According to a recent study by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, diesel owners save about $2,000 to $6,000 over three to five years compared to owners of corresponding gas vehicles.
The study, which was done for Robert Bosch Corporation (full disclosure: the company manufactures diesel engine components), examined a dozen vehicles that are offered with both diesel and gasoline options. The diesel vehicles achieved between 8 to 44 percent more miles to the gallon, with all but three diesel vehicles exceeding their gas comparison by at least 26 percent. All diesel models came with less fuel costs over three years or 45,000 miles while 11 of them had savings of at least 10 percent.
In addition, on 11 of the 12 models, the diesel variants depreciated slower than the standard gasoline model. The Mercedes-Benz GL diesel, for example, held on to 46 percent more of its value compared to its gasoline counterpart.
Factoring in fuel costs, depreciation, repairs, fees, taxes, insurance, and maintenance, the Ford F-250 was the only vehicle whose gas version saved money ($1,395) compared to the diesel version over the initial three years of ownership. The GL-Class saved the most by owning a diesel model – $13,514.
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