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Diesel Vs. Gas Cars: Which One Should You Buy?

Shalu Bhatti
If you are a car fanatic, you mustn't have missed the latest buzz in the market these days that shouts diesel all the way. In case you are still finding it difficult to switch from gasoline to diesel, this story will help you take a stand.
We Hear Diesel!
Approximately 50% car buyers in Germany are opting for diesel cars. Automakers including Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi, and GM are ready to rev up the diesel market, tripling the number of diesel models in the American market by 2017, as per LMC Automotive.
Gasoline cars are still the preferred choice when it comes to buying a car. It's always been that way in the US. Primarily because gas is easily available, cheaper than diesel, the engine heats up faster, the drive is smoother, less noisier and clean. Not to mention, the lower price of a gasoline car.
While some points still remain valid, some have drastically changed for the better. Research and technological innovations have given diesel engines a makeover and how! A majority of the new diesel engines use microcomputers and sensors to eliminate smoke, vibration, slower acceleration, and noise.
Ever since the 80s, when American auto manufacturers sold unreliable, dirty, noisy diesel cars, unlike their European counterparts, car buyers in the US have still been unwilling to embrace diesel technology in their vehicles. But, today, diesel engines are much cleaner, more powerful, and a lot more fuel-efficient.
Which brings us to the point whether an interested car buyer should opt for gasoline or diesel. We say, go for diesel. Why? Let me try and explain the benefits of owning a diesel car.

Gasoline Cars vs Diesel Cars: What's Racing Diesel?

With ever-increasing gas prices, car owners have now started to think more of the long-term benefits than the short-term, and this is where a diesel engine gives a fair percentage of vantage to buyers, comparatively. The hows and buts are explained as under.

Better Fuel Economy

Gasoline-powered engines cannot beat diesel when it comes to the fuel economy or mileage―a dominant factor in decision-making. According to a study done by NRMA Motoring & Services, driving vehicles with diesel engines could reduce the total fuel consumption by up to 33%, as compared to the same-models running on gas.
With the decreased fuel consumption, the need to refill your tank frequently, as is the case with gas, minimizes in diesel engines.
Though one might argue that over the past two years, diesel has cost about 10 to 70 cents more per gallon, and this might negate or offset some of the savings. But if you have a fair bit of driving to do daily, the break even between extra cost and mileage will be reached sooner.

More Powerful Engine

Agreed that gasoline engines will definitely give you better acceleration, but diesel wins the race with more torque. Since diesel engines have lower maximum rpm ranges, this tends to make them slow on acceleration and high on torque.
For those who aren't familiar with torque, it is that feeling of power that comes when you put your foot to the pedal when driving a powerful car or cruising on a highway. With more towing power a.k.a. torque, diesel engines are ideal for those who wish to load their cars with heavy gear and take it out for a road trip.

Better Resale Value

Diesel engines have a higher compression ratio (20:1 for a typical diesel engine as compared to 8:1 for a gasoline engine) hence, they tend to be heavier than gasoline engines, which translates to an increase in price of around USD 5,000 or more than a gas car.
But the extra price paid for the car, fuel, and maintenance would give you a better resale value at the end of the day.
If you plan to buy an upgraded model in exchange of the existing car, diesel will repay you better. According to a research done by ALG, compact diesel cars depreciated by 37% after 36 months, while for gasoline cars the number was around 47%.
To put that into better perspective, according to the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA), a 2009 Volkswagen Jetta TDI will sell for around USD 18,000 more than its equivalent gasoline-powered Jetta GLI.

Better Long-term Benefits

There were doubts regarding the reliability of diesel models in the past―noise, dirty emissions, fuel availability. Not anymore. Diesel cars have become a feasible option in every way possible, well mostly.
While they still require regular maintenance (oil change, glow plugs, filter, etc.), it is not unusual to see a diesel car clock up 250,000 miles and still run strong. A diesel engine will simply refuse to die down.
While hybrid cars are the best choice for those who are environment-conscious, when compared to gasoline, a diesel model is definitely a better option, as it burns less fuel, hence, emits less of CO2.
As far as the fuel availability is concerned, due to the rapid rise in diesel cars, all across the globe, finding a station with diesel is not as tough as finding other fuels such as natural gas or E85. If not every single one, every other gas station will have diesel to refill your tank.
Gas, definitely, is a good choice for those who won't be using their car that often on the highway, for others, who seem to account for quite significant in numbers, diesel is the choice.
You may have to get accustomed to the maintenance of DPFs, which tend to get clogged if your diesel engine is not used much, and the higher fuel price, but when it comes to the overall profitability, we think the decision for the roadrunners is pretty clear.
Make a decision based on your individual needs and expectations from a car. Carefully evaluate the model, make, manufacturer, EPA sticker, and the reviews of the model you seek.