B2B – Would you return to a petrol car after driving a modern diesel engine?

Posted on: Jan 9, 2013 - 6:03pm IST

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Have modern diesel engines with almost nil turbolag (1.5L Renault K9K engine on B and C segment cars), with excellent refinement and fuel efficiency (1.3L Fiat Multijet on B segment cars) and the torque surge past a lower RPM (VW group 1.2L, 1.6L engines with truck loads of torque) impressed you enough that you won’t be going back to a petrol engine, that over time, has been overly tuned to produce better fuel efficiency, than provide driver involvement?

Are you sub-consciously driving a diesel for reasons that extend beyond just the cost advantage? Would you go back to a petrol car or upgrade to another oil-burner when you turn your current diesel car in?

Do put down your thoughts in the comment box below!

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10 thoughts on “B2B – Would you return to a petrol car after driving a modern diesel engine?

  1. S Pani says:

    Well, it all rather depends on the cost of fuel. But for sure, the earlier disadvantages of the diesel engine in terms of both power and NVH levels have definitely been wiped out in the past decade. (All thanks to FIAT merging electronic control with common rail injection).

    But even so in a heavily cost conscious market like ours petrol will win if diesel loses its subsidy. Because even compared to modern more complicated petrol engines, a diesel car will remain a costlier option, by about 1lakh on average.

    Even todays petrol engines return only marginally lower fuel efficiency figures than diesel counterparts. Assume diesel is de-subsidised and both are priced at 65rs, and a diesel car gives 15kmpl in city and petrol gives 12kmpl, you save about 1rs per km driven. So if you car is driven about 20000kms every year, you have saved only 20thousand rs per year. Which means your savings on fuel expenses will equalise out about 6 years from the date of buying, considering the significantly higher maintenance costs of modern diesels, and the extra interest you will pay to the bank for buying a costlier car.

    So upto 6 years into the life of the car, the guy who bought the petrol variant is spending less over all than the guy who bought the diesel variant.

    And once newer tech using, small capacity turbo petrols come into the market and close in the gap of fuel efficiency, the advantage of running costs of diesel engines largely vanishes. And based just on customer preference, petrols are likely to make a serious comeback. But it is still not to say that diesels will become irrelevant, because for people who drive a lot, like for taxis, the running cost savings will be significant enough to buy a diesel.

  2. Abhishek Panchal says:

    I like very much the diesel engine of swift and ritz only (even though same engine is there in punto and vista). Also cruze engine impress me a lot. so if i am going to buy car in 15L price segment then i will defiantly consider cruze as performance is too good in that segment(if new tax on diesel car is not more than 30,000). for price segment of 5-10L chance is more for petrol car as performance difference is not so great that i will pay much more for that.

  3. sandy says:

    We are yet to witness the better petrol engine. We have seen how Honda City iVTec managed to keep up with the competition evenhandedly even with the new age diesel engine, till Government’s next hike on petrol price. Because of our current scenario on diesel, companies are investing for their new-age diesel engine over petrol, to take upper hand in competition; its their VFM. We are yet to experience petrol engines like Ecoboost, TSI, TwinAir etc. before coming to a point.
    Till then, a new perspective buyers have to make some manipulation before buying one.

  4. Anjan says:

    The good news is we’re definitely going to get an answer to that question by this year end. With Ford bringing in the exciting 1.0 EcoBoost, it’ll be interesting to the sales of that particular engine, especially since it addresses the ‘fuel efficiency need not mean slow’ with the help of a turbo. Adding to the list of downsized turbo petrols, VW’s 1.2 TSI debuting in the Polo will also bring some respite for the petrol starved sales of the hatch.
    Next, with the launch of the Abarth range from Fiat, there will be a definitive reason to buy petrol: Power! I really think the cost of petrol is not going to bother this particular audience.
    And finally, with the launch of the A Class & 1 Series, it should be very interesting to see the petrol:diesel sales in this brand new segment in India. Will the aspirers choose the cheaper petrol on these cars or the more expensive diesels?

  5. Keshav says:

    Speaking of predominance of diesels. I learnt driving two years ago. Haven’t driven a pertrol so far!

  6. Vejay says:

    Ya i think I’d go for a petrol car with India’s speculation of increasing diesel costs.

  7. Modern diesel engines are so advanced.They can match petrol engines for smoothness and performance.Also they give more fuel efficiency.So am sure what ever the price.Diesel engines will outsell petrol engines for sure.

  8. Sridhar says:

    I am NOT an user of diesel car, yet I wish to comment. Most of those who had to buy a diesel car would have already bought it and hence they won’t consider another car for next 4-5 years. After that time dynamics would have possibly changed. For the present new car buyer, diesel would still make sense if one uses the car more; for less users petrol is still the choice. Just because diesel price would be raised by 10 rupees or more does not mean petrol prices would remain constant. The bottom line is …one has to buy diesel car if they travel a lot or else stick to petrol.
    As for refinement, those people who look for less cost of purchase and mileage, petrol would be the choice and for the rest diesel should be fine.


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Shrawan Raja

I'm Shrawan, the Founder & CEO of IndianAutosBlog.com. I love teamwork and talking about cars.