Growing up in America, I’ve been largely unfamiliar with diesel cars. Diesel was something you filled up with once in a blue moon when you rented a U-Haul to move house. It was the rare filling station indeed where you’d find a diesel pump. Sensible given that less than 5% of cars on the road in the US are diesel.
Fast forward to life in the UK where over 50% of vehicles are diesel. I’ve had to apply a level of concentration and decision-making at the pump not previously required and I still get confused over which color is diesel and which color is unleaded. But, luckily, I’ve never managed to fill up with the wrong stuff. My trusty little BMW that I’ve had since moving here was a petrol engine but I’ve just now traded it in for my first ever diesel, a Volvo XC60.
I’d like to claim that this was a “green” decision but our motivation was really the need to get something larger to cart around toddler paraphernalia. And, most of the choices were diesel. On my first trip to the petrol station this week, I was thankful to find in big bright yellow letters the word “DIESEL” printed on the fuel cap. A constant reminder not to do something stupid during a fill up.
In terms of fuel efficiency, the diesel advantage was clear as soon as turned on the ignition after filling up. Six hundred and ten miles to empty the dashboard display told me, double what I got from the BMW. Now I just need to decide where to go!