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Engines: is bigger always better? [Sponsored]

Which should you choose – petrol or diesel? Is bigger always better and how does it affect you? We can’t ignore engine size and fuel type as an important part of deciding what type of car to buy.

There’s more to this decision than which is cheaper at the pump — you’re not just considering the effects on your pocket, but also the environmental impact.

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Here’s a quick look at engine size and diesel vs petrol to help you decide:

Engine size

The price you’ll be paying for your car is largely affected by the size of what’s beneath the bonnet — so think carefully before you throw cash at the dealer, jump in and drive off.

What you’ll be paying for a 1.0 litre will differ largely from the cost of a 1.3, 1.4, 1.8 and more so for a 2.0 litre engine because of the difference in performance and output.

Larger engines make provision for quicker acceleration, higher speeds and pulling capability – as opposed to smaller engines that don’t burn up as much fuel as the high-capacity engines and are therefore seen as more eco-friendly.

On the other hand, you also don’t want to go too small, because what you save in fuel you’re pretty much losing in torque — so in the long run, your consumption actually may get higher… especially on that uphill! Also, smaller engines may bring down the purchase price, but it is important to consider they may also have an impact on the car’s resale value. Second-hand or trade-in markets may see smaller cars as the “cheap” option compared to cars with larger engines in the same range.

It’s also important to note that the amount you pay for your car insurance policy is a reflection of how likely an insurer thinks you are to make a claim. The faster and more powerful your car is, the higher the probability of more expensive accident repairs. So generally, the larger your engine, the higher the insurance costs.

Diesel vs petrol

The rising cost of fuel makes this a tough choice for car buyers — do you save money at the cost of damaging the environment or do you simply go for the pure enjoyment of your car’s performance?

It’s a well-known fact that diesel engines give you more bang for your buck when it comes to fuel efficiency, however, they are not environment-friendly. Not that petrol engines are eco-friendly either! However, car and fuel manufacturers are becoming more and more innovative in the development of cars to cater more for environmentally-conscious, yet speed-loving drivers.

New technologies (like particle traps or biodiesel) give you more kilometres for your litre — and even clean your engine in the process.

Ultimately, depending on how you will be using your car, the choice of engine size and fuel type will largely be a personal one. Contributing factors to the overall decision of bigger being better or smaller being practical could be:

– How far and how often you will be driving?

– Whether you can afford the cost for a fuel-guzzling turbo-charged sports car?

– Are you willing to forgo performance for the eco-friendly benefits of a smaller, fuel-efficient engine about?

Based on these factors, what would you choose… bigger or better?

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