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post #2 of (permalink) Old 23rd December 2005
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Diesel, no contest.
When you start a petrol engine it runs rich (remember the old "choke" buttons/levers?) so fuel economy is poor, and the exhaust gases are more damaging to the exhaust pipe than those of a diesel although catalysys seem to have helped prolong the life of petrol cars' exhausts.
2 examples - when I moved house to where I now live (Surrey-Hants borders, loads of congested traffic everywhere) from rural Wiltshire, the fuel consumption of my then 2-litre petrol car dropped from around 35mpg in Wiltshire to around 22mpg in Surrey. The fuel consumption of the 1.5 litre petrol car that my wife drove also worsened, from around 37mpg to around 30mpg. I replaced my 2.0 petrol with a Scenic 1.9 diesel and the consumption I got from it was around 50mpg; my wife now uses it and it returns nearly 40mpg in comparison to the 1.5 petrol engine's approx 30mpg.
Diesels produce much more low-down torque which is ideal for town driving, less need to rev the engine and fewer gearchanges. Try a petrol and diesel in the town where you are going to be doing the driving yourself, and see if you can notice the difference.
Merry Christmas, and look out for some used car bargains in the New Year !
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