Which should I buy – diesel or hybrid?

If you’re looking for a fuel-efficient new ride, it’s likely that you’ve spent some time considering hybrids and diesels. Both powertrains are good on gas, widely available and easy to maintain. So what’s the difference? It might surprise you to learn there are quite a few differences, and depending on your driving style, one engine might be a far better choice than the other. Here’s the difference:

Diesel

Diesel cars are much quieter than they used to be, but they’re still not as relaxing at low speeds as petrol or hybrid cars. However, it is on the highways that diesels will be efficient as they require lesser revs to maintain a steady cruising speed.

Hybrid

Hybrids combine a petrol engine with an electric motor. The electric motor can power the car on its own at low speeds and the energy that is normally lost when you brake is now used to recharge the batteries that supply the electric motor with power. Because of this, hybrid cars are better for drivers who live in cities with stop-start traffic. However, on faster roads the petrol engine has to do all or most of the work, meaning a hybrid is likely to be no more efficient than a conventional petrol car on longer journeys.

The decision

If you do a lot of driving on highways, then a diesel car will suit you better, but if you’re mainly in a city, it is worth considering a hybrid. However, hybrids are more expensive than conventional petrol cars, and the money you save on fuel may not be enough to offset this higher purchase price.

The are also manufacturers that are coming out with a combination of this two, which is a diesel hybrid system, like the Mercedes-Benz E300 BlueTech Hybrid.

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