There are diesels that create up to 25 times more pollution than official testing shows? Surely, that’s a mistake?
We’ve written about clean diesels, false emissions, and wayward fuel economy figures in the past, and while diesel emissions are always a hot topic; it seems that not one week goes by without another nail being placed in the coffin of diesels, but the manufacturers really aren’t helping themselves.
A recent headline by Which? states that nearly 80% of modern, Euro 6 compliant diesels aren’t reaching anywhere near the 0.08g/Km emissions standard to be Euro 6 compliant one model, in particular, is 25 times over that limit. Is this just ‘click-bait’ or a genuine bit of foul play by car manufacturers?
Which? have tested 61 new car models (all diesel) since the beginning of 2017, with the intention of seeing just how close they are to the Euro 6 rate for emissions, specifically Nitrogen Oxides (NOx). 77% of the cars tested failed to meet the 0.08g per kilometre standard, with the Subaru Forester 2.0d Sport Lineartronic coming in at 2.022g, but on average, the NOx levels were at 0.27g/Km.
However, it must be pointed out that the testing wasn’t Euro 6 compliant testing, in fact, a spokesperson for the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said: “The non-official test employed by Which? is very different from the current EU testing, so it’s no surprise it delivers different results. Only the official tests accurately compare models on a like-for-like basis”.
The different test
Even under the new Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP), testing is mainly done under laboratory conditions, giving the manufacturer the ability to ‘optimise’ their test vehicle(s) settings, this can include switching to an ‘eco’ mode, tyre inflation, low fuel loads (reduced weight) and a number of other considerations.
Whereas the Which? test runs the vehicles in the standard mode that they start up in (no eco setting), with 200kg of weight (roughly the equivalent of two occupants and a full tank of fuel), with all systems – air conditioning, lights and radio in use and they include a motorway phase.
Clearly, it would seem that some manufacturers can optimise their vehicles better than others, but there were also a number of vehicles that fell way below the Euro 6 standard, even under the more arduous testing conditions, so what (if anything) does the test mean?
Legally speaking, the car makers aren’t breaking any law – they’re doing exactly as they’re allowed to do under the test procedures, this isn’t a ‘Dieselgate’ scandal, merely … an exercise in understanding and applying rules.
Targeting the consumer angle is a moot point – the WLTP tests (as the SMMT point out) are comparing like-for-like, which means the end result is a direct and truthful comparison between models or brands, so as long as you know that Car A has fewer emissions than Car B, you’re in possession of the relevant facts and figures.
Yes, understanding that in the real world, under strenuous conditions, Car A doesn’t actually get near the advertised figure is all well and good, but let’s be honest, if emissions and pollution levels drive your desire, you won’t be looking to buy a diesel, regardless of what the manufacturer claims.
The best and the worst
The top 5 dirtiest diesels:
- Subaru Forester 2.0d Sport Lineartronic – 2.022g/km
- Renault Grand Scenic Energy dCI 160 Bose Edition EDC – 0.896g/km
- Renault Captur dCI 90 Intens – 0.725g/km
- Peugeot 5008 BlueHDi 150 Allure – 0.700g/km
- Ford Kuga 2.0 TDCi S/S Vignale 4×4 – 0.655g/km
And the top five cleanest:
- BMW 2 Series 218d Active Tourer Steptronic – 0.014g/km
- Mercedes-Benz E220d 9G-Tronic – 0.024g/km
- Mercedes-Benz E220d 9G-Tronic Estate – 0.028g/km
- BMW X2 xDrive 20d M Sport X Steptronic – 0.031g/km
- Vauxhall Grandland X 2.0 Innovation Automoatic – 0.034g/km
The WLTP testing has been in force (for new car types) since September 2017, with all new registrations being compliant by September 2018, but as we’ve pointed out, it will really only be useful for a comparison against different models or brands – not as a benchmark of what you can expect (especially in terms of MPG).
If you’re specifically looking to purchase a new vehicle, and it has to be diesel, then the figures will be relatable and perhaps a better indication than previous testing processes – the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) was introduced back in the eighties, and as such, it left a little to be desired as technology marched on, despite some flaws, the WLTP has to be better (and more accurate) than the NEDC, but whatever the process or procedure, there will always be an organisation willing to decry it as unrealistic.
Do you think better emissions tests should be introduced to reflect real-world driving? Is it a good thing that diesel will be banned from sale in 2040? Let us know below
Its obvious that real world driving tests must give a better indication of emissions and mpg, so why not just ditch the laboratory testing?
We purchased two low emission diesel cars on the basis of cheap running costs, ie zero road tax and suggested 88 mpg. That’s what most people are looking for.
what gives you 88mpg???
Depends what is to replace them and if diesels can be refined further
Also stop slowing traffic it adds to the issues as the cat and associated systems rely on reaching working temperature
Get rid of the t*t head that is proposing fines if you go over the speed limit by 1mph the Speedo is accurate to +/- 10% and it is recognised that a similar accuracy when reading the Speedo on the move in traffic the most important thing when driving is total awareness of the traffic and hazards on the roads
just for info, speedo is required by law to be accurate to +10% – 0 % – i.e. it must never say you are going slower than you are, but can say you are going faster. Most manufacturers keep themselves safe by deliberately setting to over read. Mine reads 9% over when compared to an accurate gps. The law relates to decades ago when accurate speedos were not available, and really should be changed.
The GPS is not accurate for reliability of your actual speed
It is more accurate than your speedo though, in fact it is very accurate if not perfect on most situations.
So thats why the American cruise missiles miss their targets. I just thought it was Friendly fire or someone who couldn’t operate the thing not that the thing didn’t work properly.
ER! yes it is!
