Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Which is Cheaper to Own: Honda CR-V 2.0 S Gasoline or Honda CR-V 1.6 S Diesel?


The first impression you get when you hear the word, “diesel” is that it’s easy on the pocket. True enough, if fuel economy and pump price are your only ownership considerations, then yes, that belief is true. However, car ownership is more than just squeezing out more kilometers per liter; it’s about the purchase price and routine maintenance cost as well. This is where gasoline engined vehicles tend to find an advantage. Putting this to the test, it’s time to see whether or not going diesel or going gas will save you more money in the long run.

Before hitting the math, lets talk about the car in question first: the Honda CR-V 2.0 S. At P 1,648,000 (post-TRAIN), this is the CR-V’s entry-level model. Only, it’s not speced as such. Basically, it’s the same as the mid-tier 1.6 S which is some P 187,000 more. The major differences between the two S grade models is limited to three things: a gasoline engine instead of a diesel, a CVT instead of a 9-speed automatic, and 5 seats instead of 7.



Outside, it’s actually hard to tell these two models part. They have the same full LED headlight cluster, the same 18-inch alloy wheels, and the same Storm Trooper-inspired look. The only difference lies in the front fog lamps—the gasoline variant uses good-old halogen ones, while the diesel variant gets LEDs. Not exactly a big difference, right?

Inside, the general set-up may be the same—the same stellar ergonomics, the same comfy driving position, the same solid feeling but messy looking interior—but there are obvious differences here. The gasoline CR-V keeps a traditional gearlever instead of a fancy push-button one found in the diesel models. Leather seats and dual climate control are there, but the gasoline swaps the wood trim for aluminum (it looks better) and loses 4 speakers, 4 ceiling mounted vents, and 2 cup holders in the process. Two less warm bodies can ride in the CR-V 2.0 S, but luggage space is up 50 liters to 522 liters behind the second row.



Powered by a 2.0-liter SOHC i-VTEC engine making 154 horsepower and 189 Nm of torque, the gasoline-fed CR-V is a commendable daily driver. It’s quiet, smooth, and has good pull off the line. That said, dip into the accelerator and the CR-V does struggle in the mid-range before finding some power once more at the top end. The CVT is wiling enough, but there’s a noticeable high-pitched whine from 2,000 to around 3,500 rpm. It’s not irritating, but it’s the chief annoyance in the CR-V’s otherwise serene cabin.

The rest of the mechanical package, down to the suspension tuning is shared with the diesel. However, it’s worth noting that the gasoline rides more stiffly and is unable to filter undulating surfaces as effectively. Oh, and there’s much more understeer on the gasoline variant too.



Okay, with the driving impressions out of the way, it’s time to crunch the numbers.



Navigating through Honda’s prescribed Preventive Maintenance Service (PMS) menu, it shows that both the gasoline and diesel models follow the twice-a-year dealer visit routine. And while the cost of the 6-month interval is largely the same between both variants (the diesel cost some 11 percent more per visit), the diesel loses out in terms of parts and labor at every 20,000-kilometer interval. There’s actually a 33.8 percent premium because of more parts and fluid cost.

As previously mentioned, the CR-V S comes out of the showroom already with a clear P 187,000 price advantage over the diesel (P 1,648,000 versus P 1,835,000). Factoring in Honda’s prescribed Preventive Maintenance Service (PMS) cost for the next 5 years or 100,000 kilometers, the gasoline bests the diesel by P 29,588.34 spread over 5 years.

It’s only when you start factoring in fuel consumption that the diesel shows its trump card. If pump prices stay where they are today (P 41.00 for diesel and P 52.50 for gasoline), the diesel CR-V delivers a knock out punch. With the 2.0 S gasoline delivering just 7.8 km/L to the 1.6 S diesel’s 11.20 km/L, by the time you hit 100,000 kilometers, you would have used 3,891.94 liters more fuel and spent P 307,005.49 pesos if you opted for the gasoline.

Assuming you get to drive 20,000 kilometers annually, looking at a 5-year period, the diesel CR-V offers both a lower Cost of Ownership (Purchase Price + PMS + Fuel) at P 23.23 per kilometer versus P 24.13 per kilometer for the gasoline; and Running Cost (PMS + Fuel) at P 4.88 per kilometer versus P 7.65 per kilometer.

But what if you drive less than or more than 20,000 kilometers annually? Well, the diesel CR-V would have the running cost advantage regardless of mileage versus the gasoline CR-V. However, factoring in the purchase price difference, if you travel less than 14,109.88 kilometers annually (that’s about 1,175.82 kilometers per month or 39.19 kilometers per day), then the CR-V 2.0 S gasoline actually becomes the more cost-effective option. Interesting right? Reversing the situation, if you run 30,000 kilometers annually, the cost of ownership difference increases from P 0.90 per kilometer to P 1.63 per kilometer.


