When it comes to the choice in engines, the world is generally divided into two camps: petrol-heads and diesel fans.

The petrol guys praise their engines for their practicality, ease of use, relatively low maintenance and power. And though we concur that this type of engine is a great choice, there are some very valid reasons why you should take a closer look at the diesel counterparts as well.

Smaller diesels can be quite economical

One of the biggest concerns for any motor vehicle owner (at least most…), is the cost of fueling. It feels really great taking a car to it’s limits but if it’s frequently thirsty, you may begin to feel the pinch. This is one point where smaller diesels may be worth looking at.

The reasons for this is that diesel engines are able to convert at least 45% of the fuel energy to the power train while petrol engines have a 35% conversion efficiency. With this kind of figures, it’s no wonder diesel engines can be relatively economical, especially the smaller engines in the 1200cc – 2000cc range, coupled with the fact that diesel fuel is generally cheaper than petrol.

Diesel fuel is generally cheaper than petrol.

Safety

Another reason you may want to consider a diesel engine is safety. Due to it’s characteristic difficulty in igniting, diesel can be considered a safer alternative to petrol. In the event of an accident, especially smashes that affect the fuel tank, you are not worrying that the fuel may self-ignite leading to an explosion.

Turbo-charging

For those of you who love speed and raw power, then you cannot go wrong with a turbocharged diesel. The big advantage here is that diesel fuel can endure much more stress (as related to turbo-charging) than petrol which is susceptible to explosion.

Power and torque

Diesel engines can produce more torque at lower RPMs than their petrol counterparts which makes them great choices for use in towing or where raw power is needed – think off-road driving.

Although not exhaustive, the listed reasons may give you some insight into why you may need to consider a diesel engine.

Look out for our series on the best ways to maintain a diesel engine.