RAC Cars News


Sticking with diesel cars in 2016?

By raccars Published

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Despite dire warnings about the dismal future of diesel, they are still a popular choice with new car buyers. Which diesel cars are looking good for 2016?

Last month the RAC published a survey showing that drivers are more interested in getting the maximum MPG out of their cars than in minimising emissions. Over half of the survey participants expressed some concern about the quality of air in their area but certainly didn't seem to be laying the blame for pollution at diesel's door and had no intention of cutting down on their mileage.

2,565 drivers in the UK were questioned about their attitudes to diesel, with more than half claiming, in the wake of the VW emissions scandal, that manufacturers' official mileage and emissions figures are unreliable. Only 24 per cent expressed the same disquiet before the current scandal broke. Nonetheless, most VW owners questioned in the survey were fairly relaxed about the long term effects of the scandal and didn't feel that the resale value of their cars would suffer.

The best new diesel cars

For those whose confidence in diesel remains strong, where is the best place to put your money in 2016?

Vauxhall Astra 1.6 CDTi It looks familiar but the new, seventh generation Astra is in many ways a far better car than its predecessor. The fit and finish is a big step up and handling is far better. The 1.6 CDTi engine is a particularly strong combination of efficiency and performance, claiming over 70mpg and offering 134bhp.

MINI Clubman Cooper D This estate version of the Mini hatchback doesn't appeal to everyone but is one way of getting a bit of Mini's cheeky, retro charm in a more practical package. Inside it's rather plush and boasts a number of unusual features such as the 'barn door' boot opening. The Cooper D is also a great little performer, with 148bhp from its refined 2.0 litre unit. It's entertaining but competent both for long distance cruising or zipping around winding roads, while 68.9mpg is pretty budget friendly.

Land Rover Discovery Sport 2.0d Ingenium Jaguar Land Rover's stellar range of Ingenium engines is used by the excellent Jaguar XE, among others, and is put to particularly good effect in the Discovery Sport. This replacement for the Freelander is a sparkling, modern SUV which is far happier using the new Ingenium unit instead of the old 2.2 diesel with which it was originally fitted. Paired with the nine speed automatic transmission, it's a real gem.

Alfa Romeo Giulia 2.2 MultiJet

The Giulia is one of the most anticipated new cars of 2016. It won't arrive until the end of the year but looks worth hanging on for, with glorious, supermodel good looks and what promises to be a very entertaining and typically Italian rear wheel drive format. The 2.2 MultiJet diesel engine will be available with 148bhp, 178bhp or 207bhp, the latter with four wheel drive. It's a mouth-watering prospect.

Honda HR-V 1.6 i-DTEC

The welcome return of Honda's clever little crossover adds a very interesting contender to this highly competitive sector. Along with the practical interior and smart styling, its virtues include the economical and refined 1.6 i-DTEC engine which has impressed in the Honda Civic Tourer. It's hard to beat the HR-V for a user-friendly, value for money family car.

BMW X1 sDrive18d The updated X1 displays many improvements over the old model and is arguably the best of the high quality crossover trio which includes the [Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class]http://www.raccars.co.uk/used-mercedes-benz/glc/-Class and the Audi Q3. Not only is the cabin better quality but the ride is far slicker despite a larger set of alloys. The sDrive18d is the entry level model and the most efficient and cleanest of the lot, with a stated 62.8mpg and 109g/km in CO2 emissions.

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