In short, taking the diesel option will not always end up being lighter on the wallet. It’s clear that going for the diesel route is best for those who travel long distances on a daily basis. However, if you don’t drive that much or are considering the CR-V simply as a “coding car”, then you might be better off with the gasoline-engine option, because the payback of the diesel’s frugality won’t offset the higher initial purchase price.

39 comments:

  1. Nice article! This is very useful for those who are still indifferent between petrol and diesel crv.

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  2. I believe I made the best decision of buying the gas variant for three reasons. One, most of my driving is in the city only and could hardly reach the 10,000kms in a year trip. Two, price difference of gas and diesel in our city is only 2 pesos so computations on fuel consumption will not give much difference. Three, we are only 3 in the family and I prefer the bigger storage at the back than more passenger seats. The gas CRV was a more plausible choice for me.

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  3. We forgot to account for the resale value. 2nd hand Diesel cars sell at a premium over gas counterparts. Plus the 7 vs 5 seater. Greater drivability of the diesel. Its a no brainer

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    1. We cannot comment on the resale value of both of these cars because they're still too new.

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    2. Yes. and with consideration to issues regarding Diesel engine parts such as DPFs, ECUs, Injectors, etc. in Europe for Honda CRVs, the pricey-hefty repair costs associated with Diesel Engines. No doubt, I will only prefer the Gas Variant over the Diesel Variant. Cross-fingers that those issues were really resolved and that they didn't simply brought the trash to us from Europe.

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  4. Hi Uly,

    Is the diesel more fun to drive than the gas? Wish there was a 5 seater option for the diesel also.

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    1. Diesel has more pull for sure. You feel like the engine's less strained and all. That said, the gasoline is actually not so bad too. The CVT adjusts quickly enough.

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  5. Gasoline is better.

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  6. Remember ULY, Mel Dizon showed us computations between the V6 gas and 3.2ltr 4 cyll diesel when he introduced the V60 Pajero in 2003? At that time, the amount to recover over 5 years was 250k in favor of the gas and Mel said, 250k is a lot of gas for the money then.1. As to the gas version's stiff ride and poor - relative- undulation absorption, any hypothesis Uly? Different tire size? Lighter engine? Doesn't make sense to install different springs or roll bars for gas and diesel versions. 2. My heavier engine theory fails to explain why the gas understeers because if it was so, the diesel should be more prone to understeer. 3. Lastly, the cost difference between gas and diesel service - could it be filter replacement or Adblue additive which isn't expensive if it is required.

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    1. Hard to quantify return on investment in years. It’s actually more relatable to compute that in terms of mileage which I did here.

      The difference in handling is due to different tire brands and likely lighter engine or at least different weight distribution than the diesel.

      Honda confirms that springs and all is shared on both gas and diesel though.

      And AFAIK, there is no emissions additive for the i-DTEC engine. There is a DPF which is included in the routine service of the CR-V.

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  7. Agree. Thats why I always say if ang layo ng price difference ung savings mo dun ipang gas mo nalang so ung 180k initial savings mo you can use it for other stuff muna rather than nakapako na sa initial spending mo of getting the car.

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  8. I thought that the gas-fed CR-V uses a 6AT?

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  9. Interesting, Uly. I would like to see a comparison as well between a hybrid and a normal gas-fed engine, such as the Lexus NX300 vs NX300h, or a Prius vs a Vios. Why? Because I want to see the impact of a hybrid regarding the maintenance. Natatakot kasi akong bumili ng hybrid dahil baka often ang palit ng battery or impact sa maintenance.

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  10. I hope someone does the same comparison for the innova as thos will help a lot of buyers

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  11. That IS a nice article! Nice concept.

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  12. Very nice article Jason, I mean, Uly (M*cars days :P). Interesting that the gasoline variant rides stiffer and understeers more than the oil-burner, I would have thought the diesel block would be heavier (including the turbo, added pipes, intercooler, etc.). If the suspension & wheels/tires are the same can it be down to electric power steering assist differences? The calculations also assume a perfectly running vehicle for the entire 5 years, and that only the PMS expenses would occur for that entire time. Any problems that would occur would be an added expense after the 3-year warranty expires. Of course, no two vehicles would suffer the same problems so comparisons are impossible, but I would think there is much more that can go wrong with a turbocharged diesel engine and those repairs would be more expensive. Example: high-pressure fuel rail, injectors, turbocharger, added pipes & hoses, intercooler, etc. In the gasoline side, the CVT would also be a potential huge expense if something wrong goes with it since it's not repairable, it is just replaced as a whole if there's a problem with it. So those potential expenses after Year 3 should also be considered by potential buyers.

