Which engine type is the most efficient?

By Motor Source Group

With the rising cost of fuel, amongst many other necessities, one thing we can do to help ourselves is make wiser choices when it comes to buying cars. With more information at hand than ever before, you can literally make that cost go further and with more options than ever before it is important to consider what they’ll cost us in the long run.  

Petrol vs diesel
These days there’s not much between petrol and diesel prices at the pumps, so this argument comes down to other factors.

Petrol cars tend to have smaller engines, which can mean smaller cars and greater range. These smaller vehicles make great city run-arounds, like the Seat Ibiza, which can get around 53 miles per gallon in town traffic.

According to the hard numbers, however, the old adage holds true; diesel engines offer better efficiency than petrol. In every situation – especially on motorways – diesel offers up to 4 more miles per gallon of fuel over petrol, making them great for those regularly going up and down the country. That’s the end of that, right? Of course not.

Reliability has to be taken into account, too, after all, a car’s not very efficient if it’s brought to a standstill. Statistics show that diesels are three times more likely to break down than petrol engines, and cost 20% more to repair. A diesel car’s particulate filter can also get clogged after extended periods of urban driving, making them less than ideal city cars.

So, petrol wins on reliability, but the raw numbers favour diesel, although there is another type of engine that trumps both.

Hybrid engines
Combining petrol and electric engines, hybrids use electric propulsion at low speeds, they’re especially efficient in stop-start and urban traffic, with cars like the Hyundai Ioniq getting more than 60 miles per gallon. The difference isn’t as pronounced on the motorway, but many of us will spend more time in towns than the open road. 

According to a Which? survey, hybrid cars are even more reliable than petrol engines and, since they use petrol, consume the cheapest out of the two fuel types, adding to the savings. The cherry on top of all of this is the fact that they produce less CO2 than other engines. These facts make them easy to recommend, especially since every new petrol car in the UK will eventually be a hybrid by 2030. 

What about electric vehicles?
Simply put, electric vehicles (EVs) are cheaper to run than all of the above. On average, EVs cost half as much per mile and have much more reliable engines because there’s simply less parts to break. This is on top of their quieter driving experience and the fact they’re the only truly emissions-free engine on this list. One of the biggest barriers many have is “range anxiety,” but modern EVs can travel hundreds of miles before needing a charge. The electric version of the Hyundai Ioniq 5 hatchback can be fitted with a 73kWh battery, giving it a 260-mile range – the distance from London to Blackpool.

The problems are that, as of now, they have a higher up-front cost and the current charging infrastructure is having to keep up with an influx of new owners. At least for the price there are grants and discounts that the government (and Motor Source Group) can offer to help.

ASCL Additional Benefits provider Motor Source Group can help find the perfect car for your needs and offers a great discount for ASCL members. Find out more here

This blog is an extract of this fuller version published by the Motor Source Group. 
Posted: 22/02/2022 15:07:05