New Delhi: Fuel price hikes are bringing in a new question of whether diesel is now better than petrol for long-distance driving due to the range plus the better fuel efficiency they offer.
Modern-day diesel cars are cleaner and refined but also pack in a huge range which means fewer fuel stops along with less strain on the wallet. Diesel also still makes sense if you do long distances every day or do long road trips.
A case in point is the new BMW X3 diesel. Also for an SUV, diesel comes with more torque, hence providing effortless performance. To find out more, we took the new X3 diesel for a spin. The diesel engine in the X3 makes 190bhp and 400Nm while an 8-speed automatic is standard.
In terms of doing long-distance driving, the X3 diesel showed a range of near 1000km and that means no fuel stops at all on a long road trip! The engine also feels smooth and like modern-day diesel, feeling nearly petrol like with the diesel noise being cut out.
Out on the highway is where the advantage of diesel is being more shown where the torque means you can cruise at big highway speeds easily with less fuss. Of course, even a petrol engine does that but the diesel has a stronger pull- especially with luggage/passengers on board. A 0-100 km/h of 7.9 seconds means that the X3 diesel is pretty quick too while in traditional BMW fashion, the 8-speed automatic and direct steering makes it a driver’s choice.
The suspension is tuned for being a firm but stable drive with body roll being cut and it feels secure even in tighter corners. A top speed of 213 km/h also makes this a very fast SUV that sips frugally as well.
The efficiency of 14/16 kmpl with hard-driving means this is another area where petrol loses out to diesel along with the 1000 km range that a full tank of diesel gives you. While petrol is more in demand, SUVs and big cars still are better with diesel engines due to the advantages they bring. With fuel price hikes, a clean new diesel might make more sense than petrol if you do travel a lot.
The X3 diesel is priced at Rs 65.50 lakh while styling wise there is now a bigger kidney grille, new adaptive LED headlamps plus front bumpers while a massive 12.3-inch touchscreen dominates your attention inside.
Overall, with big SUVs like the X3, for now, diesel suits it more if long journeys are part of your everyday routine.
What we like- Performance, efficiency, handling, looks, quality
What we do not like- Firm ride
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