs that “oil” can be a problem. But not systematically, because each agglomeration defines its own rules. The latest example to date is Paris, which has decided to postpone the ban on Crit’Air 3 from 1 July 2022 to 1 January 2023. Until a potential new postponement for political or social reasons. Exit from ZFE, currently number 12 in France (another dozen are under consideration), there are no restrictions on diesel cars, so you have nothing to worry about.

5. Is it complicated to resell a diesel?

The Golf GTD.
The Golf GTD.© Volkswagen

It is difficult to give a clear answer to this question and you still have to rely on your place of residence.. At the speed with which political decisions are sometimes made, nothing says diesel isn’t blacklisted faster than expected. To be as peaceful as possible, the purchase of a new diesel must mainly be done through a long-term rental system, with or without a purchase option.. The idea is above all to keep a way out with a recovery provided by the producer. This then makes a second-hand cash purchase more uncertain because you will then be responsible for reselling your car when the time comes with no guarantee of the price you will be able to receive. Although there is also financing for used vehicles.

6. Cases in which you shouldn’t hesitate

The case when you still have to buy a diesel without hesitation: if you drive high mileage all year round.

Given the extremely low fuel consumption on the highways, that is the most used by the “big” motorcyclists, this is where fuel oil is most relevant. Electric can also save you a lot of money, but the difficulty of charging remains a reality.

The case when it is not absolutely necessary to buy a diesel: you live in the center and drive almost only in the center.

Because for pollution control systems to be effective, a diesel must be hot. If you only travel short distances, you don’t give it time to be efficient. Furthermore, diesel remains a little more expensive to buy than gasoline, and this additional cost can only be made profitable from a certain mileage.


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