Agreed, except that the law should NOT be changed – not unless you’re happy to either drive consistently well below the limit, or spend 50% of your time watching your speedometer.
exactly. this is by no means scientific BUT ive talked to a few people over the years who have had accidents and try not to speed. in around 80% of the cases i have personally heard about, the accident has had a cause factor NOT by speeding, but by constantly watching the speedo to AVOID speeding, rather than 100% concentration on the road. and try as you might, if you have to check your speedo (even with one of those fancy head up displays that are being fitted to some cars) then you are watching the SPEEDO and NOT the ROAD. will a child dash out from behind a bus/car/ice cream van? almost certainly at some point in your driving life (even autonomous cars couldnt ever predict that, in my opinion). where will you see them? watching the road or watching the speedo? im all for slowing the idiots down BUT we have to be sensible about things too.
it takes a fraction of a second to check your speedo and your brain to acknowledge it. If drivers wish to spend their time looking at the speedo than where their going accidents will happen
Cruise control! I have a gps on my dash cam and have just about worked out the differences. It’s not as far out as my previous Ford, which was a good 10% out. If I look at recorded footage it tells me how fast I was actually travelling. Due to a foot injury I drive just about everywhere with the cruise control on.
When I designed a PCB for Lucas the law said speedos had to be set 3% fast & police ones 3% slow. Further there’s a 3% variation between new & worn tyres.
My wheels are 170mm radius, and the amount of legally wearable tread is 7mm. So for an indicated 70mph, I will be driving 4% slower on end-of-life tyres than on new ones. (Speedo counts revolutions, so a smaller wheel radius is a shorter distance on the road.)
I’m betting a low tyre pressure takes another 4% off the radius too. On the other hand, adding 4psi for motorway cruising (as recommended everywhere) probably adds enough radius to put you 2mph over the speedo indication.
His plan will never happen because speed enforcement offices will get overloaded with offences to deal with. All funds collected on fines go to Number 11 and not the police, so limited amount of resources available. Most cameras are only enforced for no more than 10% of the time. Dartford Toll speed cameras are a classic example and only 1-2 hours per day of records are checked for offences even at 10% + 2mph. Imagine the offences per day that would be generated at + 1mph.
What is ‘real world driving’ ? No two individuals drive a vehicle in exactly the same way and certainly not all the time, it has taken me about 5 years to get my wife to use all six gears. Some cars are very lightly loaded almost all the time with a small, slightly built driver and raely any other occupants, in other vehicles the driver is physically obese and often other members of the family are also thus imposing a large weight penalty. Some vehicles carry a significant load whether it is tools of trade or the prarphanalia of childrens prans, bikes etc. Some vehicles are continually driven in very hilly areas whereas others are used generally in relatively flat areas of the country, then we have those which tow trailers and caravans etc. The best we can hope for is a set of ‘average’ figures which very few indivual drivers will ever experience.
Your wife shouldn’t be on the road if it takes her 5 years to use all gears. Does she slow down to 10 mph approaching roundabouts before looking for any vehicles nearby perchance?
Why just test diesel engines, a bit one sided. Compare pollution with petrol engines hybrids and electric cars etc for total pollution to get a true pollution picture. It would be more productive for the planet if the same effort to demonise diesel was used to find cleaner fuels for the diesel engine instead of moaning about how bad diesel fuel is. Also if demonising diesel cars is the norm then it is logical to demonise lorries, buses, vans, aircraft, trains tractors ( farm vehicles ), generators, the list goes on. But it is obvious if all these vehicles etc were banned from sale then there would be economic chaos. Lets be a bit more imaginative and concentrate on developing clean fuels, after all, diesel engines are quite versatile they can even run on ‘chip fat’.
Don’t forget passenger and transporter ships which burn fuel oil, much worse than any diesel
And gas central heating too, one of the biggest polluters going.
How? what does it release as a byproduct??
The amount of carbon monoxide gas boilers produce is frightening, but of course every modern house needs one to be desirable.
We need to have honest debates about what we need to do to sustain this planet, rather than been told what we need to be fashionable.
Ban central heating except via heat pumps which burn nothing, for their free heat, just for running the pump, the gov. even pay for their usage. 1kW in 3kW free heat out
Sorry Dave only just saw your post 🤗
not in the city though!
Ships use what is called Bunker oil which is the cheapest stuff you can get & the most pollutant
I agree 100% with this comment, we need to look at all road vehicles and then try to work out sensible ways to reduce pollution from them all. Simply targeting diesel cars will not really have a significant effect, the problem is much greater.
Although sales of new diesel cars have dropped ( quite dramatically ) the proportion of diesel passenger cars on the road has increased. Owners of diesels are hanging on to them longer than they used to.
The residual value of a diesel is so poor it doesn’t make sense to trade them in
Is that a wonder when my car a 14 plate with £30 emissions tax,(Road Tax) but an 18 plate car, the same make and model, same engine etc etc as mine, thats £205.
Because cars from 2017+ are not on an emission based tax. Even electric and hybrids pay road tax now.
Isn’t that saving just the cost of a few tanks of fuel?! Road tax different costs are frequently overstated especially when you compare them with the cost of purchasing a vehicle.
My 2013 1.6 Octavia TDi does 65-65 MPG so why should I part with it?
Hi Stringvest,. That’s probably because a diesel engine can last for up to ten times longer than a conventional Internal combustion engine (Petrol engine). These modern diesels are far more economical than the older breeds.
Old diesels, new diesels with faked data continue to be a problem though.
you are right but the government who said we should all buy diesel cars stand to make a fk load of money out of the diesel car owners though.
Just taxed my 09 Kia Sorento Xe diesel automatic for 12 months £540 a joke, I would not even be able to sell it despite having done only 34000 miles from new.
Originally designed for peanut oil
NOx comes from the air, not from the fuel. Fuel is a hydrocarbon, air is a mixture of nitrogen and oxygen.
Wrong, diesel is not pure hydrocarbon, it also contains nitrogen oxides. You are way off.
Wrong. Diesel is a hydrocarbon which contains hydrogen and carbon. It burns in air (which contains nitrogen and oxygen ) at high temperature and pressure producing nitrous oxides (NOx) , carbon dioxide and water. There is sometimes a bit of sulphur in the fuel and that produces sulphur oxides (SOx).
