Diesel -v- Petrol

Submitted: Thursday, Feb 06, 2003 at 21:18
ThreadID: 3253 Views:6248 Replies:14 FollowUps:5
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Looking to purchase used 4WD (up to 3 yrs old) and confused by all the talk on which is best - petrol or diesel/diesel turbo vehicles.
Am particularly interested in Nisson Patrol or Toyota Prado/Pajero
Would love to hear from anyone who can help.
Am looking to touring with a van (approx. 18 ft).
Hop you can help
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Reply By: Truckster - Thursday, Feb 06, 2003 at 21:38

Thursday, Feb 06, 2003 at 21:38

Search the archives, its been done before, but anyway its been a week or 2 since...

The last few 4wd Monthlys have had tests on Petrol V Diesel... for towing and more....

Have a read of them.

All depends on how and what your doing. Your touring with a Van.. How often and where? how much stuff?

Petrols are thirsty.. LPG Conversions are expensive and LPG isnt available in remote places.

Diesels have good torque, and IMHO are better all around offroad and for towing.. less electricals(none!) to go wrong in water and crap like that..

Computers in cars scare the life out of me. If they die in the middle of the simpson, 50degrees, no shade, you have your good supply of water, what do you do .. you may have HF but takes time for people to get to you...

if its going to be mums weekday taxi, and only away rarely on weekends, could be petrol is for you... Although Diesel has better resale as most petrols have scarey lack of economy figures...

Nissan V Toyota V Mitz.. in my order of pref...

2 different classes according to 4wdoty...
Patrol is a large size
the other 2 are medium size.

Again depends on how many people with you, where when etc..
AnswerID: 12624

Reply By: voxson - Thursday, Feb 06, 2003 at 21:38

Thursday, Feb 06, 2003 at 21:38
I dont give a rats who challenges me on this one...
TURBO DIESEL TURBO DIESEL TURBO DIESEL TURBO DIESEL No doubt in my mind any more. Better economy. Longer fuel range. Motor lasts longer. If you have to carry spare fuel it is not so dangerous. Better resale value. No electrics to get wet on creek crossings. No spark plugs or leads to change. You can fill up at the truck stops with the huge petrol pumps and take ½ the time than the normal pump.

Ok,,, lets see the advantages / disadvantages of unleaded / lpg versions... uummmmmm...
And by the way, i have a petrol gq patrol on gas......

I cant think of any advantages... I may need some help on that one...

Big disadvantage is no fuel range if outside of populated areas because of no gas supplies... I get 380km max from petrol in the bush....
AnswerID: 12625

Follow Up By: Bozo - Thursday, Feb 06, 2003 at 23:39

Thursday, Feb 06, 2003 at 23:39
Hey voxson, out of curiousity how big is your petrol tank, I have a lwb gq on gas and can only manage about 280-300km to a tank! (bout 60 litres)
FollowupID: 7390

Follow Up By: Voxson - Friday, Feb 07, 2003 at 07:39

Friday, Feb 07, 2003 at 07:39
Hi Bozo.....

Mine is an EFI 4.2L.

80 litre petrol tank under my seat. (380kms).

90 usable litre gas tank in the original fuel tank position.(340ish kms).

I had a deisel Maverick and moved up to this one because it was so clean and original.
I had a snorkel fitted and it cost an extra $160. A balance pipe for the extra air had to be fitted because of the LPG.
It's a hassle but i cant turn back now.
FollowupID: 7391

Follow Up By: Truckster - Friday, Feb 07, 2003 at 10:51

Friday, Feb 07, 2003 at 10:51
what form is your car? DX Etc...

GQ Diesel has 95 ltr tank.. could be worth trying to fit one to yours 30 more ltrs would help!! They are usually free at places that fit long range tanks.

FollowupID: 7397

Reply By: Phil P - Thursday, Feb 06, 2003 at 21:56

Thursday, Feb 06, 2003 at 21:56

I'm going through the same thing. What I've learned so far is;

Diesel -
much better economy (many more miles per gallon)
Smaller engine will generally produce enough power for towing
Turbo is better (more power)
initial purchase usually more expensive (especially Toyota 100 series)
Toyota's require servicing every 5000k (Oil & Filters only) - otherwise could void warranty
Nissan require service every 10,000k
After long trip - it is suggested to leave engine running for a couple of minutes (for Turbo Diesel)
If Turbo Timer is fitted - could be harder to insure
If aftermarket Turbo is fitted - could cause warranty issues

All of the Diesel's that I have test driven (Land Rover, Nissan Patrol, Toyota 100 series) have been a little sluggish on take off (but quite acceptable) but no problems once going.

