For years, the gas-conscious consumer chose the diesel vehicle. These earlier diesels were generally noisier, dirtier and handled the road more poorly than their gas counterparts did. In fact, five states currently do not allow the sale of diesel vehicles due to strict emissions standards.
However, this image of the diesel vehicle is very outdated. Modern diesel vehicles are much cleaner than their earlier counterparts are. Low-sulphur diesel fuel and new technology that helps trap emissions particles are making diesel engines cleaner than ever before. In addition, modern diesel vehicles handle nearly as well as their gas-powered cousins and are less noisy as well.
Fuel efficiency is still paramount when it comes to driving a diesel vehicle. With their average nine miles per gallon increase over gas-powered vehicles, diesels are a viable option for the fuel-conscious consumer.
Hybrid vehicles are the newcomer to the mileage game. These vehicles run on a combination of gas and electric power, and they promise vastly increased gas mileage and lower emissions.
While these vehicles deliver on the promise, there are a few shortcomings as well. The first and most glaring disappointment is that many drivers find that the advertised mileage and the actual mileage the car achieves are vastly different.
For instance, the Toyota Prius advertises gas mileage of 55 miles per gallon, according to U.S. government reports. However, when Consumer Reports magazine tested the car under actual driving conditions, the mileage achieved was only 44 miles per gallon. While this is still excellent gas mileage, it is far less than advertised.
In addition, the sheer price of hybrid vehicles can be daunting. While a diesel vehicle generally costs an average of $1000 more than its gas-powered version, a hybrid vehicle costs several thousand dollars more than a gas-powered car. The Honda Civic Hybrid base price is $4800 more than the standard Civic with the same options and amenities.