Diesel cars offer a great mix of performance and economy; we offer the best of these high MPG performers.
Despite recent media coverage, thousands of motorists still choose diesel – and it’s not hard to see why. Diesel cars still provide better fuel economy than their petrol counterparts, even if fuel prices, road tax and company-car tax bills aren’t quite as favourable for diesel cars these days.
Clearly, if you’re a driver who covers more than 12,000-15,000 miles a year, then a diesel car could well be the best option. Many diesels can comfortably return more than 50mpg under the stricter WLTP testing, and emit less CO2 than petrol equivalents. High-mileage drivers will see savings at the pumps with a diesel car compared with a petrol.
However, the choice between petrol and diesel isn’t that clear-cut, and whether diesel is the right choice for you also depends on other factors. Concerns over local air pollution mean diesels may not be the best choice if you spend all your time in urban, stop-start traffic. But if you live in small towns or villages, or spend much of your time covering large distances outside of the city, they still have a vital role to play for drivers.
The way diesel engines produce power means they’re often better suited to larger cars, not least because at a motorway cruise, they quickly fall into a relaxing, smooth gait. That’s not to say they’re unexciting to drive, though. Acceleration from 0-62mph isn’t always their strongest suit, but once you’re accelerating through the gears, particularly through corners or when overtaking, performance can be exceptional. Diesel is still the default engine choice for many large SUVs and heavy cars because it’s better suited to pulling heavy loads.
Increasingly, smaller cars are moving away from diesel engines because modern turbo petrols are perfectly economical enough for most buyers. In the last couple of years, the Ford Fiesta, SEAT Ibiza and Honda Civic have all dropped their diesel engines, and we’d expect more to follow suit