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Why Choose Diesel?

Despite negative press coverage and government legislation, to name a few factors, last year in Britain over a million diesel cars were registered over the 12 month period, which shows there is a desire and popularity for them.

However some would argue that the general sentiment being diesels are a bad choice and that most buyers should be looking to turn in their current vehicle for a petrol, electric or hybrid model before Government legislation hikes up ownership and running costs to eye watering levels.

Before any purchase, especially one as big as buying a car it's important to know all the facts and information.

About Diesel Cars

Generally speaking, diesel engines are more fuel-efficient than petrol models and they do produce less CO2 - one of the main gases associated with climate change. To understand this further, cars emit a mixture of CO2, NOx and particulates. NOx and particulates affect local air quality and are an urban challenge, where CO2 is a pollutant which causes global warming and is a threat to the earth.

Even though diesel cars emit more NOx and particulates, they do however emit less CO2 than their petrol equivalents and on average use less fuel.

Why are diesel engines under the spotlight?

Oxides of Nitrogen (NO and NO2) are produced as a by-product of internal combustion (in engines). These Oxides of Nitrogen – NOx gases as they are known – and related hydrocarbons and other pollutants have been linked to respiratory problems, smog and poor air quality. 

Whilst diesels produce less CO2 on average than petrol engines, they produce more NOx. In modern diesels, Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) – also known as AdBlue – is used within a Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system to convert NOx back to Nitrogen and Oxygen. Older diesels, built before the latest EU6 emission standards were introduced, can produce much more NOx and particulates than the EU6 diesels, as they do not have this SCR technology. In addition, since 2006 Jaguar Land Rover diesel vehicles have been fitted with particulate filters, removing 99% of all particulates from the exhaust. 

Due to the impact on public health, a number of cities in the UK have subsequently announced measures to try to reduce NOx pollution. London for example, has introduced the ‘T-Charge’, an additional fee on top of the pre-existing congestion charge to discourage older diesel vehicles from entering certain areas. This legislation will be replaced in 2019 by a more permanent Ultra Low Emission Zone. EU6 diesel vehicles are exempt from this charge due to their low NOx emissions. Despite the recent criticism of diesel cars, The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) estimates that cars on the road only account for 14% of the nation’s NOx emissions, and that it would take four times the number of EU6 diesel cars currently on the road, to generate the same amount of NOx as one UK coal-fired power station. 

The Type of fuel for you

Both petrol and diesel engines have their pro's and cons and it is important to consider these when choosing which type of engine and car which suits your driving needs. Diesel engines are ideal for long distance commutes, driving on motorways and for drivers who build up a higher mileage. If you are to use your car for shorter journeys and around city limits on a daily basis then petrol may be the better option for you.

The Facts

  • Diesel engines have improved- cars after 2015 are built to Euro 6 standards. This requires them to emit around a third of the NOx and a fifth of the particulates of a car built before 2009
  • Cars are not the biggest contribution to air pollution- In greater London, diesel cars account for only 11% of NOx emissions, while petrol account for 7%. Other sources include industry, trains, gas boilers and different types of machinery
  • Almost 1 in 2 new cars are registered in the UK is a diesel
  • 96% of the UK's 4.8 million commercial vehicles are powered by diesel
  • Diesel cars on average emit 20% lower C02 than petrol equivalents.


Diesel cars now have very advanced filter systems. many new diesel cars now have diesel particulate filters and selective catalytic reduction systems which reduce emissions.

In September 2017, the new official EU-wide emissions regulation came into force for new vehicles, called the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP) supplemented by the Real Driving Emissions test (RDE). This is the world's toughest emissions standard using on-road testing to reflect 'rea-world' driving road conditions and driving styles.

Future of Diesel

"The latest diesel technology is really such a step in emissions, performance, particulates; it's better for the environment when compared to petrol. Diesel has to - needs to - have a future."

Ralf Speth – Chief Executive Officer of Jaguar Land Rover

Consequently, consumers need to know and feel reassured that a new diesel vehicle still has a place in a modern motoring society and as such should certainly feature as part of the buying decision.

It should also be noted that in the current climate there are still some fundamental features and inexorable benefits to owning and running a diesel car, especially when it comes to your finances.

To find out more about extensive range of diesel vehicles available at Sturgess, contact your local Sturgess dealership today to speak to an expert of our team.

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