Diesel cars vs. petrol cars: A discussion and some insights

A Facebook discussion among our friends on Facebook, and some insights into how Indian car buyers think!

This is a question that everyone has an opinion on – and our Facebook friends were no different. It was at 12.30 midnight that the question appeared on the Facebook page of CarToq.

The specific question was: Do you prefer diesel or petrol cars? Tell us why.

By morning, there were more than a 100 answers by those who saw the question.  The majority seemed to prefer diesels. 40 of you said you preferred diesels, while there were 29 who said they preferred petrol cars. Some offered careful answers which gave positives and negatives of both diesels and petrol cars. (There were more answers after we collected those numbers).

Here are some of the more interesting answers by our friends (edited for clarity). Read the full discussion and all answers here.

Also take a look at this link: How to decide whether a petrol or diesel car is for you – the economics!

We love diesels – because they are economical

Very valid point – the longer your monthly driving distances, diesel cars make more and more sense.

Here are the answers by the diesel economy fans!

tarunTarun Manchanda
I like Diesel cars… bcoz i use to drive around 5000km per month on avg. petrol is much more costly..

changezChangez Keswani
In the long run, Diesel cars are cheaper… This of course applies only to heavy users like those who do 20k km above annually.

binuBinu Sooryachandran
Decision purely depends on how many kilometers you clock annually and span of using the vehicle. I prefer diesel :)

devindDevinder Singh Bagga
I always go for diesel…  as petrol prices are going up and up day by day…. and nowadays diesel cars have also got the same power as compared to petrol cars!  :)

Diesels – because of their engine characteristics

There were some of you who preferred diesels but not because of great economy over long distances – they liked the power and performance characteristics of diesel engines.

amanAman Verma
Prefer diesels because they are 1. Economical, 2. Initial torque,  3. Great engine sound

And there were more voices in support.

ribuRibu Samuel
A well executed turbo charged diesel engine can give you both performance and good economy!!! And nowadays, the engines are as good as petrol, you don’t have to go around maintaining it like your grandad’s Amby! :) Don’t believe me – Ride a Verna or a Swift!!

babuBabu George
Diesel any day…. high torque at low RPM… easy to drive in the city… with a variable geometry turbocharger its fun…. Diesel is more environmentally friendly.

That was an interesting point there about the environmental impact of diesel engines – this is a subject of much controversy, with many claiming that diesels are highly polluting, while advocates of diesel engines say that is absolutely wrong. We think we should do a detailed story comparing the environmental friendliness of diesel and petrol engines very soon.

In the petrol corner, there were a few of you with a clear preference for petrols

venkatVenkat Elangovan
Obviously Petrol cars… Better Pickup, less Engine noise,overall comfort… Even the cost difference will be adjusted because of diesel engines which requires frequent maintenance and service charges wheres in case of petrol less maintenance charges are incurred.

ankitAnkit Mohanta
Petrol… it is better for the environment and it has more responsive engine.  And much more pleasure to drive…

ishaanIshaan Gulati
Petrol anyday!!!! Low maintenance… long run… and the cost overall covers up ….we spend Rs 100k more to buy a diesel car and if we start calculating … we can’t use that much of petrol or diesel of the same amount for at least an year or more…..

maninderManinder Singh
Petrol anytime… Petrol engines have their max torque range at a higher rpm.. Overtaking on highways is easier in petrol engine cars… Maintenance costs too are far less than diesels…

laxLax Sharma
Petrol, for that natural throttle response only petrol engines can give. No turbo lag, no nothing.. Pure power

aakashAakash Bajaj
Petrol , for no irritating power lag!

nithinNithin Jose
Petrol… for sure… because of less maintenance for the vehicle and good performance…


vaibhavVaibhav Jai Ojha
Definitely PETROL……
High acceleration, comparatively high top-end speed, low noise, performance (not mileage), low maintenance cost…. & last but not the least…….’SATISFACTION’ that’s for sure :)

Ramrao Patil
Petrol for low cost of ownership than that of diesel car….


Naman Bhavsar

Diesel no doubt gives better power and mileage, but on the other hand it makes the ride a bit harder and noisy… whereas petrol lets us a have a smooth drive without much of a compromise with power… Also engine life is a major concern with diesel engines… Being a typical indian, I would go for the one having longer engine life i.e. Petrol ones.

Mithlesh Goswami
Petrol rocks..smooth and efficient and even effective. Don’t go for cheaper, go for performance!

Vivek Nayak
Petrol cars. The cost difference is not even the amount spent on the petrol for almost a couple of years…

Then there were those of you who refused to take sides. They patiently explained that there were a few positives and negatives for both. Not many in numbers, but they still made their point very clear.

The referees!

Pulakit Suryakar
petrol for regular short distances….diesel for regular long distances….


Laxmikant Venkatraman
I agree that petrol is much better car any day comparing diesel. but in terms of long run diesel stands gr8. nowadays many engines like ddis, tdci, duratorq of ford, CRDe are booming in industry….. hyundai’s kappa, iRDE…. maruti’s K series engines are also equally good. all the mentioned engines are well balanced between performance and mileage. its now preference of the buyer and his consideration about fuel price and affordability in long run.

Rajat Gupta
There should be a hybrid between petrol and diesel….when u need performance…you can go on petrol…n when u need mileage you can shift to diesel…

charanCharan Bhawnani

I love the smooth petrol engines which loved to be revved .
Secondly i love the torque developed by diesel engines at lower rpm !
Diesel as a fuel is 25 % cheaper too and gives more Kmpl.
So for me petrol cars are sporty and fun to drive.
And diesel cars are easier, practical and very economical to drive.

Ishant Jain
For city driving diesel because of more torque and better mileage and it cheaper too. for real driving pleasure petrol any day! a diesel wud not go beyond 5k or max 6k rpm but a petrol? HA! like 8k rpm in a 2L engine! even more when super charged with some basic tuning!

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