I recently had what some might call a ‘moment. Not one of those moments where a beautiful girl stops you dead in your tracks or your team scores the winner in stoppage time but a moment none the less.
The debate about petrol and diesel will persist as technology and performance constantly improve as the cost of fuel continues to rise. I for instance, apart from during my day job, have not driven or owned a petrol car for probably more than 10 years. I have always believed, as a high mileage user (40k per annum plus) that without doing the maths it must be more economical to have a diesel. Add in the fact that these days they are quieter, smoother and perform almost as well as a petrol has meant I have not really even considered a petrol engined car during that time.
My “moment” occurred because I needed to take some passengers and luggage on a long journey and my Mini Cooper just wasn’t going to be up for the task. So a colleague tossed me the keys to his VW Passat cc and told me to give it a whirl.
Now this is not really a car review so I am not going into the great boot space, refined handling, comfort yadda yadda yadda, this is all about the fact that just as I was leaving he said it needs some squirt and PLEASE don’t forget its petrol.
Such is my prejudice I suddenly thought “lucky I have my credit card because I may need to hire a tanker for the fuel I’ll need for the journey!” So with that thought resonating in my mind, off we went in search of a petrol station.
I filled her up with £82 worth of petrol and, wincing somewhat, set off on my 700 mile round trip and hoped I would not have revisit the process more than twice. This particular Passat cc was a 2.0 turbo 200ps DSG (auto), in fact the same engine VW put in the GTi so plenty of grunt and very responsive and smooth.
I was really enjoying driving a petrol car after all these years and the best thing about it was the fact that I got back home on the same tank of gas and, apart from stopping for refreshments, my credit card stayed in my wallet. I returned the car with a similar amount of fuel as it started with and asked myself a question; is it really viable to always take diesel over petrol even for a high mileage driver like myself? Have we reached the tipping point where it is no longer cost effective for the diesel to be the default position for high mileage road users? Are these oil burners really like the emperor’s new clothes and we are all sheep?
I stand to be corrected but on the face of it one tank of fuel for 700 miles would probably not be a lot different to the diesel derivative of this particular car and after my “moment” I know which one I prefer.