The 10 best diesel cars on sale today
If you're a high-mileage driver in the market for an SUV, an executive saloon or something for towing, diesel cars still make a most financial sense. Here we count down our favourites.....
Diesel has had a lot of bad press in recent years, and while it's true that diesel engines – especially older ones – can be more polluting than petrol engines, a diesel-powered car still makes a great deal of sense for drivers covering lots of miles
And despite the negative headlines, our independent tests have shown that the latest diesel engines can be cleaner than their petrol counterparts.
In larger cars, the low-down pull of a diesel engine is usually preferable to a petrol engine delivering its torque higher up the rev range. So, if you're in the market for a large SUV, an executive saloon or even a people carrier, chances are you'll be filling it up from the black pump.
Here, we've rounded up our favourite diesel-powered cars. In each case, you can find out more about each model by reading our details reviews, and you can see how much you can save by looking at our exclusive Target Price deals.
Editor's note: Images are purely illustrative and do not necessarily reflect mentioned trim levels
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10: Volkswagen Touran 1.6 TDI 115 SE
Despite losing its class crown to the new Citroën Berlingo, the Volkswagen Touran remains an excellent MPV
It's spacious, good to drive and very well built, and while it does carry a premium price tag, hefty discounts ensure this isn't a problem.
10: Volkswagen Touran 1.6 TDI 115 SE - interior
Our favourite 1.6-litre diesel engine may not be breathtakingly quick, but it copes well with any situation you throw at it.
9: Mazda CX-5 2.2 Skyactiv-D 150 SE-L Nav+
On the face of it, the fact that Mazda's largest SUV doesn't offer the option of seven seats puts it at a disadvantage.
However, if you don't need to transport more than five people, it's one of the very best cars of its kind: it's comfortable, spacious and good to drive and offers a range of engines.
9: Mazda CX-5 2.2 Skyactiv-D 150 SE-L Nav+ - interior
This 148bhp diesel version pulls hard from low revs all the way round to its redline, so it feels more like a turbocharged petrol.
8: Skoda Superb 2.0 TDI 150 SE Technology
The Skoda Superb is comfortable, well equipped and one of the roomiest cars in its class.
8: Skoda Superb 2.0 TDI 150 SE Technology - interior
With a 148bhp diesel engine under the bonnet, the big saloon will while away endless motorway miles with smooth power delivery and good fuel economy.
It's a great buy, then, even before you factor in our Target Price savings.
7: Land Rover Discovery SD6 HSE Luxury
The Land Rover Discovery is one of the finest large SUVs around right now. It's huge inside, both for your passengers and their luggage, is brimming with technology, has a comfortable interior and is just as capable off the road as on it.
7: Land Rover Discovery SD6 HSE Luxury - interior
The 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine we recommend pulls harder than the smaller 2.0-litre diesel on offer and delivers its power more smoothly. For that reason, it's our recommended choice.
6: Audi Q5 40 TDI quattro Sport
Looking for a plush large SUV? Surely the Audi Q5 is already on your shortlist.
And so it should be, because it's superb to drive, relatively cheap to run and has one of the best interiors you'll find in any new car.
6: Audi Q5 40 TDI quattro Sport - interior
The 187bhp 2.0-litre diesel engine – badged as 40 TDI – is the one to go for, because it has plenty of oomph to get you going yet also CO2 emissions low enough to keep your company car tax bills competitive.
5: BMW 5 Series 520d SE
The 5 Series won our overall Car of the Year Award in 2017 and remains the best luxury car you can buy.
Its interior quality puts to shame rivals that cost twice as much, plus it's great to drive, incredibly quiet and very comfortable.
5: BMW 5 Series 520d SE - interior
There's a reason the 2.0-litre diesel-engined 520d is the most popular version among British buyers, too: it's brawny, with plenty of power, but also impressively frugal.
4: Audi Q7 45 TDI quattro S line
Audi's seven-seat luxury SUV is the best car of its kind.
It's relaxing to drive, comfortable to sit in and pleasantly efficient to run, while its interior is plush enough to shame most luxury saloons. As if all that weren't enough, the Q7 is extremely practical, having plenty of space for families and their luggage.
4: Audi Q7 45 TDI quattro S line - interior
The 45 TDI is actually the least powerful diesel engine on offer in the Q7, but it still delivers gutsy acceleration.
3: BMW 3 Series 320d Sport auto
The BMW 3 Series is our reigning champion in the competitive executive saloon market, where it beat rivals including the Audi A4 and Mercedes C-Class.
The 3 Series features a strong 2.0-litre diesel engine in our recommended 320d form, as well as one of the finest interiors you'll find on a new car.
3: BMW 3 Series 320d Sport auto - interior
Add in BMW's impressive iDrive infotainment system and it's a fantastic choice.
2: Range Rover Evoque D180 S
The Range Rover Evoque is one of the most stylish SUVs you can buy, and there's plenty of substance to back up those looks, too.
It's well equipped, gives you a great driving position and should hold its value very well.
2: Range Rover Evoque D180 S - interior
Go for our recommended D180 diesel and you'll enjoy smooth acceleration as well as enough punch to execute swift overtakes on the motorway.
1: Volvo XC40 D3 R-Design Geartronic
Volvo's family SUV is brimming with both style and kit, while also being spacious and one of the very best cars of its type to drive.
It's so good, in fact, that we named it as our overall Car of the Year for 2018.
1: Volvo XC40 D3 R-Design Geartronic - interior
The 148bhp 2.0-litre D3 diesel is our recommended choice, because it's more flexible than the petrol T3 and more relaxing to drive.
It's an economical choice, too, returning an impressive 42.9mpg in our True MPG test.