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Diesel Engine-occasional user-risks?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Motoring
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johnfarquhar74johnfarquhar74 Forumite
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Motoring
Looking for some advice/opinion regarding the possible purchase of a diesel powered car.
My wife and I are in the market for a new car and for various reasons are drawn to a Ford Kuga. Now, all the cars we've looked at are the 2.0L diesels, which is fair enough, but our vehicle useage might put a stop to the purchase. Basically we only use the car at the weekends and annually we only do around 4000 miles, sometimes less.
Now, we aren't terribly concerned about the false economy as we do so little mileage that regardless of the derivative, our 'mile' cost is quite high and as for the DPF we feel we could factor in the necessary longer drive to carry out the 'regeneration', BUT, would owning a diesel that carried out such a relative low annual mileage which consisted of mainly 3, maybe 4 mile journeys prove fatal to a diesel lump?

Currently we drive a 2.0L petrol estate style car and would stick with petrol if it was an option for the Kuga(excluding the 2.5T).

Any advice/opinion would be greatly appreciated if it stops me making a mistake!
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Replies

  • victor2victor2 Forumite
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    Diesels generally only work out cheaper to run if you do a high mileage, not least because of their high maintenance costs when compared to petrol. But with road tax being low on many diesels these days, it can help bring down your annual cost. Many modern diesels are "common rail" and pass fuel through at very high pressure. Older type "PD" diesel engines pump the fuel through and tend to be a little easier on maintenance I'm told. Many of the VW group (which includes Skoda and SEAT) have PD diesel engines so there's still a choice of brands and models.
    I too do around 4,000 miles a year and have been looking for a cheap to run used car. I was drawn to a Toyota Corolla 1.4 diesel at first, but they are quite hard to find. I've ended up with a 4 year old high mileage Toyota Prius. Spent a bit more than I intended, but with £10 a year road tax and excellent economy around town (which is virtually all we do), it should be cheap to run. Time will tell.
  • Most modern diesels need some decent mileage to sort out things like particulate filters. If you do a good run at weekends i shouldn't be a problem but if you are pottering around then I think I would stick with a petrol.

    On your mileage the mpg shouldn't really matter too much. So on that note how about a Jeep Commander 5.7 Hemi....:D
  • vikingaerovikingaero Forumite
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    The low annual mileage isn't a problem for a diesel. It's the type of journeys you undertake. If you drive mainly on fast A roads and Motorways then no problem.

    If petrol is the best solution then have you looked at other cars such as the VW Tiguan, Honda CRV and Nissan Qashqai?
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  • nickj_2nickj_2 Forumite
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    i have a diesel van which i got in march , since then i've only covered 1500 miles , mostly in my village where i live , if i don't need to use it then i normally walk or use my bike , so sometimes it stays in the garage for 3-4 weeks without use . my last van was an escort and when traded it in , it had done 130k and still going strong , the only trouble is that the batteries don't last too long
  • i have a diesel for the business its great for the short trip but as with wot other have said on motorways and dual carriageways the fuel economy is much better than a petrol but the only problem is the servicing diesel i find is more expensive than petrol
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  • MankysteveMankysteve Forumite
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    Dads just a tdi Cmax and he loves the car and engine, but for normal city driving he doesnt gain many mpg over his old petrol scenic, but on long motor way drives, he does a lot of motor way miles and then he reckons he gets into the 60'smpg the 6th gear helps as well.

  • daveyjpdaveyjp Forumite
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    Short journeys clog up vital components such as turbos and EGR valves. For 4,000 miles I'd go for a petrol.
  • nickj wrote: »
    i have a diesel van which i got in march , since then i've only covered 1500 miles , mostly in my village where i live , if i don't need to use it then i normally walk or use my bike , so sometimes it stays in the garage for 3-4 weeks without use . my last van was an escort and when traded it in , it had done 130k and still going strong , the only trouble is that the batteries don't last too long

    Get yourself a battery conditioner. I do very little mileage in my car but I've had the same battery for 5 years. £20 well spent.
  • forgotmynameforgotmyname Forumite
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    Avoid anything with a DPF if you only do short journey's.
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  • johnfarquhar74johnfarquhar74 Forumite
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    Thanks for the comments, most of them confirm my fears that a diesel is not for us! Time to let the wife down gently ;)

    Although we don't use the car much, we do like a car with space, toys and a bit oomph so a 1.3 fiesta is no good.

    Back to the drawing board!
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