Very thirsty if you have a heavy foot or are towing a big load
Cheaper to buy
Very responsive on take off
Great Sound (V8) when overtaking
You wished you purchased a diesel every time you fill it up

- The best value car I have found so far is the Nissan Patrol TD3.0.
- The best reputation is Toyota (much harder to find good 2nd hand & quite expensive)
- Pajero seems ok, not as many people own them so hard to get lots of feedback. Feedback though is positive.

Nissan are anouncing a new Patrol Diesel in the next week or so
Toyota are releasing the new Prado in the next 2-3 weeks


Good luck !

AnswerID: 12626

Reply By: Bruce Henderson - Thursday, Feb 06, 2003 at 21:57

Thursday, Feb 06, 2003 at 21:57
gday bca
if your towing long distances diesel is the only way to go they dont make trucks diesel for no reason,also many places in the out back that are close to native comunities are no longer selling petrol due to the petrol sniffing problems so if you choose petrol you may need to carry extra fuel in some places
Regards bruce
AnswerID: 12627

Reply By: Hendo - Thursday, Feb 06, 2003 at 22:30

Thursday, Feb 06, 2003 at 22:30

All the above are correct. I've had both a petrol Maverick and an (aftermarket) GQ diesel LWB with aftermarket turbo (current vehicle). In addition to the superior fuel economy, diesels are superior in steep terrain, particularly down hill, where the compression really holds you in low 1st, with virtually no runaway. I've towed my campertrailer (1000 kg loaded) into places like Bendethra, and the engine braking in low 1st with the additional weight was similar to unloaded. My friend (also towing) with a petrol 80 series was much more on the brakes.

Also, there is no comparison in fuel consumption. Around town, 600 km between fills compared to 450 (or less) in the petrol, and the difference is even greater if towing. When you're outback touring that equates to much longer available distances between fills, along with the need to carry less fuel as backup. And, the fuel is less volatile.

Don't forget, however, that unless you buy the GU 4.2 you will still have electronics, eg the GU 3.0 and the Prado all have electronics. It is only on the older designs that you have the advantage of simplicity - but, on the other hand the older ones are less efficient.

If traffic light grand prix matters, buy a petrol!!

I, for one, would never own another petrol full size 4WD.
AnswerID: 12628

Follow Up By: Truckster - Friday, Feb 07, 2003 at 10:57

Friday, Feb 07, 2003 at 10:57
particularly down hill, where the compression really holds you in low 1st, with virtually no runaway.

You haevnt driven an Auto Diesel have you???? Mine runs out to ~40kph downhill... Scarey as hell!
FollowupID: 7398

Reply By: Bernie - Friday, Feb 07, 2003 at 02:22

Friday, Feb 07, 2003 at 02:22
Hi BCA all previous comments are good

My experience only 20months with a Prado TD Auto

does have electronics
Offroad auto not as good downhill
great on sand and uphill
Dual tanks total 159L
did Melbourne to beyond Bourke and back to Cobar (Aircon on all the time) without adding fuel 1347Klm
Im a lead foot so fuel drops a way around the city and its not sluggish at the lights
TD Prado might be hard to get only go back about 2 years
& there is no current model new ones in Aus
Best ever Medium size 4x4
have seen some post on towing & got good reports
"Exploreoz" is a great site but I would check out some of the specific vehicle sites at Yahoo like Patrol & Prado list
Good luck with your shopping & 4wding
AnswerID: 12641

Reply By: Member - Chris - Friday, Feb 07, 2003 at 08:18

Friday, Feb 07, 2003 at 08:18
Time to join in. In my not so humble opinion go for a deisel. Bruce hit the nail on the head earlier in mentionning that many remote areas don't supply ULP, the big D with chugg forever with a little oil and filter change and has less moveable parts and electronics to drown or go wrong in the wrong places. Get a turbo for extra oomph.
However, it's really not that simple. If you intend going in the outback and really touring the remote areas, are not interested in being 'hot of the mark' - go for a troopy. Everyone has had one, mechanics can fix one, most stations usually have an old one out the back for parts. With a 250KG ball capacity and somewhere around 2 tonne load capabiltiy, you can tow nearly anything - and - see the country at a leisurely pace.
Never mind the fancy do-dad discos, fords and such, go for reliability.
If you are using around town or only on the blacktop, get a petrol toorak tractor. Mind you I met many caravan towers in Wyndham who were reporting less than 9mpg (in the old figures).
AnswerID: 12643

