As gas prices continue to soar and the economy continues to struggle, vehicles that offer better fuel economy are becoming more and more popular. Two options that offer impressive fuel economy are diesel engine vehicles and the more popular hybrid vehicles. Each option has it”s on pros and cons which you should weigh carefully before choosing your preference. We will take a look at the advantages and drawbacks of each option, including important factors such as the price of the vehicle, cost of maintenance, impact on the environment, and even the likelihood of finding a for the vehicle.
Diesel engines have been around for as long as cars have been manufactured, so they are a well known and proven commodity. Diesel engines also offer an increase in fuel efficiency over traditional gasoline powered engines of about 20 to 30 percent. The greater fuel economy can lead to savings for the owner, but keep in mind that the cost of diesel fuel is often higher than the cost of regular, unleaded gasoline (though not always).
Since diesel technology has been around practically forever, it is a well known and very reliable technology. Cars and trucks with these engines can last a very long time, and repairs and maintenance can be performed reliably. Another big plus for diesel is that these engines offer more power and better performance than even traditional gasoline engines can offer. If you are looking for power or towing ability along with better fuel efficiency, diesel is the way to go.
Of course, there are some drawbacks to diesel engines as well. These vehicles are generally “dirtier,” in that they emit more smog causing pollutants (and even a noticeable smell) than gas cars. Another drawback is that diesel fuel is not only often more expensive, but it can also be harder to find. While most gas stations off of major interstates and highways (where there is heavy trucker traffic) do sell diesel, many other gas stations do not. Another problem is that there are simply not a wide variety of vehicles that offer diesel engines as an option, so your choices will be limited. Diesel vehicles also cost more than standard autos, and the fuel is often more expensive as well. Be sure to consider the higher price, cost of fuel, and the cost of insurance when making your decision.
The other obvious choice for improved fuel economy is the hybrid vehicle, which offers a combination of gas and electric power. Like diesels, hybrids offer about 20 to 30 percent better fuel efficiency than standard gas engines. They also are the choice of environmentally friendly consumers, as they produce much less pollution and a smaller carbon footprint that gasoline or diesel power.
Hybrids are quickly increasing in popularity in the United States and around the world, and every year there are more and more hybrid vehicles available. As a result, there is no shortage of choices if you are in the market for a hybrid, and you can choose from a wide variety of cars, trucks, and SUV”s. And of course, hybrids run on traditional gasoline as well as an electric battery. The battery is automatically recharged by the gas powered engine, so all you need to operate a hybrid is traditional, widely available gasoline.
Like diesels, hybrid vehicles cost more than their gasoline counterparts, and some people question whether the increased fuel economy makes up for the higher price. However, at least in the United States, tax breaks are often available when you purchase a hybrid, so this must be considered as well. Insurance costs can vary widely depending on the vehicle, so be sure to look around for a cheap insurance quote.
On the downside, hybrids offer much less power and performance than diesels and even gasoline powered automobiles. Towing is out of the question for most hybrid vehicles. It is also important to consider that hybrid vehicles are still a relatively new, emerging technology. Hybrids require both electric and gasoline motors, adding a layer of complexity which could result in reliability issues and, possibly, higher repair costs.