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Petrol or dieselPetrol or diesel

Think twice about choosing the right option for you

Everybody's different – it would be a dull world if we weren't. We all have different likes and dislikes, and we all need different things from our cars. That's why Honda offers an ever-growing wealth of alternatives within each of our model ranges. From diesel-powered CR-Vs to petrol-powered hybrids, there's a car and an engine type out there for you, but which should you pick? There's no easy answer, but here are some factors to consider.

Changing technology

In the last decade, diesels – including Honda's range of smooth and quiet diesel-powered cars – have become an increasingly popular choice. Improvements have resulted in quieter, more efficient and powerful engines that have made diesel appealing, but as technological and financial forces move on, petrol-engined cars are fighting back. What might have been a straightforward choice a few years ago can now take considerably more research before making a decision.

Save now, or save later?

One of the reasons diesel cars are more expensive to buy is due to precisely engineered technologies such as common rail injection systems that cost more to produce. So at the front end, diesel is at a disadvantage – but one it often makes up for in overall running costs. The assumption is that once you head out onto the motorways, diesel comes into its own. In many cases this is true, but not always – the price disparity between petrol and diesel, and the innovations in technology for petrol engines actually makes the overall cost disparity much smaller than you might think.

Case in point

Let's take a look at the Civic Si as an example. The 2.2-litre diesel option costs £19,070 On-The-Road (OTR). Thanks to the i-CTDi engine's effortless power it will cover long distances with ease. But if you don't often journey the length and breadth of the country, chances are you don't need all that our diesel engine has to offer. In which case, may we suggest the Civic Si with our sophisticated 1.4-litre i-VTEC petrol engine. This model costs £16,495 OTR, fits into the same VED tax band and enjoys a siimilar high residual value of 42%. In terms of running costs, it works out at four pence per mile cheaper, and many people prefer refueling with petrol over diesel. As you can see from the chart below, the 1.8-litre petrol-engined Civic Si offers more power, and fares similarly to the diesel over three years or 40,000 miles.

Everyone's different

As we said at the start, everybody is different. Your driving pattern is unlikely to match some ‘national average' and your tax situation will vary depending on whether you drive for work or not. The best way to explore all the options is to drop by your local Honda dealership for a chat. Go in with a open mind towards petrol and diesel engines and they'll be able to advise you on what's best for you.

To find your nearest dealership please call 0845 200 8000.
To compare our various diesel and petrol options against any model click the link below.

Cost over three years / 40k miles Civic Si 2.2 i-CTDi Civic Si 1.8 i-VTEC Civic Si 1.4 i-VTEC
P11D (price without first registration fee & tax disc) £18,905 £17,355 £16,330
+ Servicing, maintenance & repairs* £1,132 £945 £783
+ Fuel** £3,988 £5,003 £4,407
+ VED £330 £465 £330
- Residual value* / % £7,825 / 41% £7,250 / 42% £6,800 / 42%
= Whole life costs £16,530 £16,518 £15,051
Pence per mile £0.41 £0.41 £0.38
CAP Monitor April 2010 (3yrs / 40k miles) **Source: AA March 2010 fuel price report based on petrol at £1.16 & diesel at £1.17 per litre. CAP Motor Research Ltd (CAP) and Honda Motor Europe Limited trading as Honda (UK) (HUK) has exercised all reasonable care and skill in producing their New Vehicle Data, Future Residual Value & SMR products. CAP gathers its information from independent sources within the motor trade, unconnected with CAP and HUK, and as a result can accept no responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of any information passed on. Furthermore, information on valuations supplied are intended as a guide only to current market values; they cannot be considered in any way a substitute for a full and detailed inspection of any vehicle. Accordingly, neither CAP, nor HUK nor any of its officers, agents or representatives shall be liable in contract, tort or otherwise for any direct, indirect or consequential liabilities or losses incurred by any persons having access to the information given.