I’m considering buying a new pickup truck. I’ve got to act quickly if I want to take advantage of the government’s NT$30,000 bribe that expires this year.
I’ve considered a number of models. One thing I haven’t looked at yet are diesel engine vehicles. I’m not sure what’s available, but I’ll stop by Mitsubishi later today and ask. I don’t want anything too big, which could be a problem - mostly, I see the Canter on the roads, which is 3.5 liters, about double the size I’d need. I have seen some older Delicas with a 2.0 liter engine, but I’m not sure that they’re still being manufactured.
Any opinions out there on the wisdom of owning a diesel powered vehicle? I know that performance isn’t as good as a gasoline motor, but fuel economy is supposed to be better. I really intend to use it as a truck, not as a family vehicle. I live on a farm and need a working truck.
Diesel certainly has benefits over petrol power, but the question is whether you will require the advantages, or suffer the drawbacks more perhaps.
Diesel generally offers more torque than petrol engines, so for pulling heavy loads, the diesel is your engine. Also because diesel engines tend to be some form of direct, or semi direct injection, less of the fuel is wasted because of inefficient induction and so you get a more complete burn, resulting in the harvesting of more power per droplet of fuel, meaning greater economy than a typical Otto cyclic petrol engine. Diesel is cheaper to produce than petrol, requiring less refining and can often be found at cheaper prices. Those are some of the advantages of diesel.
Disadvantages of diesel are numerous. Diesel tends to be the dirtier fuel, more so than petrol, but the dividing line between diesel and petrol for most people comes down to cost, more often than any other factor. The costs is often the misunderstood concept when deciding between one type of vehicle over the other. Here are some of the factors you will have to decide for yourself.
Diesel engines are often more expensive to produce than petrol engines due to the necessary precision of their components and the additional strength requirements of their internal components. This often means than diesel vehicles are a higher purchase price. Service intervals of diesel vehicles generally spaced closer together than their petrol equivalents, meaning more expensive service costs are a factor.
Diesel is a dirtier fuel and coupled with engine components under greater stress can reduce the economic life expectancy of a diesel engined vehicle. Check reliability factors of the vehicle you are considering and expected useful longevity if possible. Diesel fuel in some areas has been made artificially expensive to try and dissuade people from owning more polluting vehicles. This will perhaps change in time as vehicle design and pollutant levels improve, but in the meantime produces yet another factor when considering which fuel is best.
Most people will employ some sort of a calculation to divide up the additional cost of purchasing and servicing a diesel over time, compared to that of a petrol. This can be helped along if you also consider the average running cost of a petrol equivalent. Comparing these costs together over the time you expect to own the vehicle will reveal which fuel and engine you are going to require if it simply comes down to a decision based on costs.
For a pickup truck then the greatest factor is possibly going to be performance and diesel will provide that extra power and capability when moving large or heavy loads. If you are going to be choosing a manual gearbox, then that additional torque of the diesel is also going to reduce the friction on the clutch associated with revving higher with a petrol engine to achieve enough power to engage the transmission.
Experience will often be a good guide to choosing between these two, so you may do some surfing at some of the truck forums found around and about and see what other people have to say about their own vehicles and whether or not their experiences may be relevant to your situation.
Are you in Taiwan?