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Are Diesels Better?

There have been many improvements in the auto industry and one noticeable change is the diesel engine. The modern diesel engine is quieter, cleaner and more efficient than its predecessors but is it a better buy compared to a gasoline?

Recently, my wife traded up her 2002 BMW X5 3.0i for a 2011 BMW X5 35d which is a 3.0L twin turbo diesel. There is no reason to get into the specs of the vehicle other than to say it has ample horsepower and torque to meet the requirements of her driving to meetings, taxing the kids and driving around town. The decision to go with a diesel was based on the notion of improved fuel economy and a smaller carbon footprint. Basically, it was supposed to be a greener vehicle.

Almost 8 months later, she has not noticed a difference in fuel economy but rather a few little nuisances with owning a so called “green vehicle”. The process of putting fuel into the vehicle is a chore. She has to bypass 2 gas stations and drive further to find a gas station that sells diesel. The diesel pumps are usually dirty and have a distinct smell of diesel that is almost always left on her hands after fuelling. The second nuisance is the pinging of the diesel which is almost undetectable until at the drive through and the distinct sound of a diesel is echoed through the vehicle when placing an order.

The combination of these two nuisances has left her feeling that the diesel was not worth the extra money. The extra drive to the gas station and the noise pollution produced does not leave her feeling this is truly a “green vehicle”. Based on her feedback and looking at the fuel consumption, I would have to agree.

This leaves us both wondering whether we were better off with the 2002 X5.

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