Diesel-powered cars have been a huge part of the European car market for years. Diesel car sales make up approximately 51% of the European market and about 41% of car sales in Germany. The US market is now making strides to catch up. While diesel sales in the US may only make up around 3%, that number is expected to double by 2018.
As the market for diesel cars expands, Mercedes, BMW, Audi, and other European manufacturers are importing more models to the US for American consumers to consider. So, what are the advantages of owning a diesel vehicle that causes their popularity in Europe, and increasingly, here at home?
One of the biggest pluses is their better gas mileage compared to a gas-powered car. Most diesel-powered cars will even give hybrid engines a run for their money. On average, a diesel engine will get about 25-30% more miles per gallon than a regular gas engine. This is because diesel fuel is much more energy dense than regular gasoline, giving it more usable energy than gasoline. Diesel engines especially excel at highway driving.
In the past, diesel was cheaper than gas. Now, diesel is approximately 24 cents more expensive than regular gas. Although, when compared to premium gasoline, diesel costs about the same. Some complain, not every gas station has diesel, but most do and it is still much easier to find a place to refuel a diesel engine than to recharge an electric vehicle.
Fewer stops at the pump mean that, in the long-term, a diesel engine will save you money over a regular gas engine.
Diesel engines do not have spark plugs or distributors, reducing the maintenance required to keep a diesel engine in good condition. This also means that there is no reason to get ignition tune-ups. Although a diesel engine takes less upfront maintenance and is built to handle much tougher conditions than a gas engine, it is still important to keep up with oil changes, air filter changes, and other regular maintenance to get the most value out of your purchase. If maintenance is not kept up, it can be more expensive to fix the much more technically-complex diesel engine.
When purchasing a new car, resale value is always going to be an important factor to consider. After 36 months, diesel cars hold about 63% of their original value. On the other hand, a car with a regular gas engine will only hold about 53% of its value, and a hybrid car only about 55%. This has to do with the fact that a diesel engine is built to last longer, and that there currently are less used diesel powered cars available to purchase.
Diesel engines’ ability to create more torque than a gas engine is another major advantage. This is why people often think of large trucks and farm equipment when diesel engines come to mind.