Is diesel or petrol best?

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What Car? Staff
19 Aug 2010 10:20 | Last updated: 14 Jun 2018 00:03

Question of the month

Q) Is diesel or petrol best?
Im trying to decide between a 1.4 TSI petrol and a 2.0 TDI diesel Volkswagen Golf. Is there a simple way to find out which will be best for me? Or am I stuck with guesswork?
Scott Sutton

A) Diesel engines offer better fuel economy than petrols, but they cost more to buy, and youll have to cover plenty of miles before the fuel savings start to pay dividends. That break-even mileage varies depending on the make and model of car, and youll also need to consider servicing costs, depreciation and road tax.

All very baffling, but dont worry, theres a simple way to work out whether to pick petrol or diesel. Download our free calculator at whatcar.com just type petrol or diesel calculator in the search box on the homepage. Choose a petrol car and an equivalent diesel model, and then fill in the blanks all of the car-specific information you need can be found at whatcar.com.

Our favourite version of the Golf is the 120bhp 1.4 TSI petrol its an absolute cracker, with punchy performance and low running costs. Doing some basic calculations for you and making several assumptions about your motoring the 2.0 TDI is probably only a good choice if you drive more than 13,000 miles per year.