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Fuelled Up – Part 1 | Petrol vs DieselBack

On September 23, 2020
It gets asked around the campfire, on the track and most importantly, on the floor of your local dealership; petrol or diesel?


This question comes with a lot of baggage and often depends on circumstance. As far as Nick and Curtis are concerned, the word ‘diesel’ rarely even enters the conversation, why? Well, simply put, petrol is faster than diesel when it relates to cars “MADE” to go fast.

But enough about those blokes for now. This article is more personal for you and I; should your next car be petrol or diesel?


In the world of 4X4 it’s well supported that diesels are made for the bush and when you really start to ask “WHY?”, the evidence unravels itself. For starters, driving a 4X4 can often mean travelling long distances to remote places. Diesel engines are built for long trips thanks to their fuel economy, durability and simplicity. You won’t get there in record time, but you will get there.

In conjunction with your long-distance trips, you may find yourself on some remote trips needing more fuel. I once found myself in a situation on a High-Country trip where I barely managed to limp into the nearest town, Dargo, with just enough diesel to roll me into a servo’ that ONLY sold diesel. Thank God! When in remote, small town service stations, your best bet is going to be diesel and if there is petrol, you can be dead sure they will charge you an absolute ‘arm and a leg for it’.

So, if you plan on doing some long-distance, remote driving in your next car, consider how practical diesel can be, maybe along with a couple of jerry cans so you don’t have yourself wondering how the hell you’re going to push a 4 tonne Cruiser to a service station.


No matter how much I try to say that I don’t mind being slow on the road in my turbo diesel, it still hurts being chopped by a Kia Rio. A petrol car will 9 times out of 10 out-perform a diesel car in a straight line. This is due to the fact that despite many diesel cars having more torque than petrol cars, the torque is delivered in a low rev range causing you to shift gears earlier, allowing your petrol-powered competition to continue accelerating into higher rev ranges before needing to shift gears.

What it comes down to is the range in which power is delivered. This is where diesel shines when the going gets tough. When travelling up hills, through valleys and across difficult and trying terrain, I wouldn’t want to be in anything other than a diesel. They just perform best, thanks to their low-range torque delivery, enabling them to chug their way up any obstacle.

Another added benefit of the diesel’s resistance to higher RPM is the engine braking will slow down a descent when travelling downhill, while a petrol’s natural, lower resistance to higher RPM can cause the car to run away from you.


Having exclusively driven diesel’s my whole licensed life, I either have industrial deafness or I’m used to the loud, constant chug of a diesel engine. If you’re looking for a quiet, comfortable ride, then a diesel probably won’t tick your boxes.

Diesel engines are considerably louder than petrol and a petrol engine will deliver a smoother, more enjoyable ride experience in the cabin of the vehicle. With the added benefit of less nitrogen combustion, petrol-powered cars also emit less emissions than diesels believe it or not!

So, what’s the answer then, petrol or diesel?

The answer comes down to how you plan on driving your next vehicle. If it’s off the beaten track, doing long kilometres or looking for fuel economy; you would tend to lean towards diesel. But if it’s comfort, a quiet ride and power; your best bet would be a petrol.

Luckily nowadays there’s usually a petrol and diesel variant across most makes and models so when looking for your next car, weigh up how the car will be used and ensure you choose the best fuel type for your next set of wheels.

Stay tuned as we add more parts to our “Fuelled Up” article series over the coming weeks.


James Gozzo | Car Club Content Writer
T 03 8768 5777
E james@eziway.net.au


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