When is a car with diesel actually worthwhile?


When is a car with diesel actually worthwhile??

Modern cars are dirtier than trucks

Diesel cars produce far more harmful nitrogen oxides than trucks and buses. This is the conclusion reached by the ICCT research institute after comparing measurement data from vehicles complying with the latest Euro 6 emissions standard. Source: Die Welt / Eybe Ahlers


VW wants to offer its flagship Phaeton only as an electric car. Difficult to imagine, because diesel and gasoline engines are still widespread. The question arises: For whom is which engine useful?

Tesla does it, BMW does it, Nissan does it, Renault, Audi, and even Porsche deals with electric cars. There is hardly a well-known car manufacturer that does not now have an electric car in its range or at least is working on it.

And yet: In the registration statistics, electric cars are still a niche existence: Exactly 7385 Stromer were newly registered in Germany between January and September, according to the Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) in Flensburg. Their share of new registrations is just 0.3 percent.

Classic combustion engines are still selling far better in this country. Cars with diesel and gasoline engines almost divide the market: in September, gasoline-powered vehicles accounted for 51.5 percent of new registrations and diesel cars for 46.8 percent – despite the scandal surrounding exhaust gas manipulation for diesel engines. VW vehicles.

Stricter regulations for diesel planned

Federal Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks wants to draw conclusions from the VW affair. She plans tougher diesel regulations. She is also talking about a subsidy for buying electric cars. Source: The World

Advantages of diesel engines: lower consumption

Many owners of diesel cars should appreciate the driving pleasure above all: "With the same cubic capacity, the diesel has a higher torque than a gasoline engine," explains Christian Heinz from TuV Thuringia. So the driver feels more power when stepping on the accelerator. And that relatively quickly compared to gasoline engines. "The torque advantage already exists at low speeds."

Another important advantage: "Diesel engines have a lower consumption with the same output," explains Heinz. With one tank of fuel, diesel cars can go further than comparable gasoline-powered vehicles. Diesel engines are also more efficient.

With medium and higher loads, the consumption increases less than with gasoline engines. A diesel also produces around 20 percent less CO2 than a comparable vehicle with a gasoline engine. In addition, diesel fuel has so far been cheaper than gasoline.

Diesel disadvantages: exhaust gas recirculation further increases costs

So when it comes to reducing CO2 emissions, from the point of view of Prof. Stefan Pischinger from the Chair of Internal Combustion Engines at the University of Aachen, diesel plays an important role.

“Its disadvantages are the higher costs and the higher weight,” explains the engine expert. “The considerably higher injection pressures require more expensive pumps and injectors. And because of the higher peak pressures, the components have to be designed to be stiffer. "

And not only that: unlike gasoline engines, diesel cars need a particle filter so that the fine dust pollution does not become too great. Nitrogen oxides also have to be post-treated in diesel engines in order to comply with modern emission standards.

The diesel milestones

When is a car with diesel actually worthwhile?-diesel

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The BMW 524td, which came onto the market in 1983, was undoubtedly one of the biggest surprises in the history of diesel cars. The turbo six-cylinder developed 115 hp, in 1986 BMW pushed the so-calledar after a naturally aspirated diesel engine with only 86 HP.

Source: BMW

When is a car with diesel actually worthwhile?-524td which came onto market 1983

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It all started with this car. In 1936 Mercedes presented the 260 D model, the first series-production passenger car with a diesel engine. The cab landaulet version can be seen here, and at The cab drivers, i.e. taxi drivers, liked the 260 D because of its low fuel consumption. Even if it only reached 90 km / h with its 45 hp.

Source: Daimler

When is a car with diesel actually worthwhile?-actually

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The breakthrough for the diesel in the car came after the Second World War, when Mercedes presented the 180 D in 1954. Because of their poor performance, the 180 is called and its successor models 190 D and 200 D also "shifting dunes".

Source: Daimler AG

When is a car with diesel actually worthwhile?-524td which came onto market

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The Peugeot 204 was a compact car (3.74 meters) that was available in many body styles. In 1968 he came up with a 40 horsepower diesel that got its output from just 1255 cubic centimetershe scooped displacement – from now on the diesel principle was also available for smaller and lighter cars.

