Diesel engined cars are mainly bought by people for the higher fuel efficiency this fuel offers when compared to petrol. Buyers usually opt for a diesel powered car if their monthly driving distance is over 1,500 Kms. While diesels have traditionally been unrefined, slow and ponderous, common rail direct injection has changed the game. Diesels of today are not only fuel efficient but are also as fast as petrols, or in some cases faster. Today, we bring you five diesel cars, ones that will let you have your cake, and eat it too.
Hyundai Elite i20
The Hyundai Elite i20 is a huge success, and the car has racked up more than 1 lakh units in sales in just a year of its launch. The Elite i20 is blessed with a powerful turbo diesel engine that displaces 1.4 liters and puts out 89 Bhp-220 Nm. In contrast, the petrol motor of the car is a much more restrained 1.2 liter unit with 82 Bhp-115 Nm. And this really shows when it comes to flat out runs. The diesel variant of the car does the 0-100 Kph sprint in just 11.94 seconds while the petrol variant is much slower, taking 15.7 seconds. Mileage? The diesel wins again, with 22.54 Kmpl, while the petrol manages only 18.6 Kmpl, both figures ARAI rated.
Ford Figo Aspire
The recently launched Ford Figo Aspire compact sedan is yet another instance of the turbo diesel engined variants comprehensively outperforming the petrol variants. We’re limiting our analysis to the manual gearbox equipped variants, which obviously puts the 1.5 Ti-VCT motor and the 6 speed twin clutch gearbox out of contention. The Figo Aspire with the 1.5 TDCI motor has access to 98.6 Bhp and 215 Nm, which is much higher than the 1.2 liter Ti-VCT petrol motor’s 87 Bhp and 112 Nm. In terms of acceleration, the Figo Aspire Diesel has legs to do a 10 second run, making it the fastest compact sedan in its class. The 1.2 petrol? It follows slowly behind, with 13.5 seconds. Mileage? The diesel does 25.83 Kmpl, while the petrol only manages 18.16 Kmpl.
The Volkswagen Polo, with its 1.2 liter-3 cylinder MPI petrol motor is no great shakes in both performance and fuel efficiency. The motor, which makes 74 Bhp and 110 Nm, takes about 15 seconds to go from standstill to 100 Kph. ARAI certified fuel efficiency is 16.47 Kmpl. The diesel on the other hand, is in a different league. The 1.5 liter TDI motor makes 89 Bhp and 230 Nm, and takes just 12.3 seconds to hit the 100 Kph mark from standstill. ARAI mileage is impressive too, at 20.14 Kmpl.
The Fiat Punto is another car where the diesel rules, especially the top-end 90 HP variant. We won’t even go into the 1.2 liter petrol nor the 1.3 liter diesel as both these variants are simply not fast enough. Rather, this comparison will be between the Punto 90 HP diesel and the 1.4 FIRE petrol. The FIRE petrol variant of the car pushes out 89 Bhp and 115 Nm, and races to 100 Kph in 16 seconds. The ARAI certified fuel efficiency figure is 14.4 Kmpl. The diesel on the other hand, with 90 Bhp and 209 Nm on tap from the 1.3 liter Multijet motor, does the 0-100 Kph sprint in 14.33 seconds, and also excels in the mileage department, with a fuel efficiency number of 20.5 Kmpl.
The best selling Hyundai Creta compact SUV is another example of diesels comprehensively outdoing petrols in both performance and fuel efficiency. Both the diesel and petrol engines of the Creta displace 1.6 liters. Beyond this though, the differences get starker. The diesel puts out 126 Bhp-265 Nm, in comparison to the petrol’s 121 Bhp-158 Nm. The diesel is king in acceleration too, with a 10.8 second 0-100 Kph run. The petrol manages a quick, but not-quick-enough 12.7 second run. In terms of mileage, it’s advantage diesel with a rating of 19.67 Kmpl, while the petrol manages 15.29 Kmpl.
Note: Apart from their lower price tags, the petrol powered variants in this list don’t offer any significant advantage in terms of performance or mileage. So, for the buyer who wants both speed and fuel efficiency, going diesel is the logical step. Of course, this will cost money in terms of a higher purchase price. But driving enough miles will recoup those costs.