Planning to buy a new car? Petrol or diesel, which fuel option to choose

Petrol cars are more powerful than their diesel counterparts due to the higher RPM and initial acceleration, but diesel cars have better-pulling power
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Petrol cars are more powerful than their diesel counterparts due to the higher RPM and initial acceleration, but diesel cars have better-pulling power due to the higher torque. (AFP)
Petrol cars are more powerful than their diesel counterparts due to the higher RPM and initial acceleration, but diesel cars have better-pulling power due to the higher torque.

For consumers who go to buy cars, especially for the first time, it becomes difficult for them to choose from a wide range of options. The confusion factor multiplies from several aspects: fuel options, transmission options, models and brands, etc. In India, over the last few years, consumers are showing more interest towards petrol cars over diesel models, which contrasts with the previous trend witnessed a decade ago.

Over the last few years, there has been an anti-diesel sentiment among consumers, which influenced car sales across the country. Also, it influenced the carmakers' product strategy as well. For example, Maruti Suzuki, the largest car brand in India in terms of volume, has stopped offering diesel engines in its cars and has taken an all-petrol strategy. SUV major like Mahindra has adopted petrol engines for its major products, alongside diesel engines.

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Also Read : Petrol or diesel, which fuel option to choose while buying a car

While it is confusing for new consumers to choose a fuel option during a car purchase, here is everything explained about petrol and diesel cars to make things simplified and easier for you.

Vehicle price

Petrol cars come with cheaper sticker prices compared to their diesel counterparts. This is usually because of the diesel engine's more complicated technology compared to petrol engines. The diesel engine development process is significantly more complicated than petrol engine development. This naturally drives the price higher for diesel engine-powered vehicles. For example, Tata Nexon XM petrol MT is priced at 8.89 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), while its diesel counterpart XM diesel MT comes priced at 9.99 lakh (ex-showroom).

Fuel price

The fuel price plays a highly crucial role in the overall cost of ownership for a vehicle. Petrol prices in different states and cities across India are a bit higher than diesel prices. While a litre of petrol on average costs around 100, a litre of diesel price is around 90 on average. This makes a significant difference in the overall cost of ownership in the long run. For example, the petrol price in Delhi on 25th June is 96.72 per litre, while a litre of diesel costs 89.62.

Performance

Petrol cars produce more power compared to their diesel counterparts. This higher power output translates to quicker initial acceleration. However, diesel engines, on the other hand, churn out more torque than petrol engines. This ensures more pulling power than the petrol model thanks to higher torque output. To sum it up, the initial acceleration of diesel cars may not be as quick as a petrol car, but the former packs a punch at the top end of the rpm.

The Nexon XM petrol MT draws energy from a 1.2-litre turbocharged Revotron engine that pumps out 118 bhp power at 5,500 rpm and 170 Nm torque at 1,750 rpm. On the other hand, the Nexon XM diesel MT gets power from a 1.5-litre turbocharged Revotorq that kicks out 113 bhp peak power at 3,750 rpm and 260 Nm of torque at 1,500 rpm.

Fuel economy

Fuel economy is another key factor when the overall cost of ownership is defined. Diesel engines are more fuel efficient than their petrol-powered counterparts. This plays a key role for consumers in deciding between petrol and diesel vehicles. For example, the Tata Nexon XM petrol MT returns 17.33 kmpl of mileage, while the Nexon diesel XM MT offers 23.22 kmpl.

Service and maintenance

One of the key factors playing a crucial role in the cost of ownership for a vehicle is the service and maintenance cost. In petrol cars, the cost of service and maintenance is much lower than their diesel counterparts, while diesel engines demand more maintenance than their petrol-powered counterparts, eventually resulting in higher service and maintenance costs.

Emission

Petrol engines produce less pollutant particulate matter than diesel motors. Hence, the petrol engines are less harmful to the environment. This is one of the reasons why petrol cars are mandated to remain on roads for 15 years in India, five years more than diesel engine-powered cars.

Engine life

Petrol engines usually have a shorter lifespan due to the fuel property, which wears out the engine components quicker. Diesel engines, on the other hand, last longer than petrol engines as the wear and tear issues in diesel motors are less pronounced due to fuel properties.

First Published Date: 25 Jun 2023, 08:45 AM IST
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