The petrol vs diesel debate is a popular one, isn’t it? Everyone has an opinion on it. Those that buy a diesel car will defend their purchase with gusto. People like me who still potter around in old petrol cars will smugly argue why petrol cars are the best thing since sliced bread – despite being taxed to the hilt as if public enemy number 1 on the road.

Well here’s my tuppence worth – I’m going to tell you why I love petrol cars. Not big thirsty V8s, just normal, small, run-of-the-mill petrol cars. I’ve reviewed quite a few lately and it’s been a real treat. I love a good petrol car. And it punctuates all the diesels that come my way – most good but some not so good.

When I test drive a diesel car and I’m evaluating the engine I find myself describing its refinement based on how well it helps me to forget that it is diesel. To translate, I applaud diesel cars that are so quiet that “they might be a petrol car”. I like them refined with barely any gurgling when you put your foot down, or at least very good sound proofing so that I don’t have to think I’m driving a train every time I accelerate.

So you don’t get the same throw-you-back-in-your-seat surge of torque you get from a diesel. I can live with that. I like how the power is delivered in a petrol car. And a free-revving petrol engine is a joy to behold!

One of the most popular arguments against petrol is economy but the current trend for smaller petrol engines with the power of a bigger engine but the economy of a small one can only be good for petrol enthusiasts.

Ford EcoBoost
Ford’s 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine is a small petrol engine with the power of a bigger one

And petrol car owners need not worry about a soot-laden DPF filter because they didn’t drive their diesel car enough the way a diesel car likes to be driven – less stop start and more long sprints.

I’m not going to get bogged down here in all the arguments for and against in the petrol vs diesel debate because you will find lengthy discussions elsewhere on the Internet.

Just do your research and be an independent thinker when it comes to the petrol or diesel decision, don’t just choose based on what your well-intentioned but poorly informed friend, mum, dad or uncle says.

And to get to the nub of the petrol vs diesel decision when buying your next car, use one of those excellent online calculators to calculate the cost of running a petrol car against a diesel. This will tell you which will work out better value for you in the long run.

Caroline Kidd