Diesel engine vs Petrol engine – Which is best for you?


Posted by: Oluwaseun Solomon

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If you have always wanted to know the best between a petrol engine and a diesel engine? This is just the article you need. Click here!
  • Vehicle engines have different variations and, in this age, and time, one cannot just assume that one engine is better than the other without putting some very important factors into consideration. If you are looking to buy a car and you are confused whether to choose a petrol engine or diesel engine, follow us in this article as we will be discussing some of the factors you should look out for before you choose. By the way, as you would expect, being the leading automobile portal in Nigeria, Naijauto.com have a large variety of both petrol and diesel engine vehicles that you can choose from afterward.

So, which one should you go for? - Diesel engine vs petrol engine?

First, you need to understand that these two types of engine were initially created for specific reasons. The petrol engines are purposely created to power cars while the diesel engines were targeted towards bigger vehicles like trucks, buses, ships etc. It will be right to say that much hasn’t really changed with the petrol engines as per the initial usage target but this wouldn’t be true with diesel engines because, over the years, we have seen some good use of diesel engine in cars.

1. Diesel vs Petrol engine fuel efficiency

When it comes to efficiency, let's see some important factors to consider;

a. The engine fuel consumption rate

On approximation, a standard diesel fuel should produce about 38.8Mj of energy per liter while a standard petrol fuel should yield about 34.8Mj of energy per liter.

a car getting re-fill in the fueling station

Less fuel consumption cars are better for regular long-distance travelers

This means diesel fuel burns at a much slower rate than the petrol fuel when it’s producing a sufficient amount of energy needed to put a car in motion. As a result of this, the car mileage increases if it uses diesel fuel instead of petrol fuel.

b. The compression ratio of the engine

Before you read further, please keep in mind that an engine’s efficiency is directly proportional to that engine’s compression ratio in most cases. We have the rule for this as below:

Engine’s Compression Ratio ∝ Engine’s Production of Mechanical Energy Engines Efficiency

What we're trying to convey here is if an engine’s compression ratio is high of a particular fuel, that engine is capable of converting a huge amount of chemical energy into mechanical energy. Accordingly, during the introduction of this concept in diesel and petrol fuel, it was noticed that diesel fuel yields more mileage and efficiency. And with 20:1 standard compression ratio, it produces greater mechanical energy than with 10:1/12:1 standard compression rate of petrol.

c. The Torque value of the engine

Very often you might hear that diesel engines can develop a much higher torque value than the petrol engines. But that brings the question, what is torque value, right?

Image of a speeding car

High torque value helps increase car speed without wasting fuel

It isn’t that complicated you know. Actually, torque is what determines the turning force that is required to drive a car away from its parking position. So, if at a low RPM, a high torque value is produced then, which means that you can increase the speed of the engine without wasting much of your fuel.

2. Diesel vs Petrol engine performance

Even though this is not really meant to be a debate kind of article, we can literally say that the petrol engine wins this point. The reason for this is pretty simple, petrol engines generally have lighter parts compared to the diesel engines. And this makes the engine allow for the high Revs when it is being operated.

Thus, we can see more performance efficiency of petrol engines compared to the diesel engines.

Petrol engines have more performance efficiency than diesel engines

3. Diesel vs Petrol engine - Verdict

If we are going to put all of the above-mentioned factors aside and focus on some other factors such as the cost of fuel, cost of a car, cost of maintenance etc. Then, we are definitely going to have a somewhat different story. What does this mean?

I mean as we are aware of that in most places, the price of a diesel fuel is mostly less than that of petrol fuel. It is actually indirectly related somehow to the prices of these cars you see in the automobile markets. In simple terms, cars with diesel engine are costlier than cars with petrol engines. And not just that alone, it is also a fact that the cost of maintaining a car with a diesel engine is higher than that which is needed to maintain one with a petrol engine.

Just like we have mentioned earlier that choosing between a diesel engine and a petrol engine is not a simple decision but rather one with a lot of factors considered to make. So, with all we have discussed and elaborated above in this article, we will conclude that we have given you some good amount of information you will need to choose between these two engines. Although we still have some bonus tips/advice for you. Find them below!

Take away:

  1. If you are a kind of person who travels long distances on daily basis, or your type of work involves long distance drives on the motorway then we think you should consider buying a car with a diesel engine.


  1. If you are someone that would mostly be moving within your local environment, or your work will only involve shorter distances and your mileage is lower, we highly recommend that you should consider purchasing a car with a petrol engine.

And conclusively, we hope that as you are now very much aware of some of the pros and the cons of diesel engine vs petrol engine, and with our bonus tips/advice, you should be able to choose the best car or vehicle that will suit most of your requirements. And you don’t even need to do too much in finding these cars because Naijauto has brought them all to you here on our website, you can click this link to see the best cars for sale in Nigeria. Happy choosing, cheers!

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Oluwaseun Solomon
Oluwaseun Solomon

Oluwaseun Solomon

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Oluwaseun Solomon is a prolific and diligent automobile writer at Naijauto.com. He's also an experienced digital marketer and a creative multimedia developer that specializes in video editing. He currently contributes informative and easy to read articles on topics covering transportation, traffic updates, auto industry updates, and different car reviews.
When Solomon is not writing, you will either find him composing music, editing videos or simply enjoying YouTube "TEDx Talk" videos with a chilled drink :)

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