The NOx and SOx combine with water from the combustion or from the air and produce nitrous or sulphorous acids and eventually acid rain.
Well that reply Nox my SOx off !
Seriously though, until we get a real joined up discussion and a plan, there is just going to be knee jerk reactions.
Which is why engines produce almost as much Nox as diesels. It’s all to do with the amount of ingested and combustion temperatures.
Missing word, should say air ingested.
Hence use of EGR, lower CR’s in Diesels to reduce combustion temperatures. Now Adblue to break down NOX but there is s need to adopt (as ine example) the 48V technologies which help maintain exhaust temperatures at a level where Adblue has its most beneficial effect. Lots of work also being done at Loughborough Uni which I once read on their website.
Don’t forget marine diesels !
One container ship equals about 50M cars !
Approx 16tons fuel/hour
Wouldn’t want to live in Southampton, Felixstowe etc then
Damn it , I live in Felixstowe and worked at the Port for 37 years……
That’s exactly what Emissions Analytics do. Look them up. Really useful data. Everyone should be looking at objectively assessed emissions data when they purchase a car.
Join the discussion…
Totally agree with you. There is health and environmental issues with all forms of our use of fuels but, I’m getting really fed up with the diesel witch hunt. It’s just another convenient excuse to scam revenue through various forms of stealth tax, as there are so much diesel cars owners that have little option but to pay up. The authorities have plenty to say but have zero answers, only to make up another penalty tax. You are quite right to ask about getting cleaner fuels.
Just wait and see, once there is a large enough uptake in electric cars. The owners will be penalised as it will turn out the environmental cost of the battery technology (manufacturing and disposal)and other materials is just as bad. Even if it’s not, they find a way to get more money out of you.
Sorry. Just my sceptical side coming out.
Totally agree with you, if you only look at one type of fuel you are in short creating a biased story. In my humble opinion 20 years from now we’ll be doing the same thing with electric/hybrid vehicles, as these are just as bad for the environment. The reason I say that is because 20 years ago we were all being encouraged to go diesel. Remember diesel was even 3p a little cheaper than petrol that’s how keen our government was to get us to convert
Diesel costs more because it is close to jet fuel as chemical composition and you can easily bend the refinement process to get more of one or the other. Also diesels can run on vegetable oil with close to nk mods at all. And vegetable oil makes half the nox of regular diesel. Shell experimented with it and apparently if they mix it with regular diesel it decreases nox by 37%.
many old diesels can run on veg oil without modification, except the rubber seals will degrade faster. on a modern high pressure common rail diesel (as they all are, but think peugeot/citroen HDi, Vauxhall CDTi, Ford TDCi, Mercedes CDi etc. as a few examples so that people who are not familiar with engines know how long they have been around) are unlikely to run on veg oil/cooking oil WITHOUT some modification, such as fuel heaters (the veg oil is too thick at ambient temperature and will destroy the high pressure pump faster due to the added strain) and (again) fitting of viton seals to replace the rubber seals, possibly fuel hose upgrades away from normal rubber fuel hose (for the same reason)
as for mixing it with diesel, they already DO in the UK and have to by LAW. ‘regular’ diesel (of any variety) at the pump is technically B5 which means 5% is biodiesel (plant derived, such as cooking oil, rapeseed oil etc) and there was talks of it being raised to 7 or 10% (B7 or B10) but it was decided that as the manufacturers dont fit viton seals (i gather theyre a little more expensive) it could lead to the government being sued for fuel seals/hoses being destroyed AND any related fires/accidents caused by seals/hoses being eaten away. as a result this, to my knowledge, was the reason it was not increased. there is not, to my knowledge, any legal requirement for these uprated parts to be fitted at the point of manufacture, as yet.
My 2002 diseasel Mercedes has a fuel heater intended for markets where various biodiesel fuels are commonplace. Had to get a new thermostat for that circuit which would have been a problem as Mercedes dealers can’t ID the part because “UK cars have never had them Sir” Fortunately I had armed myself with the part number courtesy of an online forum so they got one from Germany for me 🙂
Still not going to use biodiesel though
those high pressure fuel pumps cost £100s + fitting + VAT 😉
The cost of producing Vegetable oil is crazy it take 10 acres to produce a decent amount of fuel, which then removes that from the food chain, hence the wheat shortage. so do we product Fuel or Food?
Agree Paul. The only benefit of using veg oil is when it is making use of a waste product from the food industry. Growing crops to produce veg oil is a total inefficient waste of resources.
the labour govt’s first action on fuel was to up the diesel tax to remove that disparity with petrol and said the rises would continue, so it wasn’t encouraging it there, only later on the road tax for the CO2 issue that petrol creates.
As far as CO2 goes, it had a big impact on restricting its rise given the millions of diesel cars sold. But the manufacturers never delivered on their promise to deal with particulates and NOx. Surprise, surprise. Business promises but doesn’t deliver.
But all fuel is a problem, as this article shows
diesel gives a problem on particular streets in congested areas, there is a suggestion that certain streets will be closed off to diesels!
They are testing diesel engines because of the diesel scandal. The particulates released in diesel engines are not released in petrol. The government new all along that diesel was harmful to people, but they wanted to reduce C02 emissions to avoid EU fines. The car manufacturers blindly promised the government that emissions of diesel particulates wouldnt be an issue. The car manufacturers knew that the testing would be done in a controlled environment, and it was probably thought that the government were ‘on their side’ when it came to the issue. You can imagine the government’s relief when all their C02 problems were promised away by the car manufacturers.
DI petrol engines do release particulates, Steven.
I agree with you on this as I have always said if some of these technical bods looked for a cleaner burning diesel instead of just writing them off I am sure that us diesel owners would not have the stress to which we are getting now. I also think that the petrol engine gives out just as much pollution or not more than our diesels mine is add blue supposed to be the cleanest or that is what I was told when I purchased the car.