Reply By: Time - Friday, Feb 07, 2003 at 11:39

Friday, Feb 07, 2003 at 11:39
20 years ago a club trip would have 90% petrol, 10% diesel vehicles
today there would be 90% diesel, 10% petrol........the issue here I think is the club vehicles are being regularly used for 4wding and the vast majority of members prefer diesel for the bush
AnswerID: 12653

Reply By: chopper - Friday, Feb 07, 2003 at 18:55

Friday, Feb 07, 2003 at 18:55

If you're not goin hardcore, and if the budget allows, have a really good look at the DiD Pajero. I took one on a long test drive. Got to be the sweetest motor/gearbox i've ever driven.
AnswerID: 12673

Reply By: xr500 - Saturday, Feb 08, 2003 at 10:49

Saturday, Feb 08, 2003 at 10:49
people who own diesels tell you to buy diesel and people who have petrol tell you to buy petrol
i think if you are doing a lot towing and 4wd work a turbo diesel is the go but if the percentage of your driving is city and highway use and only a little towing and 4wd work a petrol
diesel under a lot of load will consume a lot of fuel too!!
so if you want to leave a little cash in the bank then buy a petrol and it will go towards extra fuel
they would be similar in running cost at the end of the day!!!
happy hunting
AnswerID: 12694

Reply By: xr500½ - Saturday, Feb 08, 2003 at 20:23

Saturday, Feb 08, 2003 at 20:23
Bravo owners..... sheesh
AnswerID: 12709

Reply By: Phil P - Sunday, Feb 09, 2003 at 00:03

Sunday, Feb 09, 2003 at 00:03
Do your sums for the estimated life of your vehicle.

For me (I'm in the process of buying a 4wd), I estimated in the next 5 years I will travel 70,000klm in the new 4WD (I have 2 others cars that I also use). For 70,000klm the extra petrol cost over diesel is $7,000.
Because a fair percentage of my travel is on the road, I think I prefer the responsivenes of the Petrol Engine over the diesel. Also the initial cost of a Petrol Engine is cheaper than diesel (generally speaking).

The comparison I made is between the Patrol TD3.0L and the Toyota 100 Series V8.

If I do 70,000klms in the next 5 years. The Petrol V8 will only cost me $6,800 extra in fuel over diesel. Unless my formula is wrong.

Toyota specify usage for the V8 at 19litres per 100Klm - I've assumed 21litres per 100Klm.
Nissan specify 10.2litres per 100Klm - I've assumed 10.2 litres per 100Klm.

The downside is on some trips I'll have to carry additional fuel (If I go Petrol).

AnswerID: 12719

Follow Up By: Peter - Sunday, Feb 09, 2003 at 11:54

Sunday, Feb 09, 2003 at 11:54
Gee nice comparison,V8 petrol against 3lt turbo diesel, I compared the Suzuki Jimny [petrol] with the 100 series turbo diesel, and found that with the fuel savings I could buy 3 more Jimnys. I dont want to sound sarcastic but not a very realistic comparison!
FollowupID: 7424

Reply By: Phil P - Sunday, Feb 09, 2003 at 19:24

Sunday, Feb 09, 2003 at 19:24
Hi Peter,

The comparison is reasonably fair when comparing similar size vehicles.
Nissan TD 3.0L Patrol is low $50K to buy
Toyota 100 Series in V8 is mid $50K to buy.

Toyota charge nearly $18K extra for their TD Option. It would take nearly 200,000 klms to recoup the $18,000. Also Toyota insist on 5000Klm services more $$$ to try and recoup.
AnswerID: 12757

Reply By: David - Monday, Feb 10, 2003 at 16:53

Monday, Feb 10, 2003 at 16:53
Turbo Diesel 4.2litre GQ Patrol= best value for money and bullet proof mechanicals. (plenty around, just try to find one that has been looked after)... If you get a non turbo you can always add turbo later.They still go OK normally aspirated.
AnswerID: 12813

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