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Old 29th July 2008, 20:37   #1
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Cool Driving pleasure as the criteria for buying Diesel cars!

The topic might have sounded a little odd say 5-10 years ago, in the age of old school N.A. Diesels. Anyone then looking to buy a Diesel over a Petrol had only one criteria in his mind:- monthly Running. Strong advice was given against buying of a Diesel car in place of the Petrol version, owing to reasons such has high initial cost, high maintenance, Noisy engines, sluggish response, bla bla bla.

Not any more. With the advent of modern day common rail DI engine diesels with Turbochargers and Intercoolers - most notable being those from Hyundai's CRDi and Fiat's Multijet, things are beginning to change.

No longer is the daily/monthly/yearly running the only criteria of selecting the diesel version of a particular car. Driving pleasure is one area where diesel cars are beginning to make a strong case for themselves.

With superb in-gear acceleration, and truckloads of torque lower down the revv range, diesel engine cars are proving to be more fun to drive compared to the high revving petrol counterparts, in real world traffic. Prime examples:- Swift Petrol/Swift Diesel. Same goes with Palio 1.1 and Palio MJD.

Today, there are people who are ready to pay the extra moolah for a diesel car over the petrol car (sometimes the premium is over 1L), just for the driving experience the former gives.

Does the good old saying : "Buy a diesel car only if your monthly running is xxx kms", hold any good now? Apart from offering similar performance (actually better sometimes), being more refined compared to DI engines (sometimes better than the petrol engines- Swift diesel has more silent engine than the wagonR ), and also maintainence costs are low compared to the old school diesel engines.

I, personally, would prefer a modern day diesel car (say Swift DDiS) over its petrol counterpart anyday, even if my monthly running is a mere 500 kms. Mathematics be damned!

Anyone else having the same thoughts?
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Old 29th July 2008, 20:44   #2
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Well, I think what you gain in torque, you lose in the hard clutch.
You enjoy the drive, but are slightly more tired at the end of it. My personal experience of comparison between a Swift VDI and the Flair.
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Old 29th July 2008, 21:05   #3
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For me revving the engine is a part of the driving pleasure, not to mention the roar produced by the engine. Even the "roar" produced by my WagonR above 4K rpm sounds good to me. Yeah.. one cant feel those things in city but once on highway that is what I want from my car.

I doubt any of the diesels can provide me that. So as of today if I want to save on petrol bills, I will get a CNG kit installed.

PS: Not to mention petrol is a lot less polluting in terms of suspended particles & lack of sulphur.
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Old 29th July 2008, 21:07   #4
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Now, lets compare this with Ford Fiesta TDCi Vs Ford Fiesta Petrol. Verna CDRI Vs Verna Petrol. I would definately opt for modern day Diesel engines over its petrol counterparts for sheer performance and FE.
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Old 29th July 2008, 21:17   #5
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From what I've gathered most modern diesels have that initial surge which makes them a pain to drive in city traffic since you've constantly press the clutch to control it. In bumper to bumper traffic, you still can't potter around like you can in a petrol without having to constantly use the clutch.
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Old 29th July 2008, 21:18   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snaronikar View Post
Now, lets compare this with Ford Fiesta TDCi Vs Ford Fiesta Petrol. Verna CDRI Vs Verna Petrol. I would definately opt for modern day Diesel engines over its petrol counterparts for sheer performance and FE.
Could you please explain performance? I thought petrol is the faster one (not in case of Verna though), assuming you meant fast by performance. (?)
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Old 29th July 2008, 21:36   #7
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Driving pleasure is a subjective term.

I like high revving NA machines.

I never feel the lack of torque in my car coz i can always downshift when i need it. But for guys who think shifting constantly is a headache, might find TD Diesels more pleasurable.

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Old 29th July 2008, 22:22   #8
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Quote:
Driving pleasure is one area where diesel cars are beginning to make a strong case for themselves.
Pleasure is an abstract as well as relative term. There is no fixed definition. So i think there are variety of methods to acheive satisfaction. For example, to me pleasure is just wheel spinning and ripping the tyres.
Quote:
Today, there are people who are ready to pay the extra moolah for a diesel car over the petrol car (sometimes the premium is over 1L), just for the driving experience the former gives.
for exactly same reason there are modern ways to make petrol engines more torquey. So one can get the torque as the revving.