It’s not about clean or dirty fuel, this fuss is about nitrogen oxide emissions – and those increase for engines that are set up to perform non-stoichiometric combustion (specifically lean-burn), where the engine burns fuel to the greatest possible extent (ie most efficiently) by using more oxygen than necessary. The ‘excess’ oxygen in the combustion reacts with some of the remaining 79% of the air in the combustion chamber (that happens to be almost entirely nitrogen – 78 of the 79%) and a small amount of nitrogen oxides are produced. It’s a very small amount even in the apparently ‘dirty’ models, but it worries the worriers because nitrogen oxides are toxic. Lean burn is not purely a diesel phenomenon – Ford’s ordinary 1.4litre petrol engine of the 1980s was trumpeted as utilising lean-burn technology to improve efficiency/economy – but diesel engines are simply far more efficient than petrol engines (capable of much leaner combustion) and inevitably that means greater nitrogen oxide emissions.
Absolutely spot-on to point out the hypocrisy of attacking diesel cars rather than other diesel-fuelled vehicles (especially as the majority of diesel usage is in other vehicles), but HGV drivers have to endure parallel Euro6 compliance and have woe-stories of engine shutdowns caused by various emissions controls, not to mention poorer performance compared to pre-Euro6 vehicles.
Common sense practicality and environmentalism do not go together.
And cruise ship coming up thames soon very near London , same as 3000 cars pollution per hour
Frankly, I never take much notice of anything Which? says as I have found them highly unreliable, opportunistic and tend to adopt “leftist” approach. Bought too many of their recommended products in the past and found them poor and not as Which? claimed.
By “leftist”, do you mean proactive, campaigning for improvement, supportive of the individual? In over 40 years I have never found any Which? recommendation a disappointment. Where there was a fault, I took it back to the shop – who could no longer deny responsibility – thanks to Which? campaigning to update the 1893 Sale of Goods Act.
I wouldnt disagree totally with you, I have bought some which recommended products and been less than satisfied. As for left leaning? I dont think thats intentional and just looks that way because of their numerous campaigns to get better treatment for the consumer including redress and compensation etc is more prominent now. They do a lot of campaigning and lobbying of government to get better consumer protection laws.
Actually I agree with you. I was a member, subscriber, whatever you want to call it and was asked to report on a particular product range that I had had a lot of experience with. Which? then came up with a report that totally ignored my comments, which included actual incidents that had taken place with one specific supplier. OK not a problem because it could have been that the other 99% were positive, however when I raised some issues within the review with the then editor, the response I got back was, to put it politely, very negative and somewhat rude leaving me with the feeling that the supplier in question was invulnerable to criticism. I then made the point to them that while they were happy to print whatever they liked about other organisations, they themselves appeared to take the attitude that they were infallible and unassailable. In other words they’re happy to give it, but not to take it. Needless to say I withdrew my subscription and now take their comments with a pinch of salt.
So any of the five cars that are listed as cleanest still fall under the 0.08 cut off, even when tested in a real world environment. (Despite the cut off being a lab environment cut off, as Which pointed out). Before all diesels get dragged through the mud, I’d like to see a list of all the cars that came in under 0.1 please, not just the top 5
“Which” reported that the two Mecedes & one BMW diesel were the cleanest they’d ever tested & cleaner than some petrol cars. I’ll attach a link to the “Which” report but I don’t know if it will work.
Hopefully you will be able to read that, the worst was the Subaru.
Yes we need to have diesel engines that are as clean as possible, but since all the bruhaha about them
petrol engine emissions have not been mentioned , and since they contribute much more to CO2
emissions, the spotlight must return to how clean and economical they are. The problem with
diesels is how to remove the older, dirtier types as soon as possible.
I agree but I my car is a 2005 1.9 diesel ive had the engine remapped for economy and more torque, the reason is I tow my 4 berth caravan with it.
I cannot afford the price of a new car ( pensioner) hence still driving it.
Careful John it might not pass the new MOT with the remapping. I was going to have mine done but was told this so haven’t done it
Remapped engines, both diesel and petrol, are usually more efficient. Wouldn’t this equate to lower emissions?
remapping isnt the issue. its remapping to delete emissions controls such as dpfs that ARE an issue
many of the older ones aren’t any worse as it turns out.
The purpose of standardised testing is to ensure that like is being compared with like under carefully controlled conditions that can be reliably replicated by different test sites. The test conditions are NOT intended to replicate all real driving conditions so it is ridiculous for Which? or anyone else to conduct tests under different conditions and then use the results to imply that the manufacturers are somehow cheating because their results don’t match the official figures. It would be like checking to see if Usain Bolt could run his best time for 100m with a rucksack full of rocks on his back. Of course he couldn’t.
The tests are not intended to indicate the actual emissions that will be achieved in “normal” driving conditions, and I wish journalists would stop writing articles based on the assumption that they are. This is just misinforming people.
They are cheating though with regards to the levels of emissions and standards being met. Comparing between manufacturers even now is unreliable. I’d trust Which? or the EQUA INDEX available online over any brochure data.
Aye just like you trust the people in Government that make up the rules.
Yes, anything to reduce emissions. Make using Which testing conditions standard.
Yes, anything to reduce emissions. Pass a new law and adopt real world test conditions. After all it’s where we drive our vehicles.
I agree with all the comments about demonising diesel. However a slightly different ‘slant’ on things!
After being ‘conned’ into buying a new one in 2013 by basically what was, government advice/lower VED we now find they’re the worst thing ever! Surely if we can land a man on the moon and devise the fantastic scientific, technological and medical techniques we have done over the past few decades, scientific research can come up with a better method of dealing with the particulates and other emissions from Diesel engines?
As William points out if all the transport which relies on diesel is penalised then it will be economic chaos.
