Unfortunately, though, there would appear to be something of a cloud on the horizon. A regulatory groundswell of anti-diesel feeling is building momentum, and there’s all sorts of chatter about increased road tax, rising fuel costs and usage restrictions aimed at owners of these vehicles. Drivers of older, ‘dirtier’-engined vehicles are likely to be most affected, although everyone will suffer the consequences fuel price rises.
Even though the newest Euro 6-compliant engines will probably be exempt from some of the restrictions, the damage done to the diesel market as a whole, could be considerable. Once the general motoring public cottons-on to the idea that diesels are going to cost them more money, then desirability levels will start to tumble.
The on-going impact of all this on residuals remains to be seen, but early suggestions are that prices of secondhand cars are already starting to be affected. Of course, it might all be a storm in a teacup and, when it actually comes to it, the financial impact could be a good deal less marked. Unfortunately for the trade, though, it’s all about perception, and once diesels get tarred with the ‘expensive’ brush, things can only head in one direction.
This demonisation of diesel certainly represents a major about-turn on the official policy that set out to encourage us all towards the fuel, back in the early noughties. Many of those drivers who took the plunge then – encouraged by attractive fuel prices and great economy – will no doubt still be happy diesel drivers; but for how much longer? Those needing to change their vehicle any time soon, will surely start factoring-in the unhappy prospect of increased costs and possible usage restrictions.
So there are sure to be interesting times ahead, as well as some bargain prices to be had on performance diesels for those enthusiasts prepared to buck the trend.
This demonisation of diesel certainly represents a major about-turn on the official policy.
Superb BMW diesel models, such as the 435d Xdrive, could be set to become even more of a performance bargain than they already are.