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    1. Thanks. He never did anything that amounted to anything anyway...that’s why I decided to split up. Why share in the limelight when you’re doing all the work?

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  13. ^Thanks for this Uly, I have been suggesting such article for some time. As an OFW, I dont have much time to go to showrooms nor conduct in-depth technical comparisons when vacationing. Your photos have become more technical too. Kudos!
    Note: are you allowed to publish such reviews in your philstar column?

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    Replies
    1. Thanks!

      Typically the Philippine STAR Columns tend to be more of features. For sure, things like this can be done now and again, but not on a regular basis. Blame the charts...they take a lot of space hahaha!

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    2. ^Yeah right on the money again! Anyway, you can do such comparisons on high-volume-sales vehicles too... this is very informative, particularly to those who are first time buyers and dieselheads who thought that diesels are always superior than petrol... thanks!

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    3. I will hazard a guess on the gas variant's ride quality. Because the main product is the diesel variant, Honda did not bother to tune the suspension properly seeing that it will add more complexity and probably parts to a small volume product that is made in a factory that makes a lot of other models.

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  14. ^It is very precise too based on your experiment, that when you don't travel long distances, a gasoline powered vehicle is better in terms of operational and maintenance cost. For heavy lifting and longer travels, the diesel is more suited.
    I just wonder, for the indicated fuel consumption, the diesel figure looks a bit low at 11.2km/lit only. I was expecting this honda to return no less than 15 (@9AT). Is it mixed city/hwy real-world driving?

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  15. ^It is very precise too based on your experiment, that when you don't travel long distances, a gasoline powered vehicle is better in terms of operational and maintenance cost. For heavy lifting and longer travels, the diesel is more suited.
    I just wonder, for the indicated fuel consumption, the diesel figure looks a bit low at 11.2km/lit only. I was expecting this honda to return no less than 15 (@9AT). Is it mixed city/hwy real-world driving?

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    Replies
    1. It can easily do 15 km/L mixed use. Above 20 km/L in pure highway driving.

      11.2 km/L in heavy city traffic...similar situation the 7.8 km/L the CR-V gas found itself in.

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    2. 7.8 is a good figure for a 2.0 gas in heavy traffic on a high noon.

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  16. ^Yep, most same sized gas vehicles I know returns 6-8 km/lit in traffic... that diesel figure seems low but ok...

    How about your opinion on CVT particularly the operation and maintenance?

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    1. Operation is fuss-free. It pulls better off the line compared to CVTs from Subaru or Nissan...but does lack mid-range punch...it makes quick overtaking sort of a challenge. But it does have power at the top end.

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    2. ^And more expensive to maintain?... and vehicle feels under-powered?... and not responsive to high torque (reason why diesels got AT)?

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    3. Doesn't feel overpowered to me...you just have to wring the engine more to get it excited.

      Following routine maintenance, it's still cheaper than the diesel CR-V, so that's saying something.

      As for torque...well...I cannot be too sure. For sure, there are some who say that the CVT cannot take on the Type R's torque figure for sure, but since the Type R uses a 6 MT, it's all anecdotal. But, yeah...the torque could be a reason why the diesel uses a 9AT.

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    4. ^Maybe your next article is a review about CVT vs conventional A/T vs DCT?

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  17. Thanks Uly for this informative article.

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  18. Very insightful article. This is what im looking forward to be reading more sir uly.

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  19. Pangit at underpowered pa rin mapa gas or diesel.

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  20. If the gasoline engine is a DOHC and has real gears, then I would buy it.

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  21. Hi Uly,

    Are the Honda CRV diesel version released here in PH also equipped with DPFs. I've read somewhere that Honda DPFs are problematic for daily "stop-and-go" or short distance travels... like Quezon City to Makati area?

    Thanks

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    Replies
    1. Hi!, based on my verifications, DPFs are mostly installed since 2008 for Diesel Engines. This year, Dmax and MUX also got DPFs. I know what you're thinking... Go for the GAS Variant. I am suppose to purchase the Toyota Hilux Conquest but saw huge issues in Australia regarding the Diesel Engine. Cars sold in Australia and Phils came from one origin right? Now, Im considering Gas Variants only.

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  22. GAS will most likely stay you out of trouble. The technology in our country is late. Should we not learn from Europe and Australia's experiences in Diesel Engines? Do your research about failing DPFs, ECUs, Turbos, Injectors, etc in Diesel engines and find out how expensive it is. The warranty is only 3 years, extendable to 5 years with the current promotion. What happens next after 5 years? The repair costs are unimaginable for Diesel Engines.

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  23. If the buyers later will do their research and will find out the issues related on diesel engines and how expensive it is to carry out a repair, Do you really think they will buy the Diesel at a good price? Since I've done my research, no way... not at all...

    ReplyDelete

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