Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Diesel Engine : Is It Really Profitable? - 2

Despite the many good points, diesel models do have their own disadvantages and even after so many technical advancements in the automobile industry, these disadvantages still exist. The most common one is the noise. Diesel cars till date are very noisy and especially make a lot of noise when starting from cold. So if you start your diesel car in winter mornings, your neighborhood can clock their schedules with your office timings. (The reason is due to heavier parts in the engine and the different ignition technique.)

Petrol engine driven cars are certainly expensive but they deliver better driving experience with their smoother and quieter engines. Moreover petrol engine cars are cheaper and faster as well.

On Road– Petrol vs. Diesel Performance

Petrol and diesel engine performances have been talked and researched a lot. Earlier diesel engines offered poor performance compared to the petrol engines. Especially in acceleration, diesel engines were found lacking.

But since the advent of the turbo-chargers a lot of things have changed on the diesel side of the fence. “Direct Inject” and “common rail” engines have been the latest kids on the block. Direct inject engines have taken care of the noise problems to a large extent. They also give better mileage over the older indirect injection models. Common rail diesels use the latest technology of direct injection and are the most recent ones offering more fuel economy and better performance. However, not all auto manufacturers have developed and adapted this technology in their cars in India.

Petrol models give more horsepower which enables them to attain higher top speed and better figures of 0-60 kmph acceleration. The refined driving experience offered by the petrol engines still remains unparalleled. However, please note that the new age Turbo diesel engines, such as the Volkswagen engine, give excellent power and acceleration. For example, the Volkswagen Golf 2.0 TDI top of the range car (not available) in India, delivers whopping 167 BHP, 8 seconds acceleration to 100 km/h and a mileage of 1:20 on highways!

Finally, the account servicing costs of diesel cars is definitely more any day, though the frequency will be less. However, with the latest technology these costs have been curbed by the manufacturers but it eventually depends which brand you are opting for.


It is clear that once the car is bought, the running costs of a diesel car will be far less than a petrol car. Possible less attractive performance is not that relevant in our busy Indian cities, where noise too is a daily issue to put up with.

Hence, the only serious disadvantage of the diesel car in India is the higher purchase price and hence the only factor to consider for Indians is the daily run rate.

We end with a calculation on how to choose between a diesel or petrol car.

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