Here at Auto Europe, we receive many questions from clients in regards to diesel cars. Nearly half of all vehicles produced in Europe have diesel engines, so there is a good chance that you will end up with one on your next Eurpoean vacation. Here are some statements you may have heard about diesel fuel, a couple of which couldn’t be further from the truth.
“Diesel engines are more efficient.”
New diesel engines in Europe get around 5-10 MPG more than gas engines. Of course, it all depends on how you drive. It also depends on the models you compare. Small economy class cars like the Renault Clio will be light enough that gas engines are still very efficient. The difference is more noticeable with larger vehicles (midsize and up).
“Diesel engines aren’t as powerful as gas engines.”
While this may have been true in the early 1980’s when diesel cars were essentially in rough draft form, it is not true at all today. The 2009 Volkswagen Jetta TDI gives you 140 horse power and produces 236 ft-lbs of torque while still getting you 55+ MPG on the highway. It goes from 0-60 in a respectable 8.2 seconds. Want something nicer? The BMW 335D has 265 HP and 425 ft-lbs of torque and can go from 0-60 in 6 seconds! It also gets 35+ on the highway.
“Diesel engines are smelly and loud.”
Unless you are driving a transport vehicle, most new diesel engines are quiet, and do not produce the same smell. You certainly won’t notice it when driving.
“Diesel is not as available as regular gas.”
Pretty much every gas station will have diesel fuel. If you stop at one and there is no diesel, chances are high that the next one you come to will have diesel. Any gas station near a major highway will have diesel.
“Diesel is more expensive.”
Diesel does cost more, but when you get such better gas mileage, its well worth it. As of right now, gas is around $6 USD per gallon while diesel fuel is only about a dollar more per gallon. Most people would pay an extra $12-15 dollars at the pump to get 10+ more MPG.
If you have a fuel preference when booking your car rental in Europe, you may inquire with your rental supplier when you arrive at the counter.