Maybe I’m a bit cynical but I’ve kind of heard these ‘scare stories’ before, often from people with vested interests. Who remembers the salmonella egg scare? And then there’s the government advice on alcohol. After research this came back as no need to lower the limit of units consumed a week. However this didn’t ‘fit in’ with what was wanted so the ‘health police’ asked for the research to be repeated several times until (and if I remember correctly the group who produced the final report saying the limits should be reduced had links to the Temperance Movement) the data came back saying what they wanted i.e a reduction in the weekly limits.
Basically, us, the public, are fed all this stuff whether it’s advice on diet from scientific studies (should we or shouldn’t we eat butter, I’m totally confused!) or emissions data from the likes of VW or government reports or Which reports or whoever next is inline to put over their point of view!!
Call me a cynic if you like!!
you cynic …….& so am I
Colin…Colin, here! Perhaps in addition to seeking compensation from VW, Audi, et al, for the emissions scandal, we should also seek compensation from a Government which as you rightly say, was trumpeting diesel as the way forward, a fact which encouraged many of us (stupidly, as it turned out!) to heed their advice. Not the first time as has been pointed out, that those elected numpties make pronouncements, leaving General Joe Public to pick up the pieces…
Same as brexit it would seem!
Colin you are spot on mate couldn’t have put it better myself, last 2 cars were diesel because the Government put the idea firmly in our heads that they were the better/cleaner alternative. We now no longer have the money to trade in our diesel Mini Clubman due to loss in trade in and value so we will hold onto it until it falls to pieces, thus polluting the environment further….great plan Torys!!
they are better for CO2, which is what the cry was about 10+ years ago.
the manufacturers have dragged their feet over the particulate & Nox issues, surprise surprise. blame the makers not the govt.
I have a E220d 9-G-Tronic, if I look at the fuel consumption, compared to even ten years ago the real world MPG has improved from low 40’s average MPG too my best week of 65.7 mpg from 874 miles and mid 50’s MPG since getting the car, how can this be a bad thing?
What’s the alternative ? Petrol cars also emit NoX its part of the drive for improved fuel economy from, the leaner burning of fuel, Co2 drops but NoX will increase through the more complete combustion.
Hybrid cars in the real world are much worse than the official fuel economy numbers, the making of Lithium Batteries creates its own issues for the environment, for high mileage motorists Hybrid’s simply don’t work.
EV don’t have the range currentaly and stopping the charge is losing too much valuable time
Public transport isn’t integrated and isn’t viable for my work travelling to industrial estates, staying away from home much of the week.
If Which want to be taken seriously, they should test Petrol and Hybrid under the same conditions.
id agree to a point BUT our family have always had Ford vehicles. often diesels as we do quite a few miles and/or tow with them (trailers, not caravans) now being used as family transport only our 1984 1.6 Diesel Fiesta (and Orion) would see 60mpg with no real effort. we upgraded to the 1.8d versions and 55mpg was easy, 60mpg doable with no real effort. then came the turbo 1.8d which you had to be on a motorway cruise to get much over 40mpg (where we live and at the time) the later TDi/TDCi engines with more power brought that back to 50-55mpg and now, with extra gears since 5 speed is no longer the norm 60 can be attained with some effort. if i could put the new engines/gearboxes in the old bodyshells they would give MUCH better MPG (a sierra struggled to get to the 1 tonne mark, the Mondeo, its replacement is now over 1.5 Tonnes) but even with a pristine shell, all the unnecessary electronics (and many of them are!) it would be close to impossible to swap without transferring much of the new car (and therefore weight) into the old one!
I’ll be honest a vehicles emissions is the last thing I consider when buying a vehicle. Features, reliability, cost and economy are what I am most concerned with. I drive a 2001 VW diesel and it is so much more reliable and economical than my friends and colleagues far newer ones meaning that it is extremely cheap to run. I’m sure that it’s emissions are absolutely terrible but unless the powers that be are going to replace it with a clean model FOC or at least make a significant contribution (say 50%) to the cost of a cleaner model it’s not going anywhere!
A powershift grants scheme for cleaner cars would be a useful incentive.
not if you have to take out finance etc to pay the rest. THATS the main reason people dont buy newer cars. they cant AFFORD them. The salary for the job i do has gone up around 40% since i started work in 1992, based on the hourly rate. House prices in the same town (for the same house in fact) have jumped 400%+. a new Mondeo LX, at launch in 1993 (lx was the second trim level up) was around £12k at full LIST price, and less with some haggling. its new equivalent, the Mondeo Zetec has a list price of £23k last time i checked and there have been a couple of price increases SINCE that (possibly just on certain models)
My mondeo is almost 8 years old. would i like the new one, CERTAINLY. can i afford it NO. would i consider the hybrid NO and for 2 reasons. i do NOT want a car with automatic transmission (which the hybrid has) and second the battery pack not only eats into the boot space (which i can fill REGULARLY on the car WITHOUT losing more of it) but it also means that (from what ive read) there is no spare wheel or place to put one which, in my opinion, should be a legal requirement on ALL passenger vehicles to have at LEAST a space saver spare wheel. imagine being stuck on a motorway with a young family, flat tyre and no spare!!
Real world testing, I live in the real world, I work for just above the minimum wage, starting at 4:30am. No public transport going anywhere close to my place of work and it appears my 10 year old diesel car is going to be taxed or legislated of the road. Well thanks a bunch, a 50% grant against the price of a new car is as unattainable as me climbing everest. It’s only 11 miles, I suppose I can jog there in my enviromentally sustainable straw running shoes!
2000 Audi a6 1.9 tdi. 205k on the clock. 55-60 mpg. Diy maintenance. It is not going anywhere either.
Much simpler idea: Add emissions testing to the MOT and make it a failure! This is the only way to realistically clean up the horrendous levels of air pollution that is affecting everyone’s health.
When I see cars belching out black smoke, I have tried to report them: DVLA not interested, MP says tell your local council, council “not in our powers” – time our government did something!
You’d be reporting every bus, lorry and train in the land!
