8 Advantages and Disadvantages of Diesel Cars

Cars running on diesel were pretty notorious in the past thanks to that clattering sound and smoke belching. However, things have improved in recent years – even an untrained ear will find it difficult to differentiate between a car running on diesel or high-octane gasoline. Even emission controls have improved for diesel cars.

Cars that drink diesel are popular in the commercial transportation industry for their exceptional torque delivery at low RPMs. Personal users of diesel-powered vehicles have been impressed at the ability of diesel engines in recreational towing and off-road journeys.

To go for petrol or a diesel power is among the first considerations you have to make before purchasing a new car. Is it worth it to get a car that runs on diesel? What are the cons of getting such a vehicle? Weighing both sides will help you decide whether you should go for a diesel car or not.

List of Advantages of Diesel Cars

1. Diesel cars offer better mileage.
A diesel-powered engine can delivery up to 25 to 30% better fuel economy compared to vehicles powered by gasoline engines. Diesel vehicles even perform better compared to traditional gasoline-electric hybrids. Although it must be noted that the model plays a huge part when it comes to fuel economy performance. That and whatever automotive technology is being used in the vehicle. But the main point is this: diesel engines typically deliver better fuel economy compared to similarly performing gasoline engines.

2. Diesel is an efficient and energy dense fuel.
Diesel has more usable energy when compared to gasoline. As such, it can deliver better fuel economy. Compared to its gas counterpart, diesel engines get 30% better fuel economy. And that’s a big advantage for vehicle owners, particularly those who drive long distances each day. Why should it matter to them? For one, a tank of diesel can get one farther than a tank of gas. It also doesn’t hurt that it’s faster to fuel up with diesel compared to gas.

While those who are saving up will most likely be inclined to go for hybrids or fuel-efficient compacts, there’s a segment of automobile owners who are not really keen on downsizing their vehicles to something smaller. This particular group of vehicle owners might find a diesel-powered car an attractive option.

3. Diesel vehicles don’t need ignition tune-ups.
A diesel-powered vehicle doesn’t have spark plugs or distributors. As such, they don’t need ignition tune-ups. This is a benefit for those who don’t like to have their vehicles inspected regularly. Then again, regular maintenance is still required to keep the car performing well and to lengthen its life as well.

4. Diesel engines are designed to withstand the challenge of higher compression.
There is a reason diesel engines are favored in the commercial transportation energy: they perform better. Although you might want your vehicle to act like a racehorse – in other words, fast – that is not the case with a diesel-powered engine. It’s quite the opposite really: diesel cars are much more slower but they are far more stronger compared to gas-powered vehicles.

Torque is very important in getting a vehicle going, particularly when towing or carrying heavy loads. Diesels are known for their exceptional torque delivery even at low RPMs and as such, they can easily get moving from a standing start.

List of Disadvantages of Diesel Cars

1. Diesel costs just as much as gasoline.
One of the main benefits of choosing diesel in the past was that it was cheaper than gasoline. But now, that isn’t the case as prices for both seem to be level. Demand is always a factor in prices and diesel fuel is mostly used for commercial trucks, home and industrial generators and heating oil. This just means that as demand for diesel passenger vehicles grow, so will the price of diesel fuel because of competition from others who also use it.

2. Diesel doesn’t offer high-speed performance.
A benefit of choosing diesel is that it is more efficient compared to gasoline because it converts heat to energy. On the other hand, gas-powered cars send heat out the tailpipe. But those expecting high-speed performance from their car when shifting to diesel should be disappointed: your car will perform more like a workhorse. In other words, it will be slower but it will also be stronger and more enduring.

3. Diesel cars need regular maintenance.
One of the advantages of a diesel car is that you no longer need ignition tune-ups because they don’t have spark plugs or distributors. However, the absence of these elements also means you have to do more when it comes to maintaining your vehicle. Maintenance for diesel-powered vehicles goes like this: you need to change the oil, air and fuel filters on a regular basis.

Yes, a lot of cleaner diesel fuels these days don’t require the removal of excess water from the system but a lot of these kinds of vehicles still have water separators that need to be emptied by hand.

4. Diesels may cost more when maintenance is neglected.
An advantage diesels have over gasoline-powered vehicles is that they don’t need ignition tune-ups. However, they do require regular maintenance otherwise you will be spending lots of money to get a mechanic to fix things. Why is that the case? The main reason is that diesel engines are more technologically advanced and as such you need a diesel mechanic (or just a really good one) to get things patched up.

So to avoid high costs of hiring a mechanic, the best thing to do is to make sure your diesel vehicle gets checked up regularly. In other words, don’t miss an appointment or else you’ll suffer the costs later.


Things are constantly being improved in the realm of diesel technology. There is increased pressure to build passenger vehicles, trucks, buses, as well as farm and construction equipment that not only produce low emissions but also low-sulfur diesel fuels. This is something a diesel-powered engine can provide.

About the Blog Post Author
Crystal Lombardo has been a staff writer for Future of Working for five years. She is a proud veteran and mother. If you have any questions about the content of this blog post, then please send our editor-in-chief a message here.