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  1. #1

    Default Anyone with any experience of owning a small car with a diesel engine?

    Hi

    I have started looking for a car to replace our aging nana car. I have been tearing my hair out trying to find a manual transmission car - every blankety blank car maker these days seems to be obsessed with automatic transmission. Grump grump.

    Anyroad, I saw a diesel powered 6 speed manual transmission 2000cc Toyota Corolla (that is about the size/style of car we want). We have a 6 speed manual common rail diesel in our campervan, and I like it a lot.

    However, what are the pros and cons of getting a car with a diesel engine of about 1500 - 2000cc? I can find lots of websites laying out the pros and cons of diesel engines, but none of them address the issue of the type of vehicle being powered by diesel - most seem to be talking about SUVs if you read between the lines.

    Any advice would be gratefully received, particularly from any of you who have owned one. Please don't go all technical on me like Surfer Joe! It would go right over my head.

  2. #2
    Systems Engineer Alex B's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone with any experience of owning a small car with a diesel engine?

    Why the want for a manual? Just personal preference?

    With RUC's it may not work out any cheaper to own a diesel, possibly slightly more expensive, you would have to do the math on that.

    Took a 1.4 Corolla diesel out a couple of years ago, they go really well.

    Use this link with manual transmission and your area selected.

    http://www.trademe.co.nz/Browse/Cate...h.aspx?cid=268

    Mitsi Lancer, Mazda 3, Honda Civic etc all available in manual right up the latest release, not common but they are out there.

  3. #3
    Senior Member roddy_boy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone with any experience of owning a small car with a diesel engine?

    Quote Originally Posted by John H View Post
    Hi

    I have started looking for a car to replace our aging nana car. I have been tearing my hair out trying to find a manual transmission car - every blankety blank car maker these days seems to be obsessed with automatic transmission. Grump grump.

    Anyroad, I saw a diesel powered 6 speed manual transmission 2000cc Toyota Corolla (that is about the size/style of car we want). We have a 6 speed manual common rail diesel in our campervan, and I like it a lot.

    However, what are the pros and cons of getting a car with a diesel engine of about 1500 - 2000cc? I can find lots of websites laying out the pros and cons of diesel engines, but none of them address the issue of the type of vehicle being powered by diesel - most seem to be talking about SUVs if you read between the lines.

    Any advice would be gratefully received, particularly from any of you who have owned one. Please don't go all technical on me like Surfer Joe! It would go right over my head.
    My gf's mother has a Merc A-Class turbo diesel, although it's an auto. I've driven it a few times and it's quite nice to drive, and very fuel efficient! I don't think she's had any major problems with it and from what I understand the small diesel engines are quite good these days.

  4. #4
    Wanderer
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    Default Re: Anyone with any experience of owning a small car with a diesel engine?

    I know someone with a Skoda 4hr quite a small car and yeah in manual. Goes quite well ... not sure on efficiency though.

  5. #5
    Mixed Member
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    Default Re: Anyone with any experience of owning a small car with a diesel engine?

    Don't know John. Personally I'd choose a petrol engine for a small-medium car. When diesels die they do it hard. They need to be well serviced and cared for which you can't know with second hand.

    Motoring writers have praised European diesels in cars as better than the Japanese versions. Peugeot for example.

    I have a older Toyota Prado diesel which has been cared for and is running the same as new but that is a much different vehicle to what you are looking at.

  6. #6
    Senior Member pctek's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone with any experience of owning a small car with a diesel engine?

    Quote Originally Posted by John H View Post

    However, what are the pros and cons of getting a car with a diesel engine .
    It is no longer worth it.
    Add road tax to the cost of diesel at the pump and there isn't a huge difference.
    Then double the cost of the rego as well....

    Diesels are good motors when young, but once they're not, well, it's expensive.
    They are not exactly the zippiest things around to, although that may not bother you.
    wipe your paws.

  7. #7
    Soaring like an Eagle gary67's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone with any experience of owning a small car with a diesel engine?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alex B View Post
    Why the want for a manual? Just personal preference?
    Probably because Automatics suck big time, never in the right gear and like diesels when they die they die hard. I used to drive diesel cars in England (no RUC's and fuel quite a lot cheaper the petrol) however they do require regular servicing

  8. #8
    Senior Member Lawrence's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone with any experience of owning a small car with a diesel engine?

    Quite a few of the newer small petrol cars are achieving diesel like economy without the extra diesel costs(servicing,road user charges)

    Very easy to compare the running costs between the two over say 30,000/50,000km's
    When things go wrong with a diesel,x the repair costs by 3

  9. #9

    Default Re: Anyone with any experience of owning a small car with a diesel engine?

    Thanks everyone. We are having an all day power cut today whilst power poles are replaced, so I had better reply now in case you think I am churlish in not responding...

    Automatic - personal preference or not? Yes, a combination of personal preference and experience. I really enjoy driving, and don't enjoy being a passenger whilst the auto box makes up its own mind, usually late, and usually sluggish. We live in a rural area, and we are often on hilly roads. I can see the point of an auto box if you live in a city, but with the kind of driving we do, I much prefer making the decisions and managing the car's revs/load, especially on hills. Experience - funny, cos it is like some of you have said about diesel engines - when they die, they die hard. That is what happened to us with the first auto box we owned. $3000 of repairs for an auto box in a car worth not much more than that. Finally, our campervan has a manual 6 speed box. We both find it easier to have our vehicles with the same kind of gearbox, rather than having to adjust each time we swap vehicles. It is bad enough having to manage the European layout of our Ford based campervan and the opposite layout in our Japanese car, with the indicators etc reversed. I would prefer us to know you have to use the clutch (or not) in both vehicles. Pathetic, I know.

    Thanks for all of your thoughts. They mirror what I have been told by the few people I have talked to about this, including the car salesman who showed me the diesel Corolla. Oddly people seem to have some respect for the way diesels have improved over recent years, but seem reluctant to go down that road themselves, or advise others to do so. No-one seems to have a problem with diesels in larger vehicles like our campervan, but feel iffy about going that way for a smaller vehicle. The consensus (if there is one) seems to be that the economic benefits of diesel v petrol are being eroded (and in Oz I think diesel may not be more expensive), and that whilst diesels are more fuel efficient, the actual running costs in fuel consumption may soon be very similar because of the gumberment's manipulation of RUCs.

    At the moment I am feeling that if I could afford to buy a new car, I would seriously consider diesel, but as I have to buy a car with approx 50,000kms on the clock I feel reluctant to take the risk of a mechanical failure in the engine department because of the cost of repairs. Also if people are ambivalent about buying diesel cars, then on trying to resell the car eventually, buyer resistance may be high and the resale value may plummet compared with a used petrol car.

    Thanks for all of your thoughts - I won't be around for the rest of the day because of the scheduled power cut, but any more thoughts/critique of my current reasoning would be gratefully received when we get back into normal electricity powered civilisation!

  10. #10
    Senior Member paulw's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone with any experience of owning a small car with a diesel engine?

    Personally I wouldn't get another diesel due the the rip off registration and RUC. Also when something goes wrong it can get very expensive..
    Regards,

    Paul W
    Taco Bell is not a Mexican telephone company

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