Diesel 4 WD

Submitted: Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 00:07
ThreadID: 20551 Views:2616 Replies:6 FollowUps:7
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The recent publicity regarding the Hyundai Terracan diesel has stirred a few slumbering thoughts. Should I buy my first 4WD at 70 +(yrs of age) and, if so, should it be a diesel?
Folks I have spoken to make two persistent points: first the cost of diesel fuel vs unleaded; second the flat spot when taking off from standing starts.
In Qld, right now, diesel costs about 17 % more than unleaded. The official consumption figures for the Terracan give the diesel about 50% more km for a given fuel volume than does the unleaded version. Do these numbers not argue strongly for diesel over petrol?
As a bit of a nomad, I shall be pulling a caravan for a fair bit of time, so being left at the lights is not an unusual nor unexpected experience.
Caravan is not off-road, so it would be left in safe custody if we went into dodgy terrain, so please leave this out of the equation.
I am also very aware that the black top covers a huge amount of the country one might desire to see. Having "done" the Kimberly in 1977 and the "Cut Line" through Docker River, Giles, Cosmo Newberry etc in 1983 in a two wheel drive Falcon, I am aware of the changes in both roads and, to some extent, vehicles. Then again my previous was a fair while ago.
The not so hidden question boys and girls is: "What can your recent experiences do to advise me on how much more enjoyment I might get out of a 4WD (?diesel) as against my present (very comfortable) sedan.
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Reply By: GO_OFFROAD - Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 07:01

Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 07:01
Cant speak for the korean brands really, but the 120 series prado V6 gets around the same economy as the diesel [12.5lt per 100km] wether hwy, sand, city driving, add to this the double service interval of the diesel [5000km diesel vs 10,000km etrol V6], and the extra fuel cost for diesel, and the V6 becomes very attractive, for the 180kw over the diesel.

Did all the sums on my last purchase for the troopy, and found I had to do 120-140,000km in a diesel for fuel economy to break even with the petrol, and if I turboed the diesel to get some decent performaance, this became 240,000km I had to do in the diesel for it to break even..... I bought the petrol....

I got a turbo diesel prado currently, 90 series, with dtronic, and I am currently selling this vehicle, to go back to a petrol, the new hilux V6 same as the 120 series prado has, in the new model.
AnswerID: 98920

Follow Up By: Bob of KAOS - Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 08:09

Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 08:09
Not all diesels require a service after driving around the block - the Series 2 Disco has a 20,000 km service interval. It also gets 9L/100km on a trip. The advantage of a 4WD over a conventional vehicle for touring is the added strength of construction, meaning it won't fall apart after a few hundred k's of corrugations. Also added ground clearance, stronger tyres, 4 wheel traction etc etc etc
I prefer diesel because of availability, and I love the torque at low revs.
Diesel is messier, you can't light fires as easily, but you can blow up tree stumps. The extra cost at the bowser is offset by the increased kms/L that diesel gives.
FollowupID: 357324

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 12:08

Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 12:08
I would never leave oil for 20,000klms, but dont suppose it matters these days, nobody cares since they only usually keep cars 3-4yrs then flog them before they become an issue
FollowupID: 357357

Follow Up By: pathfinder - Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 12:20

Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 12:20
the diff in economy betw TD and petrol does close up during highway use, but there's no way petrol is anywhere near as economical as turbo diesel for city, dirt or off-road - partic the latter where diesel economy may blow out by 50%, but a petrol vehicle can easily double (or even triple) its economy during hard use...so the issue for ozromer is what mix of hwy/city/off-road he intends...
FollowupID: 357359

Follow Up By: GO_OFFROAD - Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 18:43

Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 18:43
I mentioned the prado V6 vs 3.0 turbo diesel, because on recent simpson trips, both ways, as well as hwy there and back, high country trips, and big desert cup weekend trips, where fuel usage in vehicles has been documented, fuel usage between stops has varied less than 10lt between the V6 and diesel models.

As for series 2 disco;s, especially towing LOLOLOLOLOLOL...... low range required while not towing to take off from some traffic lights around Melbourne...........
FollowupID: 357384

Reply By: Phil P - Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 08:11

Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 08:11
I would not pay a premium for the diesel motor. If it was the same cost for both the diesel and petrol option and you travelled lots of klm per year, I would select diesel for the $ saving. However if you only travel 10-20K per year, I would select the petrol option and enjoy the extra performance of the petrol engine.

In terms of 4WD versus very comfortable sedan. For me the sedan wins. If you did travel somewhere that required 4WD, you could always rent one.

AnswerID: 98926

Reply By: old-plodder - Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 09:19

Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 09:19
I suppose this is the same question I had when I bought my pajero in 1996, trading in my older pajero I bought in 1985. I also use the pajero at work (draftsman) for carting gear around, used to be a drg board, now a computer and plotter.

I didn't need a 4wd, and could have bought a ford or commodore wagon. But on checking figures, I found the height in the std wagon not enough to carry the gear. A std wagon couldn't tow my fathers boat (trailer sailer of 2t and he was retiring and wanting to buy a smaller car), and I like to keep a car for a min of 5 years and usually for 10 or more (total environmental cost) due to costs in changing cars every few years, including the lost working time looking for another vehicle. We also enjoy camping, as it is the only holiday or weekend off we can afford, besides liking the camping lifestyle of meeting other people. It ended up the 4wd because we could go places we hadn't been yet due to the stonger construction and ground clearance, and the advantage of 4wd for traction.
I was looking at the territory and other 4wds like the terracan the other day and thinking that they had similar dimensions to my fathers old XT (1969?) ford. Same length, inside space with an upright seating position and ground clearance. And I know that ford could go places these modern ford and holden wagons can't go.