Source: Peugeot

When is a car with diesel actually worthwhile?-worthwhile

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The large numbers among the more compact diesel cars were only made by the VW Golf Diesel, which was introduced in 1976. its engine was not particularly big either: 1.5 liters was enough for 50 hp, later followed by a 1.6-liter with 54 hp. At that time, the turbocharger was not yet intended for diesel cars.

Source: Volkswagen

When is a car with diesel actually worthwhile?-actually

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Two years after the Golf Diesel, the first turbo diesel engine came on the market; it was built into the Mercedes 300 SD and was supposed to help fleet consumption in the USA. The 115 hp-The engine brought the car to 165 km / h and consumed 10.6 liters according to the norm – about 30 percent less than comparable gasoline engines in luxury vehicles.

Source: Daimler

When is a car with diesel actually worthwhile?-524td which came onto market 1983

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Fiat today hardly has anyone on the bill when it comes to technical pioneering achievements. But two years before the Volkswagen group entered the Kombinatio with the Audi 100 TDIn consisted of a turbocharger and diesel direct injection, this technology was already available in the Fiat Croma.

Source: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

When is a car with diesel actually worthwhile?-actually

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Aluminum and magnesium reduced the weight of the VW Lupo by 150 kilograms, plus there were low-friction tires and aerodynamic improvements – the Lupo 3L TDI was the first car in 1999it a standard consumption of less than three liters, VW had specified exactly 2.99 l / 100 km. At prices above 27,000 marks, there were too few buyers for the three-liter Lupo.

Source: Volkswagen / dpa / gms

In the case of SCR catalytic converters, this requires an additional tank for, for example, urea in the vehicle. "Exhaust gas recirculation increases the complexity and costs further," explains Prof. Pischinger. All of this makes diesel cars more expensive than comparable gasoline-powered cars when they are bought. Apart from higher vehicle tax and insurance premiums.

Diesel engines do not withstand extreme cold as well as gasoline engines. "In winter you need fuel additives so that the diesel engine does not freeze," explains TuV expert Heinz. "Even on short journeys, the diesel does not warm up as quickly as a gasoline engine."

This can have a negative impact on consumption. Petrol engines are also usually quieter. "The three-way catalytic converter also achieves good exhaust gas cleaning," explains Prof. Pischinger.

For whom is a diesel engine worthwhile? ?

But which drive is now worthwhile for whom? "That depends on many factors," explains Peter Sobotta from the ADAC Technology Center in Landsberg am Lech. Together with his colleagues, the expert has calculated the costs of 1,500 new car models available on the German market.

More about diesel

When is a car with diesel actually worthwhile?-diesel

VW affair

The protocol of a German moral decline

When is a car with diesel actually worthwhile?-524td which came onto market 1983

German environmental aid

The greatest enemy of the autonation

When is a car with diesel actually worthwhile?-diesel

Numbers in the vehicle registration document

How to find out if your diesel is affected

When is a car with diesel actually worthwhile?-524td which came onto market


"In any case, the diesel is innocent"

His conclusion: "The old rule that a diesel only pays off after an annual mileage of 15,000 kilometers no longer applies," says the cost expert. “Too many cards have been and are being reshuffled here.” Because not only diesel engines, but also gasoline engines have been continuously improved in recent years, for example through direct injection, cylinder deactivation or start / stop systems.

Small car rather than gasoline

Basically, car buyers can adhere to one rule of thumb: small cars are often cheaper than petrol, large cars with a lot of power than diesel. In the Volkswagen T6 Multivan with a 2.0 liter engine with an output of 204 hp each, for example, the diesel is cheaper from an annual mileage of 10,000 kilometers. According to ADAC, the cost per kilometer for diesel in this case is 117 cents, for gasoline engines 120 cents.

The picture is completely different for the Opel Corsa with a 1.2 liter gasoline engine (69 hp) or a 1.3 liter diesel engine (75 hp): Here the gasoline engine is the cheaper option up to an annual mileage of 15,000 kilometers. Diesel only costs 28.7 cents and petrol 29.2 cents from 20,000 kilometers.

Whether or not such an advantage will continue in the future depends on a decisive factor, Sobotta points out: "This assumes that the difference between gasoline and diesel prices at the pump remains roughly the same."

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