Fuel effeciency

Petrol vs Diesel

On the face of it diesel looks like the winner here...until you add in the road user charges. For example a 2014 Ford Focus Trend diesel uses 5.3 litres of diesel per 100kms while the petrol version uses 6.5 litres. You’d think with diesel costing less than petrol at the pump you’d back the diesel version to cost you less to run. However, add in $62 per 1,000km and the petrol Focus works out cheaper. It’s a close run thing with some diesels being cheaper to run and some not, so make sure you know the complete picture. This is where the star rating guide displayed on all late model cars at Turners is invaluable. You can also find out all you need to know at the government’s Rightcar website.

EV vs Hybrid

Electric is the way of the future. But if you are an early adopter of technology you inevitably pay a high price and can end up living with a bunch of compromises while the technology is being developed.

The most popular EV in NZ is the Nissan Leaf. They aren’t cheap and the limited range of a used 20kwh Leaf will put off many. A newer 30kwh Leaf has better range but there are question marks over battery life. A 5-6 year old Leaf can now be bought for around $12-15k with a 2 year old 30kwh model costing closer to $30k.

Hybrids aren’t cheap either. However, they have the advantage of that range anxiety medicine known as petrol. Some have a combination of petrol and electric motors driving the wheels while others use a small petrol engine as a generator to charge the battery. A good example of the latter is Nissan’s Note E-Power. You get the full electric driving experience but with the security of a 1200cc petrol engine charging the battery. And that torquey electric motor will surprise many drivers with its impressive acceleration.

While the full EV uses no petrol, the hybrid does still drink from pump, albeit in smaller quantities. The hybrid may be a concept with a limited life but it makes sense as a stepping stone to a full EV future as the technology improves.

It All Adds Up

Upgrading to a more fuel efficient car can save you money over time even if there is an upfront cost involved. And on top of that a newer car is likely to be better for the environment and more reliable, too.

Turners have over 1,500 four star or higher rated cars for sale at the moment. Check them out here.

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