Hi all, hopefully this thread will start some healthy debate (no us and them please!!! ) regarding the Petrol/diesel thing.
I was under the impression that all the 'nasty' traits of the diesel engine had come a long way in recent years, but I have changed my mind after trying one out.
I own a 2.2 petrol 'C'. I like the way it drives, although the MPG is not brilliant.
Its been in the garage for a bit and I was given a 17 CDTi SRi Astra (new one) as a hire car.
For the 3 weeks I had it, I hated every minute of driving it for the following reasons:
1. The performance was hideous until the turbo kicked in. We're talking major problems pulling out of junctions etc. In the end, I found myself revving it up everytime i pulled away, just to get the thing moving. Once the turbo was going, everything was okay, as long as you changed up in the turbo band. I'd just about got the hang of it by the time the three weeks was up, but I found the drive less than relaxing (maybe that's a trait of the turbo, rather than the diesel.)
2. The noise from the diesel engine was appauling, even from the inside. Driving around my work's car park at about 5-10 miles per hour sounded like I was in a sherman tank. It was actually making people turn round to see what all the fuss was about!
3. I found the engine vibrated much more than my 2.2 unit. Not half as smooth.
4. The thing smelt horrible, just like a DAF truck. Lovely puffs of occasional black smoke as well
5. The fuel consumption was not brill at about 35 mpg (this was around the houses). although admittedly, this is the diesels strongest selling point as far as I can tell. I get about 25 out of my 2.2
When i took it back and got my 2.2 back, I couldn't believe the difference. No noise, smooth engine, nice smooth torque pickup and no more problems with people looking over their shoulder in the car park . It was just a more more relaxed and enjoyable drive. I could actually roll the windows down and sit in traffic withour having to pump the stereo up to drown the rattling out.
So, i'm sticking with petrol.. Although I'd love to hear the views of people who have been driving diesels for a while.