Now’s The Time To Save These 3 Diesel Cars In Singapore Before They Head To The Scrapyard

Now’s The Time To Save These 3 Diesel Cars In Singapore Before They Head To The Scrapyard

Gerald Yuen
Gerald Yuen
07 Jul 2023

Making a case for diesel cars in 2023 sounds like an attempt to start a fire with a pair of popsicles. But as Editor James pointed out earlier this year, cars powered by internal combustion engines can co-exist with fully electric ones. While we wait for authorities to ramp up charging infrastructures, ICE powertrains remain a viable, more convenient option for many.

Granted, excessive carbon emissions have tainted the appeal of diesels for decades - underscored by “Dieselgate” that stunned the world in 2015. That’s for sure an area of vulnerability. Integrity took a hit and most consumers, especially in Singapore, steered clear of diesel cars post-scandal, escalated by news that 662 cars of said brand were affected on our island (although no recalls were required).

These three diesel cars in our shortlist had production periods right smack during Dieselgate, but they still deserve one final hurrah as the death knell nears. Production timelines of these cars ceased in 2015 (no prizes for guessing why), but they were still innovative, effective modes of transport. Some decent examples still exist as the 10-year COE time bomb ticks against their favour.

Volkswagen Touran TDI (1st generation)

Recommending a Volkswagen in the midst of this introduction might not be the smartest idea, but some research revealed results we were not expecting. Tests from LTA showed that this 1st generation Touran TDI in facelift form emits 121g/km of CO2, 24g/km less than a current-gen petrol-powered Altis. With its presumed shortfall addressed, let’s shine a light on its benefits. This 7-seater has a fuel tank rated at 60 litres and a claimed fuel efficiency of well over 20km/l. Visits to the kiosk will be few and far between - not before you hit four digits worth of mileage. That’s a figure to rival Toyota’s hybrids, which is nothing short of impressive.

BMW X5 M50d (2nd generation)

While it’s no surprise that diesel engines can produce mountains of torque from lower regions of the rev range, BMW’s introduction of a straight six, tri-turbo (you read that right) diesel in 2014 was still groundbreaking tech. 381bhp and 740Nm (more torque than a Taycan Cross Turismo 4S!) are numbers that look impressive even by today’s standards. The X5 M50d can sprint to 100km/h in 5.4 seconds - a tough ask for one that weighs 2.4 tonnes but BMW engineers somehow made it feel light on its feet (from our driving impressions of the X6 M50d on Lazarus Island way back in 2014). Only a handful remain on local tarmac - now’s your chance to pilot one of the world’s most powerful straight six diesels.

Jaguar XF 2.2D (1st generation)

LTA’s statistics reveal that there are more than twice the number of diesel-powered Jaguars compared to diesel Volkswagens as of 2022. Dieselgate might have played a part, but the fact that almost 20% of Jaguars here are propelled by diesel hints at owners’ lean towards more quirky offerings. After all, safer bets within the luxury sedan sphere tend to favour German marques. This XF with a 2.2-litre turbo-fed 4-potter has 450Nm of grunt at its disposal, helping it to 100km/h in 8.5 seconds. It can achieve at least 16km/l without going too easy on the throttle, and when paired with a 70-litre fuel tank, you can technically drive to Hat Yai with 200km to spare.


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