It is commonly accepted diesel models typically return better fuel economy than their gasoline counterparts. In fact, the more economical nature of the most cost effective diesels is one of the chief selling points for the models.
At first glance, many diesel models are hamstrung right out of the gate because of the higher price of diesel fuel. Further, the cost of a diesel engine is generally higher than the cost of a gasoline engine. This is because diesel fuel contains more energy than gasoline, so diesel engines must be built to withstand higher temperatures and more percussive ignition cycles.
In almost all cases, this results in the diesel version of an automobile having a higher MSRP than a gasoline version. It also means the diesel version of any given car will be slightly heavier in weight. In order to make up the difference, or even surpass their gas counterparts, the most cost effective diesels have to demonstrate lower overall operating costs.
Vincentric is an automotive research firm specializing in lifecycle cost measurement. The company’s 2013 Diesel Cost-of-Ownership Analysis has determined the 10 most cost effective diesels for 2013. To do this, Vincentric’s statisticians measured eight cost elements for over 3,000 vehicle configurations, assuming an annual mileage of 15,000 over five years.
The costs considered included depreciation, financing, fees and taxes, fuel, insurance, maintenance, opportunity costs, and repairs. Further, each month Vincentric’s people re-compiled its database to take into account current vehicle prices, resale values, fuel costs, and finance rates, as well as other economic and market factors. When all was said and done, the following 10 diesel models demonstrated the most significant cost savings over their gasoline-powered counterparts for the 2013 model year.