Above: This Week’s Car Review – 2020 Mitsubishi Pajero Sport EXCEED in the DUNES!
Diesel Dying: Here’s why
Diesel was once touted as the answer to the economy woes of big fuel guzzling SUVs, and indeed it was.
European car makers decided small cars and hatches could use that same technology to expand their range. Buyers agreed, and sales boomed.
Then, it all went horribly wrong.
Dieselgate doomed oil burners to an ignominious fate. VW and Mitsubishi had issues with emissions standards, and fudged the figures to get the emissions within limits.
VW diesels had a secret-squirrel programme in test mode. It would lower NOX results to get the right result in one test, but raised NOX again when it came to testing power. On paper, diesel looked great. Then the deception was uncovered, shaking confidence in diesel engines, and in VW as a company.
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Top of Form
As buyers continue to desert smaller hatches and family sedans in favour of a plucky SUV, they choose small 4 cylinder engines, often paired with an electric motor as a hybrid.
As petrol engines become more efficient, there is less reason to pick an engine whose fuel makes your hands stink for days after a fill-up.
Ultimately, an electrified fleet is in our future. Streets, lined with charging points, will be powered by fields of solar cells and elegant wind turbines. We might even fuel up at a hydrogen pump, who knows?
Governments know this, and car makers do too.
Electric cars are better in every way, except one, range. Meanwhile, hybrids, once only championed by Honda and Toyota, have exploded in popularity. Posh brands like Range Rover, Jaguar, BMW, Mercedes and Audi have joined Subaru, Hyundai and Mitsubishi, so the direction is clear.
For the time being you will still need a fuel stop, but you’ll be unlikely to need the diesel pump unless you have a pick-up truck. Large SUVs will continue as diesels too, at least for now.