You’ve decided to buy an SUV. You’ve done your homework and know exactly what you’re looking for – now you’re deciding between the two most common engine types - a petrol SUV or diesel SUV. To help you make the right engine choice, we’ve highlighted the pros and cons of both.

SUV Fuel efficiency & running costs

The surge in diesel popularity is simple: diesel engines are more fuel efficient than comparable petrol engines, generally by as much as 20-30%, meaning less trips to the service station and the ability to drive longer distances. However, it’s worth noting that a diesel SUV is generally more expensive to purchase and maintain, costing approximately 15-20% more than a petrol equivalent.

For this reason, it’s important to determine if you are likely to drive enough kilometres to justify the additional upfront and ongoing maintenance costs. A family that does a lot of long distance driving or enjoys road trips throughout the year would be more likely to recover the additional cost of a diesel SUV in fuel savings. On the other hand, if you’re just planning on using your SUV over short distances, a petrol engine would probably be the smarter choice.

Family playing inside Nissan Pathfinder

SUV Power and performance

Diesel engines often provide more pulling force (torque) at low engine speeds, meaning you can take off quickly and easily right from the word go. Torque is particularly beneficial when towing heavy items such as a horse float or caravan. 

Nissan Pathfinder towing a boat