On a separate note I keep reading that the world is over populated and that the government can’t afford the pension/care bills of people living longer so maybe diesels killing a few thousand off each year isn’t such a bad idea?
Err isn’t there already emissions testing as part of the MOT test? That includes smoke, CO, and HC which are probably worse for health than NOX anyway. The police can carry out roadside tests so cars “belching black smoke” shouldn’t be on the road for long and will almost certainly fail their next MOT unless dealt with.
It’s just the tip of the iceberg, forget saloon cars, what about HGV’s? hundreds of thousands worldwide, trucks, busses of all ages and conditions pumping out thousands of tons of gasses.
Until that problem is sorted, targeting saloon cars in the affluent western world is arranging the deckchairs on the Titanic.
the trouble is the concentration on the busiest streets, not on the motorways. that’s what is being dealt with
but hey, petrol isn’t good either
Diesels are dirty polluting cars they burn oil as fuel
All cars are polluting the only answer is hybrid, fuel cell or fuel ce6 alternative
The manufacturers are given a test to pass so that what they do if people are unhappu then change the test
I really believe manufacturers will stop any firther development on diesels and concentrate on new fuel alternatives
Join the ranks of people who are EV promoters and ignore the fact Cobalt is readily sourced from DRC only – child labour and corruption (BMW and VW Group apparently have already made big investments in Battery supply from China / Far East – possibly aided by Merkel’s support for them to ‘save resources’ by NOT to carrying out expensive hardware upgrades on the cars that need correcting and which have ‘cheat’ systems in them). Thus leaving their owners with owning a further devalued item. Understand where this Diesel stuff all started – with a German brand automotive Cartel (Der Spiegel Online) and be aware that it it is possible to clean diesels a lot more, understand DI petrol has particulate problems (need GPF’s), but not alluded to by our ‘leaders’. . Maybe people should concentrate on Fuel Cells – as you correctly included.
Politicians make noise in the main to gain votes for themselves…gravy train etc.
I certainly exclude BMW from the ‘cheat systems’ comment as they have not been pulled up by the authorities for such an installation.
There is no point in a test that is not accurate or honest – such a test is simply a fraud and a fraud in which the “authorities” are complicit. If I committed a fraud I would be sent to prison. And not everyone is just looking for cheapest running costs. Some people have a conscience and a moral sense and want to avoid doing things that directly affect the health and costs of others, as well as impacts on the environment we are dumping on future generations. And there are willing to pay a bit more to be able to do that. With these tests they are paying extra under false pretences – and that’s false theft in which the authorities are again complicit. If I committed theft, I would go to prison again.
As we know, there’s lies, damn lies & statistics. You can make statistics fit any kind of axe that you want to grind.
If as is mooted, the government is going to start persecuting deisel owners until they switch then their may exist grounds for a class action suit against those responsible for misleading them into buying a product “known” to be unsuitable for the purpose of which it was supplied which falls under the sale of goods act 1985. It’s a case of who knew what and when and who benefited from what seemed like a pro active deception. Those who may have been “complicit” should bear the total cost of the debacle. PPI style compensation should not be out of order for as far as I can see both are products and both were “mis sold”‘. Will we see adverts on tv saying “we’re you mis sold” a diesel vehilce …..call us now, you could be owed thousands.
No the gov. would claim the ‘royal prerogative’ & be untouchable.
Leaving aside the (difficult) question of what to do with existing diesel vehicles, surely the government should simple ban the sale of those which are the most grossly polluting. Maybe we have to wait till after Brexit to be allowed to do this?
They already have. Read the article. Only diesels which have passed the Euro 6 _standardised_ tests can be sold. Define polluting anyway. This is purely focused on NOX. What about CO2, CO, particulates…? How about what %age can be recycled when the vehicle is eventually scrapped? How much pollution is produced in the manufacture and distribution of the vehicle? How much pollution is produced through oil changes, tyre and brake wear, battery replacement, and other maintenance activities over the life of the vehicle? Maybe that should also be looked at on an average basis to look at miles driven and how long the vehicle life typically is? Diesels are best fitted to heavy duty use, i.e. large families, those wanting to tow caravans, high mileage drivers, etc. My 2 litre diesel achieves over 50 MPG ticking along at under 2000 RPM on my frequent motorway journeys compared to the 30 MPG (ish) at 3000 RPM for a similar journey at the same speed of my previous 2 litre petrol car and way better than my wife’s old 1.6 petrol MPV’s less than 20 MPG at 4000 RPM! Maybe it produces a bit more NOX but on just about every other count it’s way better.
I think this is a bit of a red herring. Just look at the pollution older diesel cars and especially vans and lorries spew out. Diesel 6 cars are still incredibly clean v older Diesel engines. I drive a large estate and still get 47mpg. If I went petrol that would be 30mpg – more fuel, more cost
Why have you not quoted a test on the most popular reliable car the Kia Sportage 2016 2ltr decil
Why have you not tested the most popular decil the Kia Sportage 2017
I’m fully behind “real-world testing” as carried out by Which?
In regard to banning diesels by 2040, if manufactures produce vehicles which are independently tested under “real-world” conditions and they meet or exceed required standards, surely banning is counter productive.
I think if they did the same road test on petroleum cars then the Goverment would have to start to ban petroleum cars as well and they will never do that. So they should stop making out it’s all the Diesel cars fault and start looking at petroleum car emission levels as well and I have a feeling they will worse than diesel emissions. If that was the case then they would see diesel car sales rocket again and then see their petrol car sales nose dive.
STOP JUST TARGETING THE DIESEL VEHICALS AND FOCUS ON EVERY FUEL TYPE- DIESEL, PETROL AND HYBRID.
THINK THE GOVERMENT WOULD BE EXTREMELY SURPRISED AND RED FACED.
It should also be done by a completely independent organisation that the Goverment have NO power over and that they then give the TRUE findings and not the findings that the Goverment want us to hear. It should be published and put online so everyone can see the findings on the same day that the Goverment get a copy of it to read and report back to the House of Commons on the findings.
Yes… Sort of… but the point is like for like there is not much difference between the co2 output of a modern petrol vs a modern diesel but even the cleanest diesels produce significantly more Nox than petrol and that is the big “health scare” problem right now.
People keep citing the improvements in diesels but seem to have zero knowledge on the real world improvements to petrol engines in the last decade or so. My car is 2lr turbo produces near 300hp has official co2 emissions under 140g/km and on a recent motorway run got nearly 50mpg (boot full two passengers) I’ll admit to that not quite being at 70mph though, but some diesels would struggle to match. The point is sound though, modern petrols have come on leaps and bounds and while they still don’t reach mpg levels of good diesels I personally feel they are a good fit for the majority of 2.4 households out there while not spewing out the same level of Nox.
Looks like the oil burner protection racket are out in force
Sadly nothing is really perfect. So called Green Energy produced by Wind Turbines is not as environmentally good as it claims to be – Byproduct of making the magnets used in turbines is radioactive and toxic waste.
Ah but, the manufacture of those neodymium magnets are Not In My Back Yard ;O)
What radioactive waste? Fake news.
Some oil companies like Shell & BP sell “cleaner diesel” that claim to give more MPG and cleaner burning. Marketed as Shell V Power and BP Ultimate. Its more expensive needless to say. Has anyone tested these fuels in a controlled environment? Not some subjective “test” like most Which? comparisons.
My understanding of cleaner diesel is it it a marketing ploy to extract 8p a litre more from your pocket. The diesel is identical to the cheaper pump next to it, but it has magic additives to keep your engine clean and healthy. There is no real evidence to suggest your car needs this or indeed gives better MPG the improved economy is based upon the engine staying in better condition long term and maintaining its present good economy, not improving it. Change your oil and filter regularly save the 8p. If you feel it benefits, throw a tank of super through the engine after an oil change when the detergent oil can absorb any gunk shifted by the additive pack.
Not really a nail in the coffin for me. What would be more interesting is a direct comparison with petrol (& possibly even electric) vehicles. Would the savings made by reducing fuel consumption in diesels outway the benefits of using a petrol powered vehicle?
Look it up at Emissions Analytics.
does that show full life emissions, from drawing board of a car to scrappage of the car? or just the usual ‘x amount of pollution per km’ cr@p?
Diesels are certainly more complex beasts on average than petrol cars but if you’re referring to electric there is a good objective study on that somewhere. Like for like, electric is far greener but if you compare a small internal combustion car with a high performing electric car as some have done the outcome can be made to look different. Lies, damned lies and statistics. It’s not the poor consumers’ fault but the government and EU tests should surely reflect real world conditions. They are probably lobbied hard by the industry to go easy on them due to jobs etc while they move away from diesel in particular
The debate about pollution needs to be widened to cover the effect of providing the power needed for all the electric vehicles being promoted by governments and local authorities. Without that information the current perception that electric vehicles are totally clean and non – polluting is false.
Yes indeed. An electric vehicle can easily be twice as polluting as their fossil fuelled counterpart, over the life of the vehicle.
But the WLTP protocols were created by automotive engineers and were set with practicality in mind. While I imagine ideally that NOx emissions would be nil, they have actually been set at a realistic level in conjunction with people who know what they are talking about, not by naïve bureaucrats at the mercy of big car manufacturers. If the levels they required were intended to be those emitted at full load with dodgy tyre pressures, then they would have set the test limits much lower or stated that the tests had to be carried out at GVW in Sport mode with a boy racer behind the wheel. As it is, they have set them at a test level that reflects the real world results that they want to achieve.
no matter what fuel you use going back to the beginning of time they all contribute gases into the atmosphere, diesel trucks are a necessity for haulage at the moment, long haul frieght could be converted to rail, if BEV can displace all petrol and diesel all well and fine, theoretically all commercial vehicles over time can be converted to Electricity. overhead we have the largest sauce of power why not used it, we have wind, wave. hydro and nuclear. Renewables wind turbines are coming along in leaps and bounds, we just need people to see the advantages.
It’s a massive opportunity and we need to do as much as we can, but the potential and commercially viable renewables in this country are actually pretty limited in practice, and coupled with the fact that the National Grid is not up to the job of coping with EVs, hybrids are both the most achievable and least environmentally harmful option.
Not so check out fully charged video the National Grid is highly in favour of BEV they are installing Fast chargers for Jaguar, not only that they envision a virtual power station from Vehical to Grid it’s a win win situation just needs a goverment with the bollocks to move it along
Surely in this day and age and with British innovation, a bolt on devise could be invented that could eradicate harmful gases produced by Motor Vehicles.Electric cars are supposed to be the answer but what about the extra pollution making all those extra large batteries and building more power stations to charge them.
We all know that ‘any’ mineral carbon based fuel is going to create a exhaust emission, which is going to be ‘toxic’ to the environment. I feel that modern diesels/petrol engines afford us more mileage per litre/gallon than ever before, surely we should use that as part of the equation in the statistics. Better traffic management of congested areas, would help reduce emissions, successive governments have ‘failed’ to address ‘traffic’ emissions for years. Our UK policy has improved, but European haulage companies continue to flout the rules (and get away with it). We were all encouraged to go ‘Diesel’ by the UK government, now we are the ‘whipping boy’ for inadequacies and lack of forward thinking
What about emissions analytics test results that put some euro 6 VW diesels in the clean category ? Their tests were stringent
’ or a genuine bit of foul play by car manufacturers? How about ridiculous targets based on pitiful science. Just because someone brings out a target, doesn’t mean it is valid or that meeting it will improve anything.
When will we get the true facts about electric vehicles, and how they will be pouting, as they can not be pollution free, as most are claiming, as the vehicle, batteries, and electricity have to all be made! Diesel was the last con, on the motorist, will electric power be the next?
And, the electricity has to be generated.
What effect do the blue exhaust catalysts have?
I think that we should be looking to phase diesel cars out between 2020 and 2025. We should ban all diesel vehicles from our village’s, towns and cities, forcing the use of out of town distribution hubs with electric vans delivering to shops, offices, restaurants etc.
This would put costs up initially but would provide employment and the costs will reduce over time, particularly if logistics are used to move the goods with the fewest possible journeys.
What are you on, we should all get a horse and cart a go back to the dark ages, what are you going to do with all the old vehicles, who is going to pay for the scrap
vehicles and what about the infrastructure, assuming we can generate enough electricity by then to cope.
And what planet do you live on if there is no public transport in the area. Those of us who live in rural areas rely on economical vehicles to get around, far better ban all non public transport in large towns and cities only allowing service vehicles to use the roads therein.
There is a factor of sixty here between the best and worst performing cars in this survey – even though they have fairly similar engine sizes. Clearly there is quite some ground to be made up before we get significant real world improvements. We need to see a genuine and genuinely enforced testing regime in which the worst examples of the worst performing cars are actually taken off the road until they’re fixed. In other words it needs to be part of the MOT.
Without Diesel engines, life would become very difficult. Shipping and other forms of transport plus farming would probably grind to a halt. The motorist is once again the easiest target in all of this. Yes something does have to be done, but surely the whole picture should be looked at rather than cherry pick the easiest targets
The government has just built 2 Aircraft Carriers and they both burn oil, surely to be green they needed to be nuclear yet they pick on Joe Bloggs and his car
I think vehicles should be tested in real life conditions not optimized in a test lab, especially if the difference in real life conditions varies so much. The public are being conned .
Shame Which didn’t carry out emission tests on current petrol cars. They appear to have a particular bias against diesels of late.
Wasn’t the Subaru Forester a “Which” recommended vehicle a few years ago?
The U.K. is going to cease coal use with 2000 years of reserves. The world is going to have much oil and gas when the ICE with its 1800 plus moving parts is replaced by the EV with 19 or so. The Diesel petrol debate is about NOx in cities. That harms people before the CO2 emitted . Both are big issues but we have to stop NOx first.
The viewpoint of the rural Diesel driver is understandable …NOx dissipates in the country and slightly less CO2 is produced.
But we have to reduce tea absolute CO2 ‘. So, it’s Diesel first then CO2 from all ices. Pointing to ships etc just shows the task is huge , two wrongs etc – you can’t run 6 pot Diesel just cos a cargo ship is hugely more polluting.
The technology to catch solar power is here at cost almost zero. Storing it is also mastered.
I love the ice but in five years? And this week ? 5 Electric London taxis …it’s starting.
Where can I find details for all cars tested?
We all know that Euro 6 diesels are nowhere near as clean as the manufacturers claim but no one enforces the rules against them. It aws stated a DPF system does not work until it reaches a high temperature which takes about 17 miles to reach required temperature. They are not as dirty as wood burning stoves and solid fuel fires unless burning only certified smokeless fuel.
Certainly, the long term aim (by 2040, say) should be to ban not only diesel, but all fossil fuel powered vehicles. Demonising diesel in the short term is not helpful, as the sudden swing away from diesel damages the car industry – particularly the UK car industry which is more diesel focussed as a result of previous UK government policies. As of now, diesel is still best for high mileage motorists; it is more efficient and produces much less CO2 – and this fact is being ignored. A massive swing to petrol will increase CO2 which will increase global warming…….
Loughborough University has developed a much improved method of reducing NOx emissions from diesels, which could improve the situation over the next few years.
Electric vehicles are currently very expensive and still not suitable in many applications, not to mention the lack of vehicle charging infrastructure. Also the UK government still does not have a coherent policy to generate enough electricity to meet the demand if all vehicles were electric. They still have fossil fuel burning generating stations and (I understand) groups of diesel generators scattered round the country to start up if there is short term inadequate supply.
There is a long way still to go, but to achieve the goal, we need a vibrant and successful UK car industry and the government needs to be much more supportive of the long term goal and get its act together, avoiding a series of knee jerk reactions that do more harm than good.
It’s all a money making racket for the government as the motorist is always going to be the easy target. Makes me so angry.
First, on all the comments, diesel will never be clean, and can’t be, not
unless you captured all the pollutants. Sure you can make them appear better, in lab tests or the real world, with clever tricks like DPF, EGR, Adblue, ultimately the latter 2 are improvements, the dpf largley hides the particulate and then just dumps it one, it is marginally better but not by much. ‘Clean diesel’ simply does not exist.
The issue is everything about it is terrible for anything that respires! Great for CO2 but what good is saving the planet at the With the cost of damaging every living organism?
Petrol, far better for respiratory systems, just far worse for CO2 and particularly inefficient at around no more than 30%.
Ultimately the solution is hybridization over the next 10 years, to then by 20 years be fully electric, unlikely. Where this isn’t effective then hydrogen has to be the soloution.
You can say electric comes from somewhere, but the problem needs isolating, so that the pollution comes from a small number of places, where advanced processes can be used to clean emissions, and even carbon capture, so oil and gas don’t have to dead, in fact they’ll still be the most important fuel source.
To be honest quite frankly it’s an absolute disgrace that diesel can ever be touted as clean, MPs were well aware when they encouraged diesel, they were advised by top scientists but yet they ignored.
The EU allowed themselves to be lobbied by German car makers lieing about diesel, just because the Japanese and American manufactures have no diesel experience, as their home markets have no thirst for diesel, so little incentive, and as Diesel engines are far more complicated and take decades to develop a modern one they have to buy them of the Germans or similar euopean manufactures.
An absolute disgrace and us as people should be able to hold these despicable individuals to account.
In summary anything diesel should have the same warnings as a box of cigarettes from the pumps to the cars with far higher taxation.
Finally… yes I drive a diesel, why? Because it’s the only economical way to cover the mileage I need to, ultimately the responsibility lies with our money grabbing governments in the EU and UK.