There are plenty of solid options to pick from when looking for an off-road capable vehicle, including powerful 4x4s and cross-over mid-size SUVs. However, the ultimate overlanding automobiles share one common trait—a diesel engine configuration. Read on to learn why diesel cars make the best off-roaders.
Enhanced Low-End Power Capabilities
Every seasoned off-roading enthusiast knows that the best way to navigate steep and challenging terrain is in a vehicle with loads of low-end power. Low-end power is created by torque, or angular momentum, that provides acceleration at lower RPMs. The excess low-end power helps you climb dramatic and elevated surfaces with more ease and control. Conveniently, diesel engines feature higher compression ratios and more turbocharging than their gas counterparts—two traits that are ideal for creating torque. Furthermore, diesel fuel has a high energy density, allowing for more fuel extraction in the engine during the compression process. The compression process itself is very controlled and consistent, leading to more torque at low RPMs. Ultimately, there’s no replacing the low-end power capabilities of a diesel engine.
Increased Engine Durability
One downside of regularly off-roading is racking up the miles on the odometer. Most gas engine cars can withstand 200,000 miles of use before requiring significant repairs and replacements. However, well-maintained diesel engines remain functional for far longer—often 350,000–500,000 miles! This is because diesel engines often feature thicker construction materials, more efficient cooling systems, simpler components, and overall fewer carbon deposits from fuel supplies. Additionally, diesel engines operate on lower RPMs, reducing the chances of severe wear and tear. Not to mention, a diesel engine car is often more valuable on the secondhand market than a gas engine alternative. Opting for a diesel engine off-roader can significantly reduce your maintenance and service expenses in the long run.
Superior Fuel Efficiency
Another cost-saving benefit of owning a diesel off-roader is the fuel efficiency of diesel. Diesel cars often get significantly better fuel economy ratings than gas engine alternatives. On average, diesel engines provide the same functionality as gas engines with 10 percent to 15 percent less fuel consumption, according to the US Department of Energy. And this doesn’t just come in handy for off-roading applications—superior fuel economy makes diesel cars viable options as daily drivers. That’s why popular vehicles like the Wrangler include diesel engine configurations to improve fuel efficiency.
Understanding why diesel cars make the best off-roaders can help you find the perfect automobile for your desired driving activities. Consider purchasing a diesel engine configuration to enjoy these benefits and more!