Maybe we are all just rejecting this latest lower style of car with all of the gizmos and going back to something similar (but not the same) to what people used to buy 20 to 30 years ago?

There are also areas in national parks that are now 4wd only. Don't have a 4wd, you can't go there, even though a carefully driven 2wd ute or something similar would have no problems.

Thats an alternative ozromer, look at some 2wd utes if missing the bit of access doesn't worry you.

Alternative for me was to buy a std wagon and modify it for towing, and a hiace or similar van for work, and hire a 4wd for holidays and ocassional weekends, knowing that the 4wd wouldn't be set up for extended camping trips. Also most modern cars I don't think would last the distance, since I do about 30,000k a year.

It is a pain with the price of diesel going up, diesel was cheaper when I bought mine, but comparing the figures in fuel economy I am still slightly ahead with better economy. Maybe a petrol with gas might have been better. Would have been about the same capital cost, but more of a hassle (but not impossible) out west getting fuel. But I have the older mechnical pump diesel which is easier to work on an less to go wrong, even it is an older 'dirty' diesel. Just don't put your foot down so much and it doesn't inject so much, and the economy stays good, and the exhaust clean.
AnswerID: 98932

Reply By: Rigor - Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 09:20

Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 09:20
Hi Ozromer , lots of fors and against with this subject , ultimately your decision .
I own a diesel Jackaroo and made the choice because I like a higher vehicle when touring (better vision) it is heavier than the van (very important) 3 litre turbo has heaps of low down torque for ease of towing, reasonable economy of 10L / 100 Ks
(without the van) . The reliability issue that was once a strong point with diesels is probably not so good anymore as the modern diesel is more complex than a petrol.
Back to the fuel, when you are out in the bunda both fuels are very similarly priced mainly in town the large difference occurs. For what it is worth my "theory" for the elevated diesel price is to steer new car buyers away from diesel as the oil companies will simply have a smaller market . Consider this , overnight all vehicles were converted to diesel , the oil companies would sell 40% less Fuel the next day and so on.
Good luck with your deliberations

Cheers Dave L.
AnswerID: 98934

Follow Up By: old-plodder - Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 11:38

Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 11:38
Diesel prices.

Did some research over the last few years.
Our fuel price is based on the spot price on the Singapore market.
With the northern winter (diesel is also used as a light heating oil) and the expansion in China, where most vehicles are diesel, the spot market price is high. Cina evidently has an excess of petrol from it's refineries, so it is being dumped on the singapore market, which is forcing petrol prices down.

Hence the difference we see in australia.

In Europe, diesel has a lot lower tax as a matter of govt policy, and therefore lower prices. Figures estimate that 46% or new car sales in Europe are diesel because of this. Also why we have seen such a big advance in diesel technology coming out of Europe.
FollowupID: 357352

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 12:10

Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 12:10
And Diesel is subsidised in some overseas countries, since THEIR (NOT OUR) diesel is cleaner and safer than petrol.

The reason our Gov wouldnt subsidise Diesel is most VOTERS drive petrol cars.
FollowupID: 357358

Follow Up By: Tim HJ61 - Saturday, Feb 19, 2005 at 01:36

Saturday, Feb 19, 2005 at 01:36
Most likely Truckster.

The Dems have been pushing the Govt to clean up the diesel we have here, but for whatever reason the Govt steadfastly sticks to the dirty specifications. Even if we felt like importing the high tech small Euro diesel sedans, they wouldn't run any cleaner than the engines we have now due to the dirty fuels.

When the cleaner fuels are available, the need to tax diesel higher because it is a dirty fuel will be reduced, and the price will come down. This will increase demand for diesel fuelled cars, increasing consumption, also decreasing prices.

First step is to get the Govt to introduce regulations to clean up the fuel. Oh, but they didn't sign Kyoto did they......

FollowupID: 357417

Reply By: desert - Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 20:21

Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 20:21
Aside from the petrol/diesel debate, your question revolved around "more enjoyment from a 4x4"? Well,the short answer is, more enjoyment ONLY IF YOU USE IT! If you do not require the four wheel drive asset, then I suggest staying with a "normal" sedan. Why? Because 4x4's are more expensive to own.
They usually cost more to service, because they have more fluids to change. they have two gearboxes, two differential, two tailshafts and twice as many uni-joints. Tyres are up to twice the price of sedan tyres and they last half as long. Insurance is more expensive, generally, and either petrol or diesel, they use more fuel to move. So, the "luxury" of four wheel drive comes at a cost, a cost you have to seriously weigh whether you are getting your moneys worth?
AnswerID: 99017

Reply By: ozromer - Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 23:28

Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 23:28
Dear All Who Responded'
There is so much experience and wisdom in this forum that it seems always to be sensible to float queries here.
Thank you all very much for your time and thoughtful replies. The advice given has certainly sharpened my thinking and removed a certain tendency to reach premature conclusions.
Thanks again,
AnswerID: 99030

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