Diesel powered cars have become increasingly popular with Australians recently; with the number of diesel passenger vehicles registered increasing by a phenomenal 103 percent in the last five years.
So is this current fascination with oil burning cars warranted? Are the fuel savings real? Are diesels cheaper to own and run than petrol cars? Or are we all being duped by cunning marketers?
To find out, we conducted some in-house research at Motorama Holden to see which fuel is really the low cost king over a three year period.
Using the ever popular Holden Cruze Equipe 1.8 petrol auto and Equipe 2.0 Diesel auto as our economising examples, let’s split the differences to find a winner.
Drive away prices:
Capped price servicing costs: (for 3 years/60,000kms)
The diesel Cruze will use approximately 4020 litres of fuel or $6391 worth to keep moving while the petrol car will use around 4440 litres to the tune of $6704, if driven to the factory economy figures and assuming that fuel prices remain constant.
Fuel economy (combined):
So there you have it, diesel power certainly works out to be cheaper at the pump over time, saving you approximately $300, but the superior economy can’t make up for the higher initial purchase price and servicing costs – with the petrol Cruze working out nearly $4000 cheaper to own and run over 60,000kms.
When the time comes to move on from your new car, the diesel car wins back approximately $2500 of your hard earned with a better resale value according to Redbook.com.au.
Redbook states a 2011 Cruze petrol will be selling between $13,400 and $15,300 in the current market whereas a diesel model should fetch between $15,800 and $17,900.
Overall then, including selling the car, petrol still comes out on top with a $1500 advantage.
Verdict: Petrol is the clear winner, with diesel not working out to be anywhere near as cheap as it’s claimed to be in this mid size segment.
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