With so many options available to vehicle drivers, from truck makes and models to engine requirements and more, consumers are taking a long, hard look at what suits their needs and lifestyle. One of these options, and at the top of many lists, is the selection of a gasoline vs diesel vehicle.
Over the last decade, North American manufacturers have developed many vehicles with impressive diesel options that is cleaner than it ever has been, while others vehicles can provide a combination of gasoline engines and hybrid availability, too.
With these options on the market, how should you decide which option is best for you?
Gasoline vs Diesel – How It Works
Gasoline and diesel engines are very similar. They both utilize internal combustion engines that convert fuel into energy. The difference, however, is the way in which this process takes place.
In a gasoline engine, the fuel is combined with air and ignited by sparks from the spark plugs. In a diesel engine, the air is compressed and then the fuel is injected; when the air heats, it is compressed and the fuel is ignited.
Knowing this, and understanding the evolution that diesel vehicles have gone through over the last decade, how should you decide whether a gasoline vs diesel vehicle is for you?
Gasoline vs Diesel – 5 Things to Know
1. You can go further with diesel
Diesel packs a punch when compared to gasoline. It contains more energy, so less is needed when driving. Diesel vehicles can go 20% to 35% farther on one gallon of fuel compared to gasoline vehicles. Of course, variables are highly dependent on your driving style, highway or city driving, and engine type.
2. Yet, maintaining a diesel vehicle may cost more
Diesel engines have components that are not found on gasoline vehicles, and can require service more often. Gasoline engines typically can wait longer than diesel vehicles for pieces like engine oil, coolant and spark plugs.
Overall, there needs to be more maintenance with a diesel vehicle. Be prepared to save some extra cash if purchasing this option.
3. Diesel vehicles can provide better performance
Performance, when looking at towing capacity, is a more suitable selection with a diesel vehicle. This option has an advantage with torque, which means it is the preferred option for pulling heavy loads.
Diesel engines are often used in big trucks, as they are the preferred option to move heavy loads. With this said, diesel engines do not rev very high, so they create less horsepower on average versus gasoline engines.
4. Environmental impact to be considered
Diesel vehicles have had a somewhat negative reputation historically. Remember “diesel gate“, when the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) discovered that many Volkswagen vehicles were being sold with software that could detect when they were being tested? This changed the performance to improve results, which is an ultimate cheat of the emissions test.
Since then, diesel vehicle manufacturers have made a considerable effort to ensure compliance with regulations. As such, the comparison on the environmental impact of gasoline vs diesel is very similar.
Diesel, while emitting more greenhouse gas emissions than gasoline, does have a competitive edge due to the higher energy content per gallon results. When comparing new vehicles, therefore, a diesel vehicle is compatible to the greenhouse emissions of a fuel vehicle.
5. The selection of vehicle models is better than gasoline
When searching for options, from sedans to big rig trucks and everything in between, there are undoubtedly more options with fuel-powered vehicles. Diesel represents a very small percentage of the overall fleet. In one study of over 16.4 million passenger cars and light trucks sold within the United States, a mere 3% of total auto sales were from diesel vehicles. Diesel is more popular with the medium and heavy trucks, representing approximately 72% of trucks with a vehicle weight of 10,001 and above within the United States. As such, the selection of vehicle models is better than gasoline, depending on what sort of vehicle you are looking for.
When selecting whether gasoline vs diesel is best for you, consider the five points above. Of course, as with any vehicle, the choice is in the hands of the consumer as to which option best suits their lifestyle and overall need.