No doubt that modern deisels are off the shelf torque products. but it is hard to sacrifice the revvs. CRDis are fantastic. There is nothing which can replace the revvs. May not be powerful but just the revvs is enugh.
That said, modern diesels are best (provided not fallen addict to the revvs already!!) best keeping everything in mind as a package.
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Old 29th July 2008, 22:28   #9
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There is a lot to driving pleasure other than pure straight line performance. Lots of us favor corner carving capabilities of cars as way more important than pure straight line grunt.

The basic problem with most FWD diesels is that the base car is built as a petrol and putting in a heavier diesel block messes up the weight distribution completely. The front of the car becomes heavy and doesn't change direction as rapidly as one would want and the front heavy nature means the back of the car loses traction sooner than later. Seen this in every Indian diesel I've driven... be it the Magnum or Verna or Fiesta or Octy or Passat.

Unless one builds a diesel car from ground up and it has RWD like the bimmers, one will never get great handling in a diesel car.

Addendum: A turbo doesn't make controlling the car easier either compared to a high revving petrol. However that is still manageable compared to the bigger problem.

Last edited by reignofchaos : 29th July 2008 at 22:32.
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Old 29th July 2008, 22:39   #10
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heh. a dieselhead here as well. Though my indica isnt exactly what you might call a drivers macine , I'm sure it is compared to the NA one. And yes, the Swift D is too good, proved to people that a diesel can actually be more fun than the petrol. Besides the low end torque , most modern diesels have turbos which adds another dimension to the fun.

I find this fascination for revs puzzling. I dont see the point in getting a petrol motor which delivers x bhp at 9000 rpm when you can have a crdi which does the same at 4,500, and that too, while giving even more torque.
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Old 29th July 2008, 22:42   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenhorn View Post
I find this fascination for revs puzzling. I dont see the point in getting a petrol motor which delivers x bhp at 9000 rpm when you can have a crdi which does the same at 4,500, and that too, while giving even more torque.
It's the same the other way round too! I find this fascination for torque puzzling. Why have such a short powerband of 2k rpm when you can have a petrol engine you can stretch up to 7-8k rpm and enjoy the high-revving experience? To each his own I guess.

Last edited by iraghava : 29th July 2008 at 22:44.
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Old 29th July 2008, 22:44   #12
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Not completely. Driving pleasure is a relative term.

1)
The diesels with VGT very good buy in the market.

1.6 VVT ( Hyundai VVT is a very, very smart workout ) petrol vs. 1.5 crdi, and the diesel wins because of great power and torque. For city driving the turbo lag might not be good, but as soon as you see any moderately open road, the scale tilts in the favour of diesel.

Massive torque useful for passing the trucks, and also higher cruising speeds.

Here, I think we have to appreciate Hyundia to bringing the VGT technology to a lower segment of cars.

2)
But rather than driving pleasure, to me its the practicality that works here. For the normal city and highway driving, its more torque that gives the convienence.

But for pure driving pleasure, nothing can beat a petrol.

Some typical example is G1HC ( Generation 1 Honda City ) VTEC, G16 in Baleno, G13 in Esteem ( the best bang-for-the-buck ever launched in India, IMO ) and Swift, G10 in Zen, Honda Civic are the examples that define driving pleasure.

The engine might not be the best but must be high revving and juice located in the top end of rev range, the timing of 0-100 might not be the best ( e.g. Baleno, Zen ), but you smile sitting in the driver's seat enjoying each and every revolution.

To me, driving pleasure is not cruising at high speeds ( which diesels manage easily ), its high rate of acceleration after crossing the midrange. Spinning the engine near to its redline and enjoying the power of engine in top end is something different. Its an emotional attachment to heart of the car. Its something one has to experince.

So, pratically, head = diesel ( no, I am not considering cost of fuel ) and heart = Pertol.

Last edited by aaggoswami : 29th July 2008 at 22:46.
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Old 29th July 2008, 22:54   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenhorn View Post
I find this fascination for revs puzzling. I dont see the point in getting a petrol motor which delivers x bhp at 9000 rpm when you can have a crdi which does the same at 4,500, and that too, while giving even more torque.
Heard of something called torque steer? It ain't a very pleasant experience. Try out the magnum or the verna and you'll know what I mean.
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Old 29th July 2008, 23:05   #14
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Ishan,

That may be true for the Verna, not otherwise. The DDiS/MJD are quite drivable save the heavy clutches. And like any good car, put it into second and it'll crawl without accelerator. even the bolero does it
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Old 29th July 2008, 23:09   #15
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i see this becoming into another petrol vs diesel thread.
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