April 19, 2012  |  Comments
Diesels vs Hybrids

Diesels vs Hybrids

Thanks to high gas prices, diesel powered vehicle sales in the United States have increased by 35 percent in the first quarter of 2012 versus the first quarter of 2011. While diesels have increased, hybrids have decreased in market share over the past three years. In fact, diesels have passed hybrid vehicles in sales. So, why are more people buying diesels than hybrids?

At first glance, you would think diesels and hybrids could not be any more different. But as you dig deeper, there are many similarities. Both types of vehicles are fuel efficient, clean and earth friendly.

While hybrids get more MPG’s, diesels still provide a 20 to 30 percent increase in fuel efficiency over gas engines.

Over the years, diesels have gotten a bad rap. From dirty tail pipes to being bad for the environment, there are a lot of rumors swirling around diesel engines. That fact is, these claims are false. Clean diesels emit lower emission than gas engines. It’s no wonder diesel vehicles have won the Green Car of the Year Award two times over the past four years.

But diesels leave hybrids in the dust when it comes to longevity and cost.

Diesel engines require more compression to run, so the engine parts need to be built out of stronger and more durable materials. This helps keep diesel vehicles on the roads a lot longer. Want further proof, a Mercedes-Benz Diesel Sedan currently holds the world record for most miles driven, an astounding 2.8 million.

While hybrids cost anywhere from $3000 to $6000 more than their gas cousin, diesels are usually valued at $1000 more than gas engine cars. So, even if hybrids have a slight edge in MPG’s, you’ll recoup the cost difference in fuel savings faster in a diesel.

We are not advocating diesels over hybrids. We love both types of vehicles. In the grand scheme of things, diesels and hybrids account for less than 6 percent of all vehicles sold, 3 percent and 2.1 percent respectively. However, many industry insiders are predicting diesels to penetrate 10 percent of the market by 2015. Will you be one of them? Let us know in the comments.

About Adam Lopez

Adam Lopez is an advertising specialist at AutoNation